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Sambal
04-15-2013, 02:46 AM
I'm thinking of getting and learning how to use a deba. My understanding from what I've read is that the deba is prone to chipping if not used correctly and that it's not a "hacker" in spite of it's thick geometry. I'll be using it entirely for fish.

My questions:

What kind of steel is "better" for a deba? Is a softer steel like a White #3 "better" than something like the Blue #1 because it's less prone to chipping? Is the hagane of a Masamoto KS made with a White #3 by the way?

What's an appropriate length to get? I cook for 2 and sometimes 4 in my family. Mostly small to medium fish - anything from Sardines (the ones here from Australia are slightly larger than Mediterranean or Turkish ones), Bream, Tommy Ruff, Pomfret to Bonito or Kingfish (Hiramasa). A smallish Blue Eye Cod, Mulloway or a medium Salmon would be the largest fish I'd tackle though normally it's really rare for me to go to this size for a whole fish. I was thinking of a 165mm (6 1/2 ") - is this about right? I've been using a 150mm (6") petty and a 240mm (9 1/2") gyuto. The 240mm gyuto feels large for the size of fish I usually prep.

Recommendations? I've been considering the Masamoto KS and the Hide. Budget preference of around $200+ but will go to $300+ if the knife is really that much better.

Thick or thin? Some debas like the Hide seem to have a much thicker blade than some others like the Masamoto. I've read that the Takeda is probably the thinnest. What's the difference in terms of how the deba is used? Any clear advantage either thick or thin?

Thanks!

schanop
04-15-2013, 03:04 AM
From my homecook perspective, I haven't had a real need for a deba bigger than 165mm (180mm for Shigefusa because it is measured from the handle, and not the heel) to tackle fish up to 3-4kg like king fish and snapper.

If your budget is 300, have a look at this Doi's 180 deba http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/yamakawa/item/sakaitakayuki-01237/

Von blewitt
04-15-2013, 03:05 AM
Even if you use a Deba correctly it will chip. Sharp knives and bones, it's inevitable. If you put on a micro bevel, you can minimise chipping, and small chips should come out while sharpening. Some Deba's are measured from the heel, others from the handle, eg a 165 shigefusa Deba will be shorter than a 165mm yoshikane Deba. So make sure to check whatever you decide. If its your first Deba, maybe start with something a bit cheaper? I like look of the itinomonn KU Deba from Maksim http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/Itinomonn-Kurouchi-Deba-180mm-p/996.htm
But I don't think you can go wrong with either Gesshin Hide or Masamoto. Both are nice knives

schanop
04-15-2013, 03:11 AM
Second Itonomon deba if you want something cheap, although I haven't even handled one. It looks real nice for what Maxim is charging.

That Doi 180 blue #2 is growing on me though ..... I should stop searching on rakuten.

Dusty
04-15-2013, 04:16 AM
But rakuten is so much fun when the aud to jpy exchange rate is so good.

schanop
04-15-2013, 04:24 AM
Can't argue with that. The same Doi deba for about 300 while Leigh's offering is close to 800.

Von blewitt
04-15-2013, 04:27 AM
Any Doi Yanagiba on Rakuten ?

Sambal
04-15-2013, 04:30 AM
The translation from Rakuten is fun as well as frustrating!

Is the Doi made by THE Doi? Looks good but so little info on the web page. If the 180mm is measured from the handle then this looks like it's right for me. I hope the shop will reply.

Any opinion or description of how thicker or thinner deba blades feel and cut? Is there a distinct preference?

Thanks for replies so far.

schanop
04-15-2013, 05:00 AM
Any Doi Yanagiba on Rakuten ?

Same store: http://global.rakuten.com/en/store/yamakawa/item/sakaitakayuki-01205/ for example.

Sambal, most debas, AFAIK, are measured from heel. I only know Shigefusa as one exception, there should might be others.

or more Doi's blade info from Aoki Hamono see this catalogue page:
http://www.catalog.vc/catalog_file/1815arc/pdf/0006.pdf
as well as http://www.aoki-hamono.co.jp/english1/wa%20e/wa28.htm .

Per Leigh's and Eddie's claim, Aoki Hamono still has some Doi's blades left in stock.

schanop
04-15-2013, 05:24 AM
For all Doi's blue #2 on yamakawa : http://global.rakuten.com/en/search?k=sakaitakayuki+012&pf=&pt=&tl=210216&sm=0&vm=2&sid=yamakawa

Pretty darn good price, I think.

Von blewitt
04-15-2013, 05:35 AM
For all Doi's blue #2 on yamakawa : http://global.rakuten.com/en/search?k=sakaitakayuki+012&pf=&pt=&tl=210216&sm=0&vm=2&sid=yamakawa

Pretty darn good price, I think.

