Japanese Boners



So what's the deal with the Honesuki and Garisuke? I was thinking of upgrading my boner and I came across these... is it better than a traditional boner?
Joined Feb 13, 2008
This is a subject that comes up frequently on the knife forums, especially those that lean towards Japanese knives.

Honesuke and garasuke are not designed for the same sort of work a western style boning knife is.  The Japanese knives are meant to cut through small bones and cartlage, that's why they are so high at the heel. Honesuke are made for small fowl, and garasuke for larger fowl and pork. 

When it comes to "boning out," neither has as efficient a profile as the western styles.  However, that doesn't mean they won't work.  As a general rule, any sharp knife can perform just about any knife task; and as another general rule sharpness is more important than profile. 

In my opinion a boning knife of any sort is way down the list of what's important in a block -- especially for a home cook.  A lot of people seem to feel that it's the best way to break a chicken.  Works for some people but not really necessary.  I recommend a "petty" for most boning tasks, because it's easier to sharpen than most western boning knife profiles.  This is as much a function of their geometry -- western boning knives tend to be made from relatively thick stock and have very narrow profiles -- as their crappy blade alloys. 

Here's the French petty I use:

Although western, it's very thin and takes a great edge.

I not only recommend the petty, but use it for all but the most specialized boning tasks like boning out a leg of lamb or pork.  When most of the work is done at the tip, the handle has to go to all sorts of weird angles, and the knife has to trace a complicated shape and turn in the cut then it's hard to beat one of the Euro styles.  FWIW, I prefer the straight desosseur

Here's my desosseur:

It's about as good as western boning knives get, but it's still a pain to sharpen.

If you feel you absolutely must use a Japanese profile for western boning try a honkotsu:

The Misono Sweden is particularly good if you can live with carbon.



thanks, they don't sound as promising as i had hoped. honkatsu is cool looking though. the petty just looks like a smaller chef's knife and i have one of those.

i actually stopped using my western boner and use my 210mm gyuto for boning. i'm just afraid of chipping it cutting a chicken in half, so i haven't tried yet. looking at my options, i'll probably just test it out and see if it holds up.
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