Best Blue Steel Honyaki

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jacko9

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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)?
 

khashy

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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.
 

Gregmega

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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.
Can I borrow 1600$ please khashy to test this hypothesis I’m good for it I promise
 

wind88

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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.
This and also Shiraki from Aframetokyo’s house brand Tesshu.
 

captaincaed

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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
 
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valgard

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Well, what's best?

In terms of steel HT it's Togashi for me so far.
 

Gjackson98

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Togashi, Yoshikazu Ikeda, Toyama. All top options. Based on availability Togashi and Ikeda might be your best bet.
 

jacko9

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Togashi, Yoshikazu Ikeda, Toyama. All top options. Based on availability Togashi and Ikeda might be your best bet.
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.
 

labor of love

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How does Watanabe/Toyama Honyaki steel perform compared to the San mai lines?
 

Corradobrit1

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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.
Kambei's bag is wide bevels. Yohei does convex
 

Elliot

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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.
 

Chicagohawkie

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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

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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.
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.
 

labor of love

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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.
No language barrier.
 

Chicagohawkie

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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.
Jacko, you’ve been around for a while.... you have some nice knives........
 

lemeneid

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How does Watanabe/Toyama Honyaki steel perform compared to the San mai lines?
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.
 

Barmoley

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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?
 

jacko9

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Jacko, you’ve been around for a while.... you have some nice knives........
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.
 

zizirex

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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.
 

lemeneid

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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?
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.
 

Panamapeet

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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.
You know, Genkai does not work in Sakai ;)
 

jacko9

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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!
 

Chicagohawkie

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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.
 

jacko9

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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.

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.
 
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