When TTAK first started, Chris compared his explorations beyond the surface world of knives to “diving down rabbit holes”. In my piece on the Boker War Toad, I first began my exploration of friction folders, and since then I keep coming across examples of this class of knife that bear further mention.
My first exposure to friction folders was Chris’s excellent “Know your Knives” piece on the Higo No Kami. (or Higo Nokami, or simply Higo for our purposes here). This traditional Japanese folder features an extended tang which is grasped against the knife’s handle serving to hold the knife open. I just learned of this modern example by Shun, a personal steak knife.
The Shun Higo steak knife takes the style beyond its peasant roots. It features a VG10 blade, and a liner lock for additional blade security. Despite these modern touches, the Shun has the classic lines and look of a traditional Higo. This knife seems to hit the sweet spot between form and function. The knife comes with a wooden box and leather sleeve for carry and storage.
I can’t call this knife “Obscure” since it is available on Amazon for an attainable $100 or so, but I definitely would say it is something I desire. It is never something I can say I need, there are other cheaper blades that will cut a steak. The Shun Higo steak knife is an elegant tool, for a use by a connoisseur.