Switch to full style
We encourage you to post your questions about kitchen knives here. We can give you help choosing a knife.
Post a reply

Good Deba Recommendations

Tue Jan 08, 2013 4:51 pm

Hello CKTG-izens.

My family and I are all avid fishers, so we have a lot of fish to break down over the course of a year. I'm planning on purchasing a Takeda 240mm Gyuto, but figure I'll need something else with a little more heft to tackle cutting through fish heads, and from what I've read a Deba is exactly what I'm looking for.

The Takeda deba-bocho seems like the obvious choice, but I'd like to try out another brand just for variety's sake. The Konosuke Fujiyamas come highly recommended, is there anything else I should be looking at as well?

Novice sharpener
Wa handle perfered but not a necessity
Carbon or stainless is fine

Thanks in advance.

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Wed Jan 09, 2013 7:58 am

Are we talking true deba (which the Takeda is not) or western deba?

The Tojiro DP Western deba's are a great value in that "heavy duty" knife arena.

A western deba is essentially a thicker gyuto.

A true deba like:


Is really nothing like a western deba. It's a specialized Japanese knife for fileting fish. It has a hollow back, and is made specifically for right and left handed users (the one in the link is for righties).

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Wed Jan 09, 2013 9:37 am

I have one of the 155mm Stainless Tojiro Deba's. I picked it up for filleting smaller inshore saltwater fish (stripers, fluke, bluefish, blackfish, etc) but haven't gotten to use it yet to try it out. I have used Deba's (210mm) on Tuna and Mahi and loved how it worked. I also got a 240mm Mioroshi Deba carbon steel to use in the future; it's a bit thinner than the regular Deba, but at 240mm, I wanted the lighter weight!

Mark has some Tojiro Mioroshi Deba's in Stainless that should work well; I will prob pick up the 240mm Stainless when it comes back in stock. When you are on the boat, you don't always have time to rinse and clean, and it sucks to come back to find the knife covered in rust from the salt water!! This is one of the cases where I prefer stainless.

As far as lopping off heads, yes, they can do it, but you need to use the proper technique; lay the heel of the blade in between the vertebrae and push down with the heel of your hand on the spine of the blade. No wiggling, no chopping; I learned the hard way and chipped the heck out of my Deba hacking thru the necks of bigger tuna. Now I carry a small folding bone saw instead for the bigger fishies!

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Wed Jan 09, 2013 11:22 am

Thanks for your responses, guys.

I think I would prefer a true deba, but I don't have any experience sharpening single bevel knives. If they are not that difficult to learn to sharpen I'd like the specialized variety as opposed to a variation on the gyuto. We go through a lot of trout, which I fillet in the kitchen, so I'm looking more for a kitchen knife as opposed to something to take with me on site.

That Kaneshige looks great, but it is OOS, and I've read that white steel is better suited for Debas than blue. Is there any validity to that?

I've watched several videos of chefs breaking down various fish with debas, so I knew there was a different technique involved, but it helps to have it written out. Thanks! I'll still keep my bonesaw handy for the bigger fish.

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Wed Jan 09, 2013 12:27 pm

Smaller trout, a thin 150mm petty should work pretty well :)

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Wed Jan 09, 2013 2:27 pm

If anything, I'd vote for blue over white in a deba....it's got great toughness.

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:10 am


Taz, a good petty would be perfect for smaller trout, I'll look to invest in one soon. As for the deba, using Adam's advice I'm looking at this one:


Is 210mm too long?

Re: Good Deba Recommendations

Thu Jan 10, 2013 9:14 am

It depends on the size fish you are breaking down. I used a 210mm on Mahi and Tuna. It felt short on a 150# BlueFin tuna, but nicely sized for smaller tuna. A 210mm may be too big if you are filleting/breaking down smaller fish.

What types and length of fish are you processing usually?
Post a reply