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Is Usuba really necessary?
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Thread: Is Usuba really necessary?

  1. #1

    Is Usuba really necessary?

    To those Japanese cuisine and sushi chefs in the forum,

    Do you find an usuba to really be a necessary knife? I find that a yanagi works more than well enough for katsura muki and the like and a gyuto works perfectly for most all veg prep.

    Am I missing something? Maybe it could be that the only usuba I have ever used are crap but I just don't see why one would need it.

    I was at work today asking myself if it is time to buy one and try out just using the BIG 3 (yanagi, usuba and deba) and see how it works out. Ya know, not an excuse to buy another knife or anything...

  2. #2
    I suppose you could do without! I am a fan... It all depends how much use you could get from it...

    I prepare quite a bit of Japanese food and very much appreciate my Deba's and Usuba, I have a beater Deba 165mm (Shun Pro) that I bought as a Second I regularly put through the motions when there is a lot of bone action and chipping might be an issue (Still have not damaged it dough!), later bought a Masamoto Wa 195mm Deba from Korin that is a little tank! and use it mainly for fish and poultry, very tough, sharp, a beauty to look at and a pleasure to use!

    I use it to cut up a whole hog once a year at least (Together with a meat cleaver), very versatile and makes my life so much easier!

    So answering your question, Yo can do without it but my advice is try one out for a while (It took me a while to get used to) Maybe get one used like me or borrow one thats beat up to see if its something that makes your life easier.

    Good luck and let us know if you go for it!!

  3. #3
    I agree with the deba comments. I think it is a knife that every type of cook could benefit from having in their kit. I guess I will have to start looking around at different types of Usuba. Now my question is which ones come mostly sharpened. I really really really don't want to spend hours on the stones flattening out a big a$$ bevel like that.

    Then also Kamagata vs regular??

  4. #4
    I use Kamagata from Suisin, its the Honyaki Inox, came sharp OOTB, good Kirenaga (retention) and has nice mirror finish, I believe its 210mm (Quite large actually!) but is a good size and comes with a saya, takes a bit of getting used to but once you get the hang of it its a pleasure to do vegetables (Specially cucumber and daikon sheets to cover the makis!). Got It at the same time I got the Deba, at the Bi-anual Korin Sale

    Maybe someone here can tell you about the advantages on the Kamagata VS Kakugata (Square). I Have not yet found justification for changing or adding a Kakugata (I believe also call it Azumagata) to my colection.

    These are some very good knives in my opinion (A bit of a hidden gem if you ask me!) I've been looking at the Suisin Honyaki Mioroshi for ages and for some reason have procrastinated in pulling the trigger.... I very much like Masamotos for Traditional no-nonsense work knives... Their KA series (Ao-ko blue) for Yanagiba has done wonders for me in the kitchen (Its my go to traditional knife). I have been loking at the Mizuno's for a while as well!

    Hope this helps! They've got some on the discount section... have not tried them though.... There should be some good deals out there... Good luck!

  5. #5
    I've had my eye of the Suisin Inox but the price is so damn high. I like the idea of stainless for this knife, too because of the veg work it will be seeing.

    Decisions, decisions....

  6. #6
    Yes but you have gyuto...which if im correct wasn't traditionally japanese...so maybe that is why they tend to use usubas? I have one noname carbon crappy one and must admit its convinient in use because of the rounded front of the edge, I am planning on attacking Moritaka now and getting his nakiri, which i think is extremely beatiful plus gyuto and want a Deba from somewhere else as well
    The 195 on deba is excelent size but how handling on smaller birds?

  7. #7
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    i don't think i would want to use my 300mm yanagi for katsuramuki, but i could see it working fine. i don't make a lot of japanese cuisine, and i'm a home cook, but i find myself using my usuba for a lot of vegetable prep. i just have a relatively cheap white steel Yoshihiro. i find it works great for mincing. i could do without it, but i like having it.

  8. #8
    Actually, a long yanagi is perfect IMO because of the straightness before the knife naturally curves up. Works like a dream. Which is why I'm contemplating even needing a usuba.

  9. #9
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    Matt.
    You need to buy my korin / suisin ginstanko 195. You can try it and if you don't like it ill take it back less shipping.

  10. #10
    Senior Member EdipisReks's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mattias504 View Post
    Actually, a long yanagi is perfect IMO because of the straightness before the knife naturally curves up. Works like a dream. Which is why I'm contemplating even needing a usuba.
    i was more concerned about stabbing something, than about it not being perfectly workable for the task. having that sharp tip in the air while concentrating on the cutting just seems like a bad idea if you use it around other people. with the usuba you get all flat blade section without the murdery bit sticking out.

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