Best Blue Steel Honyaki

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by jacko9, Feb 15, 2020.

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums by donating:

  1. Feb 15, 2020 #1

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    I'm looking for a 240mm Honyaki Gyuto in blue steel and was wondering who the best blacksmith/sharpener combination for this knife would be currently available (or in the near future)?
     
  2. Feb 15, 2020 #2

    khashy

    khashy

    khashy

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,155
    You’re going to get a lot of responses to the effect of ‘what does best mean’ and ‘it’s subjective’ blah blah.

    None of that will answer your question.

    It is subjective and your best may not be my best, but since you’ve asked for a recommendation, I think it’s best to actually give you one.

    For me, as far as honyaki gyutos go in blue steel, Togashi sharpened by Tosa takes the win.

    Carbon Knife Co and KnS are the only places that I would trust for an actual Togashi, which is actually sharpened by Tosa.
     
  3. Feb 15, 2020 #3

    Gregmega

    Gregmega

    Gregmega

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 12, 2017
    Messages:
    859
    Can I borrow 1600$ please khashy to test this hypothesis I’m good for it I promise
     
    khashy likes this.
  4. Feb 15, 2020 #4

    wind88

    wind88

    wind88

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2015
    Messages:
    344
    This and also Shiraki from Aframetokyo’s house brand Tesshu.
     
  5. Feb 15, 2020 #5

    captaincaed

    captaincaed

    captaincaed

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2017
    Messages:
    840
    Location:
    Pacific Northwest
    I don't have a best recommendation, but can share experience.

    Yohsikazu Ikeda came thick (don't know sharpener, so YMMV). Steel is very hard (friable), feels tangibly different on stones than san-mai, which feels more ductile, especially deburring. Requires a very light touch during final sharpening stages to not make a hash of things and get only a mediocre edge. However, once it has a good edge, I've found it to remain toothy for quite a while in my home kitchen. And it's a fairly obtuse edge all said and done.

    edit: removed irrelevant stuff
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  6. Feb 15, 2020 #6

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    What about a Togashi sharpened by Yohei?
     
  7. Feb 15, 2020 #7

    valgard

    valgard

    valgard

    Stones Addict (terminal case)

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2017
    Messages:
    2,859
    Location:
    Calgary, AB
    Well, what's best?

    In terms of steel HT it's Togashi for me so far.
     
  8. Feb 15, 2020 #8

    Gjackson98

    Gjackson98

    Gjackson98

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    May 28, 2018
    Messages:
    1,342
    Location:
    Ohio, US
    Togashi, Yoshikazu Ikeda, Toyama. All top options. Based on availability Togashi and Ikeda might be your best bet.
     
  9. Feb 15, 2020 #9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    It looks like Togashi uses a few sharpeners; Yohei, Tosa and Kambei. I see Tosa recommended here and I have heard of Yohei but what about Kambei. Carbon Knife Company has a W#1 sharpened by Kambei but it looks like a high bevel profile compared to the other two sharpeners.
     
  10. Feb 15, 2020 #10

    labor of love

    labor of love

    labor of love

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    8,519
    How does Watanabe/Toyama Honyaki steel perform compared to the San mai lines?
     
  11. Feb 15, 2020 #11

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    Dang if I know - thats what I'm looking to find out ;-) At 75 years old I either find out soon or just give up on the idea.
     
  12. Feb 16, 2020 #12

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,207
    Kambei's bag is wide bevels. Yohei does convex
     
  13. Feb 16, 2020 #13

    Elliot

    Elliot

    Elliot

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2019
    Messages:
    684
    Location:
    Washington
    Echo Khashy here. Togashi/Tosa in Blue 1 has been called the best blue steel in Sakai for a long time. And while I’m far from an expert, I haven’t found anything better.

    Personally, I’d go a step further and call it the best blue steel honyaki in Japan. I say this having what is the main competitor in Toyamanabe.

    Best is, 1000000% subjective, but that’s where I’d put my money. Craig at Carbon and James at KnS are among the two treasures of the community. You could buy with the utmost confidence and certainly among the only places I’d acquire a Sakai honyaki at all, along with, of course, JKI. However, I don’t recall Jon having a blue steel honyaki for some time.
     
