Honbazuke: what does it really entail?

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perneto

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Recently I heard that some Japanese makers expect their knives, even double bevels, to be thinned slightly as part of their initial user/retailer sharpening (honbazuke).

It makes sense to me that they would leave the edge sharpening to the user, since they may or may not want a microbevel or finer edge based on intended use, etc.

But shouldn't the geometry behind the edge be final when the knife leaves the maker? It seems integral to the knife design and performance, so I'm surprised they would want to leave it to others.
 

jklip13

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Most single beveled knife makers finish their bevels on either very coarse stones (that aren't always flat) or on wheels. They then make the bevel look nice and consistent with this wire brush tool loaded up with stone powder, I forget the name. That produces the finish you commonly see on new single beveled knives, the clear deep horizontal lines running along the blade road.
Honbazuke sharpening is the first sharpening, taking that finish and turning it into whatever you want. Lots of people sharpen many different ways and for various reasons. I know a bunch of sushi chefs who believe that sharpening completely flat against the stone is the best, with no micro bevel or hamaguriba. There are also people who use incredibly steep microbevels compared to what a lot of people are using here on the forum, at around 40 degrees. So for these reasons the knife makers let the individual decide what the final edge geometry will be based on what the use of the knife will be and what the individual wants.
I'm starting to ramble, I hope this answers some of your questions
 

Ucmd

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Does someone have link to this...youtube maybe
 

osakajoe

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It literally means to put the truer edge on the knife. It's given that all new knives come with their factory edge. All makers vary on their level of sharpening.



Most seasoned chefs here in Japan who use single bevel blades know that they need to sharpen and fine tune the final edge of their knife, or put it's honbatsuke on. Some chefs will ask this to be done before buying and an extra charge is added.



Most single bevel blades are not thinned down all the way to the edge but given a slight micro bevel finish making them stronger edged but not the sharpest it can get. Once you start to thin the knife you make it more delicate but allow the knife to reach its full potential, honbatsuke. Plus most makers only finish at about 3,000 grit.



I don't really here it so much applied to double bevel knives, but same principle. Thinning the knife and fine tuning it makes much more sharper than it's factory edge.
 

osakajoe

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Most single beveled knife makers finish their bevels on either very coarse stones (that aren't always flat) or on wheels. They then make the bevel look nice and consistent with this wire brush tool loaded up with stone powder, I forget the name. That produces the finish you commonly see on new single beveled knives, the clear deep horizontal lines running along the blade road.
Honbazuke sharpening is the first sharpening, taking that finish and turning it into whatever you want. Lots of people sharpen many different ways and for various reasons. I know a bunch of sushi chefs who believe that sharpening completely flat against the stone is the best, with no micro bevel or hamaguriba. There are also people who use incredibly steep microbevels compared to what a lot of people are using here on the forum, at around 40 degrees. So for these reasons the knife makers let the individual decide what the final edge geometry will be based on what the use of the knife will be and what the individual wants.
I'm starting to ramble, I hope this answers some of your questions
Plus what he said
 

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