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The Best Nakiri Knife

Last updated on November 26, 2019

We looked at the top 10 Nakiri Knives and dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including Sharpen Up, Home KuKu, Kitchen Picker, Decent Home Review, Best Kitchen Knives Set, Desired Cuisine and more. The result is a ranking of the best Nakiri Knives.

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Our Picks For The Top Nakiri Knives

Show Contents
Our Take
Experts Included
Pros
Cons
  The Best Overall

Mercer Culinary

7 Inch Nakiri Knife

Overall Take

Ergonomic DesignThe Mercer Culinary 7 Inch Nakiri Knife is a safe and comfortable knife that offers durability.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Decent Home Review. Along with user reviews from Amazon and WebstaurantStore.
Pros
" Made with durable carbon steel, this knife always maintains a sharp edge. The one-piece blade made with high-quality Japanese steel gives you a friction-free and secure chopping experience. Once you notice degraded sharpness, you can easily sharp its bid, as..."

Shun

6.5 Inch Nakiri Knife

Overall Take

Handcrafted in JapanThe Shun 6.5 Inch Nakiri Knife is rust-resistant and easy to use.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Sur La Table, Home KuKu, Decent Home Review. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" I have pretty much all the high end knives, but this one is my go to knife. Especially for garlic, crush the clove and then drag the flat tip across and the clove and you're done."

Dalstrong

6 Inch Nakiri

Overall Take

Hand-Polished EleganceThe Dalstrong 6 Inch Nakiri offers elegance and power combined in one knife.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Kitchen Picker, Home KuKu, My Cooking Town, Best Pickist, Hugskott. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" Crafted for minimal push and pull, this blade cuts precisely as it boasts strength, durability and edge retention. Plus, the knife looks beautiful since the blade is equipped with hand polished spine and ergonomic bolster shape."
Cons
"It exceptionally small and not an everyday knife for doing ordinary kitchen cutting tasks"
  The Best Value

TradaFor

Vegetable Nakiri Knife

Overall Take

Giftworthy KnifeThe TradaFor Vegetable Nakiri Knife is an impressive knife ready for gifting.

Experts Included
DWYM Kitchen Experts plus Kitchen Little Helpers, Home KuKu, Decent Home Review. Along with user reviews from Amazon.
Pros
" High quality materials high-carbon 14116 german steel is a rust resistant material that is strong and edge holding the handle is fashioned from solid and identical pakkawood which will guaranty you lasting beauty, durability, stable dimensions, and protection from moisture."
Cons
"It is designed for right-hand users"
Don't just take for granted what one reviewer says. Along with our own experts, DWYM analyzes the top expert reviews of the leading products and generates a score you can actually trust.
17

Products Considered

We identified the majority of the nakiri knives available to purchase.
10

Products Analyzed

We then selected the leading and most popular products for our team to review.

View All Product Rankings

24

Expert Reviews Included

In addition to our expert reviews, we also incorporate feedback and analysis of some of the most respected sources including: Sharpen Up, Home KuKu, Kitchen Picker, Decent Home Review, Best Kitchen Knives Set.

17,165

User Opinions Analyzed

We also incorporate user reviews from the leading retailers including Amazon, WebstaurantStore and 4 others.

Our experts reviewed the top 10 Nakiri Knives and also dug through the reviews from 24 of the most popular review sites including Sharpen Up, Home KuKu, Kitchen Picker, Decent Home Review, Best Kitchen Knives Set, Desired Cuisine and more. The result is a ranking of the best of the best Nakiri Knives.

DWYM is your trusted roduct review source. Our team reviews thousands of product reviews from the trusted top experts and combines them into one easy-to-understand score. Learn more.

Look for the DWYM seal for products that are the best in their category.

The Best Overall

Mercer Culinary 7 Inch Nakiri Knife

Our Expert Score
0.0
1 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.6
4,174 user reviews
Our Take

The Mercer Culinary Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife has a comfortable and durable handle with textured finger points for added safety. The one-piece blade is crafted from high-carbon steel for long-lasting sharpness. The razor-sharp blade is easy to maintain and can be sharpened without much time or effort.

What other experts liked
Made with durable carbon steel, this knife always maintains a sharp edge. The one-piece blade made with high-quality Japanese steel gives you a friction-free and secure chopping experience. Once you notice degraded sharpness, you can easily sharp its bid, as...
- Decent Home Review
What other experts didn't like

The Best Bang For Your Buck

TradaFor Vegetable Nakiri Knife

Our Expert Score
0.0
3 expert reviews
User Summarized Score
9.0
163 user reviews
Our Take

With an eye-catching pakkawood handle and fashionable, lined box, this nakiri knife is perfect for gifting. Made from German high-carbon steel, the knife is strong and will hold its edge. The large handle offers excellent control during usage.

