This is the top-of-the-line in Kikuichi's Damscus stainless steel knives. The core of the knife is made from very hard VG10 steel which is then clad with thin layers of softer steel, 8 layers per side creating the Damascus appearance. The top half of the knife is then hammered for both beauty and functionality. The design is very striking and other manufacturer's are beginning to copy the technique. It also provides air pockets which create a smoother draw when slicing and helps to keep food from sticking to the blade. Like all Kikuichi knives, these are individually made so each pattern is unique. The tempering process is extremely imporant in creating an excellent quality knife, and these are outstanding. Far sturdier and less prone to chipping than other brands with a similar appearance. We highly recommend these knives.