Citadel uses modern steels, high-end natural materials
and a lot of skilled hand work to craft exceptional knives.
For the first time in many years Citadels’ line of knives are available in North America from CAS Iberia. Citadel’s knives combine imported European steels with the highest quality grip materials to create unique working knives at a custom level fit and finish, for far below that sticker price.
Many of Citadel's fans were introduced to them through their exceptional samurai swords, only to find later their devotion to high quality knives. There is a lot of crossover in the traditions as well, evidenced by the unique ray skin covered knife scales and traditional Japanese method of differentially hardened blades.
With a few exceptions Citadel uses Bohler's high carbon N690Co stainless steel for their folding knives. This high-end steel combined with a variety of premium scale materials (Bone, Horn, Rosewood, Palisander -- even Rayskin!) makes for an exceptional knife.
Citadel hand forges high-carbon DNH7 steel then, using the techniques learned from decades of making exceptional samurai swords, differentially hardens each blade to make a fine working knife. High quality leather sheaths and high-end scale materials complete the package.
Materials in Citadel's Knives
A high carbon steel very close in composition to AISI 1075, DNH7 responds well to differential hardening. This steel is used mainly in Citadel's fixed blade knives but also is used in folders such as the Higonokami.
A premium high carbon stainless steel, N690Co from Bohler is a high performance choice. Most of Citadel's folding knives use N690Co, it takes an exceptional edge and keeps it for a good long time.
AISI420 is a high carbon stainless used in the folding knife Yaku Saku. This steel is hand forged which is unusual for stainless steels and easy to maintain.
The scales sporting this exceptional hardwood from Citadel have intense grain patterns and a deep natural red color.
Palisander is a high end hardwood most often seen in high end furniture production. Highly figured with a deep brownish/red color.
Buffalo horn, used to great effect in Citadel's Samurai Sword saya, is an extremely tough natural material for knife scales. Pieces of horn vary greatly from solid polished black to pieces with a lot of natural "scale".
Citadel uses high quality pieces of bone that are well polished and exhibit a deep white luster.
Totally unique to Citadel knives is their use of genuine ray skin on certain knife handles. A thin wood layer is carved to accept the rayskin cover which is glued in place. The skin is then finished in either a clear lacquer, black lacquer or dyed and polished.
A break from most of Citadel's knife scale materials, micarta is a man-made material of multiple layers of resin impregnated linen. An extremely durable material.