Australian Deba (Shark) Knife

Australian Deba (Shark) Knife

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

Big Red Knives BBQ Collection:

Ah, spitting fires, smoking coals. On largest island that is also the smallest continent is there anything more Australian on this unique land than firing up the barbie and having a group of mates over for the arvo? These proudly Australian made and owned barbecue knives will elevate your outdoor cooking and dining experience to a level never before seen. Accessorise your Aussie dream with the manly and roguishly handsome Big Red Knives BBQ Collection. For knives like these, it’s not an expenditure, it’s an investment!


Australian “Deba” Knife | The “Great White” Knife

The apex predator of the seas comes to land as the all-purpose Australian “Deba” Knife in this collection. Designed to reflect the the jaw-gnashing might of the hard hitting predator, this knife is bound to rattle the cage! With a blade thickness of 3.7mm and a total weight of 320g, this knife is made for transferring weight efficiently down the ingredient with the force of gravity. There will be no wobble, just unwavering might. Like all Big Red Knives, the Great White is made in Australia with premium quality high-carbon Japanese steel, no other locally made blade can compare. And as an all-purpose knife the Great White can handle everything you need in slice up indoors or out. Land this fish and show your mates you’re serving the barbie with the greatest of the great!


Although all-purpose, the “Deba” knife has a particular characteristic that makes it more efficient at chopping ingredients with small bones due to its wider blade thickness. Big Red Knives has westernised the traditional Japanese Deba with a double-bevel blade (suitable for a wider range of cutting and chopping styles as well as ambidexterity) and a more durable edge. Japanese VG-10 high-carbon steel provides razor-sharpness while the sand-blasted stainless steel that encompasses the top section of the knife ensures blade longevity and rust resistance. It is a carefully thought out and crafted tool made to last. Traditionally the Japanese Deba’s blade thickness and height was designed for it to chop small fish bones when preparing and filleting fish. However, for the Aussie culture this element can be translated to having more strength behind each cut when preparing thicker proteins such as lamb chops and splitting that giant rock lobster! Of course, starch-based vegetables like sweet potatoes and pumpkins are no match for this knife either! A great predator, a great all-purpose!

The Great White Shark:

The largest predatory fish on Earth, a Great White Shark can grow to the length of 6.4m (21ft) and weigh up to 1,100kg (2425lbs). The largest of this prehistoric species can have a bite force of up to 1.8 tonnes with their jaws, making them one of the most powerful sets of jaws of any living species on this planet. The lifespan of a Great White is estimated to live as long as 70 years or more! The noble species is said to take around 26 years to reach reproductive maturity for males and 33 years for females with only up to five “pups” being produced each year. Despite having habitats in cool coastal waters around the world the species is now considered vulnerable with only around 3,500 Great White Sharks estimated worldwide. In Australia it is a protected species by law and they can be often seen swimming at speeds up to 25km/hr (16mph) by the Australian coasts.     

The Big Red Knives “Deba” knife was modelled after the Great White with a number of design inspirations from the apex predator, such includes the following: A Great White has around 3000 serrated teeth with some up to 3 inches long, this is reflected by the expertly crafted razor sharp blade made with high-carbon VG-10 Japanese steel. Despite the name the Great White is only white on its underbelly with a silvery grey back, much like the colour of the sand-blasted stainless steel on the top portion of the blade. The sandblasting creates micro air cavities preventing vegetable starches from sticking to the blade much like the ergonomic body of a shark slicing through the water. The large robust snout of the beast has also been integrated into the design of the slope of the spine with a large blade thickness of a 3.7mm. As a highly intelligent hunter, every shark is unique as an individual with different traits, much like the unique resin-infused wooden handles of each knife made with local Australian woods. Create a feeding frenzy with your own Great White knife!

GREAT WHITE FACT: The shark featured in the Steven Spielberg’s film Jaws was named Bruce after the director’s own lawyer. Ah, Bruce the lawyer must have been good at rattling cages!



Collection: Big Red Knives BBQ Collection

Manufacturer: Koi Knives

Made in Australia with Japanese steel

Blade steel: VG-10 Japanese hard steel core with Stainless Steel cladding

Blade length: 187mm (overall 315mm)

Blade thickness: 3.7mm

Weight: 320gm

Handle length: 130mm

Handle wood: All local but varies from wood of olive trees, Shiraz grapevines from McLaren Vale (wine region of South Australia) to specially sourced wood Australian deserts.


