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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
    mast3quila's Avatar
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    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?

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    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.
    "See... the problem here is that... my little brother, this morning, got his arm caught in the microwave, and uh... my grandmother dropped acid and she freaked out, and hijacked a school bus full of... penguins, so it's kind of a family crisis... so come back later? Great."
    -Lane Myer (Definitely not as in Oscar Mayer)

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