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View Full Version : Prefered steel for a deba?



JKerr
10-26-2012, 08:58 PM
(Still) looking for a new deba and I've been wondering what people's preferences are when it comes to the steel. I've been tossing up between Blue 1, 2 and white 2, although this is more due to the particular items which are grabbing my attention as opposed to the steel.

Does anyone out there feel there are significant advantages going for one steel over the other when it comes to breaking down fish? Be it blue or white (and their respective grades), 01, 19c27, gin 3, v2, swedish etc..?

Cheers,
Josh

bieniek
10-27-2012, 08:09 AM
For any single bevel knife I would only consider carbon.
The reason is, when maintaining, I would go crazy with stone clogging all the time, when thinning stainless cladding, also, when sharpening stainless yanagis for others, I hated the feeling and response from the steel. Would never do that with too much joy at all.
Other thing was the sharpness. I just like carbon feeling of sharp.

When it comes to carbon, I had a great experience with all of them actually.
So I dont really have a preference when it comes to steel, but when I would invest in a knife in the Gesshin Hides price range, I would expect it to be spectacular. As simple as it gets, the less you pay, the less spectacular expect the steel to be :)

Saying that Shimatani offers similar[dont read: the same] feeling and great sharpness, also Yoshihiro is great value for money [little too soft for my likings], or Ichimonji Kichikuni.

And there is something in the Hide Gesshin let me tell you. Just a great made knife.

schanop
10-27-2012, 12:17 PM
Don't think I can give a good comment for how well each steel holds up since as a home cook, the number of fish between stone sessions aren't that many.

But I do love my (spicy) swedish carbon steel debas, a hon deba and a mioroshi deba. The maker made them so nice to touch, to look at, and to use. Max still has one 180mm ready to ship.

My blue 1 ko-deba is a tough little bugger and also nicely made. I can't recommend the brand highly enough. Newly armed with DHL shipping, it is not a problem to get one from Jon.

White 2 ajikiri and white 2 big hon deba (that has now left for Melbourne) are easiest to sharpen. Both were from a lesser line, still nice to use.

Now that Leigh is opening up a store in ******** starting next Monday. Have a look at some of his offering. Lots of nice looking debas, he has, [more in store compared with his web store] albeit a little more pricier compared with international offering.

Which debas are you looking at comparing?

JKerr
10-27-2012, 07:22 PM
Was looking at Tanaka, Sugimoto, Jyunichi Takagi, yoshihiro, monzaburo and yoshikane. The Kaneshige blue and gin3 debas at **** look interesting too though, especially with the recent Konosuke price hike.
I'm not an expert with a deba, so I think something as good at a Gesshin hide would be wasted on me. Money's a little tight at the moment too.

Size wise, I was leaning towards a 21cm, I figured being use to heavier knives I can probably learn to finesse a 21cm deba and we're breaking down some pretty big snapper at the moment, though I'm open to 18cm options too (Takagi, Yoshikane).

Off Tuesday, so I plan on stopping by Leigh's new store to have a look around. Do you happen to know if he carries any 21cm debas though?

Cheers,
Josh

schanop
10-28-2012, 12:32 AM
I think I might have seen one. He has quite a number of things not listed on the web.

...


Ha just noticed a famous suburb name around Melbourne is censored :doublethumbsup:

schanop
10-28-2012, 04:15 AM
Josh,

If you look at mozaburo white 2 deba, which is the same brand as my ajikiri, I would make a comment that its marking on the back:
http://pic80.picturetrail.com/VOL2041/11274169/24078502/401915558.jpg

is awfully similar to marking on the back of Sakai Ichimonji Kichikuni white 2 series, which I used to have:
http://img.auctiva.com/imgdata/6/2/9/3/2/9/webimg/532752675_o.jpg

Bill Burke
10-28-2012, 09:32 AM
How about 52100 from a reputable maker?

bieniek
10-28-2012, 05:50 PM
I'm not an expert with a deba, so I think something as good at a Gesshin hide would be wasted on me. Money's a little tight at the moment too.

