The Nakiri knife originates from Japan. While at first glance, it might be easy to think of the knife as an antique or exotic item, when it is indeed quite practical and sees use in many kitchens.
The Nakiri knife is a fusion of both western and eastern blade making as they were initially made during the 17th century when Japan started trading with foreign countries.
Rich history aside, a Nakiri knife is still a useful tool to have. Many brands are manufacturing this knife, and so you might be wondering which one is the best nakiri knife out there. Fear not, for this article will review some of the top knives on the market.
How to Choose Best Nakiri Knife
It would help you search a lot if you knew some factors to look out for when choosing a knife. Remember to keep these points in mind while you’re reading our nakiri knife reviews.
One of the essential things to take note of is how finely and easily the Nakiri knife cuts. Take note of how sharp the edge is as that is the most critical indicator of how delicate the cuts are.
Since you will be using a Nakiri knife for cutting vegetables, you will want to chop them into small fine pieces quickly. So an excellent cutting prowess is essential for your knife.
How easily the knife cuts also helps separate bits of the vegetables after cutting, which makes the process faster. It also helps to make it easier to clean the blade after using it.
Weight and Balance
You will want a Nakiri knife with the right balance, so you should check to see if you feel comfortable using it or not. The knives tend to have different weights, which can affect how wieldy they are. Lightweight knives are the easiest to handle, but it is essential to check if it feels right or not.
The handle is also an essential part. You will want to have a knife with a comfortable handle. Some knife handles are textured and made to be very ergonomic, so they are comfortable to grip. If you’re going to be using the knife for long hours, a good handle will save you a lot of finger ache.
Finally, you should be aware of your budget and how much you’re willing to spend. Some knives are more expensive than others, and while they may have incredible craftsmanship, you might get the same results using a much cheaper knife.
So keep the price in mind when you’re going shopping for knives.
10 Best Nakiri Knife Reviews
Let’s look at what our recommended knives have to offer. They are all solid contenders for your purchase and will serve buyers well.
Shun Cutlery Classic 6.5” Nakiri Knife
Shun knives are well known and often a go-to option for people who want high-quality Nakiri knives. Shun is known for aesthetically pleasing knife designs and excellent craftsmanship, and this beautiful thing embodies their unique working principle.
The blade is fashioned with Shun’s own proprietary VG Max stainless steel. Sharp and refined, the 6.5-inch blade has high cutting prowess and edge retention. It has a double bevel making for clean, efficient, and fast cuts on various vegetables.
Moreover, the blade is etched with various wavy patterns. This helps make for more delicate cuts and easier separation, making this knife easier to keep clean and maintain.
This Shun Classic nakiri knife also has a traditional Japanese style handle known as a Pakkawood handle. These wooden handles are carved into a specific shape that allows your fingers to curl around the handle comfortably.
Furthermore, it allows for a very secure and easy-grip, which makes cutting vegetables with the Shun Nakiri knife such a blast.
Overall, when it comes to cutlery Shun doesn’t disappoint, and their excellent design and craftsmanship shines through with this knife. Comfortable to use and allows for fast and precise chops, this is one of the best Nakiri knives out there and should be a must-have for buyers.
Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Nakiri Knife With Hollow Edge
While the Nakiri knife originates from Japan, that doesn’t mean Japan is the only one who manufactures it. Wusthof tried its hand at making a Nakiri knife and did not disappoint. The German manufactured knife holds its own against many of its Japanese competitors.
Featuring a 7-inch hollow edge blade made out of high carbon stainless steel, this Wusthof knife is easy to use and has high edge retention, so the blade isn’t going dull anytime soon.
The stainless steel blade is refined and has a 10-degree cutting edge making it sharper than other knives. This allows for very precise and fast chopping, which makes this particular knife stand out a lot.
Furthermore, the blade also has several vertical indentations that help with chopping and making cleaner cuts.
Also, the handle is noteworthy, coming with a full bolster and guard. It is made out of synthetic polypropylene and is triple riveted. All this makes the handle a very comfortable grip while also making it durable and resistant to corrosion and fading.
Overall, this is one of the best Nakiri knives out there. Whether you’re a loyal fan of Wusthof and want to add it to your collection or looking for a fantastic knife, you won’t go wrong.
