What are Nakiri Knives Used For?

by Ryan Shaffer December 06, 2020 4 min read

What are Nakiri Knives Used For?

Consider a Nakiri Knife when adding a new knife to your kitchen collection. Nakiri knives are revered in Japan because of their flexible use, broad squared blade, and premium chopping and cutting capabilities. While shopping for kitchen knives can seem like a simple task, the truth is that you can always use a bit of help when it comes time to buy a Nakiri knife.

Today, we are going to explore the history of Nakiri knives before delving into their many uses. By the end of our conversation, you should be ready to pick up the Nakiri knife of your dreams from the team at Hasu-Seizo.

Nakiri Knife Buying Guide: Exploring Japan's Favorite Blade

Are you a kitchen aficionado? Do you love to slice and dice nori rolls and katsuramuki veggie sheets? Do you want to quickly cut through your favorite vegetables with a reliable, safe, and enduring knife? No matter your experience level or desired culinary menu, a Nakiri knife can provide many clear and tangible benefits to the user.

First, let's explore the core ideas that best embody the modern Nakiri knife.

  • A traditional Nakiri knife is similar to a double-bevel cleaver. The squared blade allows the user to more capably control the motion and angle of each individual cut. Squared-off tips and a flatter design profile allow for quick and convenient push-cutting as well as chopping.

When you first start shopping for your next Nakiri knife, you need to keep an eye out for some core traits and features. To ensure that you choose the perfect Japanese vegetable blade, consider the following features during your decision-making process.

Factors to Consider When Choosing a Nakiri Knife

  • Type of Steel Blade - First and foremost, your search for the perfect Nakiri blade should start with an assessment of the blade's key material. Shopping for Nakiri knives will lead you to consider two primary materials: low carbon and high carbon blades. While both blades will be made from stainless steel, carbon content is almost more important to understand.
    • Stainless Steel Blades - Blades with lower carbon content but with higher chromium will go dull far quicker than blades with a higher content of carbon. These blades are softer and as such need to be sharpened more frequently.  However, the stainless steel is also less brittle and are less likely to chip.

Nakiri Knife - Damascus - Hasu-Seizo - Sakai Takayuki

    • High Carbon Blades - Enduring and long-lasting, these blades require significantly less sharpening as the edge will stay sharp significantly longer. This type of knife will need to be cleaned and dried quickly as higher carbon is more likely to rust if left around water.

Nakiri Knife Aoniko Japanese Carbon Steel 

    • Length of Blade - We also need to assess the length of the blade that we choose for our kitchen. Nakiri blades tend to be around the 5" to 7" mark, allowing individuals to cut while retaining maneuverability.
  • Blade Finish – Nakiri knives typically come in two varieties of blade finish. A standard or mirror finish, without any indentations, and then a hammered finish.  Whether you are dicing up vegetables or working your way through a stir-fry, a blade with a hammered finish will help the food release from the blade. Nakiri knives with a hammered finish will experience reduced drag and more efficient cuts.
  • Quality of Handle - You can't have a great knife without a high-quality blade handle. Focus on ergonomics and control over everything else. A traditional Japanese wooden handle with either an octagonal or oval shape is one style.  The other style is the Western style which is more ergonomic and shaped to fit the hand. Each of these two styles have completely different feels and weighting as the tang (metal of the blade) is either partial with the traditional Japanese handles or full with the Western styles. As you work with your Nakiri knife, you will rest easier knowing that you have a good grip on the blade.

When Will I Use My Nakiri Knife?

Now that we have a more exhaustive understanding of the Nakiri knife as well as its core traits, we can look to when you are actually going to be reaching for your Japanese blade. Nakiri knives are dynamic performers within the kitchen thanks to the range of benefits and variables that they provide. Thanks to the sleek design and squared blade edge, individuals can enjoy using their Nakiri knives in a whole range of ways.

Here are a few key reasons to consider keeping a Nakiri knife close to hand!

  • Even Slices - The Nakiri features a flat blade that allows you to experience utmost control over each cutting, chopping, and slicing motion. You can enjoy thin, even slices for any dish.
  • Cleaner Cuts - Nakiri knives offer cleaner cuts which make them ideal for chopping thicker vegetables. Whether you are dealing with daikon radishes, green onions or tomatoes, you'll find the Nakiri knife can get the job done.
  • Chop & Mince - The Nakiri knife is revered by Japanese chefs thanks to the fluid chopping and mincing capabilities that the blade provides. You can chop through just about any vegetable with one simple, straight, and fluid motion. Thanks to the blade design, your Nakiri knife will shed veggies for cleaner and more delicate cuts.

Be sure to follow proper maintenance and safety protocols to ensure the longevity of your blade.

Experience the Difference With Hasu-Seizo Knives

Nakiri knives aren't going anywhere anytime soon and companies like Hasu-Seizo are making sure of it. Hasu-Seizo is a family founded and operated business based out of Seattle. With family in Osaka manufacturing Sakai Takayuki brand products, the team at Hasu-Seizo has the lineage and legacy to provide you with high-quality Nakiri blades at unbeatable prices.

Hasu-Seizo is dedicated to providing Nakiri knives that feature as much function as they do artistic expression. Built to last and in honor of the history of Japanese knife making, the artisan Japanese knives at Hasu-Seizo can help you become the culinary guru you've always dreamed of!

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