Can this dual core Gyuto Deba be my new butcher knife?

I originally purchased this knife as a dual core comparison to Dr. H’s Shun dual core santoku, but then discovered that debas were being used for far more than processing large fish in Japan. A slimmed down, modestly priced Kai Seki Magaroku Kinju is being used in Japan widely this way, and I’ve been able to repurpose one as a replacement for my old American Sir Lawrence.

This Xinzuo dual core gyuto deba is much closer to the original Japanese deba: 7 mm spine, high Rockwell hardness (60+), and cleaver level weight (382 gm)

I’ve now been using both the Kai Kinju, and the Xinzuo gyuto deba on meat, vegetables, and cheese, and both more than replace my American Sir Lawrence with two limitations: neither one works well with European style rock chopping nor cutting through bones.

The Xinzuo dual core, in particular, was great for slicing my tri tip–letting the knife do the work. For the finer trimming of my Choice New York strip, I preferred the Kai Xinzuo.

For activities where I want to chop, I’m still reaching for my cleaver, and I’m leaning to softer steels that are more likely to bend than chip for small bones–and my acorn squash.

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I thought it was specialized for fish butchery rather than red meat?

It looks too good looking and likely expensive for me to use on red meat with thicker and tougher bones.

Land animal bones might jack up that knife and it won’t be pretty anymore.

But I wouldn’t get a special knife for fish butchery - not just bc of the price -but because it’s like hell to have to sharpen all those knives periodically.

The Chinese has just one knife. But it’s a lot easier to sharpen since you’re sharpening just one knife.

Chinese have many knives, but they look alike so people say they have one knife.

fe. I would say that they have many knives, but they look alike.

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I always thought there was one main knife they use ? It would vary in length and thickness depending on choice of the cook.

But maybe you are on to something.

I think it depends. A lot of families do have one main knife, but that is true for Japanese too. Vast majority of Japanese either use a Santoku or Gyuto at home. Deba and yanagiba are not often seen at regular homes.
It also depends if the person plan to do some butchering at home or let the market/supermarkets do all the dirty work.

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Hi eugenenep,

It was–but that was then. Japan is already more diverse in sources of protein, and the deba is really the best butcher concept knife (single bevel) for them to repurpose. The Kai SM kinju is the type of affordable deba that works over there–and has found it’s way here.

There’s even an American version:

That single bevel design outperforms my American butcher knife at an affordable price with any protein–including beef.

As long as you don’t chop.

That still leaves room for my Wusthofs and Chinese cleaver: and I honestly love to chop.


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Here’s the Kai Seki Magoroku Kinju Deba side by side with the Kai Shun dual core santoku: both are 180 mm, almost the same handle, but the Kinju is intended for a Japanese single bevel repurpose, and the dual core is intended as a double beveled cultural fusion knife for Americans.

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What’s especially interesting in this comparison is that the knives, both manufactured by Kai in Japan, share almost the same handle and meticulous attention to detail in completely different price ranges-marketed to different buyers. The Shun dual core is marketed primarily in the United States–and currently sells for $329.00. The Kinju is marketed almost exclusively in Japan, but can be had on Amazon for $64.


Can anyone explain what the difference is between the number of reported layers on damascus knives. My Xinzuo claims 110 layers and dual core–but I really don’t know the significance of the 110 layers.


Dr. Hirokawa and I have completed our evaluation of the Xinzuo 18o mm gyuto/deba–still a mystery in terms of dual core construction. However, we tested it and the Kai Seki Magoroku Kinju 180 mm as repurposed butcher knives, and have noticed more and more that it works–and we’re not alone.

To celebrate, I prepped and prepared a beef stroganoff dinner for the two of us, and shared both the recipe and results on Hungry Onion. It was a great way to show how well the reepurposing works in a completely dkifferent world. I’ve decided to keep and regularly use both of them: the Kai SM Kinju as value, and the Xinzuo gyuto/deba as new technology.

For my birthday, in a month or so, I’m planning on buying a new kitchen knife to study–and I’ve got three interesting candidates: two dual core, and one very interesting Chef’s knife that represents Japanese-American fusion–if I can get an affordable one on EBAY: a Shun Fuji 81/2" Chef’s knife.

Shun Fuji 8.5 in. chef knife

Big challenge today for my gyuto deba. I bought a choice ribeye steak needing significant trimming. Also needed to cut up a kolbasa squash.

The heavy duty gyuto deba was nimble enough to do just the right amount of trimming, and strong enough to split the kolbasa squash into six parts. Three of them and a medium golden potato were to complement the steak.

The steak was seared in my Staub brazier–using the lid to simulate a hot oven of over 400 degrees (by my infrared gun).

Came out a delicious medium rare. Served with squash and baked potato.


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Bessarabsky Market, Kyiv. Ukraine
Credit: Juan Antonio Segal, Flickr