What other experts liked
High quality materials high-carbon 14116 german steel is a rust resistant material that is strong and edge holding the handle is fashioned from solid and identical pakkawood which will guaranty you lasting beauty, durability, stable dimensions, and protection from moisture.
- Kitchen Little Helpers
July 18, 2019 | Full review
The blade and handle are durably constructed
- Home KuKu
It has a Pakkawood handle that gives you complete control over the cutting materials and makes sure you never get stuck on any of them. Made of sturdy material, the handle is durable and is resistant to moisture.
- Decent Home Review
What other experts didn't like
It is designed for right-hand users
- Home KuKu

Overall Product Rankings

1. Mercer Culinary 7 Inch Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 9.8
Reviews Included: 3

2. Shun 6.5 Inch Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 6

3. Dalstrong 6 Inch Nakiri

Overall Score: 9.6
Reviews Included: 7

4. Findking 7 inch Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 9.5
Reviews Included: 1

5. Zelite Infinity Nakiri Chef Knife

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 2

6. Mercer Culinary Forged Nakiri Vegetable Knife

Overall Score: 9.4
Reviews Included: 5

7. Mac Knife Vegetable Cleaver

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 2

8. TradaFor Vegetable Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 9.0
Reviews Included: 4

9. Kai Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 8.9
Reviews Included: 10

10. TUO Nakiri Knife

Overall Score: 7.2
Reviews Included: 1

Our Findings

Mercer Culinary 7 Inch Nakiri Knife

Best Overall

Mercer Culinary M22907 Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife, Black (Kitchen)


List Price: $18.00 USD
New From: $23.00 USD In Stock
Used from: Out of Stock

What We Liked: The Mercer Culinary Millennia 7-Inch Nakiri Knife has a comfortable and durable handle with textured finger points for added safety. The one-piece blade is crafted from high-carbon steel for long-lasting sharpness. The razor-sharp blade is easy to maintain and can be sharpened without much time or effort.

Simplemost Media

TradaFor Vegetable Nakiri Knife

What We Liked: With an eye-catching pakkawood handle and fashionable, lined box, this nakiri knife is perfect for gifting. Made from German high-carbon steel, the knife is strong and will hold its edge. The large handle offers excellent control during usage.

Simplemost Media

Shun 6.5 Inch Nakiri Knife

What We Liked: The Shun Cutlery Classic nakiri knife features a rust-resistant stainless steel-clad blade. Along with razor-sharp precision, the surface of the knife prevents sliced vegetables from sticking to the blade. The traditional Japanese handle and lightweight blade let you breeze through slicing and dicing produce. In our testing, this knife sliced perfectly and the weight of the handle was just right.

Simplemost Media

Shun 6.5 Inch Nakiri Knife

What We Liked: The Shun Cutlery Classic nakiri knife features a rust-resistant stainless steel-clad blade. Along with razor-sharp precision, the surface of the knife prevents sliced vegetables from sticking to the blade. The traditional Japanese handle and lightweight blade let you breeze through slicing and dicing produce. In our testing, this knife sliced perfectly and the weight of the handle was just right.

Simplemost Media

Our Expert Consultant

Julie Chernoff
Culinary Expert

Julie Chernoff is a long-time member of Les Dames d’Escoffier (past president of the Chicago Chapter, and current co-chair of the LDEI Legacy Awards Committee), the Association of Food Journalists (AFJ) and the International Association of Culinary Professionals.

Chernoff is the dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine. Her journalism started in the test kitchens of Weight Watchers Magazine. She holds a BA in English from Yale University and is a graduate of the California Culinary Academy. She has spent the last few decades styling, photographing, teaching, developing recipes, editing, thinking and writing about food.

Our Nakiri Knife Buying Guide

You don’t have to be a chef to benefit from using a professional-quality knife. In fact, even occasional home cooks can take their dishes to the next level by collecting an assortment of top-notch kitchen knives, such as a good nakiri knife.

Simplemost Media

A nakiri knife, also known as a nakiri bōchō or usuba bōchō, is a Japanese-style knife created for chopping vegetables. The thin blades are especially useful when precision is important. For instance, if you hope to slice even harder fruits or vegetables in a uniform thickness, a nakiri knife is the ideal kitchen tool. It is an effective knife for mincing, slicing, dicing or chopping most varieties of produce efficiently and consistently. 

An added benefit of owning a dedicated vegetable knife such as a nakiri is that you eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination that could occur when a knife is used to slice raw meat and then accidentally utilized for chopping vegetables without a thorough cleaning first.

It is similar in appearance to a meat cleaver, with a straight blade and squared-off tip. This design allows the knife to easily cut straight down through vegetables to the cutting board or surface without the need to push, pull or “saw” horizontally through the ingredient. 

Simplemost Media

A nakiri knife might have a traditional Japanese handle or a European handle. Japanese knife handles are often made of wood, which requires a bit more maintenance than a metal handle. For instance, like other wooden kitchen utensils, a wood-handled knife will need occasional oiling and special cleaning.

