About the deba
As a Deba, this Moritaka AS Deba knife 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 fulfil 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 centre 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. The width of the blade and the alignment with the handle makes it very comfortable to hold and use, giving freedom to the fingers, avoiding contact with the board when cutting.
This Moritaka AS 180mm 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 Super steel.
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 Cherrywood will outlast lighter magnolia wood usually used on Japanese knives.
The important thing about Moritaka knives (and this Moritaka AS Deba knife) 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. So, no rusting from the inside causing the handle to come loose (a problem with traditional Japanese knives). This new design and patented solution ensure both longevity and hygiene of the knives.
Aogami Super Steel is the highest YSS (Yasugi Speciality Steel) that contains high percentages of carbon, chrome and tungsten to increase hardness, improving edge retention and corrosion resistance. Aogami Super Steel is prized for its ability to take a very steep, sharp edge.
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. Both the performance and character of these blades can be felt upon first use of this knife.
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. 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. 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.
Like most equipment, this Moritaka AS Deba knife needs a little love and care. You need to sharpen them regularly and depending on the type of steel, dry them immediately after use. These are 3 general rules you should follow:
Also, check our full guide on how to properly maintain the knife and sharpen it.