Nakiri Knife vs. Usuba Knife – Which One Should I Get

Updated On: June 26, 2021

When it is about ergonomics, nothing can match the quality of a Japanese blade. And as veggie knives, Nakiri and Usuba are the most popular choices among the chefs.

These knives look a lot similar, and that’s why people always get confused. However, each has some unique features that make them suitable for a different group of people. Hence, if you don’t choose wisely, you won’t enjoy the benefits.

But how do you know which one should you get? Well, this Nakiri Knife vs. Usuba knife article will put an end to that ordeal.

So, let’s get started, shall we?

Nakiri Knife Vs. Usuba Knife – What are they?

Before we start talking about the differences, you should learn the details of these knives. So let’s see the characteristics of each knife before we make the ultimate decision.

Nakiri Knife

The Nakiri knife is made with a straight blade and a flat front. But there is no tip on this blade, and it is designed for simple chopping only. You don’t need to push or pull the knife; use it vertically for chopping any veggies you want.

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However, this blade is a bit thicker than your regular chopping knives. So you may think that it is going to break the vegetables. But this knife will do perfect chopping without squishing your veggies which is good news!

The cutting edge of a Nakiri knife is designed for chopping things with precession. And thanks to its two-bevel construction, you can perform a directly slicing motion without any struggle.

These knives come with a length of 5-7 inches and offer you excellent ergonomics for knuckle placing. So if you have an aggressive chopping style, this is the one you should get!

Usuba Knives

Usuba knives are also designed without any tips similar to the Nakiri ones. Instead, these blades have a single-bevel construction, just like you see in sushi knives.

It comes with a thin blade, and it is sharpened on only one side. And that’s why both right and left-handed people can use it without any trouble.

However, these blades won’t cut straight without training; hence, it is an excellent choice for professionals. On the other hand, if you are a standard home cook, this is not the one for you.

Types of Usuba Knives

You will see two types of Usuba knives out there, Kanto and Kamagata.


Kanto knives are commonly designed with a square tip but also available in a rectangular or semicircular shape. These knives are pretty similar to the regular meat knives but a bit smaller in size.


Kamagata knives come with a pointed tip and best for precise cutting. Therefore, you can do many creative cuts, tricky carving, and make different designs of fruits and veggies. However, the professionals mostly use them as these knives need a skilled hand.

The Similarities Between Nakiri and Usuba Knives

First of all, both knives are Japanese-style knives designed for chopping and slicing veggies perfectly. In addition, they are made with an ergonomic handle so you can work with a secure and comfortable grip.

Furthermore, Nakiri and Usuba come with straight and flat blades. The length will be approximately 8-12 inch which is perfect for slicing veggies smoothly. And the wide blades have a thin construction for cutting the delicate veggies without destroying their shapes.

Additionally, both of these knives have straight edges that enhance your accuracy while cutting paper-thin slices of any vegetable.

So these are the similarities between Nakiri and Usuba. Let’s take a look at the dissimilarities now.

Differences Between Nakiri and Usuba Knives

These knives come with similar appearances, but there are some contradictory features. Therefore, each of these knives is suitable for different groups of people.

Firstly, Nakiri’s specialty is a thin blade, and by contrast, Usuba blades are designed with a thick spine. Moreover, Nakiri has a double-beveled construction so that anyone can use it in their kitchen. On the other hand, Usuba knives require culinary skills for handling their blades.

As a beginner, you should choose the Nakiri knives as they are easy to sharpen. But, you can hone the Usuba blades only on one side, so that it will need the supervision of an expert.

Now let’s talk about the price differences. The Nakiri blades are pretty budget-friendly, and the Usuba ones more on the expensive side. However, both of these blades will ensure an optimal experience for the user; there is no doubt in that.

Nakiri CharacteristicsUsuba Characteristics
Designed with a thinner Blade than UsubaIt comes with a thick spine
Double-bevel blade constructionSingle-bevel blade construction
Easy to sharpenRequires skill for sharpening
Budget-friendlyMore on the expensive side
Suitable for any userSuitable for professionals only

Who is the Winner?

Well, both of these knives are winners as they come with ultra-sharp edges, excellent ergonomics, and high durability.

But if you are an amateur cook, the Nakiri knife is the winner for you and professionals; Usuba blades are the best choice for professionals. Therefore, the ultimate decision depends on your preferences, to be honest.

Wrap up

If you use the correct type of knife in your kitchen, your meal prep will be easier than ever. Moreover, a supportive knife will allow you to enhance your cooking skill, which would be amazing!

Hopefully, this article has answered all of your Nakiri Knife vs. Usuba knife queries. Now you can purchase the one that suits you the most without any confusion.

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