Kai AB5071 Pure Komachi 2 Nakiri Knife
Originating in the Seki City of Japan, Kai is a renowned name in the knife making business. The Pure Komachi series of knives features colored knives and their Nakiri knife is a trendy one.
Starting, the knife is dyed a verdant green and features a coated carbon stainless steel blade. And the color coating is not harmful at all, and if you’re buying a set of these knives, the color codes help identify and separate the knives that prevent cross-contamination.
Additionally, the blade has high edge retention, and the cutting edge is made to be 16 degrees. This allows it to make exact and fine cuts. The coating on the knife is also non-stick in nature, making separating pieces of vegetables much more manageable and smoother.
Moreover, they are also color-matched and are made out of hand molded resin. What you end up getting is a charming looking handle that is very secure and comfortable to grip.
You won’t experience finger aches even after chopping vegetables for an hour or two. A sheath is also included to protect the knife when not in use.
As vibrant as it is useful, the Kai Pure Komachi knife is worth having. It looks good in your kitchen, is lightweight, and exceptional at its job.
Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-Inch Nakiri Knife
Mercer Culinary also has a noteworthy Nakiri vegetable knife. With high carbon forged steel from Germany, the 7-inch blade of this knife cuts sharp and precise. Resistant to corrosion and discolor, this blade won’t lose its luster very quickly.
Alongside this resistance, the German-made blade has very high edge retention and a taper ground edge. This makes it much easier to chop and separate vegetable bits and makes the process much more efficient.
The ground edge also makes blade maintenance easier as it is relatively easy to sharpen and hone when needed.
Moreover, the Santoprene constructed handle is very comfortable to grip, and the full tang that runs across the handle gives it fantastic balance. The knife feels great to use and cut vegetables with.
It also has anti-slip properties, so accidents are less likely to happen. The handle itself is also quite strong, and the color won’t fade away quickly.
Overall, Mercer Culinary’s knife offers what you need in a Nakiri knife. It is very sharp, and the balance is impressive as you’ll find it very easy to use. The grip is comfortable enough though not as striking as other knives, but still very usable. It is also quite affordable.
Dalstrong Hammered Finish 6-Inch Nakiri Knife
Dalstrong’s Nakiri knife is a sight to behold. The first thing that will catch your eyes is the excellent craftsmanship on the blade-a result of a 60 day-long process.
Constructed out of Japanese AUS 10V super steel, the blade of this knife cuts exceptionally well. Also, the straight edge of the blade allows for fine and precise cuts alongside its scalpel-like sharpness. Adding to all this, it is firm and durable.
More so, the blade is broader than other knives allowing you to scoop up food adding extra utility to this knife.
You’ll notice the fine finish and several air pockets that help reduce drag when cutting the food and prevent food from sticking onto the knife. The high edge retention and superb balance make this vegetable knife the poster child of efficiency.
It also features a very robust yet comfortable handle that is triple-riveted. The handle is designed to be ergonomic and helps with the already outstanding balance that gives this knife a great feel.
All things considered, Dalstrong’s Nakiri knife is one of the best Nakiri knives available and is a fantastic knife to add to one’s collection.
Shun Premier 5.5 Inch Tsuchime Finished Nakiri Knife
Being one of the go-to brands for knives, it’s not surprising to see another Nakiri knife courtesy of Shun on this list. The 5.5-inch blade is once again, excellently crafted from VG-max steel. The edge is dangerously sharp, easily slicing vegetables and fruits. It is also very durable and corrosion-resistant.
Damascus steel is used to layer the blade and hammer finished using a Japanese technique known as Tsuchime. This results in the patterns on the knife, which help to reduce drag when cutting vegetables and fruits.
Along with the fragile blade, this results in efficient and precise cuts and no food sticking to the edge of this knife.
The signature Pakkawood handle is also present with this knife and offers a very comfortable grip that reduces fatigue when cutting. The handle also has a walnut finish making it look very splendid and is quite durable.
As expected of Shun, this knife is impressive. The extremely sharp blade and the minimal drag when cutting alone make it worth it. A comfortable handle and excellent balance help make the knife even better. You can’t go wrong with this thing.
Zelite Infinity 7 Inch Granton Edge Nakiri Knife
Featuring a 7-inch blade constructed out of high carbon stainless steel, this one boasts incredible cutting strength and durability. The quality of German steel makes it resistant to corrosion and stains.
