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Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 6:19 pm

Simple question. With good skills and a gyuto, is there any reason at all for a nakiri?

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:17 pm

DOKELROTH <> In my humble opinion... NO.

A gyuto can do everything a Nakiri can, but conversely a Nakiri can not.

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Fri Apr 12, 2013 7:19 pm

+1

BDL

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:06 am

I disagree...but hey, Melampus knows what he's talking about.

The Japanese would not have created it if it wasn't better for vegetables than the Gyuto...which it utterly is.
Much faster, much more agile, better at scooping stuff up, has a flatter edge(better speed through skins), usually thinner...on and on and on....

Not taking anything away from Gyuto but...why not ask the Japanese about the Usuba and Nakiri?
Westerners love Gyutos..cause they LOOK mean. That's about it. :twisted:

Yes...the Gyuto is the best knife ever created, it can leap over tall buildings with a single leap. :roll:
Takeda's catalog clearly states...for meat and cabbage. :lol:

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 2:44 am

Keep in mind that I'm new to knives but my knife skills are good.
I have no trouble at all with a chef's knife with veggies.

I typically use a 7" Shun Chef's Knife for just about everything and I think it's fabulous in size, balance and weight and sharpness for what I do.
I do see some minimal edge chipping which I've seen discussed on the forums but... whatever. Minor disappointment.

Recently, I was given a 7" Cheap Wusthof Nikiri and was immediately shocked how easily it flew threw veggies.
It's faster, easier, safer, funner, and a truly wonderful knife to own.

I can easily whip thru veggies with my Shun but I've never cut veggies with anything else, since I got the Nikiri.
In fact, I can't wait to upgrade (hence my recent thread on the subject)

Do you need one? Absolutely not.
Do you want one? No. Not until you try one.

If you're wondering, perhaps find a used cheapo on ebay and see what you think.
I have the 7" stamped hollow edge nikiri from Wusthof. Thin blade, light-weight, blah, blah.

Example:
http://www.cutleryandmore.com/wusthof-g ... QgodgEEA7Q

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 3:11 am

I can use a chefs knife for veggies and it works well, but sometimes I prefer a Nakiri instead, depending on the cutting I am doing. If I am cutting just veggies, I will grab the nakiri unless I am cutting large veggies and need the extra length. I can get thinner cuts and with more precision with the Nakiri because it is shorter, lighter and easier to control than a larger gyuto. Many Nakiri's are VERY thin behind the edge, more so than gyutos are sometimes. Also, but using a Nakiri for veggie prep, it helps the edge on my gyuto last longer too since the cutting is split between 2 knives.

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:07 am

I have a Moritaka nikiri and I use it for whenever I do katsuramuki cuts with vegetable. I have an usuba, but I find I do a better job with the nikiri.

I guess I can probably do it with a gyuto, but I know I would produce pretty uneven products. My knife skill just isn't good enough :)

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:15 am

I was simply answering the question, "With good skills and a gyuto, is there any reason at all for a nakiri?"

I did not see the question, "is a Nakiri better for processing vegetables than a Gyuto?"

A gyuto can do everything a Nakiri can, but conversely a Nakiri can not. There is no arguing the point. It is what it is.

I have been a professional Chef for 23 years. I have worked on both Hemispheres. I have commanded two Executive Chef posts, one restaurant of which was an Asian Fusion concept with open kitchen & full sushi bar. I have worked with Thai, Japanese, Korean, Chinese, & Vietnamese cooks... studied them, watched them, and used their tools. I have used Nakiris and I have nothing against them, but they are redundant for most all knife kits. A gyuto can do everything a Nakiri can, but conversely a Nakiri can not. If you have a station or kitchen at home that allows you to have a myriad of knives out for service, more power to ya. Most don't, and even if they had, I reckon they'd choose efficiency over excess. Ostensibly, if I was to ask the Japanese as suggested, I should probably have a Fujubiki out to serve thin sashimi, a Nakiri for all my daikon & carrot garnish, a Yanagi to cut sashimi, a sujihiki to cut maki, an Anagosaki to clean all that eel, an Ikasaki for my squid, an Usuba for my narutamaki, and an Ajikiri to deal with all the small stuff. In earnestness of efficiency though, I would just prefer a 240 suji & a small petty. The japanese have a knife for everything and said knives EXCEL at their purpose, but amid said paradigm there is a narrow scope in which each performs independently. Well... I guess the Gyuto is the paradox, but they did steal it from the Europeans so I guess that doesn't count, right... :?

I understand DESOL resonates with the Nakiri's profile, and I think that's fantastic.

I do represent the consensus though in acknowledging the Nakiri has a more narrow scope of efficacy than the Gyuto. It is what it is, and blind loyalty to a profile it is not. I do recall a comment was made accusing Westerners of loving Gyutos because they look mean and that's about the only reason why. No, in reality the Gyuto, the "cow knife", is not "the best" nor can it jump, but it is the most versatile profile in the kitchen. This is why it resides in nearly every kitchen across the North American continent.

Furthermore, if you asked 10 westerners what looked meaner, a "kitchen knife" or a "cleaver" which the Nakiri resembles quite closely to the laymen... I'd reckon the cleaver would be voted meanest.

I have nothing against Nakiris, I have one in a drawer right now. It is simply specifically designed for veggies, and most process more then veggies in their food prep. One knife is nice, and the Gyuto wielded by someone with good knife skills is the only knife you need. In my opinion, of course.

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:21 am

"the Gyuto wielded by someone with good knife skills is the only knife you need." +1

Good skills and a sharp gyuto :D

Re: Nakiri - What's it really good for?

Sat Apr 13, 2013 4:54 am

Just a newb here, but thought might as well put my 2 cents in.
Why are there hunting knives, survival knives, surgical knives, cooking knives, ect. I think a gyuto could probably perform all of these functions, but not as well as a knife designed for that purpose. That is probably why the Japanese design a knife for each job. A knife designed for a specific task is probably the best for that task.
Just a humble opinion. Besides what does it matter what another person thinks.
Gary II
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