Best Nakiri Knife in 2020 – The Ultimate Guide

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There’s an abundance of options to choose from when it comes to the best nakiri knife. Although generally every nakiri knife looks fairly the same, not every knife performs as it is expected to. Therefore, we compiled a list of the top 7 best nakiri knives available today.


1. Shun Classic 6.5-inch Nakiri Knife

Shun Cutlery Classic 6.5" Nakiri Knife; Kitchen Knife Handcrafted in Japan; Hand-Sharpened 16° Double-Bevel Steel Blade for Swift and Easy Precision Work; Beautiful D-Shaped Ebony PakkaWood Handle

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Being part of Shun’s Classic line, the 6.5” nakiri knife boasts the amazing properties as other knives from the same line. Regardless of your experience as a chef, it’s crafted to serve both amateur and professional chefs.

Let’s start by stating the obvious; the Shun Classic 6.5” nakiri knife is beautifully designed, showcasing the extraordinary craftsmanship tradition of ancient Japanese sword making. As most of the vegetables knives, this model comes with a wider blade.

The Shun Classic 6.5” nakiri knife features a VG-MAX super steel core. VG-MAX is Shun’s patented steel, meaning you can’t find another nakiri knife with the same quality. So, why is it so special?

Due to the increased carbon level in the steel, the Shun Classic 6.5” nakiri knife comes with improved strength and durability. The added cobalt gives the blade better strength, while more chromium is responsible for better wear and corrosion resistance. Molybdenum further increases its corrosion resistance and adds strength. Vanadium is the one to blame for the blade’s impact resistance and cutting performance.

The VG-MAX core is clad with 34 layers of stainless steel on each side. They protect the inner core, ultimately helping the edge stay sharp for longer time. These layers create the beautiful Damascus pattern. Aside from giving the knife an attractive look, the Damascus pattern prevents food from sticking to the blade. In addition, it further enhances the blade’s corrosion resistant properties.

This nakiri knife has a blunt tip, making it perfect for chopping and slicing fruits and vegetables. Note that you shouldn’t rock the knife as chef’s knives are normally rocked. It is made to be pushed of pulled through produce.

The D-shaped ebony pakkawood handle feels like an extension to your arm. It is highly moisture resistant, making it more durable than other handles.

Pros

  • VG-MAX core with 68 altering layers of stainless steel
  • Beautiful Damascus pattern
  • Solid edge-retention
  • Comfortable pakkawood handle that’s also moisture resistant

Cons

  • Expensive if not on sale

If you are interested to read more of our articles you can check our Shun vs Miyabi comparison or how to sharpen Shun knives guide.

2. Dalstrong Shogun Series 6-inch Nakiri Knife

DALSTRONG Nakiri Vegetable Knife - Shogun Series X - Japanese AUS-10V Super Steel - Damascus - Hammered Finish - 6" (152mm)

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The Dalstrong Shogun Series 6” nakiri knife is another vegetables assassin that will serve you for years to come. Our second runner up looks elegant, but mighty as well. Not only does it offer an exceptional performance, but it will blend right into your kitchen’s décor.

Made of ultra-sharp AUS-10V steel at 62+ Rockwell hardness, it meets and exceeds our high expectations. The blade core is extremely hard and durable, protected by 66 layers of high-carbon stainless steel. Due to the fact that this is a high-carbon steel, you’ll find the blade easy to sharpen, able to hold its edge for prolonged time.

For enhanced hardness, the cleaver undergoes cryogenic tempering with liquid nitrogen. This way, Dalstrong increases the steel’s crystalline structure, ultimately increasing its strength, flexibility, and hardness. The Damascus cladding is a statement of beauty, but it’s also there to protect the core from damage.

As an added bonus, the blade features a hammered tsuchime finish that further increases the knife’s striking appearance. The tsuchime finish helps reduce drag and prevents food from sticking to the blade.

Dalstrong Shogun Series 6” nakiri knife is hand-finished to a mirror polished. Using the 3-step Honbazuke method, Dalstrong creates a staggeringly acute 10 degrees cutting angle per side. It’s among the sharpest knives we’ve had the pleasure to test, cutting through vegetables and fruits with ease.

As far as the handle is concerned, it’s created with the same amount of attention to details as the blade. Made of incredibly strong material known as G-10 Garolite, it’s built to last. The handle is highly heat, cold, and moisture resistant. With comfort at mind, it’s constructed to fit like a glove while offering superior hand control and agility. Thanks to the full-tang design, balance and breakage won’t be an issue.

Pros

  • High-quality materials
  • Stylish design
  • Sharp
  • Good blade width
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Full-tang construction

Cons

  • Expensive when not on sale
  • Some users find it heavy

3. Wusthof Classic 7-inch Nakiri Knife

Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Nakiri Knife with Hollow Edge, 4193/17

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Our third contender comes from Germany, produced by the paramount Wusthof brand. Designed with ease of use at mind, this knife delivers precise cuts regardless of the size or texture of the vegetable or fruit you have at hand. It’s so good that it didn’t fail to slice meat paper-thin either!

