Hon-deba recommendation

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Looking for recommendations for a deba to fabricate fish. Thinking 165-180, right handed. Definitely carbon. Budget is up to $350ish, I think. I'll use it at home once a week. Here in southern New England, the whole fish we see here are: fluke (similar to flounder but backwards), branzino, tautog, snapper, and an occasional cod. I never buy a fish larger than 5 lbs. I'm replacing a Dexter sani-safe filet knife, whose only redeeming values are the handle and that I can put it in the dishwasher if I want. Sharpening it is hell, and I never, ever get good results from my cuts.

Knives I've found that have shaped my budget:
JCK Original Furin Blue 2 deba - $290
Hitohira Manzo Blue 2 - $360
Wat Pro Blue 2 - $273+shipping+3 months
Tadokoro White 2 180 - $335 ($268 today)
Myojin White 2 Deba - $250

I'm not dead set on these, but they are what I could find that is in stock from retailers I have either ordered from or have seen recommended.

Questions:
1) I like bigger knives. Is there a downside to the 180 vs 165 for the fish I have access to? It's not like I'm breaking down 250 lb tuna.
2) When removing the skin from the filet, I see videos where they use either a yanagi or a chef's knife. Do folks not use a deba for that?
3) Blue 2 vs white 2. I have a white 2 nakiri. The patina is kinda ugly. Is blue worth the premium?
4) I'm curious why I see everyone on Youtube cutting with an index finger along the spine. I thought that wasn't right. Why then?
 

Greasylake

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I like bigger knives. Is there a downside to the 180 vs 165 for the fish I have access
180 is a big deba, it's really quite big and heavy, and the difference between 165 and 180 in weight is quite significant. I'd recommend either a 165 or a 150 for your case. I cleaned a 80 pound tuna with a 180mm, so that might tell you something about the size. Also consider the thickness of the knife, a shorter knife can be thinner and will slide along the fillet easier with less drag, and can give you a cleaner fillet.

When removing the skin from the filet, I see videos where they use either a yanagi or a chef's knife. Do folks not use a deba for that?
Deba is really thick so it has to move the fillet much higher while skinning, yanagiba is thinner and is easier to skin with. I've used a deba to skin but it's not ideal, if you have a different knife use it.

Blue 2 vs white 2. I have a white 2 nakiri. The patina is kinda ugly. Is blue worth the premium?
It doesn't matter, get a stainless clad if you don't like the patina, but when you sharpen the bevel side you should remove metal from the whole bevel so you'll remove patina every time you sharpen. The ura will not be touched, and will patina whether you have blue or white.

I'm curious why I see everyone on Youtube cutting with an index finger along the spine. I thought that wasn't right. Why then?
More control and precision when filleting
 

pleue

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This might be fit the bill. Stainless clad might by a typo?
 
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I totally agree with the comment from @Greasylake but I'm going to throw in a contraian perspective here: I would personally opt for Ginsan or AEB-L in preference to Shirogami or Aogami alloys. Properly heat treated and ground these are much tougher steels than the low alloy carbons (low chipping risk is something I'd definitely want in a deba even though you aren't dealing with particularly large fish) and they are only very marginally harder to sharpen. If you cant's be budged from the Hitachi steels my vote would go to Aogami 2. V Toku 2 (not the same as Toku V2) would be even better IMO but I've never seen a deba in this steel as far as I can recall.
 

Greasylake

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@LostHighway ginsan is a good shout, I completely forgot about ginsan. I haven't tried the steel yet in a deba because I haven't been able to get my hands on one reasonably priced, but I agree that's definitely worth a consideration.
 
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I will look for 150s and a few more 165s. As for metals, it seems like everything at this price point is either white 2 or blue 2. I don't think I'd go for a mioroshi, as what I want to do needs the thickness of the hon-deba.

