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Matus
03-10-2013, 08:02 AM
Hello,

browsing around here has very dangerous side-effects :lol2:

I started to think that it would be nice to get my hands on a deba knife - it could even replace my 16cm Wusthof Soligen knife that I find bit too butt-heavy. The tasks would be anything I do not want to tackle with the thin blades, including some de-boning here and then. I am not looking for a cleaver though.

So - what would be a good choice? My approximate requirements/expectations:
- blade around 5"-6"
- carbon or stainless (I would find good reasons for both)
- WA or western. (I prefer WA, my wife prefers western)
- I am right-handed (so is my wife)
- say up to $200.

I have not browsed too much about potential models, though the Suisin Inox wafu Deba 165 mm from JKI looks interesting (just to give an idea)


thanks

andur
03-10-2013, 08:26 AM
I was on a tight budget when I got my deba. It's a shimatani (http://j-cutlery.com/krodeba180.html) and I Love it! It will keep a shaving sharp edges without sharpening for months, I've never managed to chip it (neither has my wife) and it looks super nice. It comes very cheap and it kinda shows in the handle and finish. The grind could be more precise and the handle could be buffalo (I upgraded mine myself). Basically if you don't care about the handle and you sharpen it the proper way (might have some high/low spots on the bevel) it's a very very very good knife. Like I said after a good sharpen and a new handle it's one of my favorite knives and I have absolutely no intentions of getting a new deba. I don't know what a higher quality knife would have to offer what I don't get from mine. Just needed a bit of help out of the box and now it's rockin!

Chefdog
03-10-2013, 09:02 AM
Unless you're specifically looking to breakdown lots of fish with this new knife (which doesnt sound like the case) a traditional deba might not be the best bet. If you're looking for something versatile that can handle some butchery and also be fairly useful as a utility knife, take a look at a honesuki. You can find them easily in your price range, carbon or stainless, generally 150-165mm, and wa or western, although wa will tend to run more $.
I had a Suisin carbon honesuki for years before I regretably sold it. I'm sure Jon can get these too. Most of the major makers offer one, so there are plenty of choices. At least take a look and decide if a traditional single bevel is what make the most sense for what you need, if not, I humbly say get a honesuki.
But if you just really WANT a deba, then the Suisin inox are well regarded knives and you'll probably be happy with that. And buying from Jon is always a pleasure.
Good luck.

chinacats
03-10-2013, 10:57 AM
Maybe a western or yo-deba.

andur
03-10-2013, 10:58 AM
I agree with Chefdog on this, the deba isn't the most popular knife in the kitchen. My Deba only gets used on fish and chicken. But that isn't so rare, I eat chicken and fish at least every week so I still get to use it. But not as much as my yanagiba or santokus.

Chefdog
03-10-2013, 12:20 PM
Maybe a western or yo-deba.

A good suggestion as well. I still have a 240 Suisin carbon yo-deba that gets all the heavy work. Basically it's a heavy gyuto, so it's a very versatile shape. Only problem might be finding one under 180, although here are two at the very bottom of the page. They don't look as heavy as some, but might fit the bill nicely:
http://japanesechefsknife.com/Page4.html#GingamiNo.3

jaybett
03-10-2013, 01:45 PM
There is an idea on the forum that if a blade is thick, it is good for chopping through bones. My hunch is that a thick blade provides the base for a strong and sharp edge. Single bevel knives are an example. While a deba can go through bones, its more of knowing the right place to cut, instead of indiscriminately hacking bones.

The deba was designed to break down fish. Can it be used for other tasks? Yes, but that is like using a paint scraper as a screw driver. It does work, but is it the best choice?

The honesuki's main job, is to break down and debone chicken. The thin tip lends itself well to other tasks, where a petty might be used. People who have picked up honsukis, and used them as traditional western boning knifes, for the most part have been disappointed. They don't break down chicken any better then a western knife. The Japanese use a method where a series of cuts are made, and the meat is pulled off the bone. The Chinese have a similar method, but use a cleaver instead. Martin Yan does a demonstration, where he breaks down a chicken in 18 seconds.

Another option is to get a western boning knife in a Japanese steel. Tojiro makes one, and so does Misono. You would get the advantages of Japanese steel, in a knife, that is more versatile, then a honesuki.

Jay

Chefdog
03-10-2013, 02:35 PM
Yes, Jay is spot on here about not being bone choppers. I will say that the Honesuki I have used, and will recommend, are asymetrical double bevel knives, not true single bevels. I've found them to be very efficient for small fish as well as the birds they were intended for. For all butchery, knowing where to cut is vastly more important than what you use to make the cut.

Matus
03-10-2013, 03:10 PM
Thank you!

I think I should clarify more why I am thinking of a Deba. I am intrigued by the shape of the blade and by the single sided bewel and would like to try it out. A honesuki looks interesting too - I will look into that too. It is indeed true that I rarely work on a fish, but chicken or similar does get deboned/broken down on regular

- andur -
thanks for the link - that knife could be an option

- Chefdog -
point taken :)

- Jay -
Indeed just hacking the bones is not the right way. I learned that while deboning a leg from a dear (took me WAY longer than 18 seconds but at the end I won) I agree that a double-beveled edge of western knives is more practical, but it must be obvious by now that I am basically looking for an excuse to get a japanese single-bewel knife :razz: but at the same time I do de-boning here and then, just not a lot of fish work.

bieniek
03-10-2013, 05:31 PM
There is something about using single beveled knives, kind of satisfaction.

