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Thread: Monosteel workhorses and honyaki

  1. #1
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    Monosteel workhorses and honyaki

    Hi everyone. I've been thinking and reading about honyaki gyutos. There seem to be different opinions around whether there is anything special about them in use (obviously there is lots special in making them, which is part of the allure) as compared with high quality monosteel gyutos.

    Which got me to thinking, are all of the monosteel knives thin or are there (non-honyaki, non custom) high quality monosteel workorses around?

    Thanks.
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    In practical terms that is what honyakis can be... since maintenance on a monosteel workhorse could potentially be hell... just ask anyone who has done some work on their aritsugu a-type gyutos (i want to thin mine but am dreading to prospect with my current tools).

    I am sure there are some out there but San Mai was created for a reason.. so you would have to ask why choose a monosteel knife over san mai for the style

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    Yeah, that thought had crossed my mind. I kind of wondered if that was why I couldn't think of many workhorse monosteels.
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    Quote Originally Posted by malexthekid View Post
    just ask anyone who has done some work on their aritsugu a-type gyutos (i want to thin mine but am dreading to prospect with my current tools).

    I am sure there are some out there but San Mai was created for a reason.. so you would have to ask why choose a monosteel knife over san mai for the style
    Yeah, I just read the zknives description of thinning an A-type. 3 hours on DMT wow.

    As to why, I guess I'm just curious about the "improved feel", "knife is alive" way in which some people describe honyaki and I wondered if this also applied to monosteel (and, indeed if this was something that everyone could perceive).
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    My monosteel knives have a livelier feedback than my clad ones.

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    What do you mean by "livlier feedback"? Are you talking about feeling when you hit a harder layer of food or hit the board?
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    Senior Member bkultra's Avatar
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    If the knife in question is properly laminated, then there should be no difference in feedback. I have heard people state otherwise and I can only assume it's a poorly laminated blade or placebo effect.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bkultra View Post
    If the knife in question is properly laminated, then there should be no difference in feedback. I have heard people state otherwise and I can only assume it's a poorly laminated blade or placebo effect.
    Maybe it's placebo effect, but I can easily imagine a monosteel would give different feedback, especially if one were cutting through something hard or crisp, simply by merit of the deadening effect soft cladding would have on any vibration coming from the knife, perceived via touch or sound.

  9. #9

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    I agree. Perhaps it could be said that a monosteel (read honyaki) has a bit more resilience in as far as it's display of "springiness" can be sensed. Even the best lamination will dampen this resilience as this is just how waves tend to propagate in the universe. Even so, a properly done differential heat treat will still dampen vibration to a certain extent as the back of the blade is softer than the cutting edge. Thats what it is diferentially heat treated for in the first place. is it not?

  10. #10
    Senior Member bkultra's Avatar
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    A difference would arise from disparity in elastic modulus between composite materials, which shouldn't be much different between two steels. Stiffness is controlled by the Elastic modulus which is unaffected by heat treatment. It's controlled by the strength of the bond between atoms. Therefore any change would have to be from alloying or from being a different phase (i.e. Austenite). However, even highly alloyed, austenitic stainless steel has essentially the same elastic modulus.

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