Kurosaki Megumi Nakiri 165 and Toyama Noborikoi Nakiri 210
I got a PM asking about the Kurosaki Megumi Nakiri and the Toyama Noborikoi 210 Nakiri. When I had finished writing my response, I realized this could as well be posted in the review section, so here you go: two short reviews.
Home cook. Prefer pull cuts. Have purchased a lot of knives the last two years and feel I never get enough time with each and one of them. This means that when I write a review, it's a lot of first impressions and a bit shallow.
Kurosaki Megumi Nakiri 165
Edge length: Approx 155 mm
Blade height at the heel: 58 mm
Weight: 170 grams
When I for the first time picked up the Megumi nakiri, I thought: this feels heavy. Well, it's very blade heavy anyway, since this is a rather tall nakiri. This felt a bit unusal in the beginning for such a short blade length, but I quickly adjusted to it. Of course, this gives it a bit more power when going through veggies.
The grind feels kind of low and it makes the knife a bit wedgy when cutting carrots. For example, my Wakui nakiri is exceptional with carrots and much better at this than the Megumi. On the other hand, the Megumi has much better food release. It's real fun to use with potatoes, no problems with wedging there.
The OOTB sharpness was ok, but it really benefits from a "real" sharpening. I have three knives from Kurosaki's own brand and they are all like this. Sharpening the VG10 steel was not any problem, I could get it very sharp, but maybe not as super screaming sharp as my carbon steels. Not as nice to sharpen as carbon steel, but not at all unpleasant. Also, when sharpening it on the stones I pretty much used my "muscle memory angle" and it resulted in a rather large primary edge bevel, which confirms that the blade is not super thin behind the edge.
Bear in mind, this is no wedge monster. As I said, it wedges slightly with carrots, but it manages to do the job. No problems with potatoes. I have other real wedge monster knives that are practically useless with carrots and not that fun to use around potatoes either. This is not the case with the Megumi.
Strengths: Tall & blade heavy (if you like this). Good food release and grind. Real pretty and great f&f. Nice cherry wood handle. Seems like a good VG10 heat treat as well.
Weaknesses: Not super thin behind the edge and can wedge a bit in carrots.
Toyama Noborikoi Nakiri 210
Edge length: Approx 200 mm
Blade height at the heel: 64 mm
Weight: 271 grams
This is a very special kind of beast. As with the Megumi, it felt really heavy in the beginning, this knife even more so. Well, that's because it really is heavy, but also blade heavy. The rectangular shape and not much distal taper along the spine ends up with a large amount of steel.
With such a tall and heavy blade, it feels really powerful when chopping through stuff. It has a very nice, thin edge, so there's no wedging. Being so tall along with a nice convex grind, it simply destroys the stuff I usually use my kitchen knives for. I haven't really cut something very, very big with it yet, but it's great to use when chopping big piles of stuff.
The thin edge seems to hold up nicely, despite all the weight put upon it on the board. I have three Toyama Noborikoi knives and they have all come with very good edges OOTB. Maybe some small amount of microchipping, so I've touched them up on high grit stone to get rid of that.
I have no chinese cleaver (chuka-bocho), but I don't think this is like a small cleaver. It's too heavy for that. It's more like a scaled up, heavy nakiri. Still, it's well balanced. When doing lateral cuts on onions, I just have to move the pinch grips a bit forward the blade to make it feel less heavy. But I wouldn't call this blade very nimble for obvious reasons.
The d-shaped ho-wood handle is rather big and reminds me of Shigefusa handles. Very nice handle if you like the type. Fit & finish is very good, but not as good as the Megumi. The choil could use some slight rounding off.
One important note is that the blade is rather reactive with its iron cladding. We're talking Shigefusa-grade reactiveness here. I like patina so I don't mind.
Strengths: Tall, long & blade heavy (if you like this). Great, tall convex grind with an almost zero-like edge. Nice f&f.
Weaknesses: Rather reactive iron cladding.
Here are some photos, both old & new.
First, I took a profile shot and also included a more "normal" Shiro Kamo Nakiri for reference. I also took a picture of my own sharpened Megumi edge. As you can see, it got quite big. The Toyama Noborikoi has a more invisible "hairline" primary edge. Sorry for the crappy pic of that.
Nice review, and good pics. Helps me in my nakiri searching.
What camera do you use. Mine doesn't do macro
I use my old compact camera Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX9V. It's ok for a compact but not anything for purists/photo fanatics. For example, it doesn't support lossless compression and it has some noise reduction you can't do anything about. But I just wanted something compact that was better than my mobile with good optical zoom.
Greatly appreciate the review, I really want that Toyama now!
May I ask which other Toyamas you have and how the Nakiris performance compares to them? Are you still happy with the Nakiri?
I also have the Toyama and the description agrees with my experience. If you are dealing with volume prep or simply want to get through a family meal prep FAST, this is the blade to use. You would need a 270 Gyuto for an equivalent flat spot.
Light and nimble it is not, but so much fun to use, you won't be able to put it down.
Sorry for the late reply. I have the Toyama Noborikoi Gyuto 240, the Nakiri 210 and the Sujihiki 300. It's been a while since I used the gyuto, but as I remember it, the nakiri is a bit more wedge-free. I guess the reason may be that it probably has a slightly taller grind. But of course, a nakiri has no tip and the tip of the gyuto is excellent. It looks thick but that's just the spine and profile fooling you. It cuts really well. I bought the suji because I have no suji 300, but also because it's rather tall, 42 mm. That means I can use it like a gyuto on the board, making it more than just a long slicer. I'm still happy with the nakiri, but when I haven't used it for a while and then pick it up, it often takes a while to find the balance and getting used to it being so heavy.
Originally Posted by bennyprofane
Here's a picture of my Toyama family.