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Thread: Nakiri Lengh, Please Chime In

  1. #1

    Nakiri Lengh, Please Chime In

    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?

    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  2. #2
    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.

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Los Angeles, CA
    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.

  4. #4
    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.

    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

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  5. #5
    165-170 heel to tip is a-ok for me. I also definitely prefer a wa handle on nakiri.

  6. #6
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    San Francisco Bay Area
    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

  7. #7
    Senior Member erikz's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2013
    I own a custom 200mm Takeda Nakiri. I love its length because it's right in between my 165mm Santoku and 260mm Gyuto.

  8. #8
    Das HandleMeister apicius9's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    Honolulu, HI
    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,


  9. #9
    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.

    "If there’s something worth doing, it’s worth overdoing.” - An US saying.

    If my KKF Inbox is full (or not), please contact me via Email:

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2013
    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.

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