Plenty of people have their “favorite” items in the kitchen. They might like to use their Instapot for quick meals, their oven for brownies, and their blender for tasty smoothies. But have you ever thought about upping your game in the knife department?
If you’re someone that eats or cooks with vegetables often, then I have something you need to buy…like, yesterday. It’s called a Nakiri knife, and it is the quintessential vegetable knife on the market. A Nariki knife will change the way you cut veggies for good. There is no pulling punches or fancy footwork when slicing and dicing your favorite veggies. Just chop down the cutting board, and you’re all set!
But which Nakiri knife should be gracing the countertops of your kitchen? There are so many options on the market. To make sure you get the right one, I decided to research for you. I have come up with a must-see list of the best Nakiri knives in 2021.
Carry on reading or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
What Should I Look For When Buying Nakiri Knives?
Whether you’re new to the world of cutlery or you are a expert, if you’re in the market for a Japanese Nakiri knife, you need to make sure you’re buying the right one for you. And if you’re thinking about whether you really need one or not, the best thing to remember is this: A chef knife might be able to do all kinds of cutting, but a specialty knife will allow for the best cuts. So, if you cut vegetables often, you will certainly enjoy having a Nakiri knife on board.
With all that said, let’s take a look at some of the things to consider when buying Nakiri knives.
Criteria #1: Blade Length
Many Japanese Nakiri knives will come complete with 7 inches of blade length, but that’s not true for all. There are also shorter options, such as 5.5 inches and 6 inches. The first thing you need to do is decide which length of vegetable knife you want or need.
Criteria #2: Blade Material
Another thing in regards to the blade is the blade material. All knives are not created equal when it comes to the blade. A blade finish might be made with high carbon steel, while others come with a hammered finish. If you can, you will want to find products that have a hand-hammered finish and hollow edge regardless of the initial material. This creates the best and smoothest chopping motion while also allowing for more precision.
Criteria #3: Blade Features
Of course, having a razor-sharp cutting edge is important when buying a Nakiri knife, but that’s not all there’s to it. If you really want to have the best cutting edge and blades, then look for added features. Some of these features might include a steel core or Damascus layers. These will amplify your Nakiri vegetable knife and provide you with the ultimate experience for your vegetable cuts.
Some people may also want full tang. This, again, comes down to preferences with your knife style. The good news is, there are some full tang options to satisfy your blade requirements. That is why it is incredibly important to pay attention to the blade features while shopping around for a Nakiri knife.
Criteria #4: Handle Comfort
Fatigue when cutting a lot of vegetables is a real problem, and it’s what you want to try to avoid at all costs. Well, the best way to stay comfortable no matter how many vegetables you’re cutting is to find a Nakiri knife with an ergonomic handle. A pakkawood handle is always an excellent option, but other products might have specialty handles such as those made with military-grade materials. Look for comfort and safety when looking at the handle of your Nakiri knife.
Criteria #5: Price
While on the hunt for the best Japanese Nakiri knife, you’re going to run across a lot of variation in price tags. Some are well over $100, while others are less than $50. The best idea to do is to find a Nakiri vegetable knife that suits your budget. From there, you can decide which features are most important to you. But don’t worry – these Nakiri knives are all high-end products you can feel confident in, no matter the price.
Criteria #6: Lifetime Warranty
Peace of mind is important for most people, even when it comes to buying knives. Sound like you? While you should pay attention to the blades, edge retention handles, and whether or not there are air pockets, don’t forget the importance of having a lifetime warranty.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Nakiri Knives
With so many options for Nakiri knives on the market, how could we find the very best ones? It took a lot of research, but after evaluating the features compared to the pricing of these knives, it was easy. I considered all of the different elements of these knives to ensure they were the best on the market. We also paid attention to the Nakiri knife reviews on Amazon. All of these knives had excellent product reviews on Amazon, which is a major reason why they ranked on our top 5 best Nakiri knife list.
Let’s dive into this Nakiri knife buying guide and see which is the absolute best Nakiri knife for you!
#1: Tradafor Nakiri Knife (Best Value)
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A popular brand in the kitchen knife world is Tradafor. And that’s why the Tradafor Nakiri Knife made it to our top 5 list. These are some of the best knives you can find, and they don’t cost too much, either, which is always a major plus. Here’s why you might consider buying one for your own kitchen.
For starters, the blade of this Nakiri vegetable knife is quite impressive. It’s designed to be razor-sharp, so you can finally say goodbye to dull knives that simply don’t get the job done, especially when it comes to chopping up your favorite vegetables. That is all thanks to the design utilizing German high-carbon stainless steel. Plus, you don’t have to worry about rust, which is a big plus.
The blade itself is known as being an “Usuba” blade. What does this mean, exactly? Well, Usuba literally means “thin blade.” It provides a different blade end than other blades on the market, ensuring precise and clean-cut finishes. You can cut your vegetable into paper-thin slices, which is great for various recipes, including slaws and salads, as well as for dehydrating purposes.
