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There are so many options when it comes to knives. You will almost always encounter some knives you have never heard about. As you dig deeper, you will notice more or less unusual blades, and your eyes grow puzzled. You are intrigued – what is the purpose of this knife? Chances are you will have the same experience with the Honesuki knife.
What is a Honesuki Knife?
The Japanese-style knife is a poultry butchering knife. Its name may seem difficult for a westerner, but it is self-explanatory in Japanese cuisine – it translates to the bone knife. When it comes to western knives, boning knives are a bit different. They are mostly known for their incredible flexibility. But, the Honesuki knife does not share the same type of flex.
Best Honesuki Knives in 2023
Shun is one of the leading names on the market, especially when it comes to traditional Japanese knives. It relies on traditional manufacturing techniques and brings in some of the highest quality standards on the market. Its best Honesuki knife will not disappoint you, carrying the standards of classic knives, but featuring modern technologies for quality and durability.
The agile Japanese boning knife is ideal for poultry – all sorts of operations. Since Honesuki knives can also be used as petty knives, this unit is also suitable for general preparations of fruits and vegetables – not the most delicate cuts, but it depends on what you do. The knife features a traditional appearance and a unique blade that stands out in the crowd.
The blade measures 4.5 inches in length. It is thin and light, but incredibly strong. The knife is razor sharp out of the box, so be careful when you unbox it. It has some tiny serrations that may not even be visible. With these thoughts in mind, it has exquisite edge retention. All in all, the blade is based on high carbon and chromium stainless steel, meaning it is also rust and corrosion-resistant.
There are 71 micro-layers of VG10 and VG2, hence the unique appearance of the blade. It has a dual-core construction. Both types of steel go all the way to the edge. They wear out at different speeds, hence the micro serrations that add to the edge retention. As for the size, it is classic for Honesuki knives and will work wonders on most types of poultry.
As for the handle, it is straight and based on the classic pakkawood. It has an octagon shape. Despite being straight and smooth, the material is likely to prevent slipping accidents. Plus, the blade is much wider than the actual handle, so your hand will never slip on the actual edge. The knife is only available with an ebony handle.
- Micro serrations for edge retention
- High-quality blade design
- Dual-core construction
- Razor-sharp out of the box
- Suitable for fruits and vegetables too
- The handle is not very ergonomic, but still comfortable and likely to slip.
Tojiro is one of the leading knife manufacturers, and its quality standards will not let you down. It follows the traditional standards of Japanese knives and brings in a classic experience that will not disappoint in the kitchen. Its best Honesuki knife is designed with quality in mind, but it also follows the operating principles of ancient Japanese knives.
In terms of quality, expect a well put together knife that feels solid as you use it. The blade is based on stainless steel. It is rust and corrosion-resistant, but it will also retain its edge. Maintenance is fairly simple, too, because you can sharpen the knife with a stone or a traditional sharpener. The blade measures six inches in length and has an angled and sharp tip.
The handle consists of composite wood. It is solid and durable. It is only available in black. It has an ergonomic design and gets slightly thicker towards the end. It is triple bolstered, so the knife is very solid, regardless of what you do. Since the blade is a bit wide, you will also have decent hand guard protection. The knife is less likely to slip anyway.
The blade will surprise you with its capabilities – Tojiro has pushed the Rockwell hardness to 60. In terms of sharpness, the unit is done at about nine to 12 degrees. Keep these numbers in mind when you sharpen it – it pays off maintaining the same high level of sharpness if you want the knife to last. Since the steel is also rich in carbon, edge retention will not be a problem.
Finally, it is worth noting that Tojiro’s best Honesuki knife should be cleaned manually and never in a dishwasher, as you could ruin the edge. Dry it manually before storage.
- Good edge retention
- Easy to look after
- Ergonomic nonslip handle
- Slightly longer than other Honesuki knives
- Solid and well put together
- Feels a bit heavy for such a small knife
Zelite Infinity Honesuki
Zelite’s Honesuki knife is designed to be ruthless. It pushes deboning to a different level. It is easy to maneuver and feels like an extension of your arm. You can break down a whole chicken, but you can also deal with other birds. You can even bone lamb, fillet a fish or even chop some fruits or vegetables. The knife is versatile and can be used as a utility knife too.
The unit is built to last for ages if well looked after. For instance, it is based on Japanese AUS10 steel. It has 67 layers of high carbon stainless steel and features a beautiful and durable Damascus pattern. High carbon stainless steel does not just stain, rust and corrosion-resistant, but it also has excellent edge retention.