Dinner :)
tempImage9Hf3HQ.jpg
 

Greasylake

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Kurotori Hamono makes wonderful knives in ginsan, and they're quite reasonably priced too. They don't ship internationally but you can send an email to Michael at Knife Japan and he can help you. He helped me purchase a knife from Kurotori before. If you do send him an email, let me know what their deba availability is like, I might want to pick up another of their knives here soon.
 

daveb

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I find it easier to use a smaller deba on a larger fish than a larger deba on a smaller fish. Most of my fish butchery is salmon from Restaurant Depot and a 180mm is fine but it can be done with a 165mm. When I go fishing, all too seldom, the local catch is usually redfish and speckled trout - a 165mm is ideal, can be readily done with a 150mm but is a female dog with that same 180mm. Sounds like a 165mm deba would suit your tasks well.

My favorites include 150mm Yoshi, a 165mm no name white that I foolishly sold, and a 180mm Toyama. There's a 180mm Wat blue sake deba (fisherman's knife) in there but I prefer the Toy so it's not seeing much use anymore. And a 210 Suisin Mioroshi Ginsan that has seen a lot of salmon.
 

tim huang

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Looking for recommendations for a deba to fabricate fish. Thinking 165-180, right handed. Definitely carbon. Budget is up to $350ish, I think. I'll use it at home once a week. Here in southern New England, the whole fish we see here are: fluke (similar to flounder but backwards), branzino, tautog, snapper, and an occasional cod. I never buy a fish larger than 5 lbs. I'm replacing a Dexter sani-safe filet knife, whose only redeeming values are the handle and that I can put it in the dishwasher if I want. Sharpening it is hell, and I never, ever get good results from my cuts.

Knives I've found that have shaped my budget:
JCK Original Furin Blue 2 deba - $290
Hitohira Manzo Blue 2 - $360
Wat Pro Blue 2 - $273+shipping+3 months
Tadokoro White 2 180 - $335 ($268 today)
Myojin White 2 Deba - $250

I'm not dead set on these, but they are what I could find that is in stock from retailers I have either ordered from or have seen recommended.

Questions:
1) I like bigger knives. Is there a downside to the 180 vs 165 for the fish I have access to? It's not like I'm breaking down 250 lb tuna.
2) When removing the skin from the filet, I see videos where they use either a yanagi or a chef's knife. Do folks not use a deba for that?
3) Blue 2 vs white 2. I have a white 2 nakiri. The patina is kinda ugly. Is blue worth the premium?
4) I'm curious why I see everyone on Youtube cutting with an index finger along the spine. I thought that wasn't right. Why then?
I will give my vote to a 180 deba, with a 165 size you can only use it on fish. But a 180 deba can do more jobs than the 165 one (chicken or small shell fish?).

as for removing the skin, use a knife with thinner edge (suji? or Yana?) as long as the edge its thin enough them you will find it easier.

A steel generally will hold the edge for longer time. But W steel will give you the best cutting experience.
 
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Thanks all. I found a Yoshi 180, but I haven't been able to locate anything smaller, yet. Masamoto KS is in play too I guess. There aren't actually that many debas in stock right now, and then most are Hitohira or Sakai Takayuki.
 

Greasylake

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but I haven't been able to locate anything smaller, ye


 

daveb

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These are a little closer to home. Any time you're looking for SBs, check out Korin.





 
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adam92

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Furin kazan is a great choice, I have several knives from funrin kazan. F&F is superb, especially choil is perfectly rounded & the spine. Furinkazan don't have many high spot & low spot, you can sharpen very easy!

White & blue patina won't be any different, if you don't like patina, just wipe off the blade after cut, that won't be a big deal.

I actually like blue steel for deba, I cut lot of fish working in japanese restaurants, I don't need to sharpen often like white steel. I said the edge retention like 50% more, example when I use white steel deba, I need to sharpen after 20 fish, blue steel deba can last 40++ before need to sharpen.

I prefer 180mm, or maybe 195mm because I handling big fish, I suggest you go minimum 180mm if you cut fish like snapper. the extra thick spine & weight does help a lot.

If you mean sukihiki,(梳き引き), Yes you can take the skin off using deba or yanagiba, I work with several Japanese chef, some of them using deba, some using yanagiba or Sujihiki, I think the skill is more important, but my preference is Sujihiki or yanagiba, I found easier for me.

If you worry about patina, get the Ginsan, they're similar, just a bit softer, sharpen similar to carbon steel.

