This is my impression of the Moritaka (盛高) Aogami Super honesuki (骨スキ) knife.
A honesuki knife functions as a boning knife, but with a different design than a Western boning knife. Unlike my previous knife reviews, I have very little experience of this knife history, its usage..etc. This Moritaka knife belongs to the Aogami Super series, which of course is made of the Aogami Super steel as the core. I have previously posted three photos, and here they are:
The knife came in a nice package. Of all the knives I have, this one probably has the most beautiful handle. The fit is very good. I also like the look and the feel of the octagonal handle – certainly for a boning knife. The Kurouchi finish is beautiful too, but this is a very personal preference. Surprisingly, the factory edge was not very sharp/refine. This is in great contrast with my Watanabe nakiri, which has a very rough job on the handle, but an excellent finish on its edge. After sharpening the Moritaka honesuki, the steel took on a very refine edge at a 15 degree (inclusion 30 degree). I then put a 25 degree to better suit its boning purpose. It weighs 143 grams. So it is heavier than my Dexter-Russell boning knife (103 g), but lighter than a Tojiro 210 mm gyuto (194 g).
I deboned (rather segmented) a chicken with it. The honesuki worked well. Because it is very sharp and stiff, it easily cut through the joints. Most importantly, it was much easier to use it on a cutting board due to its knuckle clearance. So the knife is definitely better than my Dexter boning knife in these two areas. On the other hand, I found myself having to adapt a new strategy for removing the skin. I had to use a much lighter pressure to separate the skin from the meat, or else the very sharp edge would cut through the skin. Overall, I found the honesuki slightly easier to debone a chicken, and I expect I will only feel more strongly as I better adapt to this knife. Most of the differences I have observed are related to the knife designs (honesuki vs Western boning), and not the steels. This is not to say the steel did not make any difference. It did. One thing I was extremely surprised is how well the edge has held up. After cutting through soft bones and joints, the edge can push cut paper along its entire edge and has no problem shaving my arm hair. My Dexter boning knife definitely could not do this. No noticeable chip was observed with my naked eyes or felt as I lightly slided the edge across my fingernail.
Overall I am quite happy with this purchase. So I like to give thanks to people like cowboyardee, petek, Dave5440, TeRReT and many others for suggesting a honesuki to me. Some people suggest a honesuki can also be used for lamb and pork…etc. Others claim it is too short to be useful. I have not had a chance to verify this. Although I am very happy with the Aogami super steel, it is a carbon steel nonetheless, so one should take this into consideration for a busy kitchen.