As any other knife from the Classic line, the 7” nakiri knife is made of special X50CrMo14 steel. The steel combines the perfect amount of chromium, molybdenum and vanadium, therefore the knives made from it come with specific set of properties.

For starters, the chromium content gives the Classic 7” nakiri knife its ability to be stain-resistant. Molybdenum, on the other hand, makes the blade extremely hard and corrosion resistant. Finally, the vanadium further increases the blade’s hardness, making this knife as durable as possible.

Wusthof’s proprietary Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) plays its part at the overall performance of the knife. This nakiri knife is laser-measured before sharpening, and computers calculate the precise cutting angle for the blade. After, precision robots sharpen the blade on a whetstone and it is then given a final polish using a special disc. Thank to this technology, the Wusthof Classic 7” nakiri knife is 20% sharpen then other nakiri knives, able to hold its 10 degrees cutting edge for prolonged time.

The blade’s performance is taken to the top thanks to the hollow ground construction. These indentations prevent ingredients from sticking to the blade. Admittedly, the hollow ground makes the knife look better too!

The triple-riveted handle is made of Polyoxymethylene, better known as POM. This synthetic material resists fading and discoloration, and it feels natural in the hand as well. We assure you that the handle is extremely comfortable, but it’s a bit heftier than what you may be expecting.

Pros

  • Great value
  • High-quality steel
  • Precision Edge Technology ensures the sharpest edge with good edge retention
  • Comfortable handle
  • Beautiful and functional hollow ground design

Cons

  • Heftier handle

If you are interested in our other reviews have a look at best Dalstrong knives and best Wusthof knives.

4. Kyoku Daimyo Series 6-inch Nakiri Knife

KYOKU Daimyo Series - Damascus Nakiri Knife with Sheath & Case - Japanese VG10 Steel

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A joy to wield, the Kyoku Daimyo series 6” nakiri knife doubles as vegetable and meat cleaver. Able to cut with precision through fresh produce as well as fish or chicken, this knife is becoming our favorite. On top of offering unmatched performance, it’s a treat to look at too.

The Kyoku Daimyo 6” nakiri knife’s cutting core is made of premium VG-10 steel. The VG-10 super steel is famed for its ability to hold an edge. In addition, it is highly durable. The cutting core is encased by 67 layers of stainless Damascus steel, only further increasing the knife’s performance, edge retention, and durability.

The steel is cryogenically treated, a process of treating the steel to extremely low temperatures. This way, the grain structure of the steel is enhanced, ultimately resulting in fewer imperfections. Thanks to this, the Kyoku Daimyo 6” nakiri knife provides more consistent sharpening and better edge. The cryogenic treatment also improves resistance to wear and corrosion, while enhancing hardness and flexibility.

If you’ve read our Dalstrong knives review, you’re familiar with the 3-step Honbazuke method. The Kyoku nakiri knife in question is also sharpened using this method, therefore ensuring that the blade is as sharp as possible. Each side is handcrafted by seasoned artisans to a mirror polish at 8-12 degrees.

The triple-riveted handle is made of G10. The material goes through special treatment so that it can provide with heat, cold, and moisture resistance. It boasts great non-slip properties, while offering secure grip and comfort. The handle also looks beautiful, accented with a mosaic pin.

Pros

  • High-quality core and 67 Damascus layers
  • Sharp, and easy to sharpen
  • Strong, balanced, and durable
  • Comfortable
  • G10 handle
  • Beautiful design

Cons

  • None

5. Shun Kanso 6.5-inch Hollow Ground Nakiri Knife

Shun Kanso 6.5-Inch Hollow-Ground Nakiri; Japanese Vegetable Knife; Razor-Sharp, High-Performance Steel Blade, Rustic Heritage Finish; Full-Tang Construction for Optimal Control; Tagayasan Wood Handle

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We previously talked about another knife from the Kanso line – the Shun Kanso 8” chef’s knife – in our Shun vs. Miyabi comparison article. (interlink to Shun vs. Miyabi) Today, we’re testing the Shun Kanso 6.5” nakiri knife.

As every knife from the Kanso series, this nakiri knife is made of the same AUS10A highly refined, high-carbon, vanadium stainless steel. As you probably know, all steels in the AUS series are praised for their strength, but the AUS10A is by far the strongest one.

The AUS10A is very similar to VG-10 steel which we talked about above in this article. When compared to the 440C steel though, it shows lower chromium content, meaning it also has lower corrosion and wear resistance. But, it has improved toughness, hardness, and edge retention.

Kanso’s heritage finish gives the knife a unique, rustic look. It also hides scratches and scuffs. Note that the nakiri knife shouldn’t be rocked like the Kanso 8” chef’s knife. Since it’s primarily used for preparing fruits and vegetables, a simple push cut would suffice.