Lastly, the Tradafor Nakiri Knife comes with a pakkawood handle. Pakkawood handles make it far easier to slice and dice without fatigue or injury, so it’s definitely something you want to see in your knife pick. As an additional benefit, it provides a non-slip surface for precise cutting every time.
#2: DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife (Best Nakiri Knife)
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When it comes to the very best Nakiri knife on this Nakiri knife review list, there is no other winner but the DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife. This is the Nakiri knife that comes with all of the benefits and features you might ever want from a Nakiri knife. Of course, that also means it comes with a higher price tag. But everyone who has done a Nakiri knife review on this vegetable cleaver will tell you it’s well worth the money. Let’s take a closer look at why this ranks as our number best pick.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Superior Tsuchime Blade
If there is one major element that makes this Nakiri knife stand apart from the crowd, it’s the blade. There is simply no other blade like it. It’s made using a hammered tsuchime finish, which reduces drag thanks to tiny air pockets. Plus, it reduces the chance of food sticking to the blade so that you can chop and slice swiftly.
The blade is also known for its incredible sharpness. It is said to be scalpel-like and has an 8-12 degree angle per side. With a sharp blade like this, it’s no wonder why this kitchen Nakiri knife is so easy to use and popular. It’s a serious game-changer, whether you’re chopping up your preferred vegetables or literally anything else. The blade edge retention is just as impressive, with a mark of 62+ on the Rockwell scale.
This steel blade also features a tapered bolster design which allows for ultimate balance and comfort while in use. It resists rust and corrosion, leaving you with a superior blade you can rely on for years to come. In fact, with a full tang, this Nakiri knife is said to last a lifetime.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Layers and Superior Steel Core
The magnificence of this kitchen Nakiri knife doesn’t stop there, though. The core is designed with a VG-10 Japanese steel core, which is the best you can find in the industry. With this superior steel, you can rest assured that you’ll get peak performance every time.
It is a 67-layer Damascus knife. This not only makes it look beautiful in any kitchen, but it adds an extra layer of sharpness. It’s no wonder why this knife surpasses the description of being just a “good” Nakiri knife. It is undeniably the best Nakiri knife on the market today at Amazon.
Reason #3 to Choose This Product: First-Class Handle
The blade isn’t the only matter to concern yourself with when looking for the best Nakiri knife. You also need to pay attention to the handle too. Well, this Nakiri knife with a blade length of 6 inches comes with a military-grade G10 handle. This ensures the longevity of the handle and its immense durability, no matter what might come its way.
This one handle is also incredibly impervious to all types of temperatures, from extreme heat to intense cold. It can handle moisture, too, so you don’t have to worry about keeping this knife away from water.
Aside from being a reliable, long-lasting handle that can take on anything, customers will also enjoy the comfort and control the handle has to offer. It comes designed with a non-slip grip and an engraved end cap. Finished with an intricate copper mosaic, this is not only a reliable Nakiri knife but a gorgeous one, too.
Reason #4 to Choose This Product: Included Sheath
Keeping this beautiful, high-quality, and fairly pricy knife protected is important to extend its longevity. Well, you don’t have to worry about buying anything extra. With the included sheath, you have the ideal spot to conceal and protect your Nakiri knife. The sheath comes with a traditional pin and string locking mechanism to keep your knife secure at all times. At the same time, it also makes sure that there are no unwanted finger injuries either.
Reason #5 to Choose This Product: Lifetime Warranty
There is nothing quite like the peace of mind when shopping. If you’re unsure about purchasing without a warranty, don’t fret. This knife comes complete with a lifetime warranty should you dislike the product or should anything go wrong with it.
#3: Shun Premier Nakiri Knife (Best 5.5-Inch Nakiri Knife)
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There is a reason why these knives rank in the best list. In fact, the reason is right in the name – “Shun.” Shun, in Japanese, describes seasonal food when it is at its peak. Therefore, you can feel confident knowing that Shun cutlery is at its “peak”, too. When crafting their superior cutlery, the knives go through over 100 individual steps to create. Very impressive! But enough about the company and the creation of knives. Let’s look at why this specific knife ranked so highly.
For starters, the Shun Premier Nakiri Knife is designed using a layer of beautiful and protective Damascus steel, complete with a hand-hammered finish. Why is this beneficial? A hammered finish (tsuchime) gives a handcrafted appearance while also creating tiny steel blade pockets. With pockets in the blade, there is less drag and quick release of food from the blade.
Within the blade is a VG-MAX cutting core, which is notably referred to as a super steel. It is entirely resistant to any signs of wear or corrosion. It also holds onto the blade edge longer and provides ultimate sharpness.
The last reason to enjoy this handcrafted Japanese Shun Premier Nakiri Knife is that it comes with a pakkawood handle. Pakkawood handles are highly sought after. They come with a slight curve that nestles into your palm easily. This not only keeps your hand comfortable while chopping vegetables but safe, too.