Josh

I didnt meant like you have to buy it to be cool or something. I am sorry

Myself I use the cheapest decent option possible. I bought the Yoshihiro 21cm from Jon. Its much cheaper than "hongasumi" from the ebay shop.

Its a nice knife, just good to start with I think. After a while feels like it could be harder core, but performance-wise its very OK for the money.
If youre short on money, get even cheaper knife, it will work

JKerr
10-28-2012, 08:12 PM
How about 52100 from a reputable maker?
Certainly a possibility, though I think it would likely be stretching the budget a bit thin :lol2: . For interests sake, other than yourself, how many other western craftsman have experience with single bevel knives. I can only really think of yourself, murray and Stephen Fowler that I've seen any real volume from.

@Schanop

Keen eyes noticing the resembelence between the sakai and the monzaburo, very interesting

Bieniek:

No need to apologise. Though I'm sure I would be a lot cooler if I owned a Gesshin Hide deba...perhaps not in reality, but probably here :happymug: . The Yoshihiro at JKI are definitely tempted, especially with Jon doing international shipping again and he's carrying a few other items I'd be interested in. I'm not hugely worried about using a deba with "softer" steel as it'll likely be more forgiving to use and I sharpen pretty much every day or every 2nd day at the moment.

Cheers for all the feedback so far guys. Greatly appreciated.

Ta,
Josh

Bill Burke
10-28-2012, 10:24 PM
Certainly a possibility, though I think it would likely be stretching the budget a bit thin :lol2: . For interests sake, other than yourself, how many other western craftsman have experience with single bevel knives. I can only really think of yourself, murray and Stephen Fowler that I've seen any real volume from.

Cheers for all the feedback so far guys. Greatly appreciated.

Ta,
Josh

yeh that is about the only makers I can think of too. I have a freind who works 52100 alot and does a few kitchen knive who could probably do you a good job at a reasonable cost.

Lefty
10-29-2012, 04:54 AM
Mike Davis just finished one up, and knowing him, it's likely very well executed and thought out. Not to mention, since it is Mike, he likely has 3-43 more in the works ;) . I'm sure he'll be a guy to watch in the single bevel world. Then there's Butch and Randy who have the means and skills, not to mention the motivation to pull a proper one off.

I'm not saying these guys will be cheap, or have one for you yet, but you asked which Western makers are doing single bevels, and the three I mentioned all have.

By the way, I'm in the same boat, and always on the lookout for a good cheap single bevel. However, I'm hoping Mike allows me to be his guinea pig. Unfortunately, all I can catch in the winter is muskie or pickerel. Haha.

JKerr
10-29-2012, 06:31 AM
Aye, seen Mike's work. Looks solid for a first attempt, well impressed. I hope to try atleast one knife from Butch or Randy in the future, maybe I when I finish my qualification I'll treat myself :doublethumbsup:

In all honesty, if I was to go custom for a deba, I'd probably hit up TC. I was recently in contact with him and he proved to be a true gentleman, an absolute pleasure to deal with.

Ta,
Josh

Lefty
10-29-2012, 08:44 AM
Yeah, his knives AND shaving gear are impressive, to say the least.

bieniek
10-29-2012, 09:42 AM
Though I'm sure I would be a lot cooler if I owned a Gesshin Hide deba...perhaps not in reality, but probably here :happymug: .

Josh

I totally know what you mean :) haha

In total honesty, I dont really get it why would any western makers attempt to produce single bevels. I guess its just money - chase.
Dont tell me they can get any better.
What I mean is, custom will always be just custom, is it better anyhow?, the beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

The thing is, they[japanesos]ve been doing that for so long, ad its a part of their culture, on top of that there is plenty to choose from in any price range. And available right away. Hard working-class knives, not show pieces.
You can get a deba from ebay now for under 100 bucks, most likely far from perfect but it will cut.

Lefty
10-29-2012, 11:19 AM
It's not about perfection, sometimes. I understand your point, but I don't believe that our western makers have a genetic predisposition that gives them an inability to make single bevel knives. Practice, repetition and studying what makes them work and work well is what gives ability.

To get a guy from these forums to make a single bevel is partly to support the maker, partly to see what they are capable of and also because it just intrigues the customer.

