Last updated: August 9, 2021

Welcome to our big Nakiri knife test 2021. Here we present all the Nakiri knives we have tested in detail. We have compiled detailed background information and added a summary of customer reviews on the web.

We would like to make your purchase decision easier and help you find the best Nakiri knife for you.

You will also find answers to frequently asked questions in our guide. If available, we also offer interesting test videos. Furthermore, you will also find some important information on this page that you should be aware of if you want to buy a Nakiri knife.




Summary

  • The nakiri is a Japanese vegetable knife and typically has a rectangular blade.
  • The nakiri is perfect for vegetables and is therefore very popular with many cooks.
  • If you want to cut wafer-thin strips of vegetables in the kitchen, the Nakiri is a great choice.

The Best Nakiri Knife: Our Picks

Guide: Questions you should ask yourself before buying a Nakiri Knife

What is a Nakiri knife?

The Nakiri knife is already a very popular knife and the trend is still growing.

In Japan, the Nakiri knife is a must-have for every chef who cooks vegetables. Thanks to its unusual shape, it fits very well in the hand even if you cut a lot of vegetables at once.

The knife has a rectangular blade, a high back and is ground on both sides.

What distinguishes the Nakiri knife from ordinary kitchen knives?

The Nakiri is specially designed for vegetables and is therefore highly recommended if you often deal with vegetables in the kitchen.

Japanese cooks appreciate the Nakiri knife very much. Moreover, the Damascus steel is decorative, of high quality and visually exudes prestige.

With the Nakiri knife you are always well prepared when vegetables are on the menu. (Image source: unspalsh.com / Dose Juice)

What kind of materials are used for the production and how does this affect the sharpness?

Nakiri knives are often hand-forged and are therefore of very high quality. They are made of steel that is much harder than the conventional European steel. These steels have a hardness of up to 67 HRC.

In addition, Nakiri knives offer low wear, i.e. they stay sharper for longer. You should definitely pay attention to what the Nakiri knife is made of.

What can I cut with a Nakiri knife?

The Nakiri knife is meant for vegetables, you can also cut fruits and the like, but you should be aware that you should be practiced to be able to handle the Nakiri properly.

You should also never try to chop bones, that's what the cleaver is for. Parts of the blade of the nakiri knife would most likely break off.

Bones are better cut with an office knife - the blade is specially designed for harder materials and does not break off so quickly when cutting.

What alternatives are there to a Nakiri knife?

Alternatives to the Nakiri knife include the Usuba knife. However, the Usuba knife is intended more for peeling vegetables and not for cutting.

The Nakiri knife is simply better at cutting vegetables, but the Usuba would be a good alternative to the Nakiri knife.

What does a Nakiri knife cost?

The Nakiri knife varies greatly in price, but you can expect a good quality knife in the region of 150€, although there are also cheaper models that are not really convincing.

The price range goes up to 600€, everything above that is just more luxury extras. Hand-forged good knives cost around 200€ and you have excellent quality.

Type of manufacture price
Hand-forged approx. 120-600€
Machine-made approx. 100-600€

What types of Nakiri Knives are there and which is the right one for you?

There are two basic types of Nakiri knives:

  • Hand-forged
  • Machine made

What distinguishes a hand-forged Nakiri knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

With a hand-forged Nakiri knife you play it safe in terms of quality. You have an excellent balance, which is very important for cooks who cut vegetables a lot and very quickly.

Hand-forged Nakiri knives are made with the best conscience and greatest care. (Image source: unsplash.com / Manki Kim)

What's more, you have a product that is sure to look and function superbly. The price has no upper limits, but you can expect a great product starting at 200€.

However, a handmade Nakiri knife is often difficult to obtain, as smiths who forge by hand cannot logically work as quickly as machines and fewer pieces are produced.

Advantages
  • Higher quality
  • Lends more prestige
Disadvantages
  • More expensive than machine-made knives
  • Often harder to get

What distinguishes a machine-made Nakiri knife and what are its advantages and disadvantages?

Machine-made Nakiri knives are usually just as well made as hand-forged ones.

However, you should be sure what kind of steel the knife is made of in order not to get a lower quality.

The price of machine-made Nakiri knives does not drop drastically, you can expect a good Nakiri knife from 150€.

In addition, it is not entirely impossible that a manufacturing defect can be found in the knife, but you have eliminated this risk with the handmade version.

Advantages
  • Cheaper than handmade knives
  • Usually always in stock
Disadvantages
  • Manufacturing defect could happen

Buying Criteria: You can use these Factors to compare and evaluate Nakiri Knives

In order to find the best Nakiri knife for you, you should focus on the criteria listed below.

Sharpness

Sharpness plays an important role in Nakiri knives, as you can cut wafer-thin slices of vegetables with this high-quality knife.

The material also plays an important role. The harder the blade, the less often you have to resharpen it.

Hardness

The hardness plays a joint game with the sharpness, as already mentioned above. The harder the blade, the less often you have to resharpen it.

You can also choose between Japanese and European knife steel, which usually differ in hardness.

German knife steels have a hardness of around 56 HRC, whereas Japanese knife steels have a hardness of up to 67 HRC. This is a considerable difference.

However, you should always bear in mind that when the hardness increases, the brittleness also increases.

This means that if you drop a knife made of Japanese knife steel on the floor, it is more likely to break than a knife made of German knife steel.

Manufacturing process

The manufacturing process is important if you value hand-forged knives. In the end, it doesn't make much difference whether it was made by machine or by hand.

However, a hand-forged knife is something special and usually of a higher quality.

Material

You should pay attention to the material your knife is made of. Do you want a beautiful Damascus steel or a normal knife steel?

The hardness is also important, so find out what degree of hardness your knife steel has.

Optics

The look is important when buying knives in this price range. It should look prestigious.

Distinguish between Damascus and normal knife steel. Damascus steel is often folded in the forge and then treated with an acid so that the individual layers become visible.

Facts worth knowing about Nakiri Knives

How do you resharpen a Nakiri knife?

Even the hardest Nakiri knife needs to be sharpened. You can do this with a whetstone.

If the knife has not been sharpened for a while, you should use a whetstone with a grit of less than 800 to get a good pre-sharpening.

After you have finished the preliminary sharpening, you should use a grindstone with a grit of 800-2000.

Grind Grit
Repair grind 200-400
Medium grind 800-1000
Fine grind 3000-4000
Polishing grind 6000-10000

What is absolutely forbidden when using Nakiri knives?

Do not work on bones and do not misuse them for chopping. The Nakiri is very sensitive when it is chopped or pressed against hard bones.

Due to the high hardness and the resulting high brittleness of the Nakiri, it is very sensitive to shock stress, i.e. sudden forces or vibrations. It can easily happen that a small piece of the blade breaks off.

Picture source: 123rf.com / 96476299

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