The soul of every good blade is in the heat treat.
A hamon (Japanese, literally "blade pattern") is a visual outline of the hardest area of a differentially-hardened blade.
This heat-treat technique was developed in Japan over a thousand years ago. We're one of only a handful of American makers to offer genuine, modern hamon on all of our blades, using one of the most advanced steels (CPM-3V) in the world.
The core of a true hamon is its differential hardening. The hardest part of the blade (Rockwell 60-61) is the dark area inside the hollow grind, while the lighter area along the flats is tempered to further increase CPM-3V's already-impressive stats for strength, toughness and flexibility.

Our Specter finish elegantly highlights our modern hamon and the striking contrast between the blade's dual hardnesses.
All of our CPM-3V blades are differentially hardened, and each has its own unique, modern hamon. It can often be seen beneath the beautiful jewel tones of our Arizona Copper finish as a subtle, iridescent blue hue inside the hollow grind.
Like Specter, our Arizona Copper finish comes out of the steel itself during a specialized heat-treat process. It is never painted on. The specific colors and tones are unique to your individual blade and no two are alike.


Q. Is Specter a sprayed/painted-on finish?

Answer: No. While some knifemakers try to imitate the look of a hamon using various methods, Specter is a genuine hamon - a visual effect caused by our specialized heat-treat. It goes all the way through the steel.
Q. Does the Arizona Copper finish have a hamon?

Answer: Yes. It's a little harder to see, but it's there! All of our CPM-3V blades undergo the same differential heat treat process and have their own unique, modern hamon.