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Gregmega

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Does anyone know the answer to this query? Lest we suffer through more endless speculation, can anyone definitively answer- Does honyaki have better retention in real world situ, why is the hrc higher than a mono? Where’s HRC68 when you need him- so many questions.
 

Barmoley

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So what your saying is ashi Hamono heat treat is the same for his mono wh2 line as his honyaki?
I think that Japanese makers usually harden honyaki harder at the edge. Except Toyama since core on his San Mai seems to be as hard as honyaki. Western makers make San Mai and mono blades as hard or harder than honyaki often. So it is a choice not necessarily a construction limitation. The main point is that differential heat treatment is pretty useless as far as performance is concerned in kitchen knives. Another point is that if edge retention is your goal, white class steels are not what you would pick no matter the heat treat. Heat treat will not make one steel into another. If edge retention is your goal picking a different steel is what you need to do. This assumes optimal heat treat for any of the chosen steels. That has to be a given otherwise the discussion about steel differences is pointless.
 

Eloh

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.. What barmoley said


@Greg there really is no speculation. It just happens that most Japanese makers usually treat their san Mai blades softer than they could, for various reasons
 

DevinT

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I think that Japanese makers usually harden honyaki harder at the edge. Except Toyama since core on his San Mai seems to be as hard as honyaki. Western makers make San Mai and mono blades as hard or harder than honyaki often. So it is a choice not necessarily a construction limitation. The main point is that differential heat treatment is pretty useless as far as performance is concerned in kitchen knives. Another point is that if edge retention is your goal, white class steels are not what you would pick no matter the heat treat. Heat treat will not make one steel into another. If edge retention is your goal picking a different steel is what you need to do. This assumes optimal heat treat for any of the chosen steels. That has to be a given otherwise the discussion about steel differences is pointless.
Bam!!
 

thebradleycrew

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Good to know the memory is still working. Now I just need to convince you to make me a similar one with a less reactive cladding. I've never handled any of your standard s-grind knives, but this workhorse grind is a performer.
Tell you what @tgfencer - you sell me your reactive iron clad workhorse - sounds right up my alley!!!
 

suntravel

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Does honyaki have better retention in real world situ, why is the hrc higher than a mono?
This is not the case on my knives and there is no practical reason to temper Honyakis to higher HRC. Maybe with some makers marketing stuff to make mono with higher tempering softer so the high Honyaki pricetag seems to have some more reason ;)

Regards

Uwe
 

suntravel

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It just happens that most Japanese makers usually treat their san Mai blades softer than they could, for various reasons
One drawback with San Mai is the carbon diffusion unless you use a thin nickel layer between the core an soft outer layer, but this is seldom used in Japan, more from good western blacksmiths ;)

So with straight San Mai you will loose some carbon in the core, the more the longer the blade was on high temp, wich looses some hardebillity on the steel...

Regards

Uwe
 

Gregmega

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I think that Japanese makers usually harden honyaki harder at the edge. Except Toyama since core on his San Mai seems to be as hard as honyaki. Western makers make San Mai and mono blades as hard or harder than honyaki often. So it is a choice not necessarily a construction limitation. The main point is that differential heat treatment is pretty useless as far as performance is concerned in kitchen knives. Another point is that if edge retention is your goal, white class steels are not what you would pick no matter the heat treat. Heat treat will not make one steel into another. If edge retention is your goal picking a different steel is what you need to do. This assumes optimal heat treat for any of the chosen steels. That has to be a given otherwise the discussion about steel differences is pointless.
Boom.
 

RDalman

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One drawback with San Mai is the carbon diffusion unless you use a thin nickel layer between the core an soft outer layer, but this is seldom used in Japan, more from good western blacksmiths ;)

So with straight San Mai you will loose some carbon in the core, the more the longer the blade was on high temp, wich looses some hardebillity on the steel...

