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  1. #1
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    Default Nakiri (Japanese Vegetable Knife)

    During the latter part of my year or so with a seriously sharp Masakane gyuto (Japanese style chef) knife the rationale behind the Japanese nakiri gradually became apparent.

    Certainly I could finish out my tenure on Earth with only my chef knife but having transitioned to nearly vegan, and chopping lots and lots of veg, the long length and razor sharp tip of the chef has become....a bit of a hindrance and safety concern; so I splashed out on this: https://bernalcutlery.com/collection...36251612872856

    The Masakane is SK steel. I'm not a fan of the small handle of this particular knife but the simple, pretty thin mono-steel, SK blade takes and holds a razor edge fabulously. It doesn't have the pedigree of the hand forged knives made of Hitachi "white" and "blue" steels sandwiched between softer steels but it does the job in outstanding fashion.

    The Kaji-bei nakiri is iron clad white steel (Shirogami 2). The shorter length and blunt end will be very nice, easier and less dangerous to use for mass veg chopping. Obviously it will take and hold and serious edge. I considered waiting for a blue steel (Aogami 1 or 2) version to be restocked since it's supposed to give up a gnat's ass of sharpness for a bit more resistance to wear; but up in the knife steel stratosphere occupied by all of these steels I decided that for me there couldn't be a difference that made a difference.

    It's on the way; user report later, but I can tell you that the thought of being able to whack lots of veg without having to be so extremely mindful of length and sharp tip is reassuring.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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    Default Re: Nakri (Veg Knife)

    I have this guy:

    https://www.korin.com/HKR-TDNA-165_2...%253Aj1o3hyj90

    I bought a much cheaper Nakiri and immediately loved the shape, but it didn't do a great job of holding an edge (was a like $50 Tojiro). It has mostly become my go to knife, even for some light protein work. Obviously the Gyuto is better if I'm butchering something, but the Nakiri is so easy to use. Enjoy!! It's also really quick to sharpen without a taper.

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    Default Re: Nakri (Veg Knife)

    Quote Originally Posted by jdanton View Post
    I have this guy:

    https://www.korin.com/HKR-TDNA-165_2...%253Aj1o3hyj90

    I bought a much cheaper Nakiri and immediately loved the shape, but it didn't do a great job of holding an edge (was a like $50 Tojiro). It has mostly become my go to knife, even for some light protein work. Obviously the Gyuto is better if I'm butchering something, but the Nakiri is so easy to use. Enjoy!! It's also really quick to sharpen without a taper.
    The knife arrived this week, I've used it just a little bit but the shape and size are much better for chopping veg.; the risk of poking or cutting myself is vastly reduced and it's just easier to use for that. As noted earlier, I could finish my tenure on Earth with the Chef (+ bread + paring) so this is a bit of a First World indulgence but I have to say that it's far nicer to use for most of what I do than the Chef is.

    It's funny; all of us live our own personal prototype; and prototypes are never the end stage of evolution, personal or otherwise. So, as an "if I knew then what I know now" sort of comment, which can be applied to everything....but here concerning kitchen knives....a chef, nakiri, bread, paring, long-skinny slicing knife and maybe a cleaver, but that'd be it. No mas. I am increasingly moving into the less is more lane.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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    Default Re: Nakri (Veg Knife)

    Cool! I hope you get along really well with it.

    I've only tried one nakiri (Masakage Shimo), but I knew straight away that knife was not for me and moved it along. I didn't like that particular knife, but it was also useful in helping me realize that a standard nakiri is not a knife that is natural or ideal for me. Like you, or anyone else, I could get by just fine with a knife or two but I do enjoy using different knives. While I mainly use carbon steel knives these days I really love my stainless CCK 1812 when I've got to mow through a bunch of veg prep. It's very laser-ish and the overall size is so great for scooping and moving product from the board elsewhere.

    I also really like a longer and flatter bunka for veg prep (and overall general purpose stuff).

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    Default Re: Nakri (Veg Knife)

    After a couple of weeks I can say I'm glad I got the Nakri. I'd been aware of blunt nose Japanese kitchen knives but had never used one until not too many months ago when I used one while visiting an old friend. If curious and you get the same sort of opportunity to try one out, give it a whirl; I made dinner that night after sharpening Robert's gaggle of dull knives. His shorter, smaller Henckels Western version was a pleasure to use and got me interested.

    The one I got and most of the ones I see advertised are 165mm but I also see a few longer and some 135mm examples. I might go for 135mm (certainly not longer) if I were to do it over again; there doesn't need to be much push or pull of the edge and the shorter version would be more easily maneuvered. The one at my friend's place was in the 135mm range and it's daintier size was kinda nice. Not sure, and not a big deal, but something to be aware of and consider particularly if you can test drive different lengths.
    John Clay
    Tallahassee, FL
    My Framebuilding: https://www.flickr.com/photos/21624415@N04/sets

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    Default Re: Nakri (Veg Knife)

    I haven't tried a nikiri shape. Generally I like gyutos that are a little bit flatter and a nikiri goes to the obvious logical the extreme of this concept. I might have to try one just to see but so far I've thought that it would be too flat. Your thoughts?

    I haven't been too concerned about poking myself with the point of a gyuto. Like most of us I have cut myself before, and one of the side effects of great knives is the focus that comes from holding a 10 inch razor blade and knowing what it can do.

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