Nakiri Knife: Is It The Best Vegetable Chopper?

As a cooking enthusiast, I’m always looking for ways to improve my process. I’ve learned that one of the best things I can do is invest in high-quality cookware designed to help me prep more efficiently.

My Top 3 Nakiri Knives

One of my more recent purchases, the bold Nakiri knife, has virtually cut my prep time in half. These aren’t your typical vegetable knives though. These traditional Japanese blades are fully straight-edged, allowing you to seamlessly cut through foods without the need for a horizontal pull or push.

Clearly, these blades are worth having around. In this article, I’ll go over some of my favorite Nakiri knives on the market today. You’re bound to be satisfied with any of these 10 excellent blades.

Top 10 Nakiri Knives in 2020

Without further ado, here are the top 10 Nakiri knives available in 2020.


1. DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife

DALSTRONG Nakiri Asian Vegetable Knife

For a no-fuss Nakiri knife, check out this blade by DALSTRONG. This blade is made to last with its superior design and construction. I also love how the knife comes custom with its own protective sheath so that you can keep in the blade in excellent condition for years to come.

The German-engineered steel blade is full-tang, making this knife incredibly well balanced. With 56+ score on the Rockwell hardness scale, you can’t get much better than this blade. Best of all, the knife is backed by a 100% money-back guarantee. If it doesn’t work for you or your kitchen, you’ll get your money back, no questions asked.

Pros:

  • High-quality blade
  • Well-balanced knife with full-tang construction
  • Backed by a money-back guarantee
  • Included sheath for easy storage

Cons:

  • May be a bit heavy for beginner users
$69.77 from Amazon

2. Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife

Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife

This razor-sharp Nakiri blade is at the top of its class with its ultra-sharp construction and design. The blade is made out of high-quality German steel and is full-tang for well-balanced cuts with every use. With the embedded bevels, this blade is able to cut through thick fruits and vegetables without added friction.

I love how the ergonomic handle is easy to grip and makes using this impressive blade a breeze. Best of all, this knife comes with a beautiful display box making it the perfect gift for any chef.

Pros:

  • Included display box
  • Super durable blade
  • High-quality German steel
  • Ultra-sharp design

Cons:

  • May be difficult to store
$48.97 from Amazon

3. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Nakiri Vegetable Knife

Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Nakiri Vegetable Knife

Mercer is known for making high-quality blades, and this vegetable knife is no exception. The knife is made out of high-quality carbon-forged steel, ensuring maximum durability. You’ll love the 7-inch blade size, making this the ideal Nakiri blade for all-purpose prep work.

Best of all, you get a limited lifetime warranty with your purchase so you won’t have to worry about making a poor buying decision. The knife is made out of German steel and with an ergonomic handle making it the perfect blade for new and old cooks alike.

Pros:

  • Easy-grip handle
  • Ultra-durable blade
  • Limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • May be difficult to store
$48.58 from Amazon

4. Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Nakiri Vegetable Knife

Mercer Culinary Asian Collection Nakiri Vegetable Knife

This gorgeous Nakiri knife is perfect for all of your prep work with its superior construction and durable blade. The vegetable knife has a beautiful wooden handle, making this the perfect pick for any home.

Best of all, the knife has an authentic Japanese inscription on part of the blade adding to the genuine Nakiri nature of the blade. The knife also has a limited lifetime warranty, so you won’t have any doubts about making this purchase.

Pros:

  • Very durable knife
  • Beautiful design with neutral wood handle and inscribed blade
  • Included limited lifetime warranty
  • Perfect for a wide variety of cooking tasks

Cons:

  • Does not come with a storage case or sheath
$43.95 from Amazon

5. Kai 6716N Wasabi Black Nakiri Knife

Kai 6716N Wasabi Black Nakiri Knife

This beautiful 6-inch blade is perfect for executing all your prep tasks with ease. The Nakiri blade is made out of durable, stainless-steel carbon, making it perfect for slicing through fruits and vegetables. Notably, this knife has a beautiful Japanese inscription of the word “Wasabi”.

The knife is made super strong so you’re sure to enjoy this knife for years to come. You’re also given a limited warranty, so you’ll be able to get your money back should you have any qualms with your purchase.

