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inexpensive nakiri

Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:05 pm

Mark Richmond,

I am thinking about getting a new knife, something inexpensive with good steel (and temper). I am drawn to nakiris and "wa" handles, but not dead set on either. (Are western or wa handles usually better on budget models?) As a lefty I would like a knife that is actually neutral in design (I accept that true left-handed customs do not fit with inexpensive). It is my understanding that many if not most Japanese style knives have an asymmetric blade (not bevel) grind, by which I mean that the right (starboard) side of the knife is more convex than the left. Are any of these models true neutral grinds?:

Richmond Artifex Nakiri 170mm
Richmond Artifex 210mm Gyuto
Tanaka Kurouchi Nakiri 165mm
Tojiro DP Wa-Nakiri 165mm
Tojiro Shirogami Nakiri 165mm
Dojo Hayashi Nakiri 165mm

Also, apart from the neutral grind, do you have any specific remarks about these knives (e.g. temper quality), or other recommendations in that price range?



Re: inexpensive nakiri

Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:07 pm

Of the group I kind of like my gyuto. Hopefully you will get some other opinions.

Re: inexpensive nakiri

Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:38 pm

I have the Tanaka Sekiso 165mm Nakiri, a tarted-up version (damascus clad), and I think it is a wonderful knife.

It is light (125 gm.) agile, sharp out of the box, fits my hand very well, and I am well pleased with it.

The Kurouchi is the same steel, and presuming a similar heat treat, it should be an equally fine knife.

Re: inexpensive nakiri

Sun Mar 31, 2013 4:50 pm

I have both the Tanaka KU and Sekiso Nakiri. The Sekiso glides right thru even sweet potatoes. The KU Tanaka is a bit taller and more rustic feeling. Both sharpen up well and take a wicked edge.

I also have the Tojiro Shirogami that I am getting ready to do up a handle for. I only used it a few times, but it seemed to cut well and it feels a touch more beefy than the Tanaka's, esp. the Sekiso, which is very light.

Re: inexpensive nakiri

Sun Mar 31, 2013 5:22 pm

Ok, got some quick choil shots.

4 Nakiri's. Tojiro Shirogami (tang shortened, waiting for new handle), Fujiwara Terayasu, Tanaka KU and Tanaka Sekiso.

Choil shots:
Tojiro Shirogami:

Tanaka KU: This has been thinned a bit when I flattened the blade road for the Kasumi finish:

Tanaka Sekiso:

I would say they aren't exactly 50/50, but they are fairly close, so some time on a very coarse stone should get them there. I would recommend the Tanaka KU or Tojiro Shirogami if you are going to redo the bevels. The Dojo and Artifex nakiri may be true 50/50, but I'm not sure.
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