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Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?

Posted by oldsailorsknives 
Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
August 10, 2017 10:52PM
start by reading thru this thread on Kitchen Knife forum. [www.kitchenknifeforums.com]
my point is many western makers have made knives that try to emulate the best of honyaki and other japanese blades which I guess means high hardness and small edge angles. while they might be a very good tool, is it the ultimate??
I will never find out. the idea of spending $1000 on a knife I cant see or touch be4 purchase?

scott
[www.etsy.com]
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
August 11, 2017 08:54AM
Didnt even know about that forum.. I went throught all topic as I was not too familiar
with japanese term and so on.. lots of misinterpratation there.. I go in grinning smiley !

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
August 13, 2017 02:38AM
Scott, out of 2 posts first seem to be lost for ever.. and for the second one it took over 24h to show in the topic.
I dont feel like the regular users have same conditions when posting,
I contacted them 2days ago but no answer..

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/13/2017 02:40AM by JSCT.
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
August 13, 2017 03:15PM
The thing to realize is that for some people, they are just chatting about knives. It isn't about serious Q&A sessions, hence a lot of posts will have no information content, they are just small talk. People often just want to be involved even if they don't actually have anything to say.

As for why a knife is $500? The short answer is because people will pay that much for it. It usually isn't about performance past a point, it isn't like Randall's are worth their price for steel/performance.
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 06, 2017 06:20AM
My understanding is that the failure rate on these blades is extremely high, and many (or most) of them crack or warp irredeemably in the quench. Grinding takes significantly longer since there's no soft cladding. The blades are almost always mirror-polished, the handles are often made from premium/exotic materials, and the overall finish is of the highest quality. The supply of honyaki blades is limited, as not many makers practice the technique. Apprentices don't make them, and the master smiths can't possibly produce enough to keep up with demand.

This blog post touches on honyaki production a bit. Check out the micrographs at the end, too.
Quote
From the above link
Sukenari is the only professional knife manufacturer in the region so basically everything is done in-house. They have 4 people working full time doing forging and sharpening. I asked Master Hanaki if recurring is difficult and he joked “you’d be lucky to get one person that is talented and passionate about knife making out of five apprentices.”

The masters at some of these workshops are elderly and may retire soon, so collectors want to get one of their knives while they're still being made. Some people are speculating that when this generation retires, fewer and fewer of the younger guys will learn or continue to produce these sorts of knives and they will become even scarcer. A lot of the Kitchen Knife Forum guys are collectors and care as much about who made a particular knife as they do how good of a knife it is.

The only honyaki blade I've used was a friend's Sukenari gyuto, and it didn't feel any different from a conventional knife. I've also heard that honyaki are ground (comparatively) thicker to avoid chipping, since repairs are a pain and drastically shorten the lifespan of the blade. That increased thickness is not really detrimental to the performance of single-bevel knives since they're used almost exclusively for slicing. Some people really like the way they feel when sharpening them on their $600 "natural" stones. I don't see any advantage to honyaki for a double-bevel kitchen knife besides the obvious advantages of using steel at the highest-achievable hardness. Maybe for swords it makes a big difference—I wouldn't know.



Edited 3 time(s). Last edit at 09/06/2017 06:51AM by humphreyblowdart.
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 07, 2017 07:31AM
Hump - that was very nice article, I also like the marketing way sukenari chosed,
not fairytales but simply showed micrographs (despite not very informative in 100x mag
but ofc he also needs to protect some of his own know-how)

Hardness testing charts of multiple test runs are nice to see maker sends samples
to a lab and tries to improve production technology in order to obtain
best blade material possible. That is not so common even it should be.
Made me to consider to buy their product.

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 07, 2017 08:33AM
one thing I wanted to hear but didn't was a definition of Honyaki. the one some agreed on is a monosteel blade that is hand forged and differentially hardened using accepted traditional methods. they effectively eliminated 99.9% of a knife makers. for a collector who may never use the knife, this narrows what is collected and makes the items scarcer.
on practical terms, can we compare Master Rimbyo's 200mm gyuto and an 8" chef's knife made by Joe Calton? going into actual hands on testing, I would say the knives are very close. similar steel, hand forged, differential HT. I used Joe as an example because he is seen here on occasion and his website is full of info and easy to use.

scott
[www.etsy.com]
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 08, 2017 03:52AM
Quote
oldsailorsknives
one thing I wanted to hear but didn't was a definition of Honyaki. the one some agreed on is a monosteel blade that is hand forged and differentially hardened using accepted traditional methods. they effectively eliminated 99.9% of a knife makers. for a collector who may never use the knife, this narrows what is collected and makes the items scarcer.
on practical terms, can we compare Master Rimbyo's 200mm gyuto and an 8" chef's knife made by Joe Calton? going into actual hands on testing, I would say the knives are very close. similar steel, hand forged, differential HT. I used Joe as an example because he is seen here on occasion and his website is full of info and easy to use.

