Ume (translated: Plum, Pr: oo-may)Constructed of kasumi SK5 high carbon steel with polycarbonate ferrules and magnolia wood handles. These high carbon knives are an excellent choice for the beginning chef or for occasional use. This steel type is softer than either white or blue steel and as such is easier to sharpen. The most important aspect of the traditional Japanese knife for most users is the quality of the grind-work. The knife must be flat enough for the shinogi line to contact the stone all the way to the edge. This quality is rarely seen on a production knife from one of the name brand Japanese factories. But the Ume are produced by individual craftsmen as part of the Minonokune project and the quality is unbeatable for this price point.