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View Full Version : How to assess a deba



heirkb
06-08-2012, 04:30 PM
I know a lot of people discourage against buying cheap debas, but I've been considering getting one of those 100 dollar Tadafusas as a quick fix to practice on. Is there a chance that I could get a good one? I could look at a bunch of them in person, but I'm not sure what to look for. Anyone have any suggestions as to what issues to look for or any tips for how to spot warping and other issues?

Are there other potential issues that could come up later with a cheaper deba? I mean issues which show up even on one that looks good at first.

heirkb
06-08-2012, 04:42 PM
BTW, I don't know what that little smiley in the thread title is about. Weird things happen when you post from your phone.

eto
06-08-2012, 05:38 PM
I think for me the most important thing is to check if the blade is straight. Just site down the blade and check if the knife is straight. If its not straight you will never get a even sharp edge on your knife. Also another sign to check for is if there is any dips or sort of holes running along the blades profile. At that price point you should be able to find something half decent. Fit and finish might be a little off. But hey you never know.


I know a lot of people discourage against buying cheap debas, but I've been considering getting one of those 100 dollar Tadafusas as a quick fix to practice on. Is there a chance that I could get a good one? I could look at a bunch of them in person, but I'm not sure what to look for. Anyone have any suggestions as to what issues to look for or any tips for how to spot warping and other issues?

Are there other potential issues that could come up later with a cheaper deba? I mean issues which show up even on one that looks good at first.

GlassEye
06-08-2012, 06:13 PM
Put the back of the blade on a flat surface, it should touch the flat surface along the entire edge. Check bevel for any high and low spots.

schanop
06-08-2012, 07:36 PM
What they say, and perhaps look for even ura grind if you understand what it supposes to be. One way to check is to find a strong light source and look for evenness of the curve back with the reflection you see along ura grind.

heirkb
06-08-2012, 10:29 PM
You mean to check that the ura is evenly concaved? A dip or overgrind would be a distortion in the reflection, right?

schanop
06-08-2012, 11:06 PM
right on

bieniek
06-09-2012, 12:16 AM
Well I have been sharpening few new debas and even the ones expensive part of the spectrum does not have flat back when new.
The tip on each was bent to inside a little bit. My guess is that it is made for purpose for you to get nice "back bevels" meeting point at the tip for extra strength - bigger flat area.

And if you want to spend 100, It wont be perfect. Maybe not even nice but you want learning knife so it doesnt need to be pretty in terms of grind i guess?
I think even if its not so straight, you can get good sharpness out of it.

heirkb
06-09-2012, 12:17 AM
Did you somehow fix the issues with the tips?

bieniek
06-09-2012, 12:22 AM
flattened it - or ground the tip until it met the rest of the back. I will try to make a photo, I have another deba new to do now. Ill try to do it tonight - i face double shift now.

I dont think its an issue...

phan1
06-09-2012, 01:44 AM
+1 to all the good advice here. Tips, hi spots, lo spots are all fixable issues. But a knife that isn't straight on the back needs to be sent back. That's how I view all traditional single bevels.

heirkb
06-09-2012, 02:01 AM
So the main thing I want to look for is that the ura touches a flat surface both on the spine and the edge. Is that right? And a little bending on the tip might be common if I'm understanding bieniek's post correctly.

-Even along a flat surface on spine and edge of ura
-Relatively few high and low spots above and below the shinogi
-Fairly even grind in ura

I'm going to Japan Wood Worker on Monday to check out a bunch of these in person.

JBroida
06-09-2012, 02:07 AM
straightness can be fixed... look at the quality of the grind on the ura and table of the knife. Look at the quality of the grind of the bevel. Look at the shape of the knife. Look at how it was mounted in the handle. Look at how the uraoshi has been done thus far.

heirkb
06-09-2012, 02:15 AM
So how much of a stickler do I really need to be with the evenness of the grind on something like the table (I'm assuming this is the part above the shinogi)? I've seen some more expensive knives and even they seem to have pretty obvious high and low spots in that area.

JBroida
06-09-2012, 02:19 AM
unevenness up there will make keeping the shinogi line even very difficult. did we talk about how to look at grinds last time you were down here?

heirkb
06-09-2012, 02:53 AM
You mean looking for any distortions of lines in the reflection? I think we checked out some knives using the blinds in your apartment as a reflection once.

I figured that unevenness above the shinogi might make it tough to have a straight shinogi. Is a knife with any of those low spots unacceptable or can that also be fixed on a stone like the low spots in the bevel? I think So Yamashita once posted a bunch of pictures about how he flattened that area on a new single bevel knife. Are overgrinds on the table fairly common on single bevels?

JBroida
06-09-2012, 02:56 AM
there will almost always be some... its just a question of how much and how severe relative to the price

heirkb
06-09-2012, 02:59 AM
Makes sense. I'll try to find a deba that has the best combination of all these things. If I can't find a decent cheapy one to play around with, I'll just wait a bit and get a slightly more expensive one.

Thanks to everyone who chimed in with advice.

bieniek
06-17-2012, 01:42 AM
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m310/carl00s/100_4272.jpg
http://i107.photobucket.com/albums/m310/carl00s/100_4268.jpg

I cannot be a photographer thats for sure.
Sorry for the delay, I have some special projects going around.
This is new deba from kikuichi. I tried to get better shot of the tip but you get the idea?

schanop
06-18-2012, 03:55 AM
This deba looks a bit funny bieniek. Edge looks very flat (minimal curve) from the photo, and it does seem to come with very little work on the back side.. Is that the one you grab of bishamon?

bieniek
06-19-2012, 12:14 AM
Yup. Thats the one

Yeah it doesnt look quite like regular deba but this one has best grind I have seen. Yeah, I polished it already :)
And the F and F is great. handle is OK but blade is top-notch.
And it has never been used

The shape imho is great for smaller fish like arctic char for example. Smaller pike perch, smaller trout.