What Is A Honesuki Knife Used For?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/09/21 •  5 min read

The Honesuki is a traditional Japanese knife used to slice the meat off the bone of poultry and, at times, fish and beef. It has a tall heel that moves up to a sharply angled and incredibly thinly ground belly and a thick, straight spine which cuts down to a short downward angle. The reverse tanto tip it creates makes this a great tool for maneuvering in tight spaces.

Japanese knives can be classified into two types: the traditional ones which have a particular use and the more modern types which are quite versatile.

The Honesuki, a knife that is used for boning poultry, is part of the former.

The blade’s interesting shape – almost an acute triangle – is what makes this an awesome boning knife. Aside from its incredible sharpness, the reverse tanto tip can fit in tight spaces between bones.

The question is: do you need a knife specifically used for chicken in your kitchen?
Read on to find out…

What is it used for?

A Honesuki is a Japanese-style poultry butchering knife and literally translates to, “bone knife.”

Many of us in the western world are used to seeing a much different style of a boning knife, with its most common characteristic being its flexibility.

A Honesuki doesn’t have that flex, but it definitely has the upper hand inefficiency and edge retention.

It is the perfect blade if you want to cut the breastplate of the bird.

The fat belly increases the surface area so that it can pierce inside the body of the bird, making perfect pieces.

Though the belly is fat, the upper portion consists of a sharp tip and is often used for the thin slicing purposes of the bird’s meat.

Thus even if you have used different knives for the beef slicing and cutting, you will enjoy this one for bird meat cutting purposes.

It can also perform some functions of the petty knife.

Why should you have one?

If you are a bird-meat-lover, especially chicken, the Honesuki can help you a lot in saving money.

As discussed earlier, you can use it for the efficient cutting of the chicken and the other poultry.

Whenever you go to the butcher shop and ask for the artistic cutting of the chicken pieces, he always costs you more.

Sometimes, these costs of cutting and slicing become so much that they completely go out of your affordability.

The same price that you have paid for the slicing as well as the purchase of the chicken can be used to buy the two birds.

So it is a must-have investment that will always pay off.

Along with the money-saving features, it is fun to use and you can always feel like a professional cook after using this one.

With time, you will become a professional cutter and start understanding the poultry anatomy.

The best part?

When you proceed with the cutting process on your own, you can keep the boneless meat on one side while using the bones for the creation of hot chicken soup.

On the other hand, the butchers often discard the bones and do not allow you to use the stock.

Which one should you buy?

Japanese people love to use these knives as most of the Japanese people are chicken enthusiasts.

Here are the few most popular choices of the Honesuki knives.

Fujimoto Nashiji

If you have just signed up for the poultry butchering class, you will encounter this kind of Honesuki.

It has a very large belly and the whole blade is made up of stainless steel.

The carbon steel core further strengthens it and makes it a perfect choice for poultry butchering.

Fujimoto Hammertone

The name of this one again starts with the word “Fujimoto” which shows that the creators of both these knives are the same.

The needle or the spine of this one is octagon-shaped and is quite different from the traditional Honesuki knives.

Moritaka Ishime

It is an instant classic version of the Honesuki and comes in a compact and small size.

The carbon steel that is used in the construction of this one is blue carbon steel that gives it a unique appearance.

Masahi Siroshu

If you are looking for the blend of beauty, balance, and ease of use, then look no further.

Masahi Siroshu is an all-in-one tool that will not only serve aesthetic purposes but also help you in an efficient cutting process.


It is a simple and comparatively less sharp knife that you should keep in your knife collection.

It may not be suitable for heavy butchering purposes, yet it can help you with small cutting tasks.


Whether you are a chicken lover or the Japanese knife lover, you should buy this stunning knife for your kitchen to carry out all the cutting tasks for cutting and butchering purposes.

If you have a Honesuki, you no longer need to go to the butcher and ask him for the chicken slicing.

So what about using this one at the next yakitori party?

Make a quick comment right now and share your future plans.

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.