Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki 165mm


Shigeki Tanaka’s reputation as a master blacksmith is well known amongst professional chefs, knife enthusiasts and the wider blacksmithing community. The SG2 Ironwood series knives are some of the most sort after and desirable kitchen knives on the planet. This Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki is no exception!

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Product Description

There are so many different knives in the Japanese chef’s arsenal. In fact, there are probably twice as many knife types in the Japanese kitchen as there are in any western kitchen. The Japanese have created knives specifically for cutting noodles (Soba-giri bocho), for removing the skin of an eel (Meuchi) and for slicing sashimi and sushi (Yanagiba and Sushikiri). The Honesuki is a traditional Japanese boning knife designed specifically for breaking down chickens. With a sharp and pointed tip for navigating the small bones and a broad heal for passing through cartilage The Honesuki can be found hard at work in Yakitori restaurants across Japan. The Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki is a pleasure to use with perfect balance and fit and finish.

When you receive your Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki, it arrives in a wooden gift box, lined with red fabric and secured with a cardboard sheath and bubble wrap. The packaging is hardly of interest though. The real prize awaits within.

When you open the box the beautiful acid etched Damascus cladding is the first thing you notice, shimmering with an almost 3D effect. Tanka really is a master craftsman and it shows in the fit and finish of his knives. The cladding line is 6mm away from the blade edge and consistently distributed from the hilt to the tip.The spine is rounded off nicely and you really won’t find any rough or uncomfortable edges on this blade. The balance point is perfectly position just in front of the bolster, making the knife feel light weight, nimble and comfortable.

The handle is near perfection in aesthetic and function. The ironwood has been shaped beautifully and has a smooth ergonomic feel that lends itself well to most hand sizes and works well in a pinch grip. The handle is fastened with ornate inlaid mosaic rivets and mirror finish stainless-steel bolster. The full tang is also polished to a mirror shine. All junctions are flushed extremely well, and you won’t find any unsightly gaps.

This range of premium Tanaka knives are forged in SG2 steel (Rockwell 62-63) which is clad in a 32-layer acid-etched Damascus finish. The profile exhibited on the edge of this Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki is fairly traditional for this type of knife and is completely flat from heal to tip. The spine has virtually no distal taper throughout and the grind is 50/50 convex, which is perfect for this kind of knife and makes it very simple to maintain.

After a short amount of use you will notice that the thin blade, perfect balance and overall light weight inspires confidence and reduces fatigue. The edge profile and overall design of the Honesuki lends itself well to the fine detail work required for breaking down chicken and preparing them for Yakitori or other meals.

The beautiful Damascus cladding is extra hard and extremely scratch resistant. It takes abuse very well and the SG2 steel is both hard enough to hold a super sharp edge and soft enough to resist chipping on bones.

If you are looking at the ironwood series then you are serious about knives and having used Tanaka Knives in the Modern Cooking kitchen for several years we can assure you that you will not be disappointed. The ironwood series are beautifully forged and very comfortable to use. However, if you are partial to a Japanese handle we highly recommend that you take a look at the R2 series, which are constructed out of the same steel.

If you would like to learn more about kitchen knives check out our cook smart series on kitchen knives, which discusses everything from the different knife types, how they are made and the various different materials they are made from. We also have articles and videos on lots of other cooking related topics including ingredients, product reviews, cookery courses and smart cooking guides. Check out all the great reading and viewing material in our Cooking School and Magazine.

SG2 Ironwood series

The Ironwood series is a super star amongst professionals. The blade was originally created by 3rd generation master blacksmith Kazuyuki Tanaka. Since Kazuyuki’s passing Shigeki Tanaka (his son) has taken over production of this masterpiece. The series continues to impress.

The blade’s core consists of SG2 steel, which is clad in 32 layers of stainless steel (HRC 62+). It’s a Suminagashi or Damascus finish, which is acid washed. The acid wash gives the blades Damascus finish a beautiful 3D look.

The handle on this series is impressive! Ironwood, nickel silver ferrule and mosaic pins. Each handle is custom made by the Tanaka knives team.

The Ironwood series comes in a variety of different blade types including Gyuto, Santoku, Nakiri, and Petty. Each of the blades are available in a variety of different sizes also.

We consider the Ironwood series an absolute masterpiece. Shigeki Tanaka forges each blade by hand. The result is magnificent. We have a close relationship with Tanaka Knives and are proud to be able to offer this amazing range of knives.

Tanaka Knives

Tanaka knives have been hand forging kitchen knives since 1946. Based in Miki-City just outside Osaka, Japan. Tanaka Knives was made famous by Kazuyuki Tanaka who along with his son Shigeki developed the SG2 range.

The Tanaka team consists of about a 5-man team who produce each knife completely by hand. The blades are all hand forged by Shegeki Tanaka, while the handles and sharpening is all undertaken by other members of this artisan team.

Shigeki Tanaka is a world-renowned Master Blacksmith and has now taken over Tanaka Knives from his father Kazuyuki. He is a fourth-generation master and produces several kitchen knife series including the SG2 Ironwood, SG2 Wa (Japanese style Handle), VG10 3D, and VG10 Wa.

Shigeki is considered an artist within the kitchen knife industry and a number of Michelin stared chefs choose to use a Tanaka kitchen knife as their primary knife. The Modern Cooking team have been working with Tanaka Knives for several years and we can highly recommend them.

Additional Information

Blade Type




Core Steel

R2 / Super Gold 2 (SG2)

HRC Rockwell


Handle Shape

Classic Western

Handle Material

American Desert Ironwood


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Tanaka Ironwood Honesuki 165mm
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