The blade has a top-notch HRC61 hardness, so its toughness will not let you down. The hardness is achieved through a modern liquid nitro cooling procedure. Other than that, it has 4.5 inches in length and is slightly wider than other Honesuki knives. You also have the slightly angled and super sharp tip – standard for Honesuki knives.
The triple-riveted handle ensures great stability and strength. The knife will never wobble or go loose. Other than that, the handle is based on military-grade G10. It is only available in black. The full tang design comes with an ergonomic appearance – use this knife for hours without experiencing fatigue. The width of the blade also counts as handguard protection.
The knife is hand-finished based on a classic Japanese method – the three-step honbazuke solution. When you sharpen it, make sure you stick to 12 degrees per side. Other than that, clean it manually and never in a dishwasher. It is also recommended to dry it completely before storing it.
- Strong, solid, and durable
- Beautiful and efficient Damascus style
- Excellent edge retention
- Ergonomic and comfortable handle
- Versatile applications
- While premium, the packaging reduces the value for money
Misono might have designed the best Honesuki knife if you are after simplicity and a job well done. There are no fancy bells and whistles, hence the excellent value for money. It follows a traditional profile and gets the job done in no time. The unit is thin and lightweight, but it has a razor-sharp blade out of the box.
The blade is made of high carbon stain-resistant molybdenum steel. Not only is it rust and corrosion-resistant, but it also has great edge retention. When it comes to sharpening it, stick to a traditional sharpener or perhaps a stone.
The blade is 5.6 inches in length – the middle range for Honesuki knives. It has the classic sharp tip with a light angle, as well as extra width that also counts as handguard protection. The handle measures about four inches – suitable for both small and large hands. It is based on wood and is only available in black.
The handle is double riveted, while the full tang profile ensures durability and sturdiness. It is also ergonomic and follows the shape of your hand. While smooth, it has a nonslip profile – no risky accidents.
Finally, it is worth mentioning the 70:30 asymmetrical bevel, which adds to the sharpness. As for maintenance, clean it manually and avoid dishwashers, as they could dull the edge.
- Great value for money
- Simple and efficient
- Sturdy and solid
- Ergonomic handle
- Well balanced due to the sizing ratio
- Feels a bit heavy when in use
Comparison with Similar Knives
Honesuki vs. Classic Boning Knife
In terms of unique characteristics, you will be surprised by the edge retention, which is incredibly high. At the same time, the Honesuki knife is much more efficient. You are less likely to use it for too many other things, but it excels at boning. The tip is super thin and slightly angled, meaning it is extremely agile and can easily go around joints without too much hassle.
When it comes to the rest of the blade, its belly is a bit flat. In other words, you can use it to slice around the breastplate. The spine is thicker when compared to other Japanese specialized knives. However, this type of design is mandatory to add to the strength when going through small bones or cartilage. With these characteristics in mind, you can also use this knife for small tasks – such as dealing with veggies.
Now that you understand what makes the Honesuki knife such a common choice in today’s kitchen, choosing the right knife could be a bit of a challenge. The best Honesuki knife for some people may not be the best for others. You need a bit of research, as well as a deeper insight into the top-rated options on the market.
Honesuki vs. Petty Knife
While you can use the Honesuki knife as a petty knife, too, the truth is there are some differences. It is heavier and thicker. It is intended for poultry butchering and taking meat off bones. It is also used for trimming various cuts. The petty knife is a utility/paring knife. It is much lighter and thinner. It’s perfect for hand peeling fruits and veggies, but also equally as handy for small work on a cutting board.
Honesuki vs. Garasuki
Garasuki and Honesuki knives have similar applications and are often used interchangeably. Their edges are suitable for trimming meat, especially if you also deal with cartilages, skin, and tendons. But then, there are also some differences. For example, Garasuki knives are normally heavier and bulkier than Honesuki knives.
As a direct consequence, the Garasuki knife can be described as the bigger brother of Honesuki. They are both suitable for poultry. While Honesuki is more appropriate for smaller poultry, Garasuki has the size and strength to deal with larger poultry. They range in size, so it may not be unusual to find two different knives in similar sizes.
From many points of view, the Garasuki knife could be better than the Honesuki knife, but at the end of the day, it depends on what you are doing. Garasuki is better at breaking down or trimming. When you deal with a small dish for your family, Honesuki will do. If you work in a professional kitchen or you prep large amounts of poultry, Garasuki might be better.
Bottom line, deciding on the best Honesuki knife implies understanding what these knives are for, but also analyzing the best-rated options out there. Some knives are better than others. Any of the above-mentioned options will provide a good experience in the kitchen.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.