In addition, European knives usually have what is called a full tang, while Japanese-style knives have a hidden or partial tang, which pertains to the steel of the blade in the handle. A full tang blade runs throughout the handle and is made in the same shape as the handle. You can see the steel of the blade from any angle of the handle. A hidden tang is smaller than the handle material. The handle wraps around the tang so the metal of the blade is not visible. Some people find hidden or partially-hidden tang handles easier to grip and manipulate.

The blade on a nakiri knife is quite thin and typically ranges between 165-180mm and the blades are almost always beveled on both sides.

Simplemost Media

Because of its tall, symmetrically-sharpened, razor-thin blade, the knives slice through vegetables with such ease. You do not need to rock the blade or worry about smashing delicate produce, as the blade glides through smoothly and evenly.

“Given its straight edge, the Nakiri is not meant to replace the rocking motion of the Western Chef’s knife,” says Julie Chernoff, dining editor of Better, a lifestyle website and print magazine, and our in-house kitchen tool expert. “You can chop fluidly with the Nakiri without rocking. It’s known for making clean cuts, and won’t damage or smoosh the veggies.”

Simplemost Media

A nakiri can be more gentle on the user than other knives, as well. Not only will you easily avoid rapping your knuckles on the cutting board using a nakiri knife to chop veggies, but you will also find yourself slicing and dicing like a pro because these knives are so easy to use.

DWYM Fun Fact

Roughly translated from Japanese, nakiri means “leaf cutter,” denoting the tool’s intended purpose. Although nakiri knives cut fresh greens like a dream, they are suitable for slicing up virtually any type of produce. 

Japanese kitchen knives such as nakiri vegetable knives have been developed by blacksmiths and craftsmen for centuries. In fact, steel kitchen knives were historically crafted by the same tradesmen who hammered out the katana used by samurai in feudal Japan. Just as the samurai’s sword was said to be his soul in ancient Japan, one might say the same about a chef’s knife.

In the 1850s, Japan’s long-isolated ports opened to Western trade, which started the shift from sword-crafting to knife-crafting. During the United States occupation of Japan during World War II, the production and possession of swords was banned, which further prompted the numerous, highly-skilled craftsmen to begin using their skills to create kitchen knives. Even after the ban was lifted, limits on the production of swords remain in place and the sharp, precise kitchen knives continue to be a focal point.

The Nakiri Knife Tips and Advice

  • When using a nakiri knife, only cut in an up and down motion. Avoid trying to slice vegetables horizontally with the knife. Keeping your fingers bent like claws and touching your knuckles lightly to the blade, glide the knife up and down in a straight and even cut. The knife will chop through the vegetables onto the cutting board without extra force.
  • As with any kitchen knife, clean a nakiri knife promptly after using it. If you will be cutting more vegetables later, wipe the knife with a clean kitchen towel before setting it aside.
  • Only cut fresh produce with your nakiri knife. Avoid trying to cut frozen vegetables, as this could damage or dull the blade.
  • Although the design of a nakiri knife greatly reduces the chance of injuries, it is still important to use it properly and take care when slicing with it. Along with keeping your fingers curled under and using your knuckles as a guide, make sure your grip is comfortable but firm. Check the sharpness of the blade often, as a dull blade requires more pressure to use, which can lead to accidents.
  • Choose a good quality chopping board and always cut with the board on a flat surface.
  • Hold the knife in your dominant hand with your thumb on one side, your index finger on the top of the blade and your remaining three fingers on the handle for a firm grip and precise control will give a firm gripping as well as precise control.
  • Like with other sharp knives, you want to make sure that you are comfortable with the grip so that you can maintain control, says Chernoff. “Look for ergonomically designed handles that fit nicely in your hand.”
  • One of the factors to consider when shopping for a nakiri knife is the material.  For instance, high-carbon steel knives stay sharper longer than stainless steel knives do. While they still require sharpening at least once a year, they easily retain a desirable razor-sharp slicing ability. It is also important to note that carbon steel knives are more brittle and prone to rusting than their stainless counterparts are. However, you can avoid breaking, rusting and staining by washing your knife by hand (knives really don’t belong in the dishwasher), drying it promptly and treating it with care.
  • Rubbing a light coat of mineral oil on your nakiri knife is one more step you can take when you are done using it. This provides a protective layer to prevent it from rusting.

About The Author

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Tricia Goss 

Tricia Goss is a professional writer, editor and social media manager who lives in North Texas with her family and her dog. Tricia is a mom and grandma who strives to create a safe, organized and inviting environment for family and friends. She is obsessed with helping others organize their homes (and their lives), save money without sacrificing quality of life, and find peace amidst the chaos of life. She has been writing professionally for nearly two decades