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jai
05-14-2013, 12:19 AM
so hey guys i just started a new job at a seafood restaruant and before i started here id never usied a flexible fillet knife only a deba and my petty. ive filleted about 80ish fish before and my girlfriend whos a chef though it would be good to get a flexible filleting knife because not many people in australia use debas and can teach me on using them so she bought me a flexible sabitier filleting knife. so tried to sharpen it and it felt pretty sharp but when i took it to rhe fish it felt kinda dull and really awkward to use i really dont understand why someone would prefer something so flimsy. is it just me or do flexible filleting knives take awhile to get used to using and sharpening. dont get me wrong i can sharpen all my other knives up great and love sharpening my single bevels. it just feels wierd with a knives so bendy do you guys have any tips

mzer
05-14-2013, 12:37 AM
It's a horrible way to fillet fish, but it is fast as all hell. The only tip I can really give you is that you need to use your left hand to pull the meat taught at the bone and then keep the damn knife on the bones. Also, beginners always leave the belly on the fish because they come out of the rib cage wrong. Doesn't really matter because you trim most of that anyway, but it isn't good form.

NO ChoP!
05-14-2013, 12:41 AM
Work well for smaller fish. We fillet ruby trout, flounder, etc...

JKerr
05-14-2013, 05:46 AM
It's a horrible way to fillet fish, but it is fast as all hell. The only tip I can really give you is that you need to use your left hand to pull the meat taught at the bone and then keep the damn knife on the bones. Also, beginners always leave the belly on the fish because they come out of the rib cage wrong. Doesn't really matter because you trim most of that anyway, but it isn't good form.

+1, I was working at a seafood restaurant last year and while I prefer using a deba for fish like flathead and whiting I'd just use my flexible sab purely cause it was so much faster. I wouldn't say they take time to get use to or sharpen (assuming you're confident with fish and sharpening), I think they just feel rough because they are, especially if you've been using a deba.

Squilliam
05-14-2013, 07:25 AM
Its easy to cause problems by sharpening with too much pressure on a flexible knife. Other than that, they're okay to sharpen, but not very enjoyable. Stick to the deba if you can. You should teach your girlfriend how to use a deba!

GriffinChef
05-14-2013, 08:43 AM
I find with a flexible filleting knife you have to have downward pressure (so the blade bends) on the knife for it to cut properly, and when doing something like taking the skin off a fillet use the whole blade of the knife.
Because the blade can bend very easily you kind of have to have it pushing against something so that it is forced to go in the direction that you want it to, I try to avoid doing any direct cutting with the tip as it is very difficult to control.
I also sharpen mine using a diamond steel and if using a stone to sharpen I don't use any downward pressure and just skim the knife across the stone.
But really I think you should just use your deba, most chefs should be able to give you general advise regardless of tools, and you can use a method with which you are familiar.
And really, it is a much better tool for the job.

rdm_magic
05-14-2013, 08:56 AM
Check out some of ThEoRys videos on youtube, pretty sure he uses a global flexible on some of the early ones.

Dusty
05-14-2013, 09:00 AM
I prefer a deba, but with a flexible fillet knife, it may help to give it a very toothy edge so that it bites into flesh.

Noodle Soup
05-14-2013, 11:32 AM
I assume it all depends on what you are trained to but I've fileted thousands of fish large and small with a straight flexible boning knife with no complaints. I've tried debas a number of times and all I do with one of those is mess up a perfectly good fish.

jai
05-14-2013, 12:00 PM
well the head chef and stuff there use flexible filleting knives really well and so does my girlfriend im just not used to using it because it feels uncontrolled and also as weird as it sounds alot of chefs think that debas are stupid.and cant understand that they are designed for filleting fish which is kind of the reason i got the flexible knife just so i could learn more about fish structure without them dissing me because im.using a "heavy" knife to fillet fish thanks tons on the advice guys and ill try to sharpen it tommorow without using as much pressure :)

Dardeau
05-14-2013, 12:18 PM
I would just use your deba. At the seafood restaurant I work at the four or so people who do the butcher work all use different styles of knife from my deba to a 10" Henkel, all getting similar results. It's about technique and what you feel is comfortable. Mocking in a gentle, if ruthless way is a kitchen tradition, but if you can keep up speed and quality with your deba they will quickly shut up. Or not and it will become a running joke.