I'm thinking about the 24cm yanagiba

JKerr
04-15-2013, 05:44 AM
Been eying off the Doi 180 deba myself, just hard to pull the trigger seeing as it'd be a luxury more than anything else. If I'm going to be honest with myself, the deba like that would be wasted on me anyway :whistling:

Tempted to buy another Sugimoto 6 from him though.....

pkjames
04-15-2013, 08:18 AM
what do you guys think about doi and Iizuka (shigefusa)? I am thinking of getting a deba as well but not sure which way to go. Similar priced though, I have a 300mm yanagi from shigefusa and have to say it feels really good!

schanop
04-15-2013, 08:21 AM
Love my Shig 180mm. But where can you find a Shig this cheap?

Von blewitt
04-15-2013, 08:23 AM
what do you guys think about doi and Iizuka (shigefusa)? I am thinking of getting a deba as well but not sure which way to go. Similar priced though, I have a 300mm yanagi from shigefusa and have to say it feels really good!

I have a 195mm shigefusa kasumi Deba and I love it! I don't even look at other Deba's! ( apart from Jin high speed from JKI :) )

pkjames
04-15-2013, 08:34 AM
Love my Shig 180mm. But where can you find a Shig this cheap?
Some japanese sites list a 180 shig for about 35000 jpy and 210mm for about 45000 jpy. I guess slightly more expensive than the doi but it would say it is still at the same price level.

mhlee
04-15-2013, 03:21 PM
I'm thinking of getting and learning how to use a deba. My understanding from what I've read is that the deba is prone to chipping if not used correctly and that it's not a "hacker" in spite of it's thick geometry. I'll be using it entirely for fish.

My questions:

What kind of steel is "better" for a deba? Is a softer steel like a White #3 "better" than something like the Blue #1 because it's less prone to chipping? Is the hagane of a Masamoto KS made with a White #3 by the way?

What's an appropriate length to get? I cook for 2 and sometimes 4 in my family. Mostly small to medium fish - anything from Sardines (the ones here from Australia are slightly larger than Mediterranean or Turkish ones), Bream, Tommy Ruff, Pomfret to Bonito or Kingfish (Hiramasa). A smallish Blue Eye Cod, Mulloway or a medium Salmon would be the largest fish I'd tackle though normally it's really rare for me to go to this size for a whole fish. I was thinking of a 165mm (6 1/2 ") - is this about right? I've been using a 150mm (6") petty and a 240mm (9 1/2") gyuto. The 240mm gyuto feels large for the size of fish I usually prep.

Recommendations? I've been considering the Masamoto KS and the Hide. Budget preference of around $200+ but will go to $300+ if the knife is really that much better.

Thick or thin? Some debas like the Hide seem to have a much thicker blade than some others like the Masamoto. I've read that the Takeda is probably the thinnest. What's the difference in terms of how the deba is used? Any clear advantage either thick or thin?

Thanks!

KS should all be White #2 from what I've read.

I've found my 180 to be a nice size for everything except for smaller mackerel family fish. I've used for Black Cod, Boccacio, and assorted other rockfish, Pollock, Branzino, etc. up to 5 pounds. If I were going to cut something over 2 feet in length, I'd consider a larger deba.

If you've never used a single bevel Deba or sharpened one, I'd recommend starting with a less expensive one.

I have a Gesshin Uraku 180 White #2 Deba that I use exclusively for fish. I've sharpened it several times. It's never chipped on me. I'd recommend this for a starter.

However, I've certainly seen other debas that have chipped. Based on my limited experience, I'd say a lot has to do with (1) improper use/abuse; and possibly (2) improper sharpening technique that results in the edge being too fragile/thin.

As for thicker vs. thin, I've used all kinds of knives for breaking down fish over the years. While I haven't used a thick vs. thin deba, I haven't found the thickness of a deba to be an impediment. Rather, it's technique that matters. You have to break fish down in a different manner than you would if you used another knife. Rather than hacking or chopping at bones, I've found it to be most useful when putting firm pressure.

pete84
04-15-2013, 07:07 PM
I have a 180mm shigefusa deba (165 edge) a 180mm tanaka KU blue steel and chanop's old 195 masamoto ks. The shigefusa is nimble, comfortable, and light weight while being very strong. The KS is a beast, very thick and heavy blade. The KS has very good quality in fit and finish, but tires out my arm faster than the shig due to weight. Nice on larger salmon and halibut. The tanaka was my first deba and is a good all around beginner deba, good steel but the handle and fit/finish suck.

If I had to recommend one, definitely the shigefusa. A slightly larger one like Von blewitt's 195 (180 edge) would be a perfect all a rounder IMO. For a beginner, get a cheap one and develop technique like others have mentioned.

Good luck!