    SilverSwarfer and jacko9 like this.
  14. Feb 16, 2020 #14

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,417
    Contact takeshi at aframes and see if he has any old Shiraki blue 2 honyakis left. Get only a Shiraki forged knife, not a Shiraki hamono edition. Big difference.
     
    jacko9 likes this.
  15. Feb 16, 2020 #15

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    I haven't dealt with aframes before, is there a language barrier? Thanks for the tip on the forged vs hamono edition that is something a rookie in knives like me could have missed.
     
  16. Feb 16, 2020 #16

    labor of love

    labor of love

    labor of love

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    8,519
    No language barrier.
     
    jacko9 likes this.
  17. Feb 16, 2020 #17

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

    Corradobrit1

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2015
    Messages:
    2,207
    Already contacted a few weeks ago. All gone.
     
  18. Feb 16, 2020 #18

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,417
    Jacko, you’ve been around for a while.... you have some nice knives........
     
  19. Feb 16, 2020 #19

    lemeneid

    lemeneid

    lemeneid

    TFTFTFTFTF

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    SG
    In theory, should be a little stiffer and have more sharpness and edge retention. Honyakis theoretically have more carbon content as the carbon isn’t lost in migration during the lamination process. However as part of user experience I don’t think anyone will feel the difference unless you’re chasing those small percentages, san mai and honyaki should be the same.

    But then again, anecdotally speaking, some people claim honyakis feel more dense, so there’s that too.

    One of my fav cutters is my Toyanabe honyaki. Never liked Yoshikazu Ikeda knives in general so I wouldn’t touch his honyakis.
     
  20. Feb 16, 2020 #20

    Barmoley

    Barmoley

    Barmoley

    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Aug 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,741
    One of these days one of you guys that keep on saying this will need to explain the mechanism by which this works. What about lamination with nickel barrier? What about mono construction with the same edge hardness as the edge of honyaki?
     
    SilverSwarfer and M1k3 like this.
  21. Feb 16, 2020 #21

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    Thanks - I tell my wife that you can never have too many and I do want to try some of the best. I absolutely love the knives that I have acquired so far as a lot of them are works of art.
     
  22. Feb 16, 2020 #22

    zizirex

    zizirex

    zizirex

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    254
    you can't go wrong with the Sakai blacksmiths tho...
    Ikeda, Shiraki, Tanaka, Togashi, Doi, Genkai etc....
    Shiraki is special tho... The other Honyaki that I want other than Ashi.
     
  23. Feb 16, 2020 #23

    lemeneid

    lemeneid

    lemeneid

    TFTFTFTFTF

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2018
    Messages:
    757
    Location:
    SG
    Its simple diffusion. Even with nickel barrier, though that may somewhat slow the process down a little.
    But like I said, the difference between honyaki and san mai is negligible, unless you're a percentile chaser.
     
  24. Feb 16, 2020 #24

    Panamapeet

    Panamapeet

    Panamapeet

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    35
    You know, Genkai does not work in Sakai ;)
     
    khashy likes this.
  25. Feb 16, 2020 #25

    khashy

    khashy

    khashy

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2016
    Messages:
    1,155
    He does make some mean honyaki gyutos though [emoji6]
     
    Panamapeet likes this.
  26. Feb 16, 2020 #26

    Panamapeet

    Panamapeet

    Panamapeet

    Active Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2017
    Messages:
    35
    If only...
     
  27. Feb 16, 2020 #27

    zizirex

    zizirex

    zizirex

    Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2018
    Messages:
    254
    I see, yeah he make a bunch of honyaki for Sakai brand tho..
     
  28. Feb 16, 2020 #28

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890
    I noticed that K&S has a Togashi/Tosa 240mm Honyaki Gyuto in W#2 does anybody have any experience with the difference between this and a similar knife in B#1? That knife looks very tempting!
     
  29. Feb 16, 2020 #29

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Chicagohawkie

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Jun 1, 2015
    Messages:
    1,417
    Personally I have never found Togashi honyaki knives to be really appealing. Just think they fill a void left by a lot of honyaki makers retiring and ending production.
     
  30. Feb 16, 2020 #30

    jacko9

    jacko9

    jacko9

    Senior Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2014
    Messages:
    890

    Thanks - I sent James an email asking about the availability of a B#1 or 2 being forged by that combination. That W#2 looks pretty tempting especially as it is 55mm tall.
     

Draft saved Draft deleted

Share This Page

Group Builder