Features of a Deba knife
Deba knives are characterized by their broad and thick blades, that are sharpened on one side. As a result, these knives are great when cutting and preparing whole fish. Their robust construction makes them perfect for chopping off fish heads and cutting through small bones. The extreme sharpness of a Deba ensures that it is perfect when filleting and skinning fish. Because of this specific design, these knives are less suitable for cutting meat or vegetables, for example.
How do you choose a good Deba knife?
When looking for a Deba knife there are some factors you need to take into account.
Blade length and weight
Debas come in many shapes and sizes. The smallest blade length starts at 10 cm, while the largest Debas have a blade length of up to 24 cm. If you only work with very small fish, 10 cm will often be enough. However, if you sometimes also prepare a complete salmon, a 24 cm blade will be better. The bigger the blade, the heavier the knife will become, making it less easy to use for small to medium-sized fish.
Steel types used for a Deba
Another thing to keep in mind is the type of steel used. Carbon steel is traditionally Japanese and looks amazing. It is easy to sharpen to razor-sharpness. It does require a lot more maintenance because carbon steel is not stainless. It will easily discolour and is even prone to rust. You will mostly notice this for salt water fish. That is why it is great that there are also Japanese Debas that are made from stainless steel. Perhaps a little less traditional, but not any less great.
Left-handed and right-handed Deba knives
It is key to purchase a left-handed Deba if you are left-handed, and a right-handed Deba if you are right-handed. This really makes a difference during use because the knife is enhanced with a one-sided grind. Are you right-handed? If you are, the grind was added to the right side of the blade. And vice versa for left-handed users, of course.