Deba, Honesuki, or Garasuki for processing chicken?

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daveb

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I use a hankotsu as part of my deer kit. Great for getting the bark off them, good for deboning.

For opening up the ribs and popping joints the hunting knife comes out.

 

tch757

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Trying to see what knife might be best for processing chicken. The knife would likely also be used for other proteins, but primarily chicken. So, some versatility would also be helpful.

The first knives that come to mind are deba, honesuki, and garasuki, but I’m not wedded to those.

Thanks.

Dan
I haven’t used this but found it on sale.

 

M1k3

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Hankotsu can also be used with a pirate costume.
 

btbyrd

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I've owned all three.

Honesukis are ideal for poultry. I've used a few and I think everyone who has used one loves it for breaking down birds. But unless you do that a lot, a specialized knife might not be necessary for you. But if you're in it for fun or as a collector or just to learn more about knives and techniques, go for it! Double bevel, 90/10, single bevel... I've liked them all. I agree with others about the virtues of a western synthetic handle, just because it feels more sanitary. That said, mine is wa handled, so take that with a grain of salt.

The humble western boning knife can cover poultry but also do other things well. Something like the Munetoshi butcher can break down chickens, ribs, clean up ribs, bone out pork shoulder... all kinds of stuff. Most honesukis are great at birds and only okay at other things. They're not particularly useful as petties because the grinds and bevels tend to be asymmetrical (and slightly on the thicker side for such a non-tall blade) so there's steering and wedging. They can be okay at trimming and cleaning up membranes on beef and pork, but I much prefer a proper petty or short suji for that task.

Garasuki are overkill, or at least the Misono Dragon garasuki I had was. I have smallish hands, and it was almost uncomfortably big. Blade stock was very thick, but it had the classic profile and look of the nimble honesuki. Great lines, but when you saw it from the top, it was a big ol' chunker. I *loved* it on turkeys, and it was good with ducks too. If you do larger birds a lot, maybe a garasuki could be a good idea.

With all that cautioning about thick blades, I really *really* want to try a Takeda honesuki sometime. They're quite thick, but I nevertheless suspect I'd like it very much. Even with its wa handle.

Debas are close to useless unless you're doing bone-in chicken and are using a double beveled deba. In that case, I heartily endorse the Tojiro DP 240mm western deba, which is a monster at that task.
 
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Ok, so here’s the crazy question (and not the reason I posted this):

Honesuki, garasuki, or deba for processing a deer or stick with my trusty hunting knife?
How much processing? Just opening it up in the field, skinning in camp, or quartering, boning and cutting for packaging?
 

Qapla'

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What then are the major differences in use between honesuki's and garasuki's? And where do western boning-knives excel?
 
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Gara is bigger and usually much more expensive (exception: Toyama). You usually hear/read “only get a garasuki if you’re processing poultry by the case,” but tbh that’s never made sense to me since a fatiguing knife becomes only more so on your 50th chicken.

Western boning knifes excel when you have muscle memory for them. I hate that little curved part near the handle on dexters btw.
 
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Hanging from a gambrel, gutting, skinning, removing the back straps, tenderloins, then quartering.
I gut in the field with some type of hunting knife, usually 3.5 to 4-inch drop point style. After hanging I skin with the same knife. All butchering after that is done with western style blades, boning (curved and straight), breaking and cimeter. Why try to make traditional style Japanese blades do what western pattern blades were especially created for generations ago?
 

coxhaus

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Ok, so here’s the crazy question (and not the reason I posted this):

Honesuki, garasuki, or deba for processing a deer or stick with my trusty hunting knife?
For gutting a deer, it does not take much of a knife at least for small Texas whitetail deer. I have a real small hatchet or a small homemade hacksaw blade broken about 6 inches long with small folding handle for spitting the pelvic bone of the deer. For skinning a deer, I like a skinning knife. They don't really make those for kitchens anymore.
 
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For gutting a deer, it does not take much of a knife at least for small Texas whitetail deer. I have a real small hatchet or a small homemade hacksaw blade broken about 6 inches long with small folding handle for spitting the pelvic bone of the deer. For skinning a deer, I like a skinning knife. They don't really make those for kitchens anymore.
Not sure who you got doing your market research nowadays. But there are tons of companies that still make skinning knives. Including all of the major restaurant supply knife companies. Dexter Russell/Green River, Forschner Victorinox, Mercer, etc all have skinning knives available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and handle materials.
 
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Not sure who you got doing your market research nowadays. But there are tons of companies that still make skinning knives. Including all of the major restaurant supply knife companies. Dexter Russell/Green River, Forschner Victorinox, Mercer, etc all have skinning knives available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and handle materials.
You know he’s got his Henckels meme thing going. Luckily they sell them too under the ZWILLING Henckels Twin Master brand.
 
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Not sure who you got doing your market research nowadays. But there are tons of companies that still make skinning knives. Including all of the major restaurant supply knife companies. Dexter Russell/Green River, Forschner Victorinox, Mercer, etc all have skinning knives available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and handle materials.
I would suggest that a true beef skinner isn't really ideal for something as small as a deer. A lamb skinner (Dexter, Victorinox, F. Dick, Swibo, maybe others, is of a better size and shape for deer/sheep size animals.
 

coxhaus

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Not sure who you got doing your market research nowadays. But there are tons of companies that still make skinning knives. Including all of the major restaurant supply knife companies. Dexter Russell/Green River, Forschner Victorinox, Mercer, etc all have skinning knives available in a variety of shapes, sizes, and handle materials.
Yea, I guess I don't look in the industrial lines. Places I shop, I don't see them anymore. I still see them in hunting supplies.
I have several hunting knives I use for skinning. Almost any hunting knife if it has enough curve to it will work for me. I used my old military Benchmade stick knife the last time I skinned a pig as I forgot my skinning knife and it was not fun. This was all pre-Covid.
I bought my Benchmade NIMRAVUS from a soldier coming back from Desert storm.
 
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Dan S.

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Welp, I went with an Ishikawa honesuki. Something just cool about the whole Kurouchi thing.

Single bevel, 150 mm, white #2, and just, you know, cool.

Thanks for everyone's help!

Dan
Honesuki.jpg
 

Gregmega

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Garasuki would be my suggestion. Honesuki are cool, but they’re just too small for when you’re getting to breaking the joints and a bit too short for longer smoother cuts imo. Especially when you’re breaking down a case or 3 of chickens, the extra length & height pays off. If you’re just doing a bird at a time, honesuki will suffice. Now that I’m out of pro kitchens, a Maz 180 petty does most my poultry work, with a bit of finesse you can really do everything with a good 180 petty. Tbh I can’t remember that last time o reached for a honesuki, or if I even have one anymore…
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lumo

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I prefer a 150 for chickens, 165 to 180 for turkey, cleaver for bones and my Yan Can Cook attempts. My lead prep cook has access to all my gear but he still prefers his Victorinox 6 inch, semi-stiff curved boning knife. At home it's open game and I'll use whatever I have in hand.
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Gregmega

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I prefer a 150 for chickens, 165 to 180 for turkey, cleaver for bones and my Yan Can Cook attempts. My lead prep cook has access to all my gear but he still prefers his Victorinox 6 inch, semi-stiff curved boning knife. At home it's open game and I'll use whatever I have in hand.View attachment 209779
Says the only guy I know with a Shig honesuki 😜😂
 
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