Quantcast

Seeking Advice for My Next Nakiri

Kitchen Knife Forums

Help Support Kitchen Knife Forums:

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
Hello everyone. I've been seeking to buy a new kitchen knife for the past couple of weeks. But before I take the plunge, I thought I'd seek advice from experienced and professional kitchen knife users here, particularly those who have had extensive experience with Japanese knives.

The knife in question is Nakiri. I've never owned Nakiri before, but I've been using a cheap Chinese cleaver for many years in nearly all of my cookings (much more so than my Shun Classic chef's knife). I just prefer the rectangular blade made for chopping vegetables than the traditional blade geometry of chef's knife.

My Nakiri budget is $300. After about two weeks of search, I narrowed my choices down to the following four:

Miyabi Mizu SG2 Nakiri 6.5" (Approx. $200 USD):
Miyabi is supposedly a competitor to the popular Shun brand. Many seem to think that both Shun and Miyabi are overpriced for the performance they offer, presumably due to the marketing and retail mark ups. I can't comment much about the SG2 material, but the knife does look nice. But I'm looking for performance over aesthetics.
Miyabi Mizu SG2 Nakiri.jpg


Masamoto Sohonten Wa-Nakiri (Approx. $210 USD):
Widely regarded as among the best by kitchen knife aficionados, particularly for its KS series. Not sure how much of that is hype, though. The blade material is SRS13 powdered stainless steel. I really do like the blade geometry. In terms of its performance, not sure how well it compares to those of White #2 high carbon steel.
Masamoto Sohonten Wa-Nakiri.jpg


Masamoto Sohonten White #2 Kasumi Kuro-Nakiri (Approx. $200 USD):
Just like the Wa-Nakiri from above, except in high carbon steel White #2 so it will rust easily if not maintained well. White #2 is well known for its ability to attain keen edge.
Masamoto Sohonten Kuro-Nakiri.jpg



Yoshimi Kato Aogami Super Kuro-Nakiri (Approx. $330):
A bit on the pricey side, and this is about as high as I will go on a kitchen knife. Not sure if super blue is considered a stainless steel. Not that it matters since I will maintain it well to prevent it from rust and corrosion, but it's more of a matter of reactivity than corrosion.
Yoshimi Kato Aogami Super Nakiri.jpg


While aesthetics is nice, I prefer performance and edge retention above all else. If there are any members here who have had extensive experience with these knives, I would like to hear about them.

How well does SRS13 perform in comparison to White #2?

Is SRS13 easy to sharpen with traditional Japanese whetstones? When I buy a Nakiri, I also plan to buy a sharpening stone to keep it sharp.

How does Blue #2 compare to White #2 performance wise? It is said that White #2 can attain superior keen edge, whereas Blue #2 has superior edge retention. Are these differences significant?

Are there any other Nakiri for under $300 that offers performances superior to the aforementioned three above?
If so, what are they?
 
Last edited:

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
A Watanabe with shipping will be right at your price point. Wat is very well regarded around here and are easily resold.
Looks like the Watanabe Nakiri is made of blue steel
Slim278, do you own a Watanabe Nakiri? If yes, how long and what was your experience with it? Does it have symmetric bevel?

What other Nakiri have you used/owned in the past? And how would you compare it against the Watanabe and Masamoto?
 

Slim278

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
159
Reaction score
196
Location
Tennessee
I do have a Wat nakiri in white #2 and I like it quite well. I don't think I would get too hyped up on steel as you probably won't be able to tell the difference without extended use/sharpening of sever variations from several makers.

Fill out the questionnaire linked above. It will help people find you a good fit.

This may be of interest to you as well.
 

JakeLoveshighCarbon

Active Member
Joined
May 28, 2020
Messages
43
Reaction score
21
Location
Santa Fe NM USA
Personally, I would go with the least expensive just to see if you like the style. You could of course sell the Nakiri here if you dont like it, but I'm not certain being a cleaver fan necessarily translates into being a nakiri fan. I can whole heartedly reccomend the 180mm instead of the traditional 165
 

JayGee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
168
Reaction score
22
I have the masamoto KK (white 2) nakiri. I actually love it. I have had other more expensive nakiris (inc a shig), but kept this one because it is a tough monster. Never have to worry about chipping, babyiing, the steel gets sharp easily and stays sharp for a surprisingly long time. The grind isn't perfect, and the KU doesn't look amazingm but somehow, it has enough heft and authority to cut well, with pretty much no fuss. After trying other nakiris that are probably better knives, I kept this one because its fits my needs for a totally no fuss, indestructable vegetable cutter.
 