With a Granton edge, this thing is relatively light and does not compromise the cutting strength due to its well-crafted edge and high edge retention.
The blade has several vertical indentations that help to create air pockets that reduce drag. You’ll have an easier time separating food and also keeping this blade clean as food won’t stick to it. The full tang on the length of the blade makes this item robust and helps improve the balance.
Stainless steel is also used to construct the handle. The round handle provides a good and relaxing grip for using the knife while also sporting a bolster to protect your fingers when cutting vegetables and fruits.
Furthermore, the design is ideal for the pinch grip style, further helped by the full tang offering a great deal of balance. This results in a knife that’s very comfortable and reliable to use.
Kotobuki Teruhisa Traditional Japanese Nakiri Knife
Contrasting a bit compared to the previous Nakiri knives, the Kotobuki Teruhisa knife features a more prominently curved edge. This one is closer to regular chef knives than the others on this list, so it is unique.
The cutting motion is different from this knife, requiring more of a downward slash or chop.
Besides, the blade is constructed of stainless steel using traditional Japanese forging techniques. It is made to have a less sharp ground edge, but it compensates with the right balance and stability. So the knife is very easy to use.
Magnolia wood is used to construct the handle. Despite the simple design, the handle is quite comfortable to grip, and you won’t be fatigued when using the knife for long hours. This works well since this knife uses more of a slashing motion rather than a rocking motion. The handle allows for a firm grip.
Overall, this is a unique knife, but it is still a very reliable one to get the job done. While the blade isn’t the sharpest, the knife is still well balanced, and the handle helps to make it a comfortable experience.
Kyoku Daimyo Series Damascus Nakiri Knife
One of the sharpest Nakiri knives on this list, the Kyoku Daimyo Nakiri, is one I’d personally recommend. This one is of Japanese origin and has the typical quality and craftsmanship you might expect.
The 6-inch knife blade is made from VG-10 Damascus steel. Veteran artisans have worked on this blade, and you’ll notice it too, seeing the 8 degrees double-sided edge of this Nakiri knife.
Moreover, this thing cuts as clean as swords and precisely due to the extremely sharp edge of this Nakiri knife. The spectacular finish on this knife leads to the patterns that help reduce drag and prevent vegetables from sticking to the blade after cutting with it.
Featuring a comparatively broader blade, you can use this knife to scoop up food. This makes it quite a versatile knife. Coupled with the high edge retention and how sturdy the item is, this knife will last the test of time.
The handle is also noteworthy, as it is very durable. Moreover, the triple-riveted handle adds a great deal of robustness to the knife while also being very comfortable to hold. Also, the handle is resistant to corrosion and discolor.
Yoshihiro 46 Layers Damascus Usuba Nakiri Knife
Constructed out of stainless steel, this knife has a unique look. Layered with Damascus steel, this one oozes with amazing craftsmanship.
It measures 60 on the Rockwell scale for hardness, so you can expect this knife to have great cutting strength and durability.
The double-edged knife has a much thinner blade, 6.3 inches long, allowing for exact and fine cuts. The blade is also rust-resistant, so the blade won’t get damaged or dulled quickly.
Additionally, the handle is made out of Shitan Rosewood. It is an octagonal shaped handle, and although it takes some getting used to, it is comfortable to grip. The knife has the right balance, so it feels good to use. It features a double mahogany bolster.
The knife also comes with a protective wooden sheath. This sheath is made out of Magnolia wood and helps to protect the blade when not in use. Overall, this is a very well made Nakiri knife with good balance and high retention. However, the handle does take some getting used to.
The Benefits of Using a Nakiri Knife
Nakiri knives are usually crafted to have thin blades. This allows it to make for smaller and more precise cuts.
These knives are handy for cutting vegetables for salads as you can chop them up into tiny pieces. The blades ensure smooth and clean cuts on vegetables, and most of them have non-stick properties to prevent the bits from sticking.
Most Nakiri knives have a doubled angled edge known as a Ryoba edge. This further helps it do its job of cutting vegetables and fruits by making straight cuts. This uniquely designed edge helps to make chopping easier and makes for more consistent sizes when chopping.
How to Use a Nakiri Knife?