Regards

Uwe
Honyaki offers (some) straightenability, the soft spine and hamon have practical purpose in that sense. I see alot more carbon diffusion on western makers work in general, if we're going to be generalising... Nickel does hardly seem to retard this diffusion I actually think. You often see it happened through it. The japanese (if we're generalising) have a much better forging metallurgy traditionally keeping their forging fast and efficient, and low temps after the forgeweld.
 

labor of love

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I think that Japanese makers usually harden honyaki harder at the edge. Except Toyama since core on his San Mai seems to be as hard as honyaki. Western makers make San Mai and mono blades as hard or harder than honyaki often. So it is a choice not necessarily a construction limitation. The main point is that differential heat treatment is pretty useless as far as performance is concerned in kitchen knives. Another point is that if edge retention is your goal, white class steels are not what you would pick no matter the heat treat. Heat treat will not make one steel into another. If edge retention is your goal picking a different steel is what you need to do. This assumes optimal heat treat for any of the chosen steels. That has to be a given otherwise the discussion about steel differences is pointless.
Yes of course. Which was my point. If we set aside hypotheticals for second...Comparing Honyaki made in Japan to mono made in Japan there is much difference.
The rest of world does whatever.
 

suntravel

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Honyaki offers (some) straightenability, the soft spine and hamon have practical purpose in that sense.
so they should be cheaper ?

Nickel does hardly seem to retard this diffusion I actually think.
https://pdfs.semanticscholar.org/e943/674d4037a198f761694233e101f167f24f8b.pdf

The japanese (if we're generalising) have a much better forging metallurgy traditionally keeping their forging fast and efficient, and low temps after the forgeweld.
I have never seen in japanese forging videos they forge a blade in one heat, but have seen this from a german maker and a swiss one ist also fast in forging with a very high degree of transformation per heat and adjusting his forging with metallurgy testing ;)

Regards

Uwe
 

labor of love

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Btw just to answer the question from my own personal experience, I’ve used both shiraki honyaki and shiraki blue 2 San mai. Honyaki does have better retention and takes a little longer to sharpen.
 
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Keith Sinclair

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Yes the two working Honyaki used at work the hamon was not seen. Saw one polished up in vid. it was high around kanji area.

Can't explain why but honyaki's feel more dense than mono steel carbons. Most are harder than white & blue carbons so have better edge retention.

Have also read that Honyaki are harder to sharpen. My experience they are easy to get extremely sharp.
 

captaincaed

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I was lucky enough to get my first knife from a local American maker whose work I've admired for the past three years. He described his heat treat of 52100 as a "spring temper". I'd love to know a little bit more about that term and how it relates to the differential heat treat topic.
 

lemeneid

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Does anyone know the answer to this query? Lest we suffer through more endless speculation, can anyone definitively answer- Does honyaki have better retention in real world situ, why is the hrc higher than a mono? Where’s HRC68 when you need him- so many questions.
Yeah, I was under the impression the processes for making honyaki, san mai and mono were different, even if you treat them to the same HRC wouldn't the end result be slightly different?
I'd imagine its like cooking a steak to medium rare for example. You can pan sear, reverse sear, sous vide, barbecue, etc.. but the results for each would be different although the doneness is the same.
 

Eloh

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... Only if they are forged at full moon ;)
 

Garm

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I have next to no knowledge on the subject, and have never used a Honyaki blade, but from what I've seen online there seem to be some differences between honyaki blades in a western design(i.e. gyuto) that are designed to take more of beating and traditional Japanese blades like Yanagibas.
I remember a video that has been circulated here where they analysed a Tatsuo Ikeda honyaki yanagiba, that showed a hardness of about 68 HRC after tempering. I've never heard or seen a honyaki gyuto reaching those numbers, but I may of course be very mistaken. I'm guessing the differences in characteristics like edge retention and sharpeneability are quite a bit more dramatic in a honyaki yanagiba like this using simple carbon steels compared to more standard hardnesses for that blade design, than when you compare a honyaki gyuto to a "standard" gyuto.
 

DevinT

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I was lucky enough to get my first knife from a local American maker whose work I've admired for the past three years. He described his heat treat of 52100 as a "spring temper". I'd love to know a little bit more about that term and how it relates to the differential heat treat topic.
It usually means that it’s a little softer, the maker may mean something a little different though.

Hoss
 

Corradobrit1

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Yes the two working Honyaki used at work the hamon was not seen. Saw one polished up in vid. it was high around kanji area.

Can't explain why but honyaki's feel more dense than mono steel carbons. Most are harder than white & blue carbons so have better edge retention.

Have also read that Honyaki are harder to sharpen. My experience they are easy to get extremely sharp.
I have both honyaki (W2 not Shirogami 2) and sanmai knives and don't think the honyaki are any harder to sharpen. Honyaki does 'feel' harder or denser, but the same can be said for my Kato's. Having seen Kiyoshi Kato vids on YT I think much of that honyaki feel is down to the extra carbon imparted into the blade during the final steps in his smithing process. I've not seen any other makers doing this with kitchen knives and I believe it does make a difference especially in the thinner exposed core steel.
 
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