Ofc if you perform same quench w/o differential ht and then mirror polish there would be no difference
I cant imagine kitchen knife fail even its 64HRC because its thin and light and I think differential ht
is just tradition coming from swordmaking where it had an importance to be able to withstand impacts
at high speed and force - energy. Plus aesthetics as well..

I ve never seen a choilshot of Joe Clatons chefs knife, can anyone make one and post here ?
So we can compare the grinds at least by visual..

If Joe would use the clay for differential ht, fast water quench then mirror polish, I would consider it honyaki.
Most people on that forum had a strong desire for japanese things but didnt really understood the physics
that well - in my opinion.

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 08, 2017 01:28PM
go to joe's site [www.caltoncutlery.com] and watch the video on what the numbers mean on his spec sheet.
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 09, 2017 02:22AM
Quote
oldsailorsknives
go to joe's site [www.caltoncutlery.com] and watch the video on what the numbers mean on his spec sheet.

Watched it. Very nice explanation, gotta measure that 1/4" behind the edge thickness on my knives.
However we still have no measurements of honyaki, choilshot might be useful as many sellers
make choilshots of honyakis.

F.e. As I was looking on sukenari honyaki, doesnt seem to be overpriced to me.
700 for imperfect mirror finish but good enough, geometry of the best, beautiful hamon,
custom handle, if You consider having blade at maximum hardness that wont bend easily
during work like the knives clad with austenitic stainless and high fail rate during the quench
it really explains the price.. and there is an added value in both use and visual.

I see 2 camps on the subject:

1 those believinng by charcoal earth soul being transfered into the honyaki

2 those finding the best cutting tool for the money not caring much
about aesthetics and all other things not directly connected with
the cutting application.

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
September 09, 2017 02:56AM
Quote
oldsailorsknives
one thing I wanted to hear but didn't was a definition of Honyaki. the one some agreed on is a monosteel blade that is hand forged and differentially hardened using accepted traditional methods. they effectively eliminated 99.9% of a knife makers. for a collector who may never use the knife, this narrows what is collected and makes the items scarcer.
on practical terms, can we compare Master Rimbyo's 200mm gyuto and an 8" chef's knife made by Joe Calton? going into actual hands on testing, I would say the knives are very close. similar steel, hand forged, differential HT. I used Joe as an example because he is seen here on occasion and his website is full of info and easy to use.

Here are examples in different price levels:

Fujiwara 210
- better kitchen knife than most people ever used (yes we arent like themsmiling smiley

Masamoto KS
- almost 5 times the price of fujiwara most wouldnt pay that money even
performance is most likely the best one can get in kitchen knife.

Sukenari Honyaki
- this honyaki doesnt perform better than masamoto at 70% fail rate at quench
and attention to detail.. it is very time expensive.. I cant imagine
to make knife as this one and sell it under 500euro..
Add shipping to US, customs and so on..

If performance is the only concern, there is not much sense to go above 3xx usd
and around 200usd there are already few great lasers..

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
October 09, 2017 03:56PM
Quote
oldsailorsknives
one thing I wanted to hear but didn't was a definition of Honyaki. the one some agreed on is a monosteel blade that is hand forged and differentially hardened using accepted traditional methods. they effectively eliminated 99.9% of a knife makers. for a collector who may never use the knife, this narrows what is collected and makes the items scarcer.
on practical terms, can we compare Master Rimbyo's 200mm gyuto and an 8" chef's knife made by Joe Calton? going into actual hands on testing, I would say the knives are very close. similar steel, hand forged, differential HT. I used Joe as an example because he is seen here on occasion and his website is full of info and easy to use.

Scott, recently I ve seen Takayuki Sakai Swedish stainless steel honyaki here And I was like wtf AEB-L honyaki ???

So I asked and it seems nowadays you can call your O1 kitchen lasers a honyaki and have a good sleep smiling smiley
Read lower:

jscuttingtools Great looking, a little question:
Doesnt "honyaki" mean: Differentially hardened monosteel blade ?

chu_hamono @jscuttingtools You are correct

www.instagram.com/jscuttingtools
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
October 12, 2017 07:59AM
I will have to post pictures of latest batch of ajikiri style small knives made by Scian Mairnéalach d'aois.

scott
[www.etsy.com]
Re: Is Honyaki the ultimate blade?
February 04, 2018 10:01PM
Ok I accidentally purchased my first Gyuto from Japan recently and read upon this thread. Can't say I am surprised by the fad but my brain still sort of hurt seeing this. Other than respecting the tradition I see mystical superpower being bestowed upon traditional method blades.

Fujiwara is certainly a nice brand, but I got to say the Tojiro is definitely a steal for me. They are cheaper in Asia than on Amazon US but still a super good buy.
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