Despite its challenges, cutting vegetables shouldn’t be an intimidating task. Choose a knife that makes chopping your produce a breeze with a Best Nakiri Knife today. Despite the delicate nature of greens, this knife will not bruise them.
Besides its ability to chop produce finely, the nakiri knife is also well suited for other tasks and will perform well no matter what you throw at it. With all the technicalities involved, it can be difficult to pick the right one. A blade’s anatomy and type of metal all play a role. Here are the best nakiri knives currently available so you can make the right choice.
What You Need to Know When Buying a Nakiri Knife
Why Nakiri Knives Are So Special?
In a nakiri knife, both sides of the blade are beveled, which means that the blade is sharp on both sides. The efficient design minimizes bruising on vegetables and fruits due to its tall and thin shape. Since rice and vegetables are the staple diet of the Japanese, this knife originates from Japan.
As the name implies, it means to cut greens in Japanese. Tamahagane is the same steel that is used to make Japanese swords, and is used for making knives as well.
Carbon content in Tamahagane typically ranges from 0.5% to 0.7%. Among the ingredients in Tamahagane is Shiman iron sand, which is black and contains a lot of iron.
How to Use a Nakiri Knife
Using a nakiri knife can seem intimidating if you’re a cooking novice. Chefs choose it because it is their preferred method. It’s not a problem anymore, as nakiri knives are a popular choice in many kitchens. By mastering the technique, you’ll be chopping veggies like a pro in no time.
Correct cutting technique makes use of the flat, slim design of the nakiri. Getting full contact with the board is as simple as swiping your hand across it and cutting cleanly. As the tip will be the first part of the knife to hit the board, it will have to be angled downwards as well. Chop things like coleslaw easily with leafy greens by using a light touch.
Nakiri knives are well known for preventing accordion cuts. Vegetables will not hang off by the skin if they are partially cut. Every stroke you make will produce a clean, nice chop.
The types of handles used on Nakiri knives
The wa handle
Traditionally, Japanese handles are called Wa handles. You can control them easier with these handles because they’re lightweight. Woods of various types are most commonly used to make Wa handles.
It takes a little bit of maintenance to keep a good quality Wa-handled nakiri knife in good condition. If you apply mineral oil or beeswax to the handle, it will keep in good condition over time.
Handles used in the West
Western countries are more likely to use this type of handle because of its name. Western handles tend to be heavier than Wa handles. Composites of wood or wood substitutes are usually used for handles. There is a bit of expert control required to balance the knife at its center. An individual used to a heavier grip would benefit from this handle.
Considering the following factors is important
In order for the knife to be able to cut effectively, it must have a sharp blade. A more versatile knife is generally recommended if you’re cutting a variety of vegetables. Choosing a blade that is suitable for root vegetables is important if you cook a lot of them.
The center of gravity of your knife determines its balance. Your knife will balance perfectly at this point because it’s where all the mass is concentrated. It’s the handle that holds the center for most nakiri knives since that’s typically the heaviest part. It’s best to get a knife with a handle that balances closer to the blade start to get a more powerful cut.
Knives should be comfortable to use. Make sure you try each material before choosing one, so you don’t get blisters every time you chop.
It’s important to consider the durability of your kitchen product when making a quality investment. The importance of this is even greater when dealing with nakiri knives because even the highest quality knives won’t last if they aren’t properly cared for.
Make sure the handle doesn’t dry out too much or it will become brittle, which will lead to breakage. Always keep the blade away from destructive elements and keep it protected from destructive elements.
High-Quality Best Nakiri Knives
1. Shun Premier 5.5-Inch
High-quality, razor-sharp Shun Premier 5.5-Inch blades come ready to use. In addition to its well-balanced design, this knife is easier to control due to its center of mass about a quarter of an inch from the blade.
Every time we put it through chopping tests, it proved to be able to handle them. As well as being comfortable to hold, it has an aesthetically pleasing Damascus finish.
With this nakiri, it was hard to find any shortcomings. We want to emphasize, however, that although the handle is durable, the blade itself needs to be treated appropriately. As well as the price issue, there is the issue of availability.
The price of this nakiri knife isn’t going to be cheap unless you find a great sale. The excellent blade and solid ergonomics of the Shun Premier lead all other models to our top choice.
2. TUO Osprey Series Nakiri
At its price point, the TUO Osprey offers excellent value. As soon as we opened the box, it was razor sharp. We didn’t notice any bruising on herbs or hard vegetables like carrots when we used it. This knife has a full-tang blade that feels heavy and is well-balanced, which makes it easier to chop. Comfortable grips are made possible by the large and gently sloped bolster.
This knife is a good value given its price. However, we encountered a couple of minor issues. There is a lack of finesse due to the blade’s thickness. There’s also something a little rough about the pakkawood handle, so it doesn’t have the smooth finish of our favorite knives. It’s a great starter nakiri knife at a fair price if you want a sharp blade.
3. Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layer Hammered Damascus
In addition to being lightweight, the Yoshihiro VG-10 46 Layer Hammered Damascus knife delivers powerful chops. Double-bevel blade with soft hammered Damascus finish features a magnolia wood handle and redwood handle.
As a result, I was able to julienne carrots or chop onions and herbs without any difficulty because of the thin, partial-tang edge.
The price of this knife is typically higher than that of other knives in its class. The handle does not appear to be fully waterproof, so it may weather over time, and the edge needs to be cared for so it doesn’t get dinged. This knife is ideal for those looking for a lightweight knife without sacrificing performance.