Pros:

  • Compact size
  • Super durable carbon-infused steel
  • Japanese embedded inscription for a more authentic feel
  • Included limited warranty

Cons:

  • Shorter blade length may be limiting for some prep jobs
$33.99 from Amazon

6. imarku Nakiri Chef Knife

imarku Nakiri Chef Knife

This stunning 7-inch blade has a partially beveled appearance giving it a unique, classy finish. The straight-edge knife is perfect for chopping fruits and vegetables with ease. With an ergonomic handle and non-slip feel, you’ll have no trouble handling this Nakiri blade.

You’ll also get an elegant box with your purchase, making this a great gift for any of your food fanatic friends. Best of all, this knife is backed by a lifetime guarantee, so you won’t have to worry about being dissatisfied with your purchase.

Pros:

  • Every knife comes directly from the manufacturer
  • Slightly-curved blade for an easy grip while in use
  • Beautiful display box
  • Unique half-beveled appearance

Cons:

  • Does not come with a custom sheath, which may make storage more difficult
$29.99 from Amazon

7. Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife

Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife

Don’t be fooled by this blade’s modest price point. It is extremely functional, despite being extremely affordable. The 7-inch blade is made of high-quality Japanese steel. It is stain-resistant and easy to clean with warm water and mild soap.

I love its ergonomic Santoprene and polypropene handle. You’ll have no trouble cutting through fruits and vegetables with ease as I did. There’s also embedded rubber finger rests to reduce fatigue while cutting. You’re sure to love the simplicity and functionality of this excellent Nakiri knife.

Pros:

  • Rubberized handle for an easy grip
  • Generous 7-inch blade
  • Stain-resistant Japanese steel
  • Protective finger guard

Cons:

  • Does not come with a custom sheath
$28.95 from Amazon

8. TUO Nakiri Knife

TUO Nakiri Knife

This beautiful Nakiri knife is made with a sturdy 6.5-inch blade. The full-tang construction of this knife makes it super easy to use and properly balanced for everyday use. Notably, the handle has a rustic wood appearance to it, making it a beautiful piece to add to your collection. Plus, the light curve allows you to cut properly without becoming fatigued.

What I love is that each Damascus steel blade has a striking signature dragon keel pattern that is just as powerful as it looks.

Pros:

  • Unique appearance
  • Dragon-keel blade pattern
  • Stain-resistant design
  • Rustic wooden handle

Cons:

  • May be difficult to store without an included case or sheath
$28.95 from Amazon

9. Happy Sales HSSR200, Japanese Nakiri Chef Knife

Happy Sales HSSR200, Japanese Nakiri Chef Knife

This professional Nakiri knife is perfect for no-fuss prep work while in the kitchen. The stainless steel blade is super durable so you’ll be able to use this knife with no trouble at all. Notably, the blade has a unique neutral wood appearance making it a beautiful addition to any kitchen.

The Nakiri knife runs about 6-inches long and has a beautiful engraving for ease of use. Overall, this is an excellent blade for the price.

Pros:

  • Affordably priced
  • High-quality blade
  • Super durable construction
  • Embedded inscription

Cons:

  • Does not come with a storage option
$19.99 from Amazon

10. Kai USA AB5071 Pure Komachi 2 Nakiri Knife

Kai USA AB5071 Pure Komachi 2 Nakiri Knife

For a unique Nakiri blade, this option by Kai is an excellent pick. The ultra-functional blade comes in a vibrant bright green and has beveled slots so that you won’t have any excess friction while prepping fruits or vegetables. The blade is about 5-inches long, making it the perfect size for most all-purpose prep jobs.

I was impressed by the high value of this blade for the price. Overall, this is an excellent Nakiri knife for small and large food prep jobs. The super sharp knife is great for preparing any and all of your favorite dishes.

Pros:

  • Affordable price point
  • Perfect size for most prep jobs
  • Comes with beveled slots to reduce friction
  • Super-functional blade

Cons:

  • Does not come with a sheath, which could make storage difficult
$9.47 from Amazon

What Does Nakiri Mean?

What does Nakiri mean?

Before you get a Nakiri blade, you’re probably wondering what “Nakiri” actually means. When translated from Japanese, nakiri literally means “vegetable chopper”. You’ll find that a couple of Nakiri blades will have this engraved in Japanese on the metal blade, adding to their authentic appearance.