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
As per @AT5760's suggestion, here's the completed survey:

LOCATION
What country are you in? US



KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chefs knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? Nakiri. FYI, I never owned a Nakiri. Have been using cheap Chinese cleavers (which isn't really a true cleaver but a vegetable knife) as I prefer the rectangular blade than chef's knives. I find myself wishing that the Chinese cleavers would be perfect if the blade wasn't as tall. Hence, I think Nakiri would be perfect for me.

Are you right or left handed? Right-handed. 50/50 bevel is preferred nevertheless.

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Japanese handle

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)?
Approx. 165 mm (6.5 inches) blade length. All of the Chinese cleavers I've been using were 6 inches in length and I find their length to be perfect for all of my needs.

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) I don't know. Only have had experience with stainless steel knives (440C and VG10). I read that Shirogami steels are much tougher and not as nearly chippy compared to stainless steels, but the downside is the reactivity. Would using a Shirogami steel knife to slice acidic vegetables/fruits such as tomato, apple, or orange be an issue?

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? Approx. $300 USD



KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment?
Home kitchen only

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.)
For primarily slicing vegetables, garlic, and ginger, with occasional slicing of meat (boneless).

What knife, if any, are you replacing? Chinese cleavers and chef's knife

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.). Pointed finger, hammer, and/or combo grips. Seldom use pinch grip.

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.)

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.)
Looking for better sharpness and edge retention.
Better toughness would be a plus, but not an absolute must as I am very gentle with knives.


Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)?
No particular preference, but if the finish will help with preventing food sticking to the blade, all the better.

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)?
Nakiri with traditional Japanese handle will be comfortable enough.

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)?
If not crazy sharp right out of the box, I can always have it sharpened so it's a non-issue.

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)?
Longer the better. 63-65 HRC preferred.


KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.). Yes. Synthetic. Would it matter whether I use wooden or polyethylene board?

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.). No

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.). Yes. If I am going to spend up to $300 USD on a knife, I am more than willing to invest additional amount and time to learn to sharpen it myself.

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.). YES.



SPECIAL REQUESTS/COMMENTS
 
Last edited:

Qapla'

Senior Member
Joined
Jun 30, 2018
Messages
670
Reaction score
184
The knife in question is Nakiri. I've never owned Nakiri before, but I've been using a cheap Chinese cleaver for many years in nearly all of my cookings (much more so than my Shun Classic chef's knife). I just prefer the rectangular blade made for chopping vegetables than the traditional blade geometry of chef's knife.

My Nakiri budget is $300.
Are there any other Nakiri for under $300 that offers performances superior to the aforementioned three above?
If so, what are they?
Just to confuse you even more, I'll throw in some more possibilities:
* Sakai Takayuki also makes a moroha-usuba ("multiple-edged usuba") in white-2.
* Japanese-made Chinese-style knives are often referred to as Chuka-bocho ("Zhonghua/Jungwa [i.e. China] Kitchen Knife"); if you use Chinese-style knives, then these are also things you can look into.
* Also, some makers make extra-tall nakiri's as a hybrid design.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
283
Reaction score
427
Location
Atlanta
I summon @nakiriknaifuwaifu ! Work your magic!
Frankly, at that high of a budget I only have armchair knowledge based on what I read online (dubious at best), but I'll throw in my two cents anyway.

The major point is that $300 opens you up to a lot of top makers' nakiris.

TF Mab, Hinoura AS 180mm, Shig KU 165 (if you can find one), Watanabe Pro 180mm, etc.

However, since you don't know how to sharpen yet, I'd just snag myself a Moritaka nakiri (I am having a lot of fun with mine), a shapton pro 1000, and a rika 5000/arashiyama 6000 and go to town.

A nakiri is not just a Japanese take on a Chinese cleaver (it is a lot better :p) but make sure you want one and know what you want in a nakiri and can maintain one before you go buy a big fish. For example, let's say you want a TF and you go to the coffee-flavored cake himself and ask him for a nakiri. Would you be okay with a 45mmx165mm? How about a 60mmx165mm? Do you like workhorses like a KU Shig, or thinner blades like an Ashi Ginga? Are you okay with it cracking through carrots and sweetpotatoes?

