What is Three Step Honbazuke Method? [Step by Step Explained]

Japan, as an efficient country, produces and hones top-notch knives following some extraordinary methods and the three-step Honbazuke method is one of them. The eminent knives and swords are found largely in Japan. With the masterminds and craftsmanship, you will find the origin of making the finest knife here, and the instructions they follow come from their ancestors from time to time. However, most people show interest in what is three step Honbazuke method, as most of the qualitative knives are made following this method. 

This method is being brought about by father to son so that the authenticity of the Japanese knives can be carried globally. Today, we wonder what magical deed the Japanese with their experienced hands has contributed to the markets of blades and swords. These blades are forged and honed so majestically that other popular brands from around the world follow the methods of Japan as a model to create their own version. However, let’s talk deeply about the particular topic which is about the three-step Honbazuke method, as we tended to do so. 

About The Three-Step Honbazuke Method

Before we jump into the three main steps of the Honbazuke method, you should have a clear idea of what this method is all about. Basically, it is a method that works with kitchen knives. With this method, the masterminds hone the kitchen knives. The whole method contains polishing and flourishing a knife to make the better version of it. 

To make the edge of the knife like razor-sharp is the ultimate motto of this method. Today, modern technology has added its charm to this historic method and amalgamated it to make an insane fusion. After accomplishing the three amazing steps of the Honbazuke method, the superiority of the knife is evident in its performance. No Japanese kitchen knives are confirmed as finished until they go through this amazing process. 

However, before entering into the three complex steps of this method, the blade of the knife has to be beaten with a hammer to give it a perfect shape and to eliminate the extra metal or stainless steel from the blade. After this laboring period or stage is done then comes the honing process. This is the start of the whole method. To meet the requirements of the sharpness of a blade, this method results in a supreme level. 

To get the real feel of Japanese blades, use a knife that has gone through this special and traditional three-step Honbazuke method. Also, a honed knife of Japan goes through the same old method and it is required as the high-performance blade. Therefore, only professionals and those who are knife enthusiasts are capable to handle such sharp knives. 

Three-Step Honbazuke Method: Step by Step 

Honbazuke carries authenticity in the meaning of its own name. This method honestly builds a knife in a way that is honest and one hundred percent authentic. There is no cheating and irresponsibility on the part of the manufacturers. It’s because from ancestors to the newcomers of this origin, have been carefully nourishing this method so that they get the best out of it. Their knife is the symbol of loyalty to their dead masters who has invented this life-changing method in order to tame the bad and odd. 

As this method brings out the precision of the edge, this method is also followed by many other countries. The edges of the knives that are sharpened in a factory do not possess as much sharpness like a knife that is processed following the Honbazuke method. Therefore, many chefs only choose types of knives only for their sharpness that are processed with the following steps. 

Step 1: Sharpening the Knife Vertically

The first step starts with sharpening the knife vertically. For this step, it requires a coarse grit. To give the right edge retention, the blade is positioned in between 15-20 degrees. A knife works better for both left and right-handed people if the edge retention comes in between 15 to 20degree. 

Besides, this angle helps the user to provide less effort on the cutting job relieving them from having sore or fatigue in the hand. This whole step is a long-term strategy to make a knife convenient for the user. Also, the professional hands do this sharpening job seamlessly without leaving any ground of carelessness. 

Step 2: Sharpening the Knife Horizontally Three Step Honbazuke Method

Now, this step is to sharpen the knife horizontally. To accomplish the step, it requires a wet stone. After placing the knife-edge on that wet stone, the sharpen job has to be begun. As the first step, this step starts with the same process just placing the knife horizontally this time.

But this step requires more patience and firmness. The professional hand glides the knife back and forth on the wet stone creating the same 15 to 20degree angle. Both sides of the blade require the same pressure and firmness. Step two literally enhances the sharpness to such an extent that the knife seems already ready for the action. But there is another step that your knife also requires to gain the ultimate supremacy. 

Step 3: Giving a Finish Line by Leather Stropping Block

This is the last of the all three-step Honbazuke method. In this step, it requires a leather stropping block. In this block, the blade needs to be pulled back and forth. The reason for this activity is it prepares the blade of the knife to give even strokes and seamless finishing. 

As a seamless and even finishing of a fine knife is the main outcome that people want, this final step also ensures the same fact. Thus, by polishing and flourishing your knife this step finalizes it for the market value. The knife ultimately comes with a honed and razor-sharp edge and immense capability. 

Final Words 

This three step Honbazuke method to complete a knife is appreciated thoroughly by the world. Professionals and experts of knives come from different centuries to learn about what is three step Honabzuke method only because this method is successful in bringing out the best of a knife. 

Overall, the three step of the Honbazuke method is not as easy as it is stated above. It requires skill, education, and mostly passion for making knives. Japanese knife-makers have this passion for a long time and enhancing the method by adding technology to it is making the whole method more efficient. Thus, professional chefs and knife enthusiasts have a great reliance on this method and especially on Japanese knives.

About the author

Introducing Gias, an Engineer and Kitchen Knife connoisseur with a specialization in Japanese Knives. With over five years of dedicated testing, reviewing, and research experience, Gias brings a wealth of knowledge to the world of kitchen knives. Passionate and deeply committed, Gias has created this site as personal documentation of their unwavering love for kitchen knives.

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