What Is the Nakiri Knife Used For?

So, why would you need a Nakiri knife in the first place? Here are a couple of uses for the Japanese blades.

Chopping Vegetables

The most obvious use for Nakiri blades is the original intended purpose of chopping greens and vegetables. Their straight edged-blade makes it super easy to slice anything from rustic roots to leafy greens. Most of the blades also have built-in bevels to reduce unnecessary friction while chopping.

Conserving Energy

Nakiri blades are famous for their functionality. Since the blades are entirely straight-edged, these knives can cut down to the cutting board without excess force being exerted. For those reasons, they are usually a bit heavier than your traditional all-purpose cutting blade.

You’ll also find that these blades make for naturally more fluid cuts and chopping jobs. They are great for more delicate or fleshy vegetables with their unique ability to cut the produce without damaging the vegetables in the process.

What is Nakiri knife used for?

Soft Chopping

Nakiri knives are great for chopping any fruit or vegetables with ease. Any food that has a soft or fleshy exterior can easily be chopped by a high-quality Nakiri blade, making this a perfect all-purpose kitchen tool.

Thin Slicing

Nakiri knives are known for making thin, even slices which makes them perfect for a wide variety of chopping jobs. You can cut the thinnest ribbons of vegetables, making them ideal for making vegetable-focused dishes like stir-fry.

How Do You Use Nakiri Knives?

To keep your new blade in tip-top shape, it is essential that you use your Nakiri blade properly. Here are a couple of main tips to get you started with your brand new blade.

Cut Vertically

Due to the Nakiri blade’s signature design, it’s essential that you only cut up and down with these blades, not horizontally like you might with other blades. Nakiri blades are meant to chop or slice but never saw.

Practice Proper Knife Safety

Nakiri blades should be handled using proper knife safety techniques as you would with any other knife. Make sure you chop with these knives keeping your guiding hand in a claw-like shape to avoid any accidents. Remember, these knives are made to be extra sharp, so it’s important to stay diligent while using them.

How do you use Nakiri knives?

Don’t Forget to Sharpen

Like any blade, Nakiri knives need to be routinely sharpened in order to function properly. Make sure you take the time to sharpen your knife whenever you feel your blade noticeably dulling or slowing down in regards to chopping performance.

Moreover, depending on your knife’s construction, you may have to sharpen the blade more or less often. High-carbon concentration in your blade material usually means you won’t have to sharpen your blade as much.

Keep Your Blade Properly Stored

Nakiri knives are most likely larger than your average blade since they are made for intense chopping and cutting. In which case, proper storage is that much more important especially if you have a household with pets or small kids. Look out for blades that come with a sheath or storage case to make this process easier.

What’s the Difference Between Nakiri and Santoku Knife?

Santoku knives are other Japanese blades that are commonly compared to Nakiri knives. However, these blades are incredibly different from one another and each has its own characteristics. Here are some of the major differences between Nakiri and Santoku blades.

What is the difference between Santoku and Nakiri knife?

Intended Purpose

While Nakiri blades are almost exclusively used for chopping vegetables and some fruits, Santoku blades are much more all-purpose. While Nakiri blades are generally more powerful in terms of weight and chopping power in comparison with Santoku blades, Santoku knives are much more versatile.

Weight

Since Nakiri knives are made for serious chopping, they usually have more weight on them than Santoku blades. Nakiri knives are sometimes referred to as vegetable cleavers for their butcher knife-like appearance and heavyset design. Santoku knives are in turn, easier to manage with their lightweight design.

Blade Design

The most notable difference between Nakiri and Santoku blades is the design of the blade itself. Nakiri blades are 100% flat-bottomed making them perfect for the ultimate chopping experience. Santoku knives, in contrast, are slightly curved, looking much more like a traditional chef’s knife.

Overall Length

Nakiri knives are longer than Santoku blades since they are made for chopping long, stalky vegetables. Santoku blades are usually more compact averaging around 6-inches in length making them easier to maneuver for every day or all-purpose use. 