Lots of questions to ask yourself before you go knife hunting, but that's just like...my opinion, man. Don't buy the Miyabi though.

opinionated blathering: White 2 is a compromise between steel attributes. If I'm going to sharpen something every week, I'd prefer White 1 over White 2. You could do worse than that Yoshimi Kato, but super blue is most definitely not a stainless steel. Personally I'd have a Hinoura 180 in AS over the Kato though, but again - that's just me.
 
Last edited:

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
Thank you for the inputs, @nakiriknaifuwaifu. And now, the questions...

The major point is that $300 opens you up to a lot of top makers' nakiris.

TF Mab, Hinoura AS 180mm, Shig KU 165 (if you can find one), Watanabe Pro 180mm, etc.

However, since you don't know how to sharpen yet, I'd just snag myself a Moritaka nakiri (I am having a lot of fun with mine), a shapton pro 1000, and a rika 5000/arashiyama 6000 and go to town.
Just looked at Moritaka Nakiri. Doesn't have the right geometry I am looking for. I prefer a slight rounded curvature at the front edge which Moritaka doesn't have. Why did you recommend me Moritaka anyway? Couldn't be the price because there are lot of Nakiri priced below $100. Is it because of the flat single bevel whereas others have a touch of slight convex to their grind?


Lots of questions to ask yourself before you go knife hunting, but that's just like...my opinion, man. Don't buy the Miyabi though.
You made a suggestion without stating the reason. So I must ask, what's wrong with Miyabi? Is it because of the poor performance-to-price ratio? I read that Miyabi spends awful lot on advertisement, and they pass on the cost to the consumers. Not sure about the veracity of that statement as I am not in touch with Miyabi's sales & marketing div.


opinionated blathering: White 2 is a compromise between steel attributes. If I'm going to sharpen something every week, I'd prefer White 1 over White 2. You could do worse than that Yoshimi Kato, but super blue is most definitely not a stainless steel. Personally I'd have a Hinoura 180 in AS over the Kato though, but again - that's just me.
If I may ask, what is it about Mutsumi Hinoura AS Nakiri over that of Yoshimi Kato AS Nakiri? There must be a reason(s) for your preference and recommendation of one over the other. I am interested in that reason which is far more important to me than the actual recommendations themselves. Without the reasons, it's basically, "Pick A over B, but not over C, ...etc." without knowing why.
 

Slim278

Supporting Member
Joined
Apr 5, 2020
Messages
159
Reaction score
196
Location
Tennessee
Many of the reasons nakiriknaifuwaifu or anyone else likes "Pick A over B, but not over C, ...etc." is not that relevant to you until you have used enough knives to know the attributes you prefer. That is why I recommended a quality knife, within your budget, that can easily be resold with little to know loss.

You can use the search engine and brows the Buy Sell for resale info on knives you are interested in. You may even be able to pick up a used knife if you are patient.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
283
Reaction score
427
Location
Atlanta
Many of the reasons nakiriknaifuwaifu or anyone else likes "Pick A over B, but not over C, ...etc." is not that relevant to you until you have used enough knives to know the attributes you prefer. That is why I recommended a quality knife, within your budget, that can easily be resold with little to know loss.

You can use the search engine and brows the Buy Sell for resale info on knives you are interested in. You may even be able to pick up a used knife if you are patient.
That's what I said:
You need to figure out what you want in a knife before you go out and buy one.
A nakiri is not just a Japanese take on a Chinese cleaver (it is a lot better :p) but make sure you want one and know what you want in a nakiri and can maintain one before you go buy a big fish. For example, let's say you want a TF and you go to the coffee-flavored cake himself and ask him for a nakiri. Would you be okay with a 45mmx165mm? How about a 60mmx165mm? Do you like workhorses like a KU Shig, or thinner blades like an Ashi Ginga? Are you okay with it cracking through carrots and sweetpotatoes?

Lots of questions to ask yourself before you go knife hunting, but that's just like...my opinion, man.
 

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
Many of the reasons nakiriknaifuwaifu or anyone else likes "Pick A over B, but not over C, ...etc." is not that relevant to you until you have used enough knives to know the attributes you prefer.
Nevertheless, it's good to know the reason(s) behind those recommendations/suggestions. After all, isn't that the reason why any of us are here? That is, to be a better informed consumer?

And so I must insist on asking and knowing the reason(s) behind each of the recommendations.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
283
Reaction score
427
Location
Atlanta
Thank you for the inputs, @nakiriknaifuwaifu. And now, the questions...



