Best Nakiri Knife On the Market – A Concise Guide
There is a Japanese-style knife commonly known as the nakiri knife, or the nakiri bocho knife, which does a superb job of chopping and cutting vegetables. The knife has tips that are squared off and a blade with a straight edge which gives it the ability to cut right through your vegetables without needing to pull or push your knife. It is also very easy to control the knife because it is lightweight and thin too.
We know there are a lot of different knives on the market which claim they’re good at cutting through vegetables. You are probably wondering why you should believe the nakiri knife is any better. Well, here are some of the benefits of this knife before we talk about the best nakiri knife.
Benefits of a Nakiri Knife
1) It is easy to make your slices even and thin. The flat blade of the nakiri knife can make your slices as thin as paper. This is great if you’re preparing a food dish that requires thin vegetable slices on top of it or to the side of it.
2) Chopping is a snap with this knife. You will never have to jiggle the blade around as you chop, unlike other knives. The edge of the nakiri knife is straight so when you chop, the blade will cut straight through the vegetables and touch the cutting board. You don’t have to put much pressure into the chopping either. Just instigate the chopping motion with the knife in your hand and then let it do the rest.
3) Another advantage of having a straight, flat edge is that it provides you with cuts that are even and clean. For example, chopping green onions and celery would normally form small threads which stick the pieces together. The nakiri knife will get rid of these threads so that nothing is stuck together and everything remains clean.
4) The nakiri knife has a blade length of between 5 inches and 7 inches. Either way, you should be able to chop most vegetable types with a blade this long.
5) Doesn't damage vegetables. If you are chopping up vegetables that are fragile and delicate, the nakiri knife will do a good cutting job without the vegetables getting damaged or squashed.
In Japan, the knife is called a nakiri bocho. You would find them in the kitchens of most Japanese households there. However, there is no reason why you can’t purchase the same knife for your kitchen no matter where you live.
Things to Have in Your Nakiri Knife
You might think that a knife is a knife and that nothing is special about the nakiri knife. Well, before you jump to any conclusions, you should understand the features of a knife that would make it a high-quality knife.
Material of the Blade
Low Carbon Stainless Steel – If your blade is made of low carbon stainless steel, it will get dull and worn out much faster. This is because low carbon stainless steel blades are softer than high carbon and must be sharpened on a regular basis.
High Carbon Stainless Steel – If your blade is made of high-carbon stainless steel, it is a lot more durable and won’t need to be maintained so much. Your knife will also be easier to sharpen as well. This will result in a greater lifespan for your knife.
Therefore, you are going to want a nakiri knife with a blade that is made of high carbon stainless steel. This will ensure that it is a quality knife that will last you a long time.
Price of the Knife
Consumers are naturally concerned about the price of any product so a knife would be no exception. However, if you want a quality knife then you may have to pay more for it. A high carbon stainless steel knife is going to be more expensive than a low carbon stainless steel knife. Overall, you should plan on spending between $100 and $200 for your high carbon stainless steel knife. If it is really good quality, you may pay even more than $200.
As much as the quality of the blade is important, the handle quality is also important. After all, a knife isn’t going to do you much good if you’re not comfortable holding and using it. That is why you should look for knives with curves in their handles so that they will match up with the curves of your hand. This will help ensure that you have a firm grip on the handle and that it won’t slip while you’re using it.
Finish of the Blade
When you chop vegetables, you probably notice how the food pieces like to stick to the blade. However, if you choose a knife with the right finish on the blade, this will not happen ever again.
There is a hammered finish on most nakiri knives which is known in Japan as “tsuchime.” Finishes that are hammered by hand will reduce the drag that you would normally get while cutting your food. This will result in your food not sticking so much. If there is a Granton edge on the blade then a similar thing can be done. With a finish like this, air pockets form during the chopping process which allows food to fall off the blade rather than get stuck.
All these things are worth considering when you’re looking to purchase a nakiri knife. You may also want to pay attention to the length of the blade as well, although the minimum length is 5 inches on a nakiri knife so there shouldn’t be a problem when it comes to chopping vegetables.
Santoku Knives vs. Nakiri Knives
When it comes to Japanese knives, more consumers are familiar with santoku knives than nakiri knives. They are both very similar types of Japanese knives since they’re both found in most Japanese kitchens. However, the santoku knife has three different uses for it; dicing, slicing and mincing. In fact, the name “santoku” means “three uses” because of this. Even though the santoku knife and the nakiri knife are both lightweight, their blades are shaped differently.
The nakiri knife has a straight blade which provides clean cuts that are even when you chop up food. The santoku knife has a curved blade that lets you rock it while chopping food. The santoku knife is not only good for chopping vegetables, you can also cut up meats that are cooked as well.
The santoku knife is known for its versatility in the kitchen because it has a pointed edge and blade that is curved. These features allow the knife to handle more types of cutting tasks. The blade of the nakiri knife is totally flat so it is more suitable for making thin slices out of your foods.
Best Nakiri Knife Options
Are you searching around for the best nakiri knife? Below are two of the best nakiri knives around that you should consider using.
The Wusthof Classic Nakiri Vegetable Knife w/ Hollow Edge
If you’re familiar with famous knife brands, Wusthof is a German knife brand that is known throughout the industry. Their nakiri knives are designed to be angled on each side while having a blade with a Granton edge.
The high carbon stainless steel of the nakiri knife makes it very durable and enhances its sharpness by 30% when compared to other Japanese knives.
The Granton edge of the nakiri blade forms air pockets to prevent food from sticking while you’re chopping it. The knife can be maneuvered easily and has a steady balance to it. The blade of the nakiri knife is 7 inches in length while the knife’s total length is 10 inches. It weighs approximately 0.56 lbs., which is light enough to feel comfortable while you’re holding it.
The Wusthof nakiri knife may be more expensive than your average Japanese knife, but it will last you a long time and it will do the cutting job just right. You can slice up any vegetables you want with ease and make paper thin slices that are even. This is our top choice for the best nakiri knife on the market.
The Shun TDM0742 Premier Nakiri Knife
Throughout the knife industry in Asia, Shun is a brand that is very famous for its knives. Their knives may cost more than Wusthof knives, but Shun knives are better at cutting vegetables.
This Shun nakiri knife has a 5.5-inch blade which is a little shorter than the 7-inch Wusthof blade. The Shun’s blade has multiple layers of Damascus steel with a hammered finish which lowers drag and prevents food from sticking to the knife’s blade as you’re chopping it.
Pakkawood is used to make the handle of the knife. The handle was designed ergonomically so that the curves of your hand are comfortable while holding it. That way, you don’t have to worry about slippage as the contour of the handle fits your hand perfectly. Finally, the knife is very sharp while being very lightweight.
So, if you don’t mind spending some extra money on a top of the line nakiri knife, then you can’t do better than the Shun TDM0742 Premier Nakiri Knife.