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crimedog72
11-30-2012, 03:05 AM
What type of knife(s) do you think you want?
Something to break down chickens (and occasionally other poultry and maybe other cuts of meat). I'd like something that is good for separating meat from bone, cutting apart at joints, etc. I cut thru bones pretty frequently (back, ribs, soetimes across the breastbone), but am thinking I'd prbly be better off using shears or a heavier knife for those tasks. Thinking Honesuki, but interested in suggestions.

Why is it being purchased? What, if anything, are you replacing?
Mostly to try something new, see if it works better than what I'm using. Currently using some combination of an old Dexter 10" carbon scimitar, flexible stainless 6" boning knife (forschner or the like), scissors, forschner paring knife.

What do you like and dislike about these qualities of your knives already?
Aesthetics- not too important for this

Edge Quality/Retention- the scimitar holds a decent edge quite well. Booning knife is not so bad but challenging for me to sharpen well b/c of the shape.

Ease of Use- I would like something with a shorter blade than the scimitar

Comfort-

What grip do you use?
For this task, a little bit of everything.

What kind of cutting motion do you use?
anything that works

Where do you store them?
wooden slotted rack inside a drawer

Have you ever oiled a handle?
no, but have no problem with something that requires this kind of maintenance

What kind of cutting board(s) do you use?
currently bamboo, end grain walnut should be here soon

For edge maintenance, do you use a strop, honing rod, pull through/other, or nothing?
honing steel, water stones

Have they ever been sharpened?
just getting started with sharpening, the scimitar is up next.

What is your budget?
thinking about $200 or less, but could go higher for something I really like

What do you cook and how often?
All kinds of stuff, probably 5-6 dinners and a couple breakfasts/lunches per week.

Special requests(Country of origin/type of wood/etc)?

jaybett
11-30-2012, 06:50 AM
The Honesuki is designed to break down chicken, for lack of a better term, in a Asian style. Martin Yan, does a demonstration, where he breaks down a chicken in less then 30 seconds. The method he uses, cuts the chicken in key places and the meat is pulled/peeled off the bone. From videos, Japanese cooks, will make strategic cuts, put the heel of the knife down on bones, and pull the meat off. They also de bone the thigh and leg. The tip is used to cut along side the bone, while the heel is used also to scrape bones.

There is no advantage to a Honesuki, when it is used Western Style. In matter of fact a Western boning knife would be a better choice.

A number of pro cooks, prefer a petty. It can break down chicken, trim beef, french bones, remove silver skin, etc....

Jay

knyfeknerd
11-30-2012, 08:44 AM
There is no advantage to a Honesuki, when it is used Western Style. In matter of fact a Western boning knife would be a better choice.

A number of pro cooks, prefer a petty. It can break down chicken, trim beef, french bones, remove silver skin, etc....

Jay
I actually prefer my honesuki to a western boning knife for cleaning most proteins except for frenching lamb racks.
It is not necessarily easy to sharpen as mine is a 70/30 edge.
If you get a honesuki, go cheap. I say Tojiro DP.

franzb69
11-30-2012, 08:54 AM
If you get a honesuki, go cheap. I say Tojiro DP.

now if only that same answer was applicable to lefties such as myself. =D

that 70/30 bevel is a hassle if you're using the "wrong hand".

but ah well, such is life.

i will have to get myself a custom left handed one or a 50/50 bevel honesuki when i finally decide on getting one.

tgraypots
11-30-2012, 09:02 AM
I purchased a MAC honesuki several years ago and use it often. I'm just an avid home cook and know nothing about how the knife is intended to be used but pull it off the magnet whenever proteins need to be cut.

Chefdog
11-30-2012, 09:27 AM
I actually prefer my honesuki to a western boning knife for cleaning most proteins
+1
If your technique and understanding of the anatomy of the animal is sound, a honesuki makes an excellent all-around boning knife. Birds, beef, pork, lamb (yes a rack too. If you split the membranes down the back of the bones, you can pull the meat and sinew free without having to trim up/down up/down. It comes out much cleaner.) and small to medium fish all come apart easily with a honesuki. If you're just starting out with butchering, a slightly flexible western style boning knife might be more forgiving to less than perfect technique, but otherwise I say go for the honesuki. I like the Suisin carbon version myself, as well as the Artifex for a stainless option.

tk59
11-30-2012, 11:05 AM
I gave my honesuki away and use a 150-220 petty.

