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Thread: Honyaki question

  1. #31
    Senior Member Crothcipt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by panda View Post
    i'm still not sure what the real world benefit of honyaki in a kitchen knife is, if any.
    I pretty much get the same reply when someone is referring my knives to the line beaters.

    It has been said many times here on the forum, after about 500$ mark the differences is very slight. I still want one.
    Chewie's the man.

  2. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CrisAnderson27 View Post
    So here we are. These pictures are examples of just one pitfall which might befall an inexperienced, impatient, otherwise unprepared, or just plain unlucky smith who attempts to differentially harden a kitchen type knife. Even worse, this steel is 1075, which is incredibly forgiving due to its rather moderate carbon content, and general lack of complex alloying agents.


    Overall blade.


    The heel. If you look at the crack to the far right, you can see what I meant by the harder...quickly cooling edge steel trying to rip itself away from the softer, more slowly cooling steel of the spine.


    More of the edge.


    And the tip.

    What happened with this blade, is the clay layout allowed extremely rapid cooling in the precise areas where the cracks propagated. Imagine clay lines stretching down and insulating between the cracks, channeling the quenchant towards the steel in those areas. In addition, it was a bit (perhaps 100°-200°F) too hot when going into the salt water, and was held in perhaps a second too long. All three of these are very small errors, which are very easy to make.

    This brings up another point. American made honyaki blades, from custom makers, are almost invariably heat treated in a PID controlled oven, allowing thoroughly precise temperature control, and timed soaks at that temperature. When you know what you're doing, this helps tremendously with the success rate, along with ENSURING that each blade reaches the utmost potential of the steel its made from. The few Japanese smiths capable of pulling off honyaki blades (I've read there are only five?), do so without the benefit of temperature control. Everything is by eye (color), and feel (the blade just feels different...I don't know how else to describe it...). That is how I taught myself to do it initially, and believe me...was I ever grateful to be able to eventually build my oven. I would never, EVER want to go back to doing it that way, and have nothing but respect for those Japanese smiths who continue to do so.

    I think when you're purchasing a Japanese honyaki blade, that's a large part of what you're paying for. Not only the properties in the knife itself, but the skill that allows a master of his craft to find success in a task where most other practitioners find only failure.
    Bringing back an old thread. Which are the 5 smiths? This sounds pretty insane.

  3. #33
    Quote Originally Posted by sharptools View Post
    Bringing back an old thread. Which are the 5 smiths? This sounds pretty insane.
    I have no clue...it's just something I'd read...and being that many years ago, I can't even recall where I'd read it, lol. Jon Brioda could probably fill you in a bit more accurately than I can in that regard.

  4. #34

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    what am i being asked about?
    Back when I'd posted this, I'd read that only a handful of Japanese smiths were capable of doing honyaki blades. I thought you might verify the truth of that? The gentleman above also asked which smiths those were.

  6. #36

    JBroida's Avatar
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    there are a small number, and even less who do them well. I'm not sure i can share all of their names publicly though.

  7. #37
    Quote Originally Posted by JBroida View Post
    there are a small number, and even less who do them well. I'm not sure i can share all of their names publicly though.
    Thanks . That's pretty much all I was able to say...and my comment was only based on what I'd read. Good to have someone who actually knows verify it.

  8. #38
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    Thanks for the answers!

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