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Selecting Nakiri Knives


Chris Amirault
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1 hour ago, rrigreid said:

Hi,

My aunt asked me for a recommendation on nakiri knife for her son (my cousin) for christmas. But I'm not knowledgeable about them, I'm more toward typical traditional knives.

My cousin is not in the food service industry at all. I think he is just more in hobby cooking, he like cooking in general at home.

My aunt want to get a beginner nakiri knife. I don't know her budget is (forgot to ask), but I assumed something good for the money/affordable range

 

You should be able to walk into your nearest Asian market and buy a beginner nakiri.  However if you love your cousin or your aunt, or their issue yet unborn, proceed to Watanabeblade and order one before next month's price increase.  Pick up a Watanabe Blade t-shirt while you're there.

 

Note, Shinichi spells the knife name in English as Nakkiri.  I have one.

 

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Cooking is cool.  And kitchen gear is even cooler.  -- Chad Ward

 

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I’m a bit of a knife nut, I have 6 gyutos in my drawer.  When my daughter was setting up her household this is the knife  I bought her as a good first nakiri. It’s much more nimble than the wantanabe Jo recommended; they’re both good knives, both nakiris, couldn’t be more different 

 

https://www.macknife.com/products/japanese-series-6-1-2-japanese-vegetable-cleaver-ju-65

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You have already gotten some very good suggestions.   My thoughts would be:

 

1) Best option would be for your aunt to buy your cousin a gift certificate to pick out a nakiri himself with the help of a clerk at a place that specializes in Japanese knives.   Knife preference is very personal and without a budget or a real sense of how your cousin cooks it’s a hard question.   That out of the way, some knives I would look at would be:

 

2) Toyama 210mm nakiri is usually the one the guys on the knife forums recommend as a dream knife.   I have used, not owned one once.   It’s a great knife, the cost, is daunting.  About 400 bucks and you need to hunt one down.   For me, it’s more than I would spend on a knife.
 

3) The Watanabe 180mm kurochi nakiri JoNorvilleWalker mentioned.  I own one, I love it.   It is also considered a classic on the knife forums.   Watanabe has bumped his prices a couple times since I bought and is about to raise them again. Cost is maybe 250 and most folks will tell you to upgrade the handle which would be more.   This is a great knife.

 

4) The Mac mentioned is a very fine knife, but shorter, lighter and a bump down in quality from a handmade knife.   It is still super high quality, better than most cooks will ever use and  is also less work to maintain than the above knives.

 

5) The knife gurus on the site will object to the following suggestion, but I have a Global G5 which sees more use than anything on my knife bar and I couldn’t be happier with it.   Easy to maintain and I don’t get flustered when I see my wife or kids using it.

 

 

6) the Mac and the global can be found on sale if one is patient, the Watanabe and the Toyama not so much.

 

good luck with your search

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Shun seem to be a decent, widely available brand from what I have read. 

 

I have a really cheap nakiri that has served well for decades. I think there are advantages to a softer, easy to sharpen steel that isn't as prone to chipping for people who don't want to faff around with their knives. That being said, I am learning more about hard Japanese steel. I guess because I'm willing to faff around.

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It's almost never bad to feed someone.

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