For the price, Furin kazan give you TOP VALUE.
 

JayGee

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I used to use a 150, then I switched to a Heiji 180 and the size makes life much easier. Recommend 180. I've used a 210 and that felt too big, but I'd use a 180 on anything, and when they get too small for that, then a 120 is the way to go (sardines, little mackerel etc).
 
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I agree that 180 is more versatile, but 165 is way easier to use. I recommend it for the home chef especially. 180 is great if you're regularly breaking down big fish but it sounds like you're mostly doing smaller ones. For example, 180mm is a little tricky with fluke compared to 165.

Is this your first single bevel? The switch from western filet knife to chonky deba is pretty hard for a lot of people... Have you considered a ryo-deba? They've got the heft of the single bevel but are usually easier for people to use coming from a western knife background. If you're really in to the idea of a single bevel then by all means go for it. Just wanted to throw another option out there.
 
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You guys give good advice as usual, plus I read all the threads with deba via search.

I'm leaning toward a compromise: get a 120 and a 180. Probably a Masamoto KS 120 and a FRKZ 180, both from JCK? I looked at ordering directly a Toyama or a Heiji, but I think I'll save that for the future deba after learning a bit on these.
 

Greasylake

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A 120 is a pretty small deba, almost more of an ajikiri depending on the thickness. If you're gonna get two, I think you'll get the most use out of a 150 and a 180. I use a 150 for fish as small as a pound and it's very comfortable. With that said, a 120 and a 180 aren't bad ideas and you'll certainly get use from both, I have no experience with the knives you mentioned so I won't comment on them.

With that said, don't be surprised if you find yourself splitting the difference in the future and getting a 150 as well ;)
 

adam92

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You guys give good advice as usual, plus I read all the threads with deba via search.

I'm leaning toward a compromise: get a 120 and a 180. Probably a Masamoto KS 120 and a FRKZ 180, both from JCK? I looked at ordering directly a Toyama or a Heiji, but I think I'll save that for the future deba after learning a bit on these.
I think you better order from JCK, Koki using DHL express which is really fast, Japan ship to New Zealand took less than 4 days, order directly from Heiji took 4 months waiting.

I agree 120 is a bit too small, I use 150 before which is fine though.
 
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I ended up ordering these:
180 FRKZ blue 2
135 Masamoto KS
300 FRKZ yanagi in g3

Yeah sure I started out asking about 1 deba, but you know how that goes. I picked these based on this thread and the myriad others asking the same questions. I went with the slightly larger but still small 135 because you never know what they'll have at the docks (besides calamari :rolleyes: ) and we love sardines. Thanks y'all, and thanks again @daveb
 

adam92

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I ended up ordering these:
180 FRKZ blue 2
135 Masamoto KS
300 FRKZ yanagi in g3

Yeah sure I started out asking about 1 deba, but you know how that goes. I picked these based on this thread and the myriad others asking the same questions. I went with the slightly larger but still small 135 because you never know what they'll have at the docks (besides calamari :rolleyes: ) and we love sardines. Thanks y'all, and thanks again @daveb
I'm 100% sure you will be satisfied about FRKZ F&F😎.
 
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Knives came in, and so far, I'm pretty happy. They all came sharpened enough to shave. Comparing the FRKZ to the Masamoto KS, the FRKZ has far better fit and finish (rounded choil, better handle, included saya), and is made from more expensive steel. Considering they cost about the same, or the KS is a little more, I'd pick the JCK store brand every time. Sadly I cannot test them out because no one has whole fish today.

tempImageKPqJ0m.jpg
 

adam92

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Knives came in, and so far, I'm pretty happy. They all came sharpened enough to shave. Comparing the FRKZ to the Masamoto KS, the FRKZ has far better fit and finish (rounded choil, better handle, included saya), and is made from more expensive steel. Considering they cost about the same, or the KS is a little more, I'd pick the JCK store brand every time. Sadly I cannot test them out because no one has whole fish today.

View attachment 171674
I knew you will be satisfied how FRKZ F&F! That's why I always recommend KKF members to try FRKZ, because they worth it. Koki only give you best customer service & great knives quality.😊😊😊
 
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