Factors to Consider When Picking Out Your Nakiri Blade

With so many great Nakiri blade options, it can be difficult to determine the perfect blade for your home. Here are a couple of factors to take into consideration while searching for the best Nakiri blade for your needs.

Included Storage Options

Nakiri blades can be stereotypically long and bulky. While this is super helpful for ultimate chopping power, it’s not ideal for storage. If possible, look for knives that come with a custom sheath or storage case.

Nakiri blades are known for being super sharp, so it’s best not to keep them in a crowded drawer. Not only will this prevent future injury, but it will also ensure that you don’t accidentally damage other blades while storing your knives.

Overall Weight

Nakiri knives can be pretty heavy. While this feature is great for the experienced chef, it may take some getting used to for beginners. If you’re not sure, look out for lighter Nakiri blades. While you may need to use some extra force while chopping, lighter blades can be easier to maneuver which is perfect for efficient cooking.

How to pick the best Nakiri knife?

Engravings

Many people like having a Nakiri blade not just because it’s useful, but also due to its beautiful design. You’ll often find Japanese engravings on more traditional Nakiri blades, which adds significantly to its overall design. If you’re considering putting your blades out for display when not in use, or just want a more traditional Nakiri knife, make sure you make Japanese embedded blade engravings a priority.

Handle Style

As you’ll see from this list, many of these blades vary greatly in the style of handle. Outside of aesthetics, many Nakiri blades have full-tang construction, adding to their value. What this means, is that the blade extends out fully so that it is encased inside of the handle, rather than just an added on the extension. Full-tang blades are usually very well balanced making them pretty easy to maneuver, especially for chopping purposes.

Cost

A blade doesn’t have to be expensive to work well. In fact, most of the blades on this list are under $50, yet they still hold up impressively well as efficient Nakiri blades.

Blade Construction

While all Nakiri blades are built to be super strong and great choppers, they aren’t all made of the same material. Pay attention to whether or not you want steel, steel-blend, or synthetic blade material. While each blade type has its own set of unique benefits, steel or steel-blend Nakiri knives are usually considered the strongest, making them more likely to last longer.

If you choose to go with a steel-blend instead of a pure metal, look for knives with a high carbon concentration. These knives are the most likely to last for longer periods of time, making them a great pick for any kitchen.

Try to also pay attention to blade finish: blades that have built-in bevels or anti-stick construction make for smoother cuts, and therefore more delicious dishes.

How to Care for Your Nakiri Blade

Making any blade or cutting tool last long takes time and effort. Here are some of my top tips for making your Nakiri blade last over time.

Hand-washing

While some of these blades technically can be washed in the dishwasher, it is always best practice to clean them carefully by hand with mild soap and water. However, make sure you do so cautiously. The blades are made extremely sharp, so you could easily injure yourself if you’re not careful.

Storing Properly

Nakiri blades can be particularly sharp and heavy, making them dangerous when not handled properly. Storing your blade properly is particularly important if you live in a household with small kids or pets. Pets can easily climb on top of counters, so having a knife block to store your Nakiri blade may not be the best idea. You could try using an in-drawer knife insert in order to keep your knife properly concealed.

Try to look for knives that come with a storage package or sheath with the purchase of your blade. As you’ll learn, these knives are particularly bulky and somewhat heavy (you can think of them as less intense vegetable cleavers) that can be a challenge to store using traditional methods.

Proper Use

One of the best ways you can make your Nakiri knife last is by using it for its intended purpose. These blades should only be used to cut up-and-down or vertically. If they are used to cut horizontally or push and pull food, the blade could easily be damaged. However, if you’re using these blades for chopping, as they are intended, your blades are much more likely to last a longer amount of time.

An Excellent Vegetable Chopper

Nakiri knives are great for cutting down your food prep time with their sturdy, reliable design. With their heavyweight construction, these blades can easily chop down on the thickest leafy greens with ease.

Nakiri Knife: Is It The Best Vegetable Chopper? 1

Though you won’t be able to saw with these blades, they are still worth having as a part of your collection. These choppers are great for professional chefs or anyone with a large family who prepares meals in bulk. All in all, any of these 10 excellent Nakiri knives would make perfect blades for your kitchen. Enjoying adding these unique, sturdy blades to your cooking arsenal.

Last update on 2020-05-25 at 12:50 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

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