DeepCSweede
11-30-2012, 11:12 AM
Has anyone tried the Zakuri 150mm Blue #1 Kurouchi Sabaki Bocho - I find that one intruiging.

DeepCSweede
11-30-2012, 11:40 AM
But then I have a new (used) Sab petty and boning knife to try out. I clean a lot of pheasants in the fall / winter and to be honest I really like my cheap farberware pro petty for boning them out.

snowbrother
11-30-2012, 12:53 PM
When it comes to any kind of butchery, you really can't beat CCK. For butchering small animals, including bird, I tend to use the CCK L'l' rhino. If you go to the Chan Chi Kee site, its KF 2205). It really is a remarkable little cleaver that can take a razor edge like any other CCK knife I own. I will almost always pick this thing up over knives that I easily spent $250+ on because it does such a great job.

Miles
11-30-2012, 01:56 PM
It's a rough and tumble knife. I save the big bucks for my main knives and look for knives that offer a lot performance at a moderate cost. I use a Kikuichi in my work kit and a Tojiro at home. They both do very well, but for the sheer bang for the buck, I can't say enough about the Tojiro. If I lost either one, I'd replace it with a Tojiro.

crimedog72
11-30-2012, 02:51 PM
Lots of good stuff here. Some differences of opinion, but enough love here for the honesuki that I'm still interested in giving it a shot. looks like most of the suggestions won't break the bank.

Looks like some prefer a petty for this kind of job...maybe I should get one of those, too, just to be safe :D

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.

Chefdog
11-30-2012, 06:19 PM
Lots of good stuff here. Some differences of opinion, but enough love here for the honesuki that I'm still interested in giving it a shot. looks like most of the suggestions won't break the bank.

Looks like some prefer a petty for this kind of job...maybe I should get one of those, too, just to be safe :D

Thanks to everyone who has responded so far.

The differing opinions just goes to show you that the tool is far less important than the technique, almost any knife can be employed to take down a chicken/duck/pheasant etc. if you know HOW to do the job.
IMHO, I think the honesuki, although intended for birds, makes an awesome general purpose boning knife. Give it a shot, it won't cost you too much and if you don't like it for birds try it out on some small fish, it works well.
Good luck.

quantumcloud509
11-30-2012, 06:42 PM
I break down proteins with a Takeda Deba. I love its monsterous heft can bust a bone with ease when needed like when doing chicken wings. It keeps an edge ridiculously well, fillets well, cuts fish heads off with no problem, etc.

crimedog72
11-30-2012, 07:17 PM
I break down proteins with a Takeda Deba. I love its monsterous heft can bust a bone with ease when needed like when doing chicken wings. It keeps an edge ridiculously well, fillets well, cuts fish heads off with no problem, etc.

that thing looks awesome! Christmas coming up, maybe if my wife really loves me...

la2tokyo
11-30-2012, 10:49 PM
If you are cutting through bones like the OP said, a heavier garasuki can work better than a honesuki. I use a garasuki to break down chickens and the extra heft doesn't really bother me, but then again I don't mind using slightly bigger knives for many tasks. Here's a couple shots of a honesuki and garasuki side by side. The garasuki is significantly heftier. The disadvantage to using one of these knives if you're not used to them is that they are so stiff and so sharp that they will cut pieces of cartilage (and even bone) off of the chicken carcass in places that you don't intend to cut. People used to working with more flexible knives usually leave end pieces of bones and cartilage in places that their older knives bent around. As with any knife you get used to them after a while. As far as what jaybett said about them being used western-style, I can't really comment because I always broke down chicken in the way he described as Japanese style. I don't really know any other way to break down a chicken.
https://dl.dropbox.com/u/28428060/photo5.JPGhttps://dl.dropbox.com/u/28428060/photo6.JPG

keithsaltydog
12-01-2012, 01:04 PM
As shown in this thread alot of tech. is cultural.I like a boning knife for chix.Tho I've never used a honesuki or garasuki,they look like very capable blades for breaking down birds.

I used to watch chinese chefs deboning chix wt. a cleaver,faster than you would imagine.

crimedog72
12-03-2012, 09:32 PM
I break down proteins with a Takeda Deba. I love its monsterous heft can bust a bone with ease when needed like when doing chicken wings. It keeps an edge ridiculously well, fillets well, cuts fish heads off with no problem, etc.

One of these popped up on BST and I couldn't resist. can't wait to give it a try...will report back with results.