An absolute rarity in the western world the Hankotsu is a traditional Japanese boning knife. Designed to easily navigate the bones of large and small animals, Japanese butchers use sweeping and pulling strokes to guide the small, nimble and ultra-shape blade through the meat. The Tanaka Ironwood Hankotsu is a pleasure to use with perfect balance and fit and finish.
Tanaka Ironwood Hankotsu 150mm
€774.99 (incl. tax)
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 Hankotsu is no exception!
When you receive your Tanaka Ironwood Hankotsu, 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. Tanaka 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.
The knife is forged in SG2 steel (Rockwell 62-63) which is clad in a 32-layer acid-etched Damascus cladding. The profile exhibited on the edge of this Tanaka Ironwood Hankotsu is fairly traditional for this type of knife and exhibits a subtle curve from the hilt to the 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 breaking down a few chickens and Frenching a pair of lamb racks it is apparent just how well-crafted this knife is. The thin blade, perfect balance and overall light weight inspires confidence and reduces fatigue. The edge profile lends itself well to the fine detail work that the Hankotsu is designed for.
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 interested in 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.
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.
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