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Looking for a Good LEFT HANDED Deba and some sugestions

post #1 of 10
Thread Starter 

I work with Poultry ALOT and I am upgrading my knives right now to more "high end" knives than my previous work set.
 I have been using mostly the henckles "Twin Master" series knives mostly. I have been shopping around a lot, there is so many options out there and so many cool designs. until recently I didn't care much for the tools, I always had them around me from my father (he's also a chef) so it was never a issue. I cared more for the art of it, developing a good palet and understanding food in general. But now I no longer have the luxury of all the goodies, I just have my Twin Masters, a good stone and my steal. 
 because I was using the Twin Masters I have grown to like lighter knives, I find bulsters get in the way a bit for sharpening and I use a pinch hold for most everything so I have been looking more towards the Jap style knives.

I picked up a 7 inch Global santoku to cove the "prep work" for me this is a great knife I don't have any of the issues that people seem to have with it.

I still have my 8 inch Twin master Chef Knife but i'm hoping to replace it with ether a cleaver/chef knife or a left handed Deba for splitting whole chickens in half as well as more agressive tasks. i'm looking for this knife to replace my Chef knife and split the work load with my Santoku. 

here's were my problem is, I'm LEFT HANDED first off, and the only Left Handed deba I know of is Global, and although I like this brand a lot the Global knife won't hold up to the heavy work load of going through chicken bones.

so, other than the Global does anyone know of a good Lefty Deba? or a heavy duty Chef knife that can hold up well enough and still hold it's edge? I should also mention that I'm not a fan of the traditional jap style handels...

I was considering buying a cheep Forged Mundial 9 1/2 inch to cover the heavy duty work load of the chickens, and then a nice 8 inch Calphalon Katana chef knife, but then I'm using three knives to replace what a single knife is doing now..

my potential setup that I'm looking into is:

7 inch Santoku : prep
8 inch Deba : Most Tasks (main knife)
8 inch Carver/Slicer : ...Carving/Slicing
3-4 inch  utility knife : precision tasks
5-6 inch Petty Knife :  small jobs
8 inch Bread Knife : breads
8 inch Fillet knife : Fillet

My MAIN Focus is finding the RIGHT knives to fill my desired setup I'm not looking to spend large amounts of money but If the Deba can be replaced with a Chef Knife that has a great edge and can take the abuse then I'll shell out for it for sure. but I'm looking for advice and I would love to get a Deba. 

i was looking at this : http://www.messermeister.com/index.php?act=GetContent&cid=2&pcat=12&prodID=66 but It's not left handed... bummer.


post #2 of 10

Hey Azaria, lefty here too.


An ordinary deba is not a good do-everything, it's pretty much just for the heavy duty stuff, and it's got a heck of an arc to the blade too.  In the Japanese "trinity," it's the usuba which comes closest to utility -- but they're fragile. 


I've got to ask if you mean an actual and in fact deba?  Are you prepared to deal with a chisel edged knife?


It's easy to fall in love with Japanese knives, but you might want to consider that splitting chickens is exactly what an ordinary meat cleaver was designed to do.  Unsurprisingly, they do it well.  Unfortunately, they're not very versatile.


No heavy duty knife is going to be very good as a do everything.  The blades are too thick and the edges are typically sharpened to obtusely (for durability) to be very convenient for fine work.  You can make it work, but you give up so much in terms of your own comfort -- and usually in the quality of your fine work as well. 


For the rough stuff, a heavy Chinese meat chopper like this or this, might suit your needs, but they're very tough on boards, especially if you swing at stuff.  Chinese barbecues keep a separate softwood board for hacking through fowl.  After a little while, it will develop a bowl-shaped depression which works pretty well to keep stuff from flying everywhere.


I know it's cheap and carbon, but would you consider a 10" Old Hickory?  At $11, if you don't like it, it's not the end of the world.


I use a 12" Sabatier carbon as my "chef de chef," even though it's actually a regular model.  At that length they get pretty heavy anyway, and I keep it sharpened with an edge angle more than 10* more obtuse than my go-to chef's.  I also have a serious "meat cleaver," but never use it because the big Sab is a lot easier to sharpen.


Looking at your kit, I think I'd get rid of the santoku in favor of a decent chef's (as much as you can afford), and go inexpensive on your heavy duty knife. 


Good luck,


post #3 of 10

Edit - Shoulda refreshed before hitting submit.

post #4 of 10

Hey, have you considered a garasuke? It's designed, from start to finish, for breaking chickens. A deba is not, and you will have to fight with it a fair bit to keep it from chipping if this is what you're using it for. I have used a deba for lots of things, but recently I dug into a 38" bass, and suddenly I saw with clarity just how purpose-built the deba is: it did that job stunningly. But while it's OK for chickens, it's not great. So I'd look into a garasuke. They're not nearly so strongly handed, so you may be able to pick one up unground and grind, or have it ground lefty, and be happy that way.

post #5 of 10
Thread Starter 



 hey, thanks for all the advice, I actually hate meat cleavers, and the reason for it is because they are overly agressive. I would use them on beef bones or maybe racks of ribs but not on chickens and thats just personal taste. I have run into a few spots were a cleaver would have been sweet but if just having one is what I'll be doing then I'll pick up a cheep one to round out my collection. 
 10" you pointed out even though cheep it actually might cover the job. I'm going through the center to break the ribs then the old flip over to finish the job, but whatever knife I pick is the main knife in front of me so it needs to be just tuff enough to handle the chickens but good enough to handle say slicing up a tomato or a few onions. it's my all purpose line knife. right now it's a 8 or 9 1/2 inch chef knife.

the Santoku wont be my main knife it's more of my Prep knife Ie: boxes of veg in the morning. and I picked it up because to be honest it's exactly what I was looking for in a prep knife. I have to go through maybe 3 boxes of mushrooms, 2 boxes of tomatos, a box and a half of green and red peppers and lots and lots of onions on a daily basis so having a knife JUST for those tasks for a hour or two is worth it for me. besides that, the way I hold and use my knife made this a great choice for me for long use, it actually cut down my time in prep by like 15 - 20 min. 

