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Lefty needs a tough knife.

Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:04 pm

I need a tough Gyuto/chef's knife that I can occasionally use to cut through a chicken back bone or take the head or tail off a small fish. I am left handed. I could get one of your Kaneshige stainless left handed debas,but hate to spend that amount of money on a knife I might not use that much. I would wondering which of your Wa-Gyuto's might be tough enough for this kind of thing. I was thinking about the Kanehiro 240 Gyuto (when you get one in) or maybe a MAC chef's knive or something else I don't know about. I would prefer stainless. Thanks.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Wed Jan 02, 2013 7:12 pm

The first thing that jumps into my head is the Tojiro Western Deba. It's a beast of a knife, evenly ground and should be able to do rough tasks. http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpwede24.html

German knives are ideal for this type of stuff too. Soft steel won't chip and the weight of the larger chef knives works to cleave through things I wouldn't dream of cutting with a thin edged, hard steel Japanese knife. Even though the Kanehiros are thicker at the spine they are thin behind the edge so you would be asking for trouble using this knife for cleaving though bones.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Wed Jan 02, 2013 9:11 pm

Lefty also wants a Japanese handle (rules out the Tojiro) and does not want a German knife.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Thu Jan 03, 2013 7:58 am

Almost any non-laser gyuto will do what you're after so long as you put a really obtuse edge on it.

I would look for a soft(ish) steel, non-laser geometry. :)



Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Thu Jan 03, 2013 3:17 pm

This is one of the kinds of things that I keep my Wusthof and Henckels chefs around for -- that, and for loaning. I also think a bolstered Western handle, properly proportioned, is more comfortable when you need to use a lot of force -- no hard corners at transition points.

Beyond that, as a fellow lefty, if you go for a wa: I have a couple of standard D-shaped Japanese knives, and have zero problems using them left-handed. In sorting out this decision, I wouldn't worry about that particular issue a bit.

You might ask Mark more about the Ultimatum in 19c27 -- some of the reviews have suggested that while it's fairly thin at the spine, it's not overly so behind the edge. Not sure if it's sufficiently beefy for what you're considering, though.

For a symmetrical grind deba, you could look at Moritaka:


It's a tank, but not stainless.

Ultimately, I think you'll have a hard time reconciling your desire for a Japanese 240mm gyuto that is also a beefy bone cutter. The DP deba is probably the closest compromise. If that isn't acceptable, I'd probably choose a knife in the style that best suited my primary use, and supplement with something cheaper for the secondary use. If you try to make it do too many contradictory things, what you end up with is at best a minivan, and at worst a Pontiac Aztek.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Fri Jan 04, 2013 6:31 pm

Thanks mkmk for taking the time to give me such a helpful response. I have decided to buy the DP deba. One non Wa handle in my knife rack will be ok. My larger knives were mostly lasers (Konosuke) and were getting chipped up. I have given all my German knives to my kids. I do have two Moritaka's and they are probably my sharpest, but I do get tired of the rust. They seem to rust worse than other carbon knives like Takeda. I may also bet the Moritaka deba when CKTG has them back in stock. Thanks again.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:55 pm

You bet -- and I hope it works out. Sounds like you've got a good sense of the range of possibilities, and what to expect.

As a fellow lefty, I'd love to try more single-edged knives, including a traditional deba. The higher initial expense, special order delays, and difficulty returning/reselling make it a bit daunting. I've been considering the Moritaka deba as a compromise, myself.

Just makes me doubly glad i learned to play guitar right-handed.

;- )

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Sat Jan 05, 2013 9:33 pm

Even though it isn't a Wa handle I'll second (or third) the Tojiro Western deba. Even heavier than a Euro knife and you can cut through all kinds of things without worry - lobsters, rib cartilage and pork bones, split chickens down the middle or dice up chicken legs for stir frys, etc even medium duty gardening if you need to trim a tree :) This lets you do the heavy stuff with the WD and keep your gyuto more acute. Just be careful not to take really big swings on your cutting board or you just might split it in half!


Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Tue Jan 08, 2013 10:06 pm

Thanks. The Tojiro is in the mail.

Re: Lefty needs a tough knife.

Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:10 am

I really loved this thread. Surprisingly enough to me - considering how much time I spend @CKTG, I had honestly never seen the DP "Deba," and I must say this rhetoric just sold me. It's on the list...Image
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