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new nakiri/honesuki

Sat May 18, 2013 9:30 am

New to the forum obviously, names Jason and I have been sharpening and reshaping various types of metals for a few years now(one of my too many hobbies). I have a decent set of Shapton glass stones, a few Nubatama Umes and going to get some naniwa supers for polishing. Now for my question I bought my mom a few Japanese steak knives for mothers say, she used them and got crazy excited on how well they cut. Since she liked those so much I am looking into getting her a few more. I have been looking at the Masakage koishi nakiri and honesuki. I kind of like the finish on them, would think you could get less food stuck/ smoother cuts. If you guys have any opinions on them yet feel free to let me know. Also if there are any other recommendations, I would prefer blue steel since I am the one that will have to sharpen them and they might not be able to be sharpened as often as I would like. I want quality but not trying to spend more then that (could spend a little less if swayed) handle type isn't a big deal but I do think she likes the Japanese style handle on the steak knives I got her. I guess that should be everything, thanks ahead of time.


Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Sat May 18, 2013 10:00 am

I would look at the Tanaka Sekiso Nakiri, Blue #2 steel in carbon layered Damascus. I have one and love it! My Sekiso 240mm gyuto has been only stropped 5 times since Mid August. The Sekiso series releases food easily due to the grind, potatoes and stuff just slide easily off. The KU finish Tanaka Nakiri is nice as well (I have both), but is a little more rustic around the edges. Both may need some TLC on the spine and choil areas like many Japanese knives. The Yamashin Nakiri also performs very well, but is white #1. The KU finish helps food not stick as much to the blade.

Honesuki's, I have a Tojiro DP, wasn't impressed. I now have an Artifex Honesuki and it works well for the few times that I use it. Haven't really tried other Honesuki's all that much.

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Sat May 18, 2013 5:04 pm

Jason <> First, let me jump in on the Honesuki idea. You seem like a niche kinda guy sharpening/shaping steel, looking into honesuki/nakiri profiles, buying wa-steak knives (which ones.?!), etc., and as such, I'm sure you understand the Honesuki is really a single purpose tool. These knives' profiles are purpose built to traverse fowls' anatomy & they get scalpel sharp which really benefit from a skilled hand with working anatomical knowledge of the bird being butchered. Come down off the keel of a chicken and the curvature transitioning around the rib cage is going to have a much smoother radius than say a duck of which is going to be relatively abrupt; quail, a Hone edge will go right through the rib cage if not anticipated. I digress, but my point is, these tools have a really narrow focus & are extremely precise in what they do. If Moms is into that, by all means - here we go.

Konosuke HD @http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kohd15wa.html HD steel is from the g-ds. It bridges practicality to extreme performance. It is a mono-steel semi-stainless alloy of which allows near-carbon-edges with the ease of semi-stainless care. It feeds back everything off the stones, and has edge-retention beyond what any fair minded human should expect. The steel is awesome... period. Of which might offer some cool-factor for your seemingly niche-minded desire (there is no disrespect intended in that), some nuances of this Honesuki are that they are single-bevel for a righty, and they are back beveled with a nearly flat back - mine has the slightest of urasuki, but by no means a full on kata-ha. Functionally, it's 80/20 cutting edge asymmetry, but personally, I view it & sharpen it like a microbevel on the back side of a single bevel. They take simply silly edges.

Moritaka Supreme @http://www.chefknivestogo.com/moho15.html AogamiSuper steel is, as you're aware, world renowned & highly lauded by those who know, and the edge off this Mori is consistently one of my best (edge off stone/working edge/edge retention). This grind is one of the most pronounced convexes I've encountered. So much I find myself wishing for a HanHan stone when I'm fading the primary & secondary edges into each other. It is a Moritaka; it is rustic in feel & appearance of which I enjoy immensely, I think their rosewood wa's are my favorite rosewood out there - something about the porosity & color, it's kurouchi will wash away if you scrub it (don't), and they are your veritable high performance classic.

Shun Blue @http://www.chefknivestogo.com/shblst4ho.html are atypical for Honesukis @4.5" of which might fit Moms quite well. Fit & finish on Shuns is impeccable, and these are real lookers if that's your thing. They are san-mai blue #2, and they come with a saya included with the purchase. Watch Shaun's video about it.

The Nakiri, I will refrain from commenting upon outside of Tim's recommendation. Tim has gone BONKERS over the Sekiso series since he first got a profile a year back, and considering he has said it this loud for this long... best believe it. I will be acquiring a Sekiso gyuto at some point because I personally resonate with the length:height:thickness:profile axis, because of Tim's opinion, and because I own two Tanaka Kurouchis of which I enjoy using very much. I like simple, rustic, no frill kinda tools that over perform... that's what you get out of a Tanaka.

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Mon May 20, 2013 7:53 am

I use my honesuki like a petty all the time. I agree, they are purpose built, but do work well for other tasks.....but maybe not as well as other knives.

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Mon May 20, 2013 3:24 pm

sorry its taken me so long to reply back, I got her some shun steak knives, mostly because I was rushed and didn't have time to research other brands. Yeah I know they are purpose built, and it would come in handy for when my mom does a big dinner several times a week for everyone. When its chicken she complains that she can never find a whole cut chicken........this would definitely solve that problem, and like Adam said which I can see it could be used like a petty though not sure if my mom would use it like that. On the nakiri note, I'm sure once she starts using it, and becomes accustomed she'd really enjoy using it. It just might take her a little while since I am she'd probably be more worried about losing a finger more then anything. I was looking at the shun honesuki when I got the steak knives. I thought it was a little small but that's my opinion if I would be using it, not sure if she would or wouldn't like it that short. I should be able to look into those other knives later today. Either way I am tired of seeing her have to work harder then she could be with the cheaper knives she's got. Thanks for the recs.
BTW I actually showed her what a honesuki is used for the other day and her jaw dropped and face lit up at the same time

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Mon May 20, 2013 8:38 pm

I know some use them as pettys. I don't like the angles in said utility... but I am just one. In a petty/chicken boning capacity, I'd far prefer a shallow 6" chefs.

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Mon May 20, 2013 9:37 pm

Also, check out the Laser AS Nakiri. I got to rehandle one and used it a bit after sharpening and it was really nice!

Sounds like she wants a Honesuki then if she is going to be processing chickens a lot! You can always pick up an inexpensive petty down the road, too!

Re: new nakiri/honesuki

Thu May 23, 2013 2:13 pm

Those are some pretty nice knives, I will have to keep all those in mind. Still have a few months till my moms birthday so by in no means am I in a hurry to buy them just yet. I just like to get the best idea possible. That Laser AS nakiri, I seen it the other day but cant find it again, which figures. BTW Melampus, I take no offense lol, I actually get funny looks when I tell ppl sharpening is a hobby and I find it relaxing. Though that tends to change when I show then some of the knives I've worked on, the latest being a one that had 3/4ths on the tip broken off. I haven't finished this one yet but I can't decide how I want to balance it.
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