Im not sure deba is the best for chicken but hey you want it go for it.

Maybe if you would find the single bevel petty Jon had for sale some time ago? [dont remember price though]

Matus
03-10-2013, 05:59 PM
Maybe I should have rather said that I am looking for a single bevel knife at around 150 - 180 mm for de-boning. Shape of the blade could be like deba but maybe not that wide (like something between deba and petty if that description makes sense).

Maybe something along the lines of the Zakuri 150mm Blue #1 Kurouchi Sabaki Bocho (http://www.japaneseknifeimports.com/zakuri-150mm-blue-1-kurouchi-sabaki-bocho.html) from Jon (that is double bevel knife though). Jon says that it was designed for de-boning.

And let's go with carbon and WA handle. I feel like it is time to have one carbon knife in the kitchen :)

Miles
03-10-2013, 06:12 PM
Deba is definitely not a brute force tool. It's something which can do brutish things with proper technique. It's not a bone chopper, but a knife for breaking down fish. I occasionally use mine for chicken and duck quite successfully, but it's not the best tool for the job. Honesuki is best for poultry. The old standby Tojiro DP is my fave for serious bang for the buck performance. It's not sexy as some of the other options out there, but it just plain gets the job done at a modest cost.

slowtyper
03-10-2013, 06:23 PM
yeah, I'm gonna say don't get the deba...

jaybett
03-10-2013, 07:25 PM
I am basically looking for an excuse to get a japanese single-bewel knife :razz: but at the same time I do de-boning here and then, just not a lot of fish work.

Yeah, I am always looking for an excuse to buy a knife. So far I haven't found one for picking up a single bevel knife.

A honesuki/garasuki, is probably a better choice for you. Another knife to check out are those old fashioned boning knifes, that Jon carries at JKI. Honsesukis typically have an asymmetrical edge, with a few being single bevel. The Hattori FH, is one. Garasukis are usually single bevel. Tojiro has one for around a $100. Carbon ones are in the $200 - $300 range.
t
The excuse I used for picking up a honesuki, was how poorly my western boning knife, held its edge. Plus I wanted to try a Japanese boning knife.

At the time, the forum attitude was Honesuki's are okay, but buy a cheap one such as a Tojiro or Misono. Not expecting much, I was surprised how well it cut, especially chicken skin. Curious to see how the Japanese used the knife, I watched the videos posted on the forum, and on the web. I was struck how the Japanese made precise cuts, and then pulled the meat off the bone. It is such an efficient method, they could casually break down and debone a chicken, in less then two minutes. That is my goal. I'm far from it, but still it has been a fun challenge.

Jay

Matus
03-11-2013, 07:57 AM
May be I should as a different question - would a single bevel knife (designed for the purpose) be less suitable for de-boning than a conventional double-bevel knife?

In other words - should I get something like the above-linked Zakuri from Jon or something else?

Miles
03-11-2013, 03:57 PM
I think you can get the job done with the Zakuri if that's what you'd like to use, but I can't say that it would be more suitable. It's just a matter of deciding what you want to use. It does remind me a bit of some of the inexpensive Tosa country style knives that JWW carries. I picked up one when I was in SF a few years ago. I've used it for boning chickens, for cutting fruit, and for any number of small jobs over the years. Is it the one I consistently reach for when I want a boning knife? No, but can I use it for that? Sure.

Is it the best choice for the job? When I want a boning knife, I find the honesuki works very well. Although I can certainly use anything for poultry and get the job done, I strongly prefer it to a double bevel conventional boning knife. I think the Tojiro does a great job at a very reasonable price. I've never felt the need to get anything "fancier" or "nicer".

Zwiefel
03-11-2013, 11:12 PM
The 150mm Zakuri I got from the BST works well as a boner...I'm sure a honesuki/hankotsu works better, but I'd make the choice on cost and what other purposes I'd put it to.

Matus
03-12-2013, 02:53 AM
I think I have pretty much settled with Zakuri 150mm Blue #1 Kurouchi Sabaki Bocho from jon which, after all, is a boning knife and the price is right too. Now it is only the question when I will be able to make that order (which grew quite a bit already) :O

thank you for your help!

Meals
03-12-2013, 09:45 PM
There is an idea on the forum that if a blade is thick, it is good for chopping through bones. My hunch is that a thick blade provides the base for a strong and sharp edge. Single bevel knives are an example. While a deba can go through bones, its more of knowing the right place to cut, instead of indiscriminately hacking bones.

The deba was designed to break down fish. Can it be used for other tasks? Yes, but that is like using a paint scraper as a screw driver. It does work, but is it the best choice?

The honesuki's main job, is to break down and debone chicken. The thin tip lends itself well to other tasks, where a petty might be used. People who have picked up honsukis, and used them as traditional western boning knifes, for the most part have been disappointed. They don't break down chicken any better then a western knife. The Japanese use a method where a series of cuts are made, and the meat is pulled off the bone. The Chinese have a similar method, but use a cleaver instead. Martin Yan does a demonstration, where he breaks down a chicken in 18 seconds.

Another option is to get a western boning knife in a Japanese steel. Tojiro makes one, and so does Misono. You would get the advantages of Japanese steel, in a knife, that is more versatile, then a honesuki.

Jay

Yan w a cleaver = how the chicken did not cross the road!