What is a mille-feuille knife?

Mille-feuille knives were featured in a TV program covering Kappabashi Tool Street.

Since then, we have received many inquiries from customers, but the trouble is that the meaning of the word “mille-feuille” does not seem to have been correctly conveyed. This is probably due to the fact that incorrect explanations have been widely posted on the Internet. In the first place, mille-feuille knives are correctly called “laminated steel” or “Damascus steel,” and are made of stainless steel and nickel, with a core made of high-grade steel materials such as powdered HSS or VG10 cobalt steel. The pattern is reminiscent of a Japanese sword, making it very popular among foreign customers.

Although Damascus steel is nowadays made in Niigata, most of them are made by a company called Takefu Special Steel in Fukui Prefecture and used by cutlery makers all over Japan. The origin of the name “Damascus steel” comes from the fact that in the past, when blades were made from iron ore mined in Damascus, Syria, and India, the resulting blades had a striped pattern.

Therefore, the term “Damascus steel” does not refer to the metal itself, but to the pattern. It is true that high-grade stainless steel is used, but laminating it does not make it functionally superior. The nickel part of the stainless steel is susceptible to corrosion, and if it is not well cared for, rust will occur.

*This is a translation by a translation tool.