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usuba: which style?
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Thread: usuba: which style?

  1. #1
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    usuba: which style?

    Hi all, I'm thinking of learning the usuba, and wondering which style to pick up. Kamagata usuba seems to be most popular around here, but I think it's common for beginners to break the tip. Based on that, would an Edogata usuba be a better choice? Do you find the tip of the kamagata very useful?

  2. #2
    I would regret not getting the kamagata. In fact I'm looking at the Gesshin Hide 210mm (JKI) vs the Shigefusa 210mm (JNS) right now.
    I think the tip makes it a more versatile knife. Maybe you could pick up a cheap nakiri or Chinese cleaver to use when you are in volume mode and may not be as careful about how you are handling the knife.

  3. #3
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    Get the kamagata. I wish my kamagata were a kiritsuke-usuba with a flat cutting edge of an usuba and the point of a kiritsuke. You'll only break the tip if you drop it.

  4. #4
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    This can be your unicorn, bkdc. 210mm kitaeji, with just a slight curve up at the very tip.


  5. #5
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    Interesting, what do you think would be better about the kiritsuke/mukimono shape?

  6. #6
    If I'm not mistaken these are only called mukimono. No connection with a real kiritsuke, except for a kind of shape-nickname which seems to offend the purists!

    I've thought about one of these - meant to be for normal usuba work, but also specialised for garnish cutting I think.

    I agree that the possibility of breaking a tip is a consideration. At least one like this would have more thickness behind it, though it would also be pointer.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Seth's Avatar
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    I have both and I can't say which I like better, they are both cool knives. Unless you are a serious purist you can rock on low stuff, like mincing herbs, with the other one without worrying about the tip. You would not want to do this with a kamagata. I don't see a difference when doing horizontal cuts on shallots. I think it is probably more important to get one that has the correct grind and geometry and is thin with a good distal taper, and you may have to spend some money to get this. BTW, the edge of a usuba is not flat and shouldn't be. The ones I have are flat along the proximal section of the edge - about half way, then has a gentle up sweep on the distal half. You would not want a totally flat edge. With the flat portion on the board, the tip is - I'm estimating - maybe 3-4 mm off the board.
    Everywhere you go, there you are.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by schanop View Post
    This can be your unicorn, bkdc. 210mm kitaeji, with just a slight curve up at the very tip.

    My pants got tight

  9. #9

    knyfeknerd's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pete84 View Post
    My pants got tight
    +1
    Jon Broida has spoken about sharpening a curve into the tip of his Kama-Usuba to help alleviate chipping. There are some pics somewhere around here.
    J.Bro is really the master, and I yield any and all questions to him.
    If "Its" and "Buts" was candy and nuts, we'd all have a Merry Christmas
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