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Thread: Honyaki Question

  1. #1
    Senior Member chefcomesback's Avatar
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    Honyaki Question

    I am not sure if this topic has been covered before or not but I remember some vendors and makers claiming San Mai construction best in terms of maintenance and ease of use,sharpening and etc.. Although it is rated "better " and lot more expenisve and claimed to be better performing than San Mai , honyaki seems to be more fragile and prone to chipping unless backed by a micro bevel. So my question is , if mizu honyaki blades are the best of their kind , why the hamon doesn't go all the way to the core to mimic the softer cladding with being a monosteel rather than just being on the spine? As far as I know (thanks to Jon ) only maker I know that goes that low is Takagi. If the hamon is only on the spine then what is the benefit of having differential tempered blade? Please en-light me , especially honyaki owners

  2. #2
    A low hamon would artificially reduce the lifespan of the knife.

  3. #3
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    Unlike with san-mai, you cannot thin the knife to push up the hamon line; it's soft steel all the way though. So yes, a low hamon would reduce the life span of the blade.

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  4. #4
    Low hamon is not a good thing in general... also, remember that honyaki knives are not for everyone... they are often harder and more brittle than clad knives, and offer better edge retention and the ability to hold more acute angles. This means that they will require greater skill and technique to use. Its not that they are fragile and prone to chipping... its that they are fragile and prone to chipping when misused.

    As people have mentioned, a lower hamon would make the blade useless much sooner. Likewise, Its only done along the spine to ease some internal tension and create a very small amount of flexibility in the steel (not bendy though)...for one thing, it helps in the making process.

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    Low hamon is not a good thing in general... also, remember that honyaki knives are not for everyone... they are often harder and more brittle than clad knives, and offer better edge retention and the ability to hold more acute angles. This means that they will require greater skill and technique to use. Its not that they are fragile and prone to chipping... its that they are fragile and prone to chipping when misused.

    As people have mentioned, a lower hamon would make the blade useless much sooner. Likewise, Its only done along the spine to ease some internal tension and create a very small amount of flexibility in the steel (not bendy though)...for one thing, it helps in the making process.
    Thanks for your explanation as always.
    In fact, you brought up a very good point of misusing a honyaki by a less skilled one;
    I admit that I fit into that category
    I use a honyaki yanagiba at home and have enjoyed every minite of it - mostly cutting raw fish with it and some vegetable as well.
    I have seen some videos on youtube though that some folks cut fish (tai, fluke, and other smaller fish) with a yanagi instead of a deba; Yeh, it looks "cooler"!!
    Do you think such practice would be acceptable with a honyaki yanagi?
    What I am asking is the limitation of hrc 63~65 for different use.
    I certainly do not want to find that out with mine.

  6. #6
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    I only slice boneless proteins with yanagiba. I would suggest anyone should do the same.
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  7. #7
    I use a yanagiba to fillet 45kg tuna, but its set up alot differently to the Yanagiba I use to slice the tuna once its filleted.
    Huw
    In order to make delicious food, you must eat delicious food. Jiro Ono

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