The Higonokami is a reminiscence of my childhood years back in 1975 carrying pencil knives to school in our school bags. The knife dated back as early as 1894 from Miki, Hyōgo Prefecture in Japan and the legacy lives on till today.
The knives are rather crudely handmade till today as such you may expect to make little tweaks to it even out of the box. I have to knock the handle on mine a bit with a rubber mallet to make the blade opening gap a tad narrower. And of course, if you’re a stickler for sharpies and have a nine-year old kid who grumbles on dull blades to sharpen his color pencils you definitely need to sharpen these knives.
I’ve seen a lot of post suggesting the Higonokami for outdoor use, but what I found out is the knife rust and rust without proper layer of oil. In dire survival condition taking care of the Higonokami in the rain forest would be putting nose oil or whatever oil you could wipe bodily and I suspect that it still would probably rust. Some of the manufacturers of reputable high-carbon blades such as Mora of Sweden openly advise that some knives will be a bit rusted even the day you bought it. But for knives enthusiasts, it’s an accepted drawback for a blade that normally holds such keen edges.
To me personally, the Higonokami is - a tool knife.
The kind of knife you enjoy because of the sharpness and the blade geometry. The knife comes in many ‘flavors’ such as the SK Steel version, the Blue Steel (aogami) and White Steel (shirogami). The blue and white steel versions are ‘san mai’ – the Japanese laminating process of fusing 3 layers of steels of various hardness; a process used on samurai blades such as the katana and wakisashi.
Some of the blades comes micro-beveled, but with a bit of elbow grease and a loving heart to achieve a scandi grind (after sharpening) and the geometry and upsweep of the blade is simply enjoyable on wood. Don’t take my word for it, take an ice-cream stick and start whittling away and you’ll share my opinion. It’s definitely not the same as the usual all-purpose micro beveled knives. And like most wood working tools, you oil it and treat it with love and care.
The Higonokami is also a freaking awesome as EDC. It’s like riding a Vespa wearing a suit. Because Vespas are freaking cool. It’s something with heritage, traditional, handmade bearing and the level of coolness with an iconic ageless design. The kind of blade you’d want scratch marks on the blade and create patina (on brass handles) and leave it for your future grandchild and tell him, ‘yup grandpop’s life was awesome dude’(still is).
The Higonokami is a must have item for a knife enthusiast; something you’d want to drop in that tiny little space in your box of sharpies collection.
What is your favorite flavor of Higonokami? Click HERE to see the Higonokami we offer!