A Nakiri knife isn’t too difficult to use, but there are some steps you should keep in mind when using them. These will help you cut more efficiently and avoid damaging the knife and your surroundings.
Make Use of a Chopping Board
Nakiri knives have very refined edges and can quickly leave scratches on your tabletops. So make sure to use a chopping board when cutting vegetables with this knife.
Align the Knife
Place the vegetable or fruit which you want to chop firmly on the chopping board. Align the knife properly from the top part of the vegetable or fruit you want to cut. Make sure your grip on the knife is firm and robust so that it doesn’t slip. A pinch grip helps.
Make clean up and down movement with your knife. The inherent sharpness of the Nakiri knife is enough to cut through most things with ease. You don’t want to apply force and go for a more powerful cutting stroke-like with a cleaver.
Gently align the knife and move it up and down and let the sharp blade do the work for you.
Difference Between Nakiri And Usuba Knives
At first glance, these two knives might seem like they’re the same thing. Usuba and Nakiri knives are indeed different and have some essential differences that will be highlighted. These will make it easier to differentiate them.
An essential difference between the two is their blade edges. For a Nakiri knife, the blades tend to be more delicate and are double beveled. While for Usuba knives, their blades are sturdier and have a single beveled edge.
Both knives are very sharp, but Usuba knives have greater precision due to the single beveled edge.
Usuba knives are heavier than Nakiri knives. This is due to the sturdier and durable blades on Usuba knives.
Usuba knives offer great precision and aren’t used for kitchen related work like Nakiri knives. Usuba knives are used for decorative cutting while Nakiri knives are used for cutting vegetables and fruits.
Difference Between Nakiri And Santoku
Another type of knife that gets confused with the Nakiri knife is the Santoku knife. While they are both useful knives, they have some critical distinctions that affect how you can use them. Let’s see what they are.
Nakiri knives do not have a pointed tip or a curved spine. They feature a rectangular blade and rounded tip more akin to a meat cleaver. Santoku knives look more like regular knives and feature a pointed tip and a curve near the end.
This difference in blade shape allows the two knives to be used differently. The cutting action for Nakiri knives involves an up and down motion. Santoku knives can also be used with that motion, but they can also be used in a slicing or peeling motion.
A Nakiri knife is primarily used to cut fish or vegetables and sometimes some fruits. Santoku knives can do that, but they can also be used to peel fruits and slice cheese and meat.
Difference Between Nakiri and Chef Knife
To give you a more straightforward idea of the differences between the two, think of the chef knife being much close to the Santoku knives we’ve covered beforehand. Some of the differences between them are:
Chef knives are a more general use knife. They are used for cutting meat, cheese, and vegetables alike. This makes them very versatile. Getting the best chef knife will help you with a wide range of tasks.
Nakiri knives are much more specialized in that they are restricted to just cutting vegetables and fish.
Nakiri knife blades are similar in design to meat cleavers and don’t have a tip or a more rounded tip. Chef knives have a pointed end which helps with their versatility. Chef knives usually come in double beveled edges, but they have some variations.
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is a Nakiri knife?
A: Nakiri knives are only Japanese styled vegetable knives. Their names translate to a knife for cutting greens. They are knives generally made for home use.
Q: What are Nakiri knives used for?
A: Nakiri knives are specialized knives. They are primarily used for cutting vegetables. They can be used to chop vegetables to consistent sizes. Fish can also be chopped using them.
Q: How often do I need to sharpen my Nakiri knives?
A: Depends on the knife. For some, the initial honing process is needed, and for others, a period of 6 to 8 months between sharpening is sufficient.
Q: Can I use my Nakiri knives to cut meat?
A: You can, but it won’t be as clean or efficient as using a meat cleaver. You’ll also be reducing the lifetime of your Nakiri knife.
Q: Do I need both a Nakiri and Santoku knife?
A: It depends on you and how efficient you want your task to be. Santoku knives are good general use knives, but they don’t excel as much as Nakiri knives when cutting vegetables while a Nakiri knife is not as versatile.
Whether you’ve wanted to know what makes the Nakiri knife unique or looking for an excellent knife to add to your kitchen, we hope that this article has proved useful to you.
If you go through our recommendations carefully, you should easily find the best nakiri knife out there.