Aussie Knives by Aussies:

Thats not a knife, THATS a knife” now we all know the memorable quote from Crocodile Dundee but his Bowie knife though good for hunting is not ideal for use in the kitchen. In fact, as far as Aussie knives made by Aussies go and in the words of our bladesmith Shannon theres nothing like it that exists.”

We are a local Australian company of two, Shannon and Ramon. Our story began in the dry Adelaide Hills with our parents, Shannons father was a blacksmith and Ramon has an affinity with Japanese culture as his parents met in Japan. Combined with our love for knives, cooking and making things from local materials, we came up with a unique idea of making traditional Japanese knives with an Australian twist. Since then our company Koi Knives have been making knives for several years we have made a range of 12 Japanese knives. However, many have asked us to make a range of Western knives. Initially, we were hesitant as Western knives are made with softer steel, they tend to be less sharp and also blunt quicker. Wheres our true Aussie early settlers pioneering spirit we thought? This is not a challenge! This is an opportunity! We decided to give the idea a fair suck of the bottled sauce and a fair crack of the whip. From there we began designing and eventually crafting this new range. Instead of western steels, we stuck with a Japanese hard high-carbon VG-10 steel as the core of the knife but designed with a Western-style grip.

Our knife shed as our HMS Endeavour, we hit the shores of our expedition with this new set of Aussie knives. The first and finest truly Australian knives are crafted here locally by your two local blokes. We sought to pay homage to our land and our native animals with this set. To create a truly unique and Australia product the shape and form of each knife was modelled after a specially chosen iconic native animal which we also emboss onto the steel at the end. 


The core of the blade is made entirely of VG-10 is a type of Japanese hard steel, it is  cutlery-grade steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, and 1.5% Cobalt. The G in VG-10 stands for Gold, as an indicator of the premium standard of quality. This core is then sharpened to razor sharpness and then cladded with the same steel for protection and longevity. After this, we smelt three layers of sandblasted stainless steel on the top section of the blade for a gun-mental steel finish. The sandblasting also on a practical level provide micro air cavities which prevent vegetables from sticking to the blade while cutting. The final result is like the Australian landscape in a blade, from the scorching sands to shimmering shore: from the spine, the darker sandblasted steel tapers down from the grind line to reveal shiny stainless steel before a dancing line glints off the clad edge to the razor-sharp cutting edge.


These Aussie knives are part of our Full Tang Clan. Full tang is when the steel of the blade runs all the way through the handle instead of Partial Tang where the steel might end partway through. Full tang allows for more force to be applied without a risk of the knife snapping at the bolster (the base where the blade transitions to the handle). Our knives are very sharp so less force would have to be applied in any case, however, we chose the full tang design in keeping with the aesthetics of Western knives and to set this collection apart from our Japanese Koi Knives. Functionality was designed into the handle with different grips in mind to fit ambidextrously and snugly in your hand. When using a "Handle In Hand Grip" the bevel contours seamlessly from fingers to palm. When using the "Pinch Grip" the smooth transition from handle to blade forms a great comfortable position to pinch the knife.

One of the elements we are most proud of is our signature resin-infused handles crafted with local woods. Each handle is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. All the wood is sourced locally, typically in South Australia’s wine region and varies from the wood from olive trees to Shiraz grapevines, however we have even gathered Gidgee wood from the Simpson Desert. These handles are made with resin in a range of different colours, we feel very strongly about pairing certain colours to the animal that inspired the knife.

Oz Deba Knife


After each use:

Simply wipe down in warm soapy water, dry and place on a knife rack away from humidity. Job done!

Long term maintenance:

Big Red Knives are made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core and therefore has a higher carbon content than the average Western kitchen knives. This lends the knives their particular long lasting sharpness, however they also like to be kept dry when not in use and should not be exposed extensively to heat, hot water or ambient high humidity. They should most definitely never be put into the dishwasher or other such nonsense. Each knife was made with love, so please take care of them for us!


Knives made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core are harder at the edge, this means less honing is needed but should instead be professionally sharpened and ideally with a whetstone. Depending on frequency of use, the knife may need to be sharpened by a professional every 3-6 months for most people. We have an extensive list of sharpeners we can recommend in every state if you’d like to contact us.


Similarly, the handle was crafted with resin and coated with a polish that also should not be soaked in hot water. Extended exposure to hot water may damage the polish on the handle that is the protective shield for the wood and resin. Over the years, if the handle starts to look a bit dull a small amount of furniture polish may be used to buff back the shine.

For more information on knife maintenance please see our page:


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Australian "Great White" Know How