GriffinChef
05-14-2013, 06:23 PM
I would just use your deba. At the seafood restaurant I work at the four or so people who do the butcher work all use different styles of knife from my deba to a 10" Henkel, all getting similar results. It's about technique and what you feel is comfortable. Mocking in a gentle, if ruthless way is a kitchen tradition, but if you can keep up speed and quality with your deba they will quickly shut up. Or not and it will become a running joke.

Exactly. Kitchens are results orientated, as long as the end result is the same and your speed is up no one will really care.
That said, it is always good to get as much experience with as many tools as you can, just to increase your skill set.

slowtyper
05-15-2013, 02:25 AM
Perhaps try getting a western boning knife that isn't as flexible to start with.

scotchef38
05-15-2013, 07:43 AM
I prefer to use a flexible boning knife for small flat fish ,Deba or sometimes a western boning knife for Reef fish.Most of the guys i know who work in fish processing use cheap western boning knives.Fish is expensive so using whatever knife gives you the best yield and cleanest fillets is the one to stay with.

jai
05-15-2013, 11:49 AM
i hate western boning knives i usally use my petty which is 165mm or my 150mm honosuki meat prep. sometimes i use either of those for small fish

mzer
05-15-2013, 11:54 AM
So, just to break this down a little, flexible fillet knives are a mainstay of European fish cuisine which is, of course, built around flat fish, and especially around Dover sole. If you look at Escoffier, the number of sole recipes is huge, turbot is large and today's mainstays like bass and rouget, while in existence, are small. As the batterie de cuisine developed, it developed 95% around flat fish. Flexible fillet knives are great for flat fish.

There really isn't an anatomical reason to use a flexible knife on a round fish. It doesn't make a ton of sense because the instability caused by the flex hinders, rather than helps, remove fillets from round fish. So, you are in Australia? You see flexy knives because you are of European culture. At least they aren't bad on Dory, but they are a pain in the ass on a lot of the other fish you have running around down there.

Noodle Soup
05-15-2013, 02:30 PM
Perhaps try getting a western boning knife that isn't as flexible to start with.

One of the things I hate about a lot of commercially fileted fish, and I've been in the processing plants and watched them do it, is the fact they take a stiff bladed boning knife and cut straight through the rib bones. Then they usually leave them on rather than waste something they can sell by the pound. Very fast and cheap way to filet when you have tons of fish to process but to me a filet should be bone free. I use a flex blade and work over the ribs even on very small fish.

Mucho Bocho
05-15-2013, 03:06 PM
I've posted this before. This is the technique I use now when fileting round fish. I use a Blue #2 210 Ichimonji Deba though. This guy is badass.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ExmNwEcr-fs

Noodle Soup
05-15-2013, 04:28 PM
He did a good job of removing those rib bones. Lot of filets you buy at the average food store haven't had those last couple of steps.

jai
05-15-2013, 11:58 PM
he looks kinda rough but thats the same way my head chef works fish

NO ChoP!
05-18-2013, 10:07 AM
I use the flexible fillet for small fish and a cimiter for large. Been using the cimiter for over a decade with great results. Probably unorthodox, but works for me. Being a lefty, I have yet to delve into single bevels.

Dardeau
05-18-2013, 11:19 PM
I watched one of my coworkers skin a tuna with a really crappy cimetar and he did a great job.

marc4pt0
05-18-2013, 11:43 PM
Something about a scimitar really just gets the job done nicely. I can't really say how long ago it was when I discovered the scimitar love, but I've only used the crappy shop knife version. Today I fine myself using fancier knives for fun's sake, but always reach for the scimitar to either start or finish larger fish. If only I could find myself a feather Damascus scimitar, or a valley full of unicorns for that matter...hmmmmm