This is one point that I just truly don't agree with. Do the three guys (for example) that I mentioned earlier make single bevels at the same level as 'x' maker from Japan? Perhaps not, but I am sure that they can eventually get to that level. Als, maker 'y' might make a product that can't hold a candle to that of a skilled western maker.

Maybe it's just me....

bieniek
10-29-2012, 03:05 PM
Make it affordable. Either ours start to make them only and devote their career to single bevels or every piece will loose in direct comparison value/money.
Think about it. 21 cm deba for 275 dollars. With sheath.

Take an example, when it comes to cooking, I stopped learning about sushi, cause either I wash rice first for 5 years and learn every step of the way or it doesnt count and I feel like I dont know enoough.
Now, I cannot afford to wash rice for next five years, and to work in sushi bar from early morning to late night everyday, thats why its time to be honest, I will never turn out to be sushi chef. Then I focus on french/european or whatever you call it.

Not much of that in western world, I know. People try to cover as much, and thin themselves down as much as they possibly could. Like it more cool or something
Look at the primabalerina chefs these days in the western world, in their cooking shows they seem ilke they know about everything, from asian cuisines to wine, from butchering to scallop harvesting.
Now, compare it to Jiro Ono... :)

Lefty
10-29-2012, 03:16 PM
Hmmm. I agree, it's good to stay focussed, but I dunno.... I tap. :)

Bill Burke
10-29-2012, 09:23 PM
I have worked very hard to get to where I can make an acceptable single bevel. I don't know where a guy could get a deba made with 52100 anywhere but a custom. I do think 52100 can be tougher and hold an edge as long or longer than the paper steels.

Lefty
10-29-2012, 09:25 PM
Add to my list, Bill Burke.

barramonday
10-29-2012, 09:31 PM
On the issue of length , my Yoshikane deba is 180mm on the edge ( 195mm tip to handle ) . I've used this knife on quite a variety of different sized and shaped fish , from 1kg fish up to a 15kg spanish mac and large 6kg plus reds , never have I felt I needed more blade length . I also own a 240mm mioroshi that has never touched a fish and in my hands probably never will.
I've also taken to using my western deba to cut the rib bones and heads off thus keeping the Yoshi's edge in better shape.
It took me a while to realy warm to deba use , but wouldn't go back to flexy fillet knives now.

JKerr
10-30-2012, 01:21 AM
Stopped by Chef's Armoury today and had a look at their debas. Didn't have anything longer than 180, but that's the first time I've seen a "proper" deba in person and it's got me thinking, perhaps a 180 will be sufficient. My only previous deba was the Kanetsune 165 which felt way too small, so I figured a 180 wouldn't be a substantial enough jump, but having seen it next to a couple of Takayuki's, a Doi and some Kaiden debas, the difference is huge.

Certainly opens up a few more options.

Cheers,
Josh

schanop
10-30-2012, 01:56 AM
Sounded like you had a fun day.

JKerr
10-30-2012, 03:31 AM
Aye, Leigh's sorted out a really nice space. Could have spent longer just staring at some of the knives, particularly the ironwood R2 Takeshi Saji gyuto. Only opened yesterday so I think he's still moving a lot of stock down; stopping by next week to have a look at the Konosuke #6 when he gets them in :knife:

A lot of space dedicated to the bespoke knives, which certainly look the part. Even if it's pricey, it's nice to have a store carrying great (by KKF standards) knives in Melbourne.

Cheers,
Josh

schanop
10-30-2012, 03:49 AM
Konosuke #6 is nice. I handled it at the Sydney store. Still prefer sugimoto due to weight and handle design. Rat tail tang makes sugimoto blade a bit lighter and its balance a bit more forward. However, Konosuke #6 is a very nice offering, very nice finish (for Japanese cleaver, I think) at a competitive price. And don't forget Takeshi Saji cleaver.

His bespoke line is a bit of a stretch for bespoke meaning, though. I would say, the line is a custom order from a collection of blade styles and handles.

If you're into Japanese food. He's got some nice stuff. His dried natural wasabi power is probably the next best option to fresh wasabi.