The Deba knife is one of the most traditional Japanese knives and has a long history. The diet of the Japanese population with a lot of fish is the main reason for the shape of this knife blade and its popularity. Deba knives are much more massive and compact compared to the Santoku knife or even Gyuto knife. The back of the blade is thick, giving the entire knife tremendous stability. The Deba is a classic fish knife and can be used for coarse cutting of the fish to fine portioning or filleting. Small to medium sized fish bones are no problem for this Japanese knife.
Deba - Fish Knife
Due to the massive blade design at the back of the blade, the Deba has a very blade-heavy weight distribution. In combination with the mostly single-edged and very long tapered blade, it can be ground extremely sharp and therefore cuts extremely fine. Especially with fish, the cell structure of the meat should not be damaged and the leakage of liquid should be prevented, which is made possible by the Deba. It is therefore the ultimate tool for processing whole fish and if you have ever been to a Japanese fish market, you know that everyone there has such a knife.
Deba knives usually have a blade length of 13 cm to 18 cm and due to the robustly designed blade have a higher weight than other Japanese blade forms of this size. Nevertheless, the blade should never be levered or twisted, as this could damage the very hard blade steel. Classic steels for these knives are shirogami and aogami, but there are also several variants made of other steels.