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Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 3:56 pm

Hello Mark,

I am looking for a good Japanese vegetable knife. My question is which is better for a home cook? A Nikiri or Usaba? Which would you recommend and why. I have just started my collection of Japanese knives. So I need something good and affordable to get started. From reading the reviews on your website. Everyone has spoken well of your knowledge and customer service. So I look forward to corresponding with you. Thanks for your time and help.

Regards,

Robert

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:09 pm

Nakiri, the Tanaka Kurouchi #2 or the Tanaka Sekiso Damascus. Konosuke HH or HD if you want Stainless or semi stainless.

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:19 pm

Also consider the Banno Bunka. I believe they are Takedas most popular knife right now selling to home cooks especially. If you don't mind the care that goes with a carbon knife I think it would be a great knife to try. I plan on getting my own within the week.

http://www.chefknivestogo.com/tababu.html

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:27 pm

I still love my Tojiro Shirogami, and just sharpened it this morning matter of fact. Finished on Ozuku Asagi, .5 micron diamond, .25 micron diamond, .10 CBN. Yeah, it gets sharp. ;)

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 6:27 pm

I vote for a nakiri as well. For most home users that just want to chop vegetables the nakiri is the right knife for that job.

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Sun Sep 16, 2012 9:56 pm

Nakiri.

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:36 pm

Hi Mark,

So it's decided a Nikiri is the way to go. So what are your recommendations? Do I go with a carbon steel? If so blue or white? A semi stainless or stainless? As I stated in the previous email I'm just a home cook. However, I love cooking and like good quality tools and wares. Thanks again for your time and help.

Robert

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:41 pm

There are a bunch of good choices. Here are a couple I like a lot.
Kanehiro
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kagina16.html
Konosuke:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/kogidana18.html
Takayuki:
http://www.chefknivestogo.com/satadana160.html

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Tue Sep 18, 2012 3:49 pm

I prefer a Carbon Nakiri; I have 3 different ones :) I prefer carbon for most of my knives and I like the Patina that forms and the insanely sharp edge they will take off of Natural finishing stones. On some foods that are reactive, the carbon blade can discolor the food (onions get a brownish look to them where the blade reacts to the food) until a good, solid Patina is formed to reduce the reactivity. Onions, Tomatoes, Cabbage, etc are all fairly reactive to carbon steel or have a lot of acid to them to start making the edge rougher.

All 3 Mark listed look pretty good for a Stainless nakiri! If you like Carbon, Tanaka Sekiso or Tanaka Kurouchi Blue #2 would be at the top of my list! I have the Tanaka Kurouchi #2 and it's sweet!!

Re: Which is better, a nakiri or a usuba?

Wed Sep 19, 2012 2:13 am

Go for the nakiri. The usuba is a more delicate, specialized knife. Unless you are doing katsuramuki or seriously detailed veg work, don't go usuba. I love my usuba but the edge is very fragile, it takes a disciplined user.
My nakiri is a great, solid standby. Always there for me for excellent veg cuts with much more durability.
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