About the Shape - Deba means “short fat tooth” and this describes the shape of the knife. This is the first knife a sushi chef would use when preparing fish. It is used to fillet fish and butcher the boneless meat. The Deba is a traditional Japanese blade that is only sharpened on one side. This is called “single bevel.” Don’t let the shape and weight of a Deba fool you; they are nimble and precise. Choose the length of your Deba based on the size of fish you’ll be butchering most often.
|Steel Type||Uddeholm Swedish Carbon Steel|
|Handle||Wa (Japanese) Handle, D-Shaped magnolia wood handle withwater buffalo horncollar|
About Shigefusa -Shigefusa is probably one of the best known and most respected knifemakers coming from Sanjo in Niigata, Japan. Izuka-san, the man behind the Shigefusa name, makes some of the World’s most sought after knives. We’ve heard both Masashi Yamamoto and Bob Kramer say that Izuka-san is the best. Izuka-san has a very impressive resume for a blacksmith. He started his training under Kosuke Iwasaki, the father of the man making some of our favourite kamisori straight razors, where he learned basic techniques and a more scientific approach to looking at steel. After learning what he could, he apprenticed under the legendary Nagashima-san who taught him how to take what he learned and apply it to making kitchen knives. Izuka-san is like Luke Skywalker. He started his training with Obi Wan then finished up with Yoda, obviously he’s a force to be reckoned with.
The knives made at Shigefusa take a lot of patience and time. Izuka-san doesn’t purchase anysanmei steel, preferring to forge weld everything in house. He even makes his own damascus orsuminagashi steel and calls itKitaeji, not something most blacksmiths do. Like his first master, Kosuke-san, he prefers to use a Swedish carbon steel. According to them, it is the closest thing totamahagane you can get, short of making the steel yourself. One of the coolest things about Izuka-san’s technique is the use of asen. Asen is a small blade with a handle on either side that is used instead of a grinder to shave nanometers of steel from the knife at a time.
We are mega-excited to be able to carry Shigefusa knives when we can. Because of their scarcity and uber-meticulous construction, it may take up to 5 years to get one made. The best of the best usually takes time but is always worth the wait.
A NOTE ABOUT RUST
Carbon steel is an awesome material to make knives out of. It’s easy to get sharp and stays sharp a very long time. But this comes with a trade-off; It will rust if you let it. To avoid “bad” rust (orange rust) Wipe the knife dry with a dry cloth after use. Over time, the blade will begin to protect itself with an oxide layer (grey to dark grey “good” rust), this will slow the reaction time but not inhibit the rust entirely. Maintain the good habit of drying off your knife.
• Only cut food you can bite through with this knife. Hard foods can chip the blade. No olive pits, bones, lobster shells, woody stems or parmesan rinds. Cutting frozen food is especially bad because the cold will make hard steel even more brittle. If you wouldn’t chew it with your own teeth, don’t cut it.
• Your cutting surface is the biggest culprit of dulling your knife. Use wood. End grain wood is especially good. Plastic can be fine too, but certainly not glass, granite or bamboo.
• The edge of your knife works best sliding forwards or backwards. Scraping the knife edge sideways will dull or damage the edge. Instead, use the spine of the knife to move foods across the cutting board. Do not twist the edge or pry with the edge, this is the worst screwdriver you ever bought and these motions will certainly damage the edge. Listen to the knife! If you can hear the edge making a “tink” sound on the cutting board, change what you are doing.
• After use, wash the knife by hand with regular dish soap, rinse with hot water and dry by hand immediately. Dishwashers are very bad for knives.
• Wood handles may dry out over time and exposure to water. Simply treat them with some food safe mineral oil or beeswax.
• If you see orange rust, remove it. The scrubby side of a sponge can do the trick. If it’s still not coming off try baking soda and water mixed into a paste or a product called Barkeeper’s Friend.
• Protect the edge; for your safety and to avoid edge damage. A simple blade cover will do the trick if you keep knives in a drawer or travel case.
• A convenient wall magnet made with wood is a great way to show off your knives. Be sure to put it back spine first, then roll it onto the blade face. This will keep the edge from contacting the wood first.
• The good-ol’ counter top block can keep knives at the ready and protected. So can drawer inserts. Whatever the method, keep the edge from touching anything else.
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