Foo shops for a Japanese knife

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Jan 21, 2013.

  1. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    M Carter makes decent knives for a good price. But his knife sharpening videos/techniques is must watch for aspirational chefs.

    Why get a deba? If you need something that doesn't chip, get softer and thicker knives instead of thin/stiff carbon steel.
     


  2. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    I like debas and find them very useful.
     


  3. mafoofan

    mafoofan THE FOO Dubiously Honored

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    I like debas because they look like little samurai swords.
     


  4. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    that's not a deba. Deba's are fat and wide and have a pointy tip. The ones that look like samuri swors are Maguros (or Takobikis). Though the blade is not curved. but the top/point on the maguro is the same as on a samurai sword.
     


  5. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    much of knife choice is personal, but i would disagree with both of these statements. size of hands, length of arms, etc., definitely is key in determining what length knife you get. it's not prohibitive (too big/small a knife is not going to work less well), but it will definitely affect your comfort level. and I don't know any cook (and I know a bunch of them) who would argue that you can do small work with a chef's knife or gyutou. Perhaps your knife skills are superior to theirs?
     


  6. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    It's very hard for me to imagine using a chef's knife as a paring knife. I can, if forced, use some other big knives as a paring knife, but it generally ends in cut fingers and blood (I currently have a big cut healing on my right thumb from tourneeing zucchini with a 300 mm yanagiba for shits and giggles,) and nobody wants that. So yeah, a paring knife is useful.

    A deba is also great. I probably use it second most of any of my knives, but I eat a lot of fish. I know Mike likes the western style, double edged ones, but I don't care for them personally.

    As for size, I tend to prefer bigger knives to smaller, and anything under 240 mm feels puny to me, but that is probably just habit.
     


  7. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    For very occasional small works a gyuto is enough. Professional cooks processes way too many bags of food thus their need of very specialized knives, such as paring knives, bread slicers, yanagi bocho, etc.

    But if we circle back to Foo's one knife concept, than a paring knife is not necessary.

    If I am to have three knives only, than its going to be a Chinese cleaver for food processing, meat cleaver for chopping ribs, chickens, and occasionally melons, and a paring knife for small works.

    One knife is definitely Sugimoto #7. Or if you are Japanese enough, a santoku knife.

    As for deba, they are fairly similar to gyuto and too light and fragile compare to meat cleavers for my taste.
     


  8. foodguy

    foodguy Senior member

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    don't think anyone was suggesting a paring knife as "the one knife". But it's probably "the two knife", at least for western cooks. so much of the knife question depends on personal cooking style. I've got a couple of cleavers, for example, and back in the 80s when it was the cool thing to do, I tried to get them into my regular rotation. Just never felt right. That's me, that's not you. And though I had a hot affair with gyutous back in teh day, I've found that over time I have reverted to my wusthoff. I don't do much precision cutting and it just feels more comfortable for me. Matt feels different.
     


  9. Manton

    Manton RINO Dubiously Honored

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    Chef's & paring I use the most, absolutely. (though my "chef's" is a gyuto).

    After that, the rest I like, but I must have those two; they are indispensable. A boning knife too, in that you can't really do certain tasks with the two above. But you CAN avoid those tasks ....
     


  10. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    Deba is meant for a certain technique and it is correctly made for that. It's not some sort of all purpose knife, and definitely not made to compete with a meat cleaver. My deba that I use most often is a beast, and it wouldn't be confused with a chef knife.


    My current favorite gyuto is not small or light. It is probably heavier than a wustof, maybe similar in weight. The steel will get a shitload sharper and it's fun to cut with a sharp knife. But I kind of agree with you that I am not a fan of the really light Japanese knives.
     


  11. Cary Grant

    Cary Grant Senior member

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    For what sort of work do you reserve your deba, Matt?
     


  12. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    They are really just for filleting fish. Or chasing off robbers, I suppose.
     


  13. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    Which stones do you use for sharpening? Chosera stones are good but lacks the allure of natural whetstones. And using diamond paste on leather straps is not too practical for blades that are used to slice and dice...
     


  14. chogall

    chogall Senior member

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    [​IMG]

    Takeda knife "porn".

    Takeda was pretty cheap back in the days but the price more than doubled after they gain some Internet fame.

    Same thing with Kramer. I think Kramer has an one year wait/lottery list now? More suitable for collectors than actual cooks...
     
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2013


  15. itsstillmatt

    itsstillmatt The Liberator Dubiously Honored

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    I have a variety of stones, but I don't know what diamond paste is. What does it do?
     


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