Japanese cuisine often requires specialized best Nakiri Knife. Elsewhere this could have been a problem, but given the country’s tradition of making swords from the famous katana swords, there are many.
What is a Nakiri knife?
Nakiri means leaf cutter in Japanese, and this is the specialty of the knife, chopping, mincing, dicing and slicing vegetables. Its wide rectangular blade characterizes it with a flat and blunt tip, often rounded and not pointed. In addition to vegetables, a Nakiri knife is also great for cutting fruit. Chopping vegetables is one of the most common tasks in the kitchen or when preparing meals.
Its design will not work for precise cuts or oscillating cutting techniques such as santoku or gyuto. However, it gives you efficiency by cutting vegetables and fruits cleanly because you are using the entire cutting surface. In addition, not having a rounded tip protects the blade of the knife; the tip of the knife is what makes the first contact with the cutting board. If it were pointed or square, it would damage the knife.
Characteristics of a best Nakiri knife
You can distinguish the best nakiri knife based on several prominent features. The main ones include;
Its shape and size
Nakiri knives are rectangular in shape and range in size from 119 mm to 211 mm. However, most people prefer knives that are 164 mm or 181 mm long. The length of the knife provides good clearance between the joints, which increases comfort when using the knife. In addition, the rectangular shape offers a unique advantage: the length remains unchanged even when sharpening the knife, unlike knives with a curved blade, such as Santoku or Gyuto.
In addition to being rectangular in shape, the blade has a straight cut edge. This design makes it excellent for vertical up and down cutting motion. Its great length also allows you to cut vegetables quickly with a single downward motion. Its thin blade, on the other hand, ensures that you have clean cuts without tearing the vegetable.
The length of the blade also makes it easy to chop tough vegetables like root vegetables and squash. However, you should not confuse a nakiri knife with a knife, as the latter, although similar in shape, has a thicker blade to handle heavier work. Nakiri is not recommended for cutting bones or frozen foods.
The best nakiri knife is a double beveled knife that differs from its closest compatriot, the usuba knife. A double bevel means the blade is ground on both sides, giving it a balanced cut and giving you sharp cuts. It also allows both right- and left-handed users to use the knife, unlike a single-bevel knife that will need a left-handed chef to obtain a separate knife, often at a higher cost.
Miyabi Birchwood 5000MCD Nakiri Vegetable knife 17cm
The handle plays an important role in the ease and speed of cutting. It also affects the balance and beauty of the entire knife. Nakiri knives are usually available with two basic types of handles: the Japanese “Wa handle” or the Western handle. Most Japanese nakiri knives have a handle with a “Wa grip”. They also come in different shapes, some are octagonal, some are D-shaped, and some are oval. The choice of handle depends on your preferences, but it is a good idea to choose an ergonomic handle for safety and comfort.
Advantages of a Nakiri knife
So why should a chef choose to use a nakiri knife in the kitchen to cut vegetables? Well, there are several benefits that nakiri gives, including;
Gives you thin, even slices:
Any chef wants finely cut vegetables, and the nakiri knife gives you that thanks to its flat and thin blade. It also allows you to maintain consistency in your cuts, giving you uniform cuts, especially when you want to decorate your salads or have ribbon cuts.
Fast and fluid chopping
One simple movement is all it takes to cut the vegetables. There is no horizontal pulling or pushing, and no rocking motion required. This not only allows for quick cutting, but also prevents the veggies from sticking when cutting the veggies, especially onions and celery. The flat blade of the nakiri knife cuts through the vegetables to the cutting board.
It is excellent for delicate vegetables.
If you are cutting soft vegetables, there is a fear of squashing and damaging them. However, the thing and the flat profile of the knife give you the precision you need to chop delicate vegetables without damaging them.
The nakiri knife has a length of 5-7 inches on average. This is a generous length that allows the nakiri to handle any type of vegetable or fruit without the need for frequent repeated cuts.
It has a double bezel.
The double beveled edge of nakiri knives means they are slanted on both sides. This feature makes them ideal for cutting vegetables as it facilitates a straight cut, which is what you are looking for when you are looking for a movement that is easy to repeat.
It can be used from tip to tail.
Because it does not have a pointed end, it can use the entire surface of the blade, increasing its efficiency. Ease of cutting and efficiency is what you want from the best vegetable knives, and a nakiri delivers in spades.
What should I pay attention to when buying a kitchen knife?
Although nakiri knives are the best for vegetables, that doesn’t mean that the knife you buy at the market will be the best. You have to consider several factors, including the following.
- Steel type
- Handle type
- The price
- Blade finish
Under the steel grades, you generally have two options. Choose carbon steel or stainless steel. These two types of steel determine blade edge retention, susceptibility to corrosion and rust, and overall durability.
If you choose carbon steel, you will get knives that are easier to sharpen and can hold the edge longer. However, they require high maintenance as they are susceptible to rust and corrosion. Stainless steel has greater durability, is resistant to corrosion and rust, and does not chip easily. However, they are more difficult to sharpen and dull faster.
Wusthof Classic Series Nakiri 17cm
When you consider the handle of the knife, it all depends on your preferences and how you use it. If you are grasping kitchen knives by the handle, you should use a nakiri knife with a shaped or western-style handle. On the other hand, if you use a pinch grip, the best option is the traditional Japanese style for handles, ‘wa-handle’.
As for the price, it depends on your budget, although any chef knows that the best knives will cost more. Price often denotes quality among specialty knives, so be prepared to spend $ 100- $ 200 and more for the best nakiri knife. It helps to search for stores with discount coupons or rebates to get the best knife but stay within your budget.
Finally, the texture of the blade is also an important factor, as vegetables tend to stick to the knife when cut. The best nakiri knives have a hammered surface, traditionally called tsuchime, to avoid this problem. The hand-hammered surface reduces resistance when cutting, so vegetables don’t stick as easily. You can also get a nakiri with a grindon edge that has the same effect.
The best Nakiri knives
There are many of the best vegetable knives on the market to choose from. You can start with the Miyabi 5000FCD Nakiri vegetable knife. It measures 17 cm long, has a full tang, and offers excellent quality with its ergonomic handle, Damascus steel, and traditional Japanese sharpening method that results in a 19° symmetrical blade. It also retains its sharpness longer and has a nice slim design.
You can also choose the Tojiro Nakiri Pro Series Traditional Chopping Knife . It has a blade length of 160mm and a total length of 300. The knife is handmade in Japan and uses magnolia wood for the handle. It also uses high-quality, polished moly-vanadium composite steel.
When it comes to cutting fruits and vegetables, Nakiri knives are the best. However, the difficulty for most people is finding a place to buy them.