About the deba type knife
Deba is an ideal tool to work with whole pieces of fish or poultry since its design allows for making deep and precise cuts, controlling the pressure we exert on the blade.The Deba knives fulfill their function for strong cuts by having a wider and sturdier spine, where the auxiliary hand can apply a little more force. The edge of the blade of a Deba knife is prepared to cut thorns and bones of fish or small birds.
The special shape of the blade of a Deba knife allows you to use each part for a specific purpose:
- Cutting small bones with the heel, the part near the handle
- Boning with the tip of the knife
- Slicing with the center of the edge
The blade of the Deba knife is wide at the heel and pointed at the tip, and it is especially important for a Deba knife to be heavy, with a good blade and well balanced with the handle, both in weight and length. Similarly to the Santoku knife, the width of the blade and the alignment with the handle of the Deba knife makes it very comfortable to hold and use, giving freedom to the fingers, avoiding contact with the board when cutting.
This Moritaka Aogami #2 165mm Deba is also sometimes referred to as a Western deba due to the symmetrical grind and edge bevel. This can be advantageous as the edge is more durable than its single bevel counterparts and can be used in more applications than simply breaking down a whole fish. This is also a tremendous knife for left-handed users who are looking to explore the pattern but don’t want to pay large sums of money to have a custom left-handed knife produced by a blacksmith. Fit and finish is excellent on these knives, and given the amount of metal that is used to produce those debas, this is one of the best values to be found in handcrafted Aogami #2 steel.
Over 700 years of hand forged blade-craft tradition has culminated in the Moritaka supreme line of knives and both the performance and character of these blades can be felt upon first use of this knife.
Better yet, these knives are an incredible value for the performance, quality, high-end steel and hand crafted character and can be used by semi professionals or those just starting their journey with Japanese knives. Their fine shape makes them great for female hands too. This knife can be used for both left and right handed people.
The Moritaka Family
Moritaka Hamono is a traditional knife making company that has a history of over 700 years. During years of handcrafting knives, they have developed unique skills and knowledge, which have been passed from generation to generation. Moritaka’s unique bladesmithing techniques allow producing knives that will keep fine edges longer than any other knife on the market. The Moritaka family is primarily dedicated to producing a large variety of kitchen knives but also other edge tools for gardening, agriculture and forestry.
Owning a Moritaka knife is being part of history. Moritaka Cutlery was founded in 1293 during the Kamakura Period by Kongohyoe Minamoto no Moritaka, who was the head swordsmith for the Buddhist priests at Mt. Homan in Dazaifu, Fukuoka. His descendants then followed in his footsteps in the same city for 13 generations. In 1632, the family followed Higo Daimyo Mitsunari Hosokawa (the feudal ruler of the Higo region) and moved to Miyaji-machi, Yatsushiro City in Kumamoto. For another 13 generations in this city, they forged swords for the Buddhist armies, the Daimyo’s army, and also the Daimyo himself. Kongohyoue’s swords were very unique because they were made and used to help attain Buddhahood. Five generations ago, master swordsmith Chuzaemon Moritaka decided to expand and apply their experience into making kitchen knives. Moritaka Cutlery has a history of over 700 years. The knife that you purchase is forged with skills and knowledge developed and accumulated generation by generation.
Today, your knives are being forged by the 26th, 27th, and 28th swordsmith.
- Takuzo Moritaka (the master and 26th swordsmith) is still there but about to retire, while his two sons:
- Tsunehiro Moritaka (27th swordsmith) and
- his younger brother Teruhiro Moritaka (28th swordsmith) continue on the family tradition.
There is no assembly line at this factory – just artists at work. And we have imported these knives directly from the Moritaka family.
A bit more info for knife freaks
The finish is kurouchi (black) with a lacquer coating — this helps protect the steel and should not be polished off. The edge, unlike traditional single-bevel Japanese knives, is a 50-50 double-edge making it much easier to keep sharp using some commonly available sharpening systems – get the best all rounder here. Moritaka grinds the edge to a very acute angle – about 10 degrees (5 degrees per side!). The blue steel blade is forged to a stainless steel tang, which is then inserted into a beautiful cherrywood handle. The cherrywood will outlast lighter magnolia wood usually used on Japanese knives. And the forging to a stainless tang means no rusting from the inside causing the handle to come loose (a problem with traditional Japanese knives).
Aogami Super Steel along with Aogami #2 are selected because of their extra durability and longer edge retention. The super durable handle is made out of seasoned Cherrywood. The important thing about Moritaka knives is the fact that the carbon blade is forged to a stainless tang, which means that any moisture will not result in premature pitting or damage to the handle. This new design and patented solution ensure both longevity and hygiene of the knives.The blade is made of Aogami #2 Blue Steel which is Rockwell hardness of HRC61-63, one of the purest carbon steels available for knife making, and will take and hold an unbelievably sharp edge. Aogami #2 steel is made by adding chromium and tungsten to Shirogami (White steel, the purest of the carbon steels), which makes the material more durable and provides corrosion resistance and is mostly used for making high-grade kitchen knives and outdoor knives. Its HRC is approximately 60.
Please note, that each knife has slightly different appearance and size because the blade is hand-crafted and the handle is natural wood.
The edges on this knife are extremely steep and can be taken through high levels of refinement on the stones. Given the intended purpose, it may be worth keeping the maker’s bevel angle in place to avoid chipping when working through poultry joints.
We also recommend reading our articles:
- Sharpening your knives – which sharpening stone should you use?
- 3 ways you may be ruining your japanese knives
- The best way to store your knives and metal tools safely
- Knife drawer vs. knife stand vs. magnetic rack – what is better?
- How to choose the best cutting board?
See them in action:
Please note, that each knife has slightly different appearance and size because the blade is hand-crafted and the handle is a natural wood.
Designed in Japan