4 Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Nakiri Knife

Are you looking to expand your culinary repertoire? If so, then you may want to consider adding a nakiri knife to your collection. This Japanese knife is specifically designed for vegetables and is a staple in almost every Japanese home kitchen. In this article, we will explore the key factors to consider before purchasing a nakiri knife, so you can make an informed decision that suits your cooking needs.

4 Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Nakiri Knife
4 Key Factors to Consider When Buying a Nakiri Knife

The Shape and Design of a Nakiri Knife

The nakiri knife features a tall blade with a fairly short, blunt tip and a straight edge. Unlike a traditional chef‘s knife, which has a curved belly, the nakiri knife is meant for slicing straight and even with precision. Its design allows for maximum contact with the cutting board, making it ideal for tasks like slicing, dicing, and chopping vegetables.

Nakiri Knife

Clarifying Misconceptions: Nakiri vs. Vegetable Cleaver

In some Western markets, the nakiri knife is mislabeled as a vegetable cleaver. However, it’s important to note that the nakiri knife is not a cleaver in the traditional sense. Unlike a cleaver, the nakiri knife has a fairly brittle and hard metal composition, which makes it unsuitable for tasks like chopping through chicken bones or tough squashes. It excels in precision cuts and fine slices, making it the perfect companion for vegetable preparation.

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Factors that Enhance Finesse and Control

During our extensive testing and analysis, our team of experts identified two key factors that significantly contribute to the feeling of finesse, control, and precision when using a nakiri knife: blade thickness and weight.

Blade Thickness:

The thickness of the blade plays a crucial role in the overall performance of a nakiri knife. Testers found that thinner blades offered greater precision and control while slicing through food. In contrast, thicker blades felt more like cleavers, wedging through the food. The difference in thickness could be as little as a single millimeter, but it made a significant impact on the cutting experience.

Knife Weight:

The weight of the knife also influences the user’s experience. Heavier knives require more arm strength and can lead to fatigue during extended food preparation sessions. On the other hand, lighter knives allow for more effortless maneuverability and reduce the risk of fatigue. Finding the right balance between weight and comfort is essential when selecting a nakiri knife.

Comparison of Nakiri Knives

Top Picks: Nakiri Knives for Every Budget

After rigorous testing, we have identified two outstanding nakiri knives that cater to different budgets without compromising on quality and performance.

The Winner: Masamoto Sohonten W Nakiri

The Masamoto Sohonten W Nakiri is the epitome of precision and craftsmanship. With a price tag of around $210, this high-end knife delivers exceptional results. While it may not replace your chef’s knife, adding it to your arsenal will take your vegetable preparation to the next level.

Best Buy: Masutani VG1 Nakiri

If you’re looking for a more budget-friendly option, the Masutani VG1 Nakiri is an excellent choice at only $70. Despite its affordability, this knife offers impressive performance and durability, making it a valuable addition to any kitchen.

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Masutani VG1 Nakiri


Q: Can a nakiri knife be used for tasks other than vegetables?

A: While a nakiri knife is primarily designed for vegetables, it can also be used for other delicate tasks like slicing boneless meats or filleting fish.

Q: How often should I sharpen my nakiri knife?

A: The frequency of sharpening depends on various factors, including usage and maintenance. As a general guideline, it is recommended to sharpen your nakiri knife every few months or as needed to maintain its optimal performance.

Q: Are nakiri knives dishwasher safe?

A: To preserve the quality and longevity of your nakiri knife, it is best to hand wash and dry it immediately after use. Dishwashers can expose the blade to harsh conditions that may lead to corrosion or damage.


When considering the purchase of a nakiri knife, it is crucial to keep in mind factors such as the shape, blade thickness, and weight. By understanding these elements and choosing a knife that aligns with your preferences and budget, you can elevate your vegetable preparation skills to new heights. Whether you opt for the high-end Masamoto Sohonten W Nakiri or the budget-friendly Masutani VG1 Nakiri, you can be confident that both options will deliver outstanding performance in the kitchen. Happy cooking!

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