#4: Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife (Best Low Cost)
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Spending $100 or more on a Nakiri knife isn’t exactly in everyone’s budget. Does that mean you’re destined to live without a superior knife to cut your vegetables? Of course, not! The Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife proves to be a reliable, high-end option that won’t break the bank.
There’s a variety of reasons why this Nakiri knife is ranked as the best low-cost option. For starters, we love the ergonomic handle. It is made of Santoprene to ensure superior comfort while chopping vegetables. The polypropylene is designed to keep the handle durable for long-lasting use. It is also designed using textured finger points to resist slips and keep you safe.
Aside from the handle, you will love that the blade is made using high-quality Japanese steel. With a steel blade as sharp as this, you can enjoy a razor-sharp edge. The blade itself is also easy to maintain and sharpens quickly. Just make sure you handwash the blade to keep it nice and sharp.
Last but not least, you will enjoy knowing that this knife is NSF certified. With the NSF certification, you can feel confident knowing that these knives pass safety, quality, and performance standards.
#5: Wusthof Classic IKON Hollow Edge Nakiri (Best 7-Inch Nakiri Knife)
Another big name in the cutlery business is Wusthof, so the Wusthof Classic made our best list. The Wusthof Classic is a 7-inch knife that will let you slice through vegetables like never before. Here are some of the reasons why it ranked in the top 5.
For this classic Nakiri knife, we will start with the handle. This Nakiri knife comes with a professional-looking black handle complete with a double bolster. With this type of bolster, you get great balance while cutting your vegetables. What more could you expect from Wusthof, the company that always strives for ergonomic and high-quality cutlery?
As far as the blade material is concerned, this classic Nakiri knife is designed with high carbon stainless steel. The high carbon steel is reinforced with a tempered 58-degree HRC (Rockwell scale) complete with precision edge technology. Combined, this blade is known for being 20% sharper than the competition.
The classic Nakiri knife blade design is just as fascinating as the handle and blade material. This high carbon steel Nakiri knife is made with a traditional thin blade with a 10-degree cutting edge. It also includes a hollow edge with vertical indentations to allow for easier cuts through vegetables. To put it simply, this is a good Nakiri knife that will see you through all of your cutting needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
Have some questions about the infamous Nakiri knife? You’re not alone. So, we answered some of the most frequently asked questions to satisfy your curiosity.
What Is a Nakiri Knife Good For?
The Japanese Nakiri knife was specifically designed to do one thing – cut through vegetables with ease. It is the go-to for chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables. These vegetable knives will replace other kitchen knives you may have used in the past, and you will be glad to have them in your kitchen drawers.
What Is the Difference between a Nakiri Knife and a Santoku Knife?
Most household kitchens have various knives in their arsenal, but if you’re looking to buy a specialty knife, which one is better – Nakiri or Santoku? A lot of people ask whether the Nakiri knives or Santoku knives are better. Well, the main difference is that the Santoku knife is more versatile than the Nakiri knife.
A Nakiri knife is specifically designed for chopping vegetables. On the other hand, Santoku knives are kitchen knives that can handle meat, vegetables, and fish. That said, Santoku kitchen knives can do more, but that might not be necessary for some chefs, even if they are only in their home kitchen.
What Is the Best Japanese Knife Brand?
Many Japanese brands are thought of as the best in the biz. There isn’t one we can pick as the absolute best. Some of the top ones are included on our list, such as Dalstrong and Shun. However, some other notable brands are Yaxell, Miyabi, and Misono.
Verdict: Best Nakiri Knives
So, which knife should find its way into your kitchen? While this article has a lot of info, I wanted to make it a bit easier for you. I broke it down into a simple summary here.
If you want the best value for your money, pick the Tradafor Nakiri Knife. This is a wonderful budget-friendly knife that comes with plenty of special features, such as a pakkawood handle and Usuba blades.
If you want the very best Nakiri knife on the market, consider the DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife. This knife comes with all the added features you would ever want, including razor sharpness, superior edge retention, and a handle with a military-grade finish that is unlike any other full tang knife on this list.
If you want a shorter, 5.5-inch knife, choose the Shun Premier Nakiri Knife. This can easily be referred to as the tiny-but-mighty kitchen knife you need. It’s hand-hammered with a VG-MAX core and Damascus layered finish. Need I say anything more?
If you want to keep the spend under $20, pick the Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife. These are quality knives with a great flat blade that stands up to the competition.
If you want a high-quality 7-inch Nakiri knife that knocks it out of the park, consider the Wusthof Classic IKON Hollow Edge Nakiri. The precision-edge and comfortable bolster handle slices and dices through veggies in a flash.
When it comes to finding a kitchen knife to handle all of your veggies, look no further than the Nakiri knife. A Nakiri knife comes with a flat blade that slices and dices veggies easily. While we have five options that can be ranked as the best Nakiri knife in their respective categories, all of these knives will work efficiently. It all comes down to your personal preference regarding the blade, blade length, and material.