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Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:13 am

1. Are you right handed? Right Handed
2. What type of knife are you interested in (gyuto, nakiri etc..) Western boning knife or Honesuki
3. What size knife are you looking for? 150-180mm (6-7 inches)
4. Do you prefer carbon or stainless steel? I like carbon but I'd be happy with a good SS knife.
5. Do you prefer a western handle or a Japanese handle? I like the octagonal handles but a good handle is a good handle, and it's what I'm familiar with on boning knive's.
6. How much did you want to spend? Less then 100? I'd be willing to go up to 125 if you can really pitch a sale.
7. Do you know how to sharpen? Sort of, it's a skill I'm working on.

So lately my chef has had me do a lot more butchering, tenderloins, rack of lamb, sirloins, saddle of veal... I don't break down a lot of birds or fish. Anyway, he's been allowing me to use his knife but if he's going to trust me to clean expensive proteins I think the time has come to get my own boning knife. Yesterday during an Easter dinner rush we misplaced his boning knife as we were running out of steaks so I cleaned three sides of sirloin with a slicing knife, hahaha. I got the job done alright but I'd have preferred a boning knife, all the more reason to skip the hassle of having to find his. It's getting pretty dull as well, and I haven't offered to sharpen his on a stone yet because I'm not that confident in my ability, it will come though.

So, down to business...This is the boning knife I currently use. [My chef's.]

http://www.amazon.com/Mercer-Cutlery-Ge ... ning+knife

I was initially looking at something like this:

http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Cutler ... ning+knife

I bought a Victorinox paring knife a few weeks back and I've been pretty satisfied with the edge it's had and kept, and while the Victorinox line seems to have good steel for a great price I believe in buying great tools and buying them once... and from my past experience here there is some amazing steel to be had, sometimes for a modest price even. I've enjoyed the ownership of a Richmond Laser AS so I'd certainly lean towards going with what I know and getting an Artifex boning knife, but since there is such an extensive selection of knives here I don't think it would be right to not ask for some suggestions.

Speaking of familiarity, I've never held a Honesuki in my hand and because of that I'm really leaning more towards a western style boning knife. Would somebody be willing to explain the merits of a Honesuki vs a western boning knife? If nothing else, I'll be more knowledgeable at least.

Looking forward to your feedback, thanks in advance guys.

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:32 am

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpbokn15.html if you are looking for western style this is probably your best choice...
as for honesuki, wa handle carbon not much in your $ range clossest would be kono, w#2 at 180 and its oos right now, lots of value priced honesuki in ss out there fujiwara is what I use and it works great for me but theres also others to consider artifex tojiro etc.... then for 155 kono hh in stock and on sale...

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Mon Apr 21, 2014 10:35 am

The Mercer to Victorinox step is pretty much a lateral move. Personally, I like Mercer knives more for that level, but I'm in the minority. The Artifex would smoke either of them. I'm looking at one in the near future.

A honesuki is shaped specifically to work with poultry. It can double over for beef, but will not do as well as a hankotsu, which is intended for beef. Since you do mostly larger cuts, you could go with the purpose designed knife.

You might also consider a good petty. Quite a few cooks use them (delicately) as a mutitool to debone, pare, and do fine board work.

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:25 pm

Id wait for the f. Dick boning knife to come back in stock. Softer German steel doest chip on bone compared to harder Japanese steel and at under fifty dollars is an amazing value.

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Mon Apr 21, 2014 2:27 pm

Hankotsus seem to be more in fashion right now for proteins. I like my Richmond Artifex honesuki pretty well, but most are single bevel knives so slicing large boneless proteins can be a bit of a headache in terms of steering.

If I had your needs I might look at hankotus: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hankotsuknives.html

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Wed Apr 23, 2014 9:53 am

I don't think butchering with a petty is completely out of the question, I did end up coming here for a boning knife but getting a petty might be a better move as it'll offer similar results in butchering and more utility when it comes to doing fine board work... Some of the forum posts I've been reading lately make we want to get in on some of that sweet, sweet Konosuke HD2 action, what do you guys think about extending my budget [so much for fiscal wisdom!] and getting a 150mm HD2 Petty?


Which knives to buy!? Decisions, decisions...I want them all. :mrgreen: I wouldn't feel so bad about going a little over budget since I put in a lot of overtime at both my jobs during the Easter holiday.

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Wed Apr 23, 2014 1:19 pm

The kono hd2 is one of the better knives on the planet, just be careful near bones... if you're upping the budget, perhaps the kono and mercer/victorinox?

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Wed Apr 23, 2014 8:24 pm

Have you considered a workhorse Gyuto?

It is after all a "Cow Sword".

A Fujiwara FKM Stainless Gyuto 270mm would work great for protein breakdown and on sale @ $85.

Good steel, sharpens well, holds an edge, nice profile, good reviews, good value and useful for other tasks.

Re: Boning Knife or Honesuki?

Wed Apr 23, 2014 11:30 pm

It's up to you. Since you're doing mostly beef and lamb, I would think a petty would be fine. The HD2 seems to be a good choice in most any knife, but you're ransacking your budget. Maybe even consider a Mercer or Victorinox for the rougher stuff and a nice petty for tenderloins and the like.

I also wanted to add something on reflection. Good on you for grabbing a new knife after being given duties that require it. Too many jerks would just use the house knife, even if it isn't really a house knife.
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