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Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 1:30 pm

Can some one explain why there are Nakiri's? I mean is there something inherent to it's design that makes it more suitable to cutting vegetables than a gyuto? Chinese cleaver (thin, small size)? To me (non-knifehead) it just looks like a gyuto with the tip missing. :) Why would you include a Nakiri in your collection? (home cooks or chefs)

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:12 pm

The edge is mostly flat, so you can do light chopping with it and there is less accordianing of the food. It is also usually much thinner than most gyuto's, except for the thin gyuto's/Lasers. All of mine have a Kurouchi or Nashiji finish, which helps the food not to stick as badly; my smooth sides gyuto's stick like crazy, where the food just slides off of the Nakiri's. For the home cooks, I find the Nakiri does a really nice job with the amount of food prep needed. If I worked in a Pro kitchen, I would get a 240 or 270 laser type gyuto for veggie prep when I gotta go thru a ton of stuff. For home cooks, the Nakiri works a bit better than most normal thickness gyuto's out there in my experience. Also, using the Nakiri for the veggies and stuff saves the edge on the gyuto, so I have to sharpen less since the cutting is split between 2 knives instead of 1 knife!

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 2:36 pm

If I may.. adding to taz comments. Its one the knives I like the most after Gyuto and Suji for a number of reasons:

1) Geometry of edge just as taz mentioned.
2) Its double beveled, a westernized version of an Usuba (from a certain point of view) and easier to sharpen for the non initiated.
3) Its thinner than the usuba as well and not completely flat so it glides better through the board.
4) Its shorter than a gyuto so it functions as a sort of spatula (kind of a small cleaver if you will so its ideal for chopping and moving vegetables.
5) Its fun!

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 3:10 pm

The nakiri is a very useful shape when space is at a premium.

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 5:40 pm

Some good points guys. Thanks. Might add one to my collection.

So ummm how do you guys feel about Deba's? :) Or do most of you not own Deba's or if you do...rarely use it. It's supposed to be a butcher's knife but it's designed to cut through meat/fish but not bone. Typically.

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:15 pm

A Deba is not a butcher knife, it's a knife for breaking down fish. It's not meant for chicken, steak, etc. It's not to take the place of a cleaver, either! Many people assume that it's a butcher knife because it's thick. I use bigger Deba's when I prepare/fillet fish I catch while fishing like Tuna and Mahi. I have a smaller one for the inshore saltwater fish like Striped Bass, Sea Bass, Fluke, Blackfish/Tog, etc. It can go through fish bones, but depending on the angle of the edge, may chip. I used to fillet smaller Tuna by cutting right through the horizontal bones and getting 2 halves of the fish. No problems chipping there, but when I was whacking through the spine to take the head off of bigger tuna, it chipped a little. You are supposed to do a micro bevel near the heel of the knife to make that part of the edge stronger. Then you place that part of the edge on the joint of the bone you want to cut and hit the back or push down hard with your hand. I was chopping at the spine, which is why it chipped. A Deba is great if you are breaking down whole fish or big cuts of fish.

A poultry knife is the Honesuki or Garasuki or Hankotsu; they are usually single beveled from what I have seen. I have a Honesuki; it works well on chickens, but not so much boning out animals european style. We tried it for deer and the Western style boning knife is better. The Honesuki was OK for removing silver skin though.

A Western Deba is a different animal. It is double beveled compared to the Deba, which is single beveled and the back is concaved. The Western Deba could be used for butchering meat, but I haven't played with one to see what it would be useful for. It's a big, heavy knife, but again, not for chopping through bones and stuff.

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 6:39 pm

I suppose for sectioning an entire chicken a Chinese cleaver is still the best choice? Obviously one that designed for going through chicken bones (e.g. rib cage). Separating joints.

What about the Japanese cleavers like the "Chakubocho"? Would they go through chickens and turkey's?

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:18 pm

The Garasuki and Honesuki are designed to break down poultry; they are the same, but the Garasuki is a bit bigger/beefier usually to take care of larger poultry. I dismantled a chicken once with my Honesuki, and it did an amazing job. Breasts came off nice and clean and the way the tip is designed, goes right into the joints to separate them easily to remove the legs, thighs, wings. I imagine the Western Deba will go thru the rib bones or at least split the softer sternum, but it's going to be a fairly heavy unwieldy knife. The Honesuki is beefy compared to a Nakiri or thin gyuto, but not as thick as a Deba.

I have one of these, but it's before the switch to the VG-10 core:

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:25 pm

Found the Garasuki:

Re: Why Nakiri's?

Mon Jul 23, 2012 7:34 pm

Agreed. For most of the poultry work separating at the joints a boning knife will do. And to split the rib cage at the softter sternum a "heavier duty" chef's knife will do (http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=en ... Cw2Oo&NR=1). So I could pickup a western deba or a CCK cleaver (e.g. KF 1602 aka "bone chopper").

Thanks for your advice Taz.
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