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 Post subject: "best" steels for deba, yanagiba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 2:54 am 

Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 7:25 pm
Posts: 4
I know there's no "best" or "correct" steel for any knife, as it always depends on each person's usage and preferences, plus heat treatments can make a big difference, etc... However, I thought I'd see in general what people's feelings are as far as steels go for debas and yanagibas.

For me, a blue or powdered steel is just straight out for a deba, as it is so hard and prone to chipping. as someone who does a lot of sharpening of blue steel kanna (japanese plane) blades (which are single bevel of course), just the notion of a chip is like nails on a chalkboard. I've currently been looking at Ginsan3 and White3 for a deba; any experience or thoughts on White or Blue #2?

For Yanagiba, I think a harder steel makes a bit more sense. I know a lot of sushi chefs in Japan who use White#1, but Blue/Aogami Super seem to be all the rage these days. Outside of expense, is there a compelling reason to go with blue #2 over #1 or super? blue steel over white #1? Given that yanagi are often treated a bit more gently, have people had good experiences with powdered/high speed tool steels?

thanks for any comments!

Keith


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 Post subject: Re: "best" steels for deba, yanagiba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 5:12 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
i think it's not really about the kind of steel. it's more on the high hardness on the steel that's being used. high hardness makes knives chippy. maybe a lower hardness of something around 60rc would be less chippy.

i've chipped a blue steel deba just by keeping it in it's sheath. but then it's a cheap deba so i don't mind. lol. also chipped a blue steel santoku, but that was my bad. went through bone thinking it wouldn't get hurt too much. gave it a nice chip, nothing big. but still a chip on the tip.

but i do love high hardness steels. i can live with something 61-62rc.


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 Post subject: Re: "best" steels for deba, yanagiba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 6:05 am 

Joined: Wed Apr 25, 2012 10:29 am
Posts: 625
Location: Philippines
and then of course there's proper heat treat. which is very important.

oh yeah, you could try out puting a microbevel on your single bevel knives. a higher angle micro bevel on cutting side and flat like always on the uraoshi. that should help.


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 Post subject: Re: "best" steels for deba, yanagiba
PostPosted: Tue May 14, 2013 1:52 pm 
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Joined: Wed Sep 26, 2012 8:11 pm
Posts: 314
Location: NE
keithiopian wrote: I've currently been looking at Ginsan3 and White3 for a deba; any experience or thoughts on White or Blue #2?

For Yanagiba, I think a harder steel makes a bit more sense. I know a lot of sushi chefs in Japan who use White#1, but Blue/Aogami Super seem to be all the rage these days. Outside of expense, is there a compelling reason to go with blue #2 over #1 or super? blue steel over white #1? Given that yanagi are often treated a bit more gently, have people had good experiences with powdered/high speed tool steels?

thanks for any comments!

Keith


I would agree with your search for Ginsan-3 or White-3 for a deba. Maybe even a Yellow-1 / 2 if you ever come across one. These steels have a slightly lower carbon content and would be great for breaking down larger fish with thicker bones. If you work with only small sized fish having smaller and thinner bones, White-1/2, Blue-2 may have an advantage of edge retention without worrying about chipping as much. I highly recommend microbevels on debas no matter what steel it is.

Yanagi will benefit from harder steels (heat treatment) and great sharpening skills (great stones help a lot for cutting ability too). The harder the blade, the better your sharpening skills need to be in order to have any performance increase. As you've mentioned they are treated more gently than other knife types which lets sharp edges last longer. I would recommend a yanagi to someone based mostly on their sharpening skills. Most times White-2/3 is good starting point. Thinning and profiling may be easier and of course price. Have not used a yanagi made of PM steel though.


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 Post subject: Re: "best" steels for deba, yanagiba
PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 10:40 am 
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Joined: Mon Apr 23, 2012 4:45 am
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For Nubatama knives, the maker recommends black steel for yanagis as a first choice, which tends to be harder than the blue or white steels. For a deba he prefers strongly using white steel as he feels that this is best for chopping type tasks required of a deba. Of course this is how he prefers to do it using his techniques, so it is hard to make an absolute statement just based on steels alone without taking into account the knifemaker's skills with each steel.

Keith, it sounds like your woodworking experience and knowledge is translating quite nicely to knife function and usage!

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Ken



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