I think I may take your advice and go out and just upgrade my setup that I'm using ( 8 inch chefs and a 9 1/2 Chefs ) for my main line, but I'll pick up that butchers knife that you pointed out as well just to check it out.

ChrisLehrer : 

ya I have considered that knife, but it's not my style and taste of knife. and like I said before this would have to be my main knife one that I use about 80% of the time. I had a few chances to use one actually and it's not my favorite knife in the world. I have used a Deba before but never for chickens, I knew they were sturdy enough and I liked the one handed aspect but if your telling me I'm going to be fighting with it then for get that. I know I'll be using two hands to press through the chicken I do that now with the 9 1/2 inch knife, and trust me if I had it my way I wouldn't be bothering with that at all, but it's how the chicken is served at my work and I serve like 50-60 of em a night. I considered sheers as well but even though Perfect for the job I think after picking up the sheers 40 times to just put em down and pick up the knife to finish the task of breaking down the bird over and over would just annoy me over time. right now it takes me like 5 - 6 seconds to break down a bird into the four peaces we use (leg and breast style ) with a chef's knife but at the end of the day I'm sitting down at a stone fixing my knife's edge and even worse at times I have slipped and cut my finger on a troublesome bone. but alas maybe boar is right and I should have one knife for the  hard task and another for the other 75% of my work load.


thanks to both of you. 

obviously this chicken thing is going to need a task only knife and if that's the case I'm getting a cheep knife because why bother getting a great 9 or 8 inch knife just to get chipped away by some pesky chicken bones. 

post #6 of 10
Thread Starter 

are you guys knowledgable with the Mac line? 
 there's a Chef at my work who uses a Mighty Mac for his day to day tasks, he said he loves it so I was checking that out and noticed that Mac have heavy duty chef knives that apparently can handle the Chicken bones. and on the Global site they say that the deba can Handle Chicken bones as well, although I find that hard to swallow knowing how light that knife is.

the Mac knive my co worker has is : http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mac-professional/chefs-knife-p18062

and the two i noticed are : http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mac-superior/wide-chefs-knife-p18086

and : http://www.cutleryandmore.com/mac-ultimate/heavy-duty-chefs-knife-p18071

what to you think about them knives?

post #7 of 10

[A lot of blah blah blah, yadda, yadda, yadda, and other immortal prose bordering on poetry about garasukes -- which turns out to have been pointless.  Now deleted.  You'll just have to trust me about how great it was.]



Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/31/10 at 11:20am
post #8 of 10

MAC.  Cool. 


MAC Pro:

The Mighty Mac (aka MAC Pro) is an outstanding knife.  Just.  Frakking.  Outstanding. 


It's stiffer than most Japanese gyutos in its class, has probably the best handle anyone ever put on a knife, holds its edge well, can be made very sharp, take a good polish, is well shaped and agile (if not quite a Masamoto), and has wonderful US support through MAC USA.  It's the chef's knife I recommend most often.  The Masamoto VG is just as good, but a little different.  


There are a few other knives in this price and general excellence class also worthy of consideration.



You don't get enough from the Ultimate to justify the price, unless you absolutely, positively, want the "best," which it isn't.  It's a terrific knife for sure, but not the best -- and especially not at that price.



MAC Superiors are very nice.  Good handle, nice blade profile, and very light.  They're quite flexible -- some people call them whippy.  You may or may not like that as an aspect of "feel," and it can make them a bit of a challenge to sharpen as the blade tends to chatter on your stones.  If you can live with the flex, and are either comfortable with your stones or sharpen using a pull through or some other sort of gimmick, you might actually be be better off with a Superior than spending the extra money for the Pro. 


If you're looking for something stiffer at around the same price as the Superior, the Misono Moly is very nice.  There are a few other nice knives in the same price range, but for some reason they all seem to have narrow handles.  We can talk about them if you're interested.



Edited by boar_d_laze - 8/31/10 at 11:36am
post #9 of 10

If you have any doubts about the suitability of a particular MAC knife to your task, I've found the people at MAC Knife, Inc. USA to be very responsive to questions:  sales@macknife.com

post #10 of 10
Thread Starter 

I have had chance to email the guys at mac, they seem pretty confident in the Pro line and tell me that while they say not to use any knife on bones, they are more than confident that the knife will not only hold up but be able to take on the task with no real concern.
 to me thats pretty good to hear. 

 I have my eyes set on getting the Mac 9 1/2, I figure that should be good enough for most tasks... I prefer 8 inch knives overal but this will be more versatile and the blade will be a little more useful I think. we have a MAC dealer here were I live so I can at least try out the two of em first to see which one I prefer.

  Thanks for all your help! 


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