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Japanese knife for light butchery

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 

Hi All, 

Wondering what you guys use/recommend in the Japanese knife world for light home-cook style butchering.

Eg, Breaking down a chicken (in the western-typical way), portioning ribs, that type of thing. 


I would be personally looking for something stainless and in the rough neighborhood of $100, give or take 50 bucks or so. 


I have a couple of gyutos already--a 180 Shun Classic (don't judge), a 210 Fujiwara FKM, as well as a 240 Masamoto VG on the way.  My understanding is that none of these should be used for this type of thing.  


I've looked at some boning knives--Konesukis--but get the impression that they are really meant for the eastern way of breaking down chickens, not the western way where we (or at least me) sometimes like to split the breasts and cut through the backbone :) 


Some of the debas (I guess especially the western debas with 50/50 grinds) seem well suited, but then I do still see enough comments about not using them for the purpose I describe to give pause.


So, for those of you that do some of this light butchering, for lack of a better phrase, what knife do you like to do that with?  

post #2 of 7

Honesukis are good for working through the joint, but if you want to go through bone a Western Deba, or heavy cleaver would serve you better.  Tojiro makes a 210 western deba for @ $110 shipped from CKTG.  http://www.chefknivestogo.com/todpwede21.html  I have a 240 and it's a very robust knife.  Also good for splitting lobster, etc.  For taking out a backbone I use kitchen shears.

post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 

Thanks Mike9,

I have seen the Tojiro, and it does look quite nice.  Big, heavy, sharp and tough.  Thanks for the recommendation.


In your opinion, does the Tojiro deba give you anything that, say, a Wustof Classic (or similar euro blade) does not?

I notice the obvious differences--the steel is harder and the blade has less belly in the Tojiro, and so forth--but otherwise I don't see much of a delta.

For a knife that wouldn't see much action per se, do you think the advantages of edge retention and such would make the Tojiro a worthwhile buy, or would I be just as well served keeping an old Wustie or two in the drawer for splitting chickens?

post #4 of 7

Why spend an extra $110?  If you have hefty knives that are up to the task use 'em.  I use my occasionally, but as stated I remove backs with a scissors for spatchcock.  For breaking down a bird I use a honesuki, or my Del Ealy petty.  

post #5 of 7
Thread Starter 
Makes good sense. I'm in the process of replacing my German blades (all 15-20 years old) with some higher quality knives.
Maybe I'll see about picking up a honesuki for breaking down birds and adding a carbon Sab for heavy work.
That may not be the most practical thing to do but nice knives are cool smile.gif
post #6 of 7
Using a soft carbon for heavy work is an excellent approach. If you're to damage a bit, better have a steel that repairs that easily. As for the Honesuki, a few last Hiromotos by Master Nagao are available at japanesechefsknife.com. Steel is SLD, tough like hell, offering an aggressive edge at any, even obtuse angle.
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 

That's awesome :) Thanks a lot.  I'll definitely check that out.

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