4. Shun Classic 6 1/2-Inch: The most comfortable to hold
Shun Classic nakiri knives are lightweight, reliable, and comfortable to use. Our tests with this model showed it was effortless to slice through onions and carrots. In comparison to the rest of the top blades in this review, this one is slightly heavier at 7.5 ounces.
The finished handle is easy to clean and durable, and the notch of the forged bolster is comfortable to hold.
This model may not be suitable for all chefs due to its heft. The handle is heavier and the blade is thicker, but it is not overwhelming. Right-handed people may find it comfortable to hold, but left-handed people may not find it quite as forgiving due to the asymmetrical handle. You will find this knife to be very sharp and will provide you with a little extra weight behind it.
5. Yoshihiro VG-10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus
You can count on the Yoshihiro VG-10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus for all your cutting needs. You might like this knife if you like western-style handles because it combines razor-sharp nakiris and a chef’s grip. There’s a half-inch center point on this full-tang model. The slender blade makes it easy to chop onions and herbs.
There is a slight discomfort associated with the bolster. The user’s index finger is pinched and rubbed by the awkward connection between the blade and handle.
The performance of this model on root vegetables does lag behind some other top models, even though it is highly effective. If you are familiar with chef’s knives and want the same feel in your hand while trying out nakiri knives, we highly recommend the Yoshihiro VG-10.
6. Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge
Classic Hollow Edge by Wusthof is a miniature package capable of doing mighty work. People with small hands will benefit from the short, thin, and generally low-profile blade. Its sharp blade can handle vegetables with diameters up to a couple of inches.
As well as being comfortable to hold, it is also easy to use (though it may be difficult for those with large hands). Additionally, the synthetic polyoxyethylene handle is triple-riveted for enhanced durability.
Our testers preferred other models’ sanded, finished wooden handles over the western-style plastic grip. Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge has many advantages, but it is not recommended for large, firm vegetables such as butternut squash due to its small stature. With this lightweight mini-mite, you don’t have to worry about heavy, unwieldy blades anymore.
7. A Fine Budget Option: TradaFor Usuba
Those looking for a budget-friendly blade should consider the TradaFor Usuba. Onions and herbs are no match for its fine blade, which is also capable of cutting soft veggies such as yellow squash. Pakkawood composite handle is durable, and the bolster is comfortable. There is a slight blade-forward balance to it, giving it a pleasant hand feel.
It is important to note that this model is not comparable with any of the other award winners. Despite its good performance given its price point, the single bevel reduces versatility, and there is a significant gap between it and the next blade up.
Because of its weight, it is difficult to make very precise cuts. The other top competitors, however, are probably just overpriced compared to this one.
8. BIGSUN Usuba 7-Inch
The BIGSUN Usuba 7-Inch knife has decent handling for its price range. Composite handles are easy to maintain, and the steel blade is durable. The machine performed well on sturdier root vegetables, but struggled with onions and herbs during testing.
There are dimples on the lower half of the pan, which reduce friction and the amount of food sticking to it.
There is something unattractive about the weight of this knife. In terms of weight, it weighs almost 50% more than most top-tier models.
Additionally, the handle is not completely smooth near the bolster, making it uncomfortable and abrasive for continuous cutting. In terms of aesthetics, it’s a good choice for those looking for a reasonable option.
9. Happy Sales HSSR200
It’s a bargain basement option from Happy Sales, the HSSR200. Each time I chopped vegetables and herbs, it performed better than expected. Compared to other blades in this review, it holds an edge better. Due to its lightweight design, it can be used by a wider range of users. The price is usually very reasonable as well.
This knife is a good value for the money. There is an obvious (unintentional) asymmetry in the handle. Partially tang blade and plastic bolster appear to be glued together. Furthermore, since the wood is unfinished, it will be more vulnerable to weather, splintering, and water damage in the future.
However, when compared to some more expensive knives, this one performs better. For someone looking to decide if a nakiri style appeals to them – before investing more, it would be an excellent choice.
10. Kyoku Samurai Series
This high-carbon steel knife is part of the Kyoku Samurai Series. As a result of its forged bolster, it is fairly balanced and comfortable. Pakkawood composite handles require very little maintenance, are riveted, and are easy to clean.
The knife is one of the heaviest on the market. It’s a bit unwieldy due to its thick blade. Rather than being able to control where the blade goes, it makes imprecise cuts on firmer vegetables such as carrots.
For someone who enjoys a much heavier hand feel and is willing to spend some time sharpening it before use, we recommend this knife.
What Makes Us Trustworthy
Cleaner cuts are made with sharper blades. This review was based on rigorous testing of knives, including cutting carrots, onions, and herbs. We julienned, chopped, and compared each blade against different kinds of products to determine how precise, consistent, and delicate it is. Every model is tested for balance, grip comfort, and blade durability.
FAQs – Best Nakiri Knife
Q. Nakiri knives are used for what?
Generally speaking, nakiri knives are used to slice vegetables. Vegetables are its primary purpose, but other ingredients such as garlic can also be cut with it.
Q. Can a nakiri knife be used to cut meat?
Unfortunately, no. Nakiri knives are not designed to cut meat, chicken, or even fish, although they can slice meat technically.
Q. What is the value of a nakiri knife?
You are free to make this choice based on your own preferences. It can be expensive to buy a good nakiri knife. However, a good nakiri knife is worth the investment because of its quality and durability. Nakiri knives aren’t just for Japanese cuisine. This knife can be used for any recipe that calls for a vegetable knife.