kniveSource Logo
The Online Source of Knives

How to Choose the Right Nakiri Knife

March 29, 202393 ViewskniveSource

What exactly is a Nakiri Knife?
What’s special about it in dealing with vegetables?
What to look for when choosing a Nakiri?
We’re going to answer all these questions here.

What is a Nakiri Knife?

Nakiri Knife is a Japanese kitchen knife designed for chopping vegetables and fruits, also suitable for cutting meat, bacon and noodles. Its size ranges from 29 to 32 cm. The length of a rectangular Nakiri blade is about 16-18 cm. It’s sharpened to 15 degrees, which allows you to cut food into thin slices. 

Nakiri knives are characterized by high strength and sharpness, thanks to the hardness of the blade steel 58-61 HRC. They are similar to a Usuba, but smaller, lighter and therefore more convenient for nonprofessionals. 

More than one type of kitchen knives can be used to work with vegetables, but a Nakiri, is what’s going to get you the best results. Nakiri knife stands out from other Japanese knives not only in size, but also in other unique features:

Why Choosing Nakiri Knife?

Many experts choose Nakiri knife, instead of its European counterparts, for several reasons: 

What to Look for When Choosing a Nakiri Knife?


Among all kinds of materials, stainless steel, carbon steel, and damascus steel are most commonly used ones.

Stainless steel requires less maintenance and stays sharp and sturdy for a long time. Thus it’s a popular option here.

Adding carbon to steel helps it stay stronger for longer. This way we have carbon steel. As consequence, it takes more time and effort for maintenance.

Another popular choice nowadays would be Damascus steel, featuring a carbon core and a stainless steel exterior. It combines the flexibility of stainless steel and hardness of carbon steel.


For a Nakiri, 7” will do just fine. Lager ones could be cumbersome while smaller ones sometimes doesn’t meet the need.

Weight and balance

Generally speaking, Japanese knives have thinner blades than than western ones. Nakiri, as one of the typical Japanese knives, is no exception. However, a quality knife should always feels substantial.

The other key factor to consider would be the balance of a knife, or weight distribution. Holding a well-balanced knife, you wont find your hand tilting towards one side. A knife without good balance may cause discomfort and even danger. That being said, it’s important to try it yourself to make sure a knife fits you.

These’re some of the most important factors to consider when choosing a Nakiri Knife. We hope it gives you a general idea of it and helps you pick the right one.

Browse Nakiri Knives