Deba vs Funayuki

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brotondo
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Deba vs Funayuki

Post by brotondo » Wed Nov 07, 2018 2:17 pm

Hi,

First off, my details

1) Home cook, but avid and have worked as a grill cook and sushi chef at a local sushi bar for a few years in the past before I went off to grad school.

2) main thing of this post but in short I'm trying to determine whether I should pick up a Deba or a funayuki. I'm a lefty so my options are limited in the single bevel world

3) I'm looking for something in the 160mm to 190mm range, something small to be used for both filleting/slicing fish and boning chickens. I have a 16.5"x13.5" butcher block that I primarily use as a cutting board so board space isn't a problem if someone loves something slightly bigger

4) I'd like to stick around the $100-$200 price range

5) I prefer carbon steels, love my blue #2 nakiri, but if there is a knife in stainless that someone loves I'm open to it

6) I prefer Japanese style handles

7) I use a nakiri, sujihiki, and just a western style chef knife currently for the vast majority of my cutting needs. I have a little cheap boning knife I currently use for breaking down chickens and I'll use my sujihiki for prepping fish but I'm not super happy with either, hence why I'm here!

8) I'd place my knife skills at a "good" level, could always improve

9) My cut style changes with application but with meat I'm typically a pull cutter

10) I'd place myself at an intermediate sharpener, have my own med and fine stones as well as a strop, and I maintain my current knives as needed.


So with that all in mind, I'm looking at picking up a new knife for filleting fish and boning birds. I'm left handed but like the idea of using a single bevel knife so I have been eyeing through the kitaoka knives in the left handed section. I'm having a hard time deciding whether it would be better to go for the thicker deba or to go with the funayaki as a way to have it fit both the roll of a deba while also giving me a a single bevel knife I could use for slicing sashimi from smaller blocks of fish. I'm curious if anyone has had experience with both styles and have found applications where a standard deba outshines/out performs a funayuki and if they had any recommendations between the two if I'm only planning on picking up one knife for a while, grad school budget is rough.

Thanks for any advice!

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mauichef
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Re: Deba vs Funayuki

Post by mauichef » Wed Nov 07, 2018 4:56 pm

Welcome to the forum brotondo.

Interesting question. I would not make a deba or funayuki my first (or second, or third) choice for slicing sashimi.

My take is that a deba is not a knife for slicing fish. While a funayuki in the correct form might be able to take on this task along with filleting and prepping fish and poultry.

As you probably know, funayukis were initially made as a knife for a fishing boat that would be able to take on the tasks associated with this work.
Recently the funayuki has been taken in many different directions. including, double bevel, thinner grinds and flatter profiles.
In fact, some are now regarded as short gyutos.

The deba is a far more specialized blade. It is very thick at the spine, incredibly stout and is usually single bevelled.
It is very much meant for processing fish and little else.
And as such does a great job. I would never use any other knife for this job.
Having said that a miorishi deba might be more adept at slicing tasks due too its longer length. The Sakiai White #2 210mm looks like it is a very nice knife.

But you have not specified making sashimi so a more generalized blade might be for you. In which case a funayuki could be it.

I would not recommend either. Rather my money would go an an inexpensive shorter deba and a yanagiba. Bare in mind that a deba style of knife is expensive to make as it uses a lot of steel and expertise in forging and grinding a single bevel knife.

I like the looks of the various offering from Tojiro, Okeya, Kohetsu and Tanaka. Something in the 140mm-150mm range.
Then take the $100 left and get a Young Samurai Yanagiba. Either a 240mm or a 270mm.
Superb cost performance ratio.

Now you are covered for all instances.

brotondo
Posts: 3
Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Deba vs Funayuki

Post by brotondo » Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:25 am

Thanks for the suggestions!

I can see getting two inexpensive more specialized knives doing better than 1 more expensive knife that doesn't do either task as well. I like the knives you linked and the price point on the yanagiba is great but I only saw them available in right handed variants, am I missing something, or would you recommend getting a right handed knife and just learn to compensate for blade drift as a left hander (I've gotten fairly good at not cutting wonky slices of bread with right handed bread knives at this point in my life :lol: ). I think for now I will go off searching for the combo option in the right price point with both knives being left handed, and if I can't find something that fits, maybe just go with the deba for now and rely on my sujihiki for slicing until I can pick up a yanagiba.

OgerBash
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Re: Deba vs Funayuki

Post by OgerBash » Thu Nov 08, 2018 9:21 am

Since your left handed, have you considered getting a western deba? That way it is double sided and you can avoid paying the left handed premium. I ended up choosing a 210 western Deba instead of paying the left handed premium.

Then instead of getting a yanagiba. Either have your current sujihiki thinned/reground, or by a thinner suji.

I have found that there are only a few instances were my left hand yanagiba beats out my suji. Mainly speed and paper thin slices of fish. Of course, the suji I'm using I bought to cut up lots of bbq. So it is a thick suji. If I thinned it and/or sharpened it asymetrical it would probably be closer the yanagiba In performance.

All that being said, I've only been learning to make sushi at home for the past year. I believe I might just have my rice dialed in finally. So, some others with more experience might chime in with better ideas.

brotondo wrote:
Thu Nov 08, 2018 5:25 am
Thanks for the suggestions!

I can see getting two inexpensive more specialized knives doing better than 1 more expensive knife that doesn't do either task as well. I like the knives you linked and the price point on the yanagiba is great but I only saw them available in right handed variants, am I missing something, or would you recommend getting a right handed knife and just learn to compensate for blade drift as a left hander (I've gotten fairly good at not cutting wonky slices of bread with right handed bread knives at this point in my life :lol: ). I think for now I will go off searching for the combo option in the right price point with both knives being left handed, and if I can't find something that fits, maybe just go with the deba for now and rely on my sujihiki for slicing until I can pick up a yanagiba.

Qapla'
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Joined: Sun Jun 11, 2017 1:21 am

Re: Deba vs Funayuki

Post by Qapla' » Thu Nov 08, 2018 8:56 pm

Is this a matter for a lefty mioroshi-deba? IIRC, Tojiro sells cheap single-bevels and a lefty (even with their lefty-surcharge) would still be in budget for a 180mm-210mm mioroshi-deba.

brotondo
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Joined: Wed Nov 07, 2018 1:31 pm

Re: Deba vs Funayuki

Post by brotondo » Mon Nov 12, 2018 3:23 pm

I think I was assuming the funayuki was essentially the same thing as mioroshi-deba from the knives I was looking at in the left handed section of cktg, after seeing all the different varieties of funayuki that wasnt the case.

So yeah I was trying to see if anyone had experience with a mioroshi deba and ran into cases where they found they enjoyed the heavier hon deba more as well as any comments on how fish slicing for sashimi/nigiri was with one if I'm planning on primarily working with smaller fish like jacks and breams

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