I like the idea of a nakiri for a gift; just gave one to my niece. She is a foodie but not a knifeknut and she loves it. I think it is an easy knife to use and you can get a pretty good one for a reasonable price. My worry when I give a knife as a gift is the carbon and having folks who are forgetful about taking care. My niece got a kouchi finish and that takes some of the worry away. I don't think it is too specialized, not like a usuba - after all, it will cut all your veggies for the most part and you should be eating more veggies. So, kouchi finish or stainless.
why not just get a cleaver? a little bigger but same basic shape and more productive imo
This sounds good to me.
Originally Posted by Seth
I think if he gets one I will tell him to buy a stainless, or SS clad one if I can. Not sure how into sharpening they will be tbh but I will enjoy playing with it I am sure...
No idea what they use now. I just showed my friend the gyutos and santokus and he said "He won't like those they look dangerous". I just don't want to see him buy something that they won't enjoy, and Seth's niece seems like a good benchmark here.
The curved bit around the nose is a little tricky...but it's much shorter than the curve on a gyuto/etc....no idea how those balance out for a noob (well, more noob than me).
Originally Posted by pleue
I personally don't think it's a good started knife, considering the rocking motion that most home cooks use. Your friend will probably have a lot of shaved knuckles if he starts with a nakiri.
One of the first knife gifts that I gave was a Nakiri. I've given a few away now, all to owners who were coming from german knives, and where new to j-knives, carbon, and cutting with any motion other and rockn' chop. They have all be well received and have become the most used knives at their new homes.
A think that a nakiri makes a great "new" knife for a few reasons:
Some folks mentioned the profile not working for rock chopping as a negative, but if you're trying to learn / teach used chop, push, draw and hybrid cutting motions, then it's actually a positive to have a knife with a profile which was designed for those motions.
It's a shorter in OAL, so it's manageable and not intimidating, but the actual usable mostly flat spot is as long as that of a much bigger gyuto (most novices don't use the "belly" section of their 8" chef's knives, so the section that typically does all the work is the rear 2-3") so they can actually start getting used to working with bigger piles of food without having to go to a much longer blade.
The extra edge-to-spine height and the fact that they hight is pretty even over the full length makes learning the proper "claw" grip and mastering the "tip off the board" cutting easier and safer than with a narrower blade with less / less consistent room for knuckle contact (esp when working with the tip).
The shape is great for scooping and scraping the board (that's actually one of my favorite uses for the flat nose), and it's safer because when laid at an angle, most of the blade is in close enough contact w/ the board that the edge will not be in contact.
They're cheap: tojiro and a few others have 180mm's that start around $60 (and with a little TLC to smooth out the rough bevel / ease the spine and choil you have a really nice knife that's 85-90% as good as a knife costing 300% more) ... so even if they give up / decide that they hate it; it's not too much to write off as a failed experiment.
Sorry for the rant, but I think that nakiri's are one of the most misunderstood / unloved knives, esp among our fellow knuts, and it kinda ticks me off sometimes. I said that I think they make great intro or novice knives, but they are also a tool that requires some real work to full understand / master and I think it's sad that few people seem to understand them. Yeah they arnt' a gyuto, but that's the whole point or (bad pun warning) lack thereof.
Id love to see some of these anti-nakri gyuto snobs post a video showing some typical veg-based tasks that a 210mm gyuto or even 240mm supposedly does SOOOO much better than a nakiri. I will wager a delicious bottle of bourbon that I could do the exact same thing as well or better and in the same amount of time or less with a nakiri.
Did somebody mention Bourbon? If its a bottle of 20YO Pappy Van Winkle I'm in.
Justin, I'm so with you. I actually prefer my Moritaka AS Nakiri to the Kama Usuba. You can hold a Nakiri like a Usuba and slice product almost as thin. Nakiri can perform may more tasks though.
Justin, thanks for sharing your thoughts. That was not a rant at all. It was a detailed elaboration that gave a specific explanation about why you like a nakiri.
I've seen a lot of people post something like, "Just get a gyuto," or the slightly more helpful "A gyuto can do everything a nakiri can do, but a nakiri can't do many things a gyuto can do." Your post was helpful and makes a lot more sense. It inspires me to use the nakiri I picked up recently, for quite a good price, on B/S/T!
Nakiris are great. Yup, that about sums up my opinion.
Thanks all - I might even send my friend your post Justin.
I will advise he gets one - I am thinking Masamoto KK, Fujiwara FKV, or if he wants to splash out and get SS, a Blazen.