View Full Version : Nakiri Lengh, Please Chime In

Marko Tsourkan
02-17-2014, 10:22 PM
I took a break from picking your brain, but now I am back!

So far I have made two 180mm (tip to heel, though on the edge it was 170mm) nakiri in S grind and would like to make some more of this type of knife.

I haven't really been using a nakiri that much to get a good feel about the optimal length. I find 170mm perfectly adequate for my needs, however, making 190mm or even 210mm is exciting. Mine nakiri will have a similar profile to Shigefusa's.

So, I want to ask people who use nakiri a lot, is there a benefit from having some extra length on the edge? Or is 170-180mm perfectly adequate? The height of 210 would be around 63-65mm.

Also, what do you think of a western handle nakiri? Sacrilegious?

02-17-2014, 10:59 PM
I use a tanaka ku 180mm almost everyday for food prep. Mostly for vegetables and a lot of garlic and shallot mincing.

I found 180mm (165mm at the heel) is adequate in most occasions. Only when I need to cut big item like cabbage, then I pull a gyuto to start and back to nakiri afterward.

For me, I prefer wa handle.

02-17-2014, 11:05 PM
I don't use a nakiri but I do use my CCK 1303 quite a bit. It's made me realize that I'm not a cleaver guy. Nevertheless I keep using the CCK, trying to find out what the attraction is.

I love the profile of the CCK, the geometry is nice too as I've thinned it out a bit. It cuts great. I just don't like the height - it's not as nimble feeling as my gyuto. The CCK is 210 x 90.

I also have a 180 mm santoku that I often wish was longer and thinner. A 210 nakiri sounds like the perfect replacement for both.

Marko Tsourkan
02-17-2014, 11:07 PM
Good points, thank you.

I would suggest to consider a western handle nakiri, not because I want to make this type, but because nakiris are blade heavy and need to be used with a pinch grip. I find a western handle knives offers a better control with a pinch grip, but again, this is just an opinion. I will have a better idea after I make one and test it.

02-17-2014, 11:17 PM
165-170 heel to tip is a-ok for me. I also definitely prefer a wa handle on nakiri.

02-17-2014, 11:46 PM
To add another opinion - my unicorn nakiri would be at 190 but I'm also a fan of 165.

In my experience, it seems most production models I've seen are about 165, 180 and 210.
I've used and like the 165 for small prep stuff. It makes quick work of mincing up anything from aromatics to ...whatever.

If I could pick any length, for more versatility, I think a 190 at just about 7.5 inches heel to tip would be ideal. At that length, it's not too short to be limiting and it's not long to be unwieldy. It works as a good compliment to a 240 Gyuto.

As for handles - I've seen some pretty customs with westerns and wouldn't think it sacrilegious ....Personally, though, I prefer a wa. My favorite nakiri of any I've tried was a 165 Shig. I think a D handle is really well suited for these

02-18-2014, 04:24 AM
I own a custom 200mm Takeda Nakiri. I love its length because it's right in between my 165mm Santoku and 260mm Gyuto.

02-18-2014, 04:36 AM
I have a 180 Carter and a Harner that is a touch longer and, more importantly, higher. For precision cuts I use the nimbler Carter, the Harner is more of a work horse and I appreciate the height. However, it's higher at the heel than at the tip, maybe more like a cut-off gyuto than a real rectangular nakiri... I had a 200x80 custom from Moritaka at some point but found it too cleaverish for the way I use a nakiri. Not sure this is any help,


Marko Tsourkan
02-18-2014, 11:55 AM
80mm is too high for the nakiri, that's more of a cleaver's hight. I would not go past 60mm for 200-210, and 55mm for 170-180mm.

Also, my 190-210mm will be fairly light, so it terms of nimbleness, it might not feel much different from an average 165-180mm.

02-18-2014, 12:10 PM
I only use a 165 (prob closer to 170) but think it is close to ideal for the way I use it. I suspect 180mm would be workable too, but I wouldn't really want to go much longer than that.

02-18-2014, 12:39 PM
My Tanaka has 55mm height with 165mm on the heel and I find it is more than adequate.

Marko, what steel are you planning to use for the Nakiri's ?

02-18-2014, 01:31 PM
My konosuke is 165 on edge 185 overall, very light, and I find the length just fine. I could see a 170-180 being nice but I don't think I'd want a nakiri longer than that.

02-18-2014, 03:15 PM
I tried a few that were 165, but they felt kinda short to me. I didn't use/keep them long enough to give myself a chance to get used to them. I now have a Takeda that's around 180, and it feels better to me. I guess I'd have to try a couple longer ones to know what is too long. I like the extra height of the Takeda as well (around 57mm, IIRC, while the other ones I tried were around 50mm).

02-18-2014, 04:49 PM
I love my nakiri's but I do often find myself wishing for a little more blade length. I would be very attracted to a 190mm.

Chef Niloc
02-18-2014, 06:08 PM
I don't like using gyutos or chef knifes under 240mm but sometimes a shorter knife is needed, 9 out of 10x that's a 6" petty for me...BUT a 190-210 nakiri (8.25") fills in the void between the two nicely for those jobs when a knife more nimble then a 240 gyuto but heftier then a petty is needed. For "line work" (especially durning service) knives without tips are preferred, for me anyway.

02-18-2014, 06:13 PM
190 with a 55-60MM(max). No western handle for these IMO, for how I grab one of these, somehow a western doesn't allow a natural motion.

02-18-2014, 08:29 PM
I'd have to go with 180mm to 190mm as I find my 165mm nakiri a little short at times and would prefer one with more blade length, also im not really a fan of western handled nakiri just can't seem to get used to them.

02-22-2014, 12:51 PM
I have a 165 Yoshikane and a 180 Watanabe, generally I reach for the 180