Its razor-sharp, 16 degrees blade holds an edge that lasts long time. Although we’ve seen sharper knives, it proved to handle vegetable prepping with precision. Since it comes with hollow ground, it’s incredibly thin. Although thinner edge also means that the blade is a bit weaker, it slices perfectly. The hollow ground indentations also help food release from the blade with ease.

The handle is made of tagayasan, wood known in Japan as ‘iron sword wood’. It is extremely durable, dense, and a treat to look at. The Shun Kanso 6.5” nakiri knife features a full-tang construction for better balance and strength. You can apply a lot of force and leverage, and it won’t crack under the pressure.

Pros

  • High-quality steel
  • Heritage finish
  • Hollow ground design
  • Balanced, strong, and durable
  • Extremely comfortable wooden handle

Cons

  • Expensive

6. Yoshihiro VG-10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Stainless Steel 6.5-inch Nakiri Knife

Yoshihiro VG-10 16 Layer Hammered Damascus Stainless Steel Nakiri Vegetable Knife (6.5'' (165mm))

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The next knife on our list of best nakiri knives comes from the Yoshihiro family whose first generation of knives is traced back to the 20th century. Although Yoshihiro has been producing knives for more than 100 years, they were introduced to customers outside of Japan in 2008. After reading a number of positive reviews from satisfied customers worldwide, we went ahead and order this Yoshihiro nakiri knife.

It sports a very attractive design, and you can tell that it’s clad with Damascus layers just by looking at the knife. However, its core is made of VG-10 at 60 HRC which exceeds the hardness of most other stainless steel cutlery. Due to this hardness, the cutting edge can be constructed thinner and sharper, allowing for easy cuts. VG-10 is also known for its ability to hold and edge and is among the most durable steels out there.

On top of it, there are 16 layers of Damascus steel that’ve been hammered to the core. It gives the blade a stylish look, but it protects the core and makes the knife stronger in general. In addition, it eliminates friction and prevents food from sticking to the blade. Both the VG-10 core and the outer Damascus layers are highly stain resistant.

The Yoshihiro VG-10 16-layer hammered Damascus 6.5” nakiri knife is complimented with a beautifully designed, triple-riveted mahogany handle. It extends to the full tang of the knife, and is therefore highly unlikely to break under added hand pressure. Thanks to the full-tang construction, the knife is also more balanced and easy to control.

Since this is a nakiri knife, it comes with a wider blade with flat cutting edge. To keep your fingers from slipping towards the blade, there’s a stainless steel bolster added.

Pros

  • Beautiful design
  • High-quality VG-10 steel core protected by 16 layers of softer Damascus steel
  • Sharp and can hold an edge
  • Strong and durable
  • Highly stain resistant
  • Full-tang mahogany handle

Cons

  • None

7. Bigsun VG-10 73-layer Damascus Steel 7-inch Nakiri Knife

BIGSUN Nakiri Vegetable Usuba knife,7 Inch Professional 73 Layers VG 10 Japanese Damascus Steel With Ultra-premium Acrylic Resin&Pakka Wood Handle Kitchen Chef Knives

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Last, but not least, we present you a knife that features high-end knife design, minus the high price-tag. Although originally a nakiri knife made for vegetable preparation, we often reach for it when slicing boneless meat as well. However, don’t mistake it for a meat cleaver as you can’t really chop with it.

Similar to the above mentioned model, this nakiri knife by Bigsun features a VG-10 steel core. As explained, this is extremely strong steel, meaning the blade is ultra thin and is therefore sharper. Protecting the core are 73 layers of softer Damascus steel, hence the beautiful pattern you see on the blade. Aside from looking sleek, the outer layer prevents the knife from staining. Moreover, it works to prevent friction as well as keeping food from sticking to the blade.

Its wide blade with thin and flat edge is designed to make full contact with the cutting board allowing a full cut. Sharpened at 15-18 degrees, the edge is sharp, handling all kinds of vegetables with utmost ease. However, we noticed that its edge retention is not as good although advertised otherwise. Given the price, we don’t mind sharpening it regularly.

This is another full-tang nakiri knife that provides with enough control and balance even for the least experienced cooks. The handle is made of ultra-premium acrylic resin and pakkawood, and it has a lifelong durability. It provides with superior control, agility, and comfort.

Pros

  • Affordable
  • High-quality VG-10 steel core and 73 layers of Damascus steel
  • Sharp
  • Strong and durable
  • Well balanced and easy to control
  • Beautiful design
  • Acrylic resin and pakkawood handle

Cons

  • Weak edge retention

Conclusion

Nakiri knives have been gaining on popularity lately and many chefs nowadays can’t imagine their kitchens without one. In our opinion, the best nakiri knife doesn’t have to be expensive, as many times we’re basically paying for the brand name instead of the actually knife’s quality. However, this list contains what we believe are the best nakiri knives available today, and there’s a knife to fit everyone’s budget.

To find out more about kitchen knives have a look at our comparisons Dalstrong vs Wusthof and Nakiri vs Usuba knife.

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