Just looked at Moritaka Nakiri. Doesn't have the right geometry I am looking for. I prefer a slight rounded curvature at the front edge which Moritaka doesn't have. Why did you recommend me Moritaka anyway? Couldn't be the price because there are lot of Nakiri priced below $100. Is it because of the flat single bevel whereas others have a touch of slight convex to their grind?




You made a suggestion without stating the reason. So I must ask, what's wrong with Miyabi? Is it because of the poor performance-to-price ratio? I read that Miyabi spends awful lot on advertisement, and they pass on the cost to the consumers. Not sure about the veracity of that statement as I am not in touch with Miyabi's sales & marketing div.




If I may ask, what is it about Mutsumi Hinoura AS Nakiri over that of Yoshimi Kato AS Nakiri? There must be a reason(s) for your preference and recommendation of one over the other. I am interested in that reason which is far more important to me than the actual recommendations themselves. Without the reasons, it's basically, "Pick A over B, but not over C, ...etc." without knowing why.
1. I like the Moritaka which is why I recommend it. It was recommended to me as a first nakiri way back when, too. It's relatively inexpensive, fun to polish, has good steel and HT, no major flaws with F&F that can't be fixed, and you can fix the grind if it's too concave for you. It's also reactive - enough to keep you on your toes about good wiping habits, but not enough to make your life miserable (like a Tojiro).

2. My reasoning is based on what I like, which is why I said you should get a good starter knife, do some soul-searching as you learn to sharpen, and then go buy a knife that suits your wants and needs.

3. Yes, the Miyabi has poor performance to price ratio IMO. Having owned a Miyabi, they're really nice knives. But I would have been happier with a TF Mab for what I paid for it back in the day.

4. The Hinoura is cheaper and has more length with a pleasant medium workhorse grind. Plus, I like Hinoura. Furthermore, I don't like shelling out big bucks for Takefu stuff because I think much of it lacks soul.

Nevertheless, it's good to know the reason(s) behind those recommendations/suggestions. After all, isn't that the reason why any of us are here? That is, to be a better informed consumer?

And so I must insist on asking and knowing the reason(s) behind each of the recommendations.
Well, I say those things because I like what I like. Your priority list would be different. I just shared what I would do if I had 300 dollars, no sharpening knowledge, and wanted to buy a nakiri which is to first buy a good starter knife, learn to sharpen, figure out the market and makers as well as what you want in a knife, and then go buy something.

I'm sorry for sounding like a snob when I say this (only a tiny amount) but if you have a $300 budget and want to buy a Miyabi, you probably shouldn't buy a $300 knife. If you did, I doubt you would be able to appreciate it fully.
 

nakiriknaifuwaifu

Well-Known Member
Joined
Jul 28, 2020
Messages
283
Reaction score
427
Location
Atlanta
Nevertheless, it's good to know the reason(s) behind those recommendations/suggestions. After all, isn't that the reason why any of us are here? That is, to be a better informed consumer?
No, I'm mostly here to sh*tpost about nakiris and my love for them, and also buy nakiris on BST.
 

-Kiku-

Active Member
Joined
Oct 13, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
4
Location
Amegakure
That's what I said:
You need to figure out what you want in a knife before you go out and buy one.
It looks like we're not making much progress here...so let's start with the difference in features between the Masamoto Sohonten White #2 Kasumi Kuro-Nakiri ($200) versus the Yoshimi Kato Aogami Super Kuro-Nakiri ($330). Other than the obvious $130 price difference and the type of steel (White #2 vs Super Blue), what difference in features are there between the two? Is it the center of gravity? Blade thickness? Primary bevel angle? Or is it something else?

It wouldn't be practical for me to go out and buy a nakiri from every manufacturer and brand just so I can find out exactly which one suits me the best. Hence I ask you here in this forum what those differences are so that I can make informed choices.
 

CiderBear

Senior Member
Joined
May 23, 2019
Messages
997
Reaction score
1,214
Location
United States
@-Kiku- I highly suggest using the search function to read up on people's impression with popular nakiris like Watanabe, Toyama, Heiji, etc. There's a very cool post in the review subforum with pretty much every popular nakiri under the sun. After you've been more informed more about those, you can narrow down your options. It's a much better use of time for everyone.
 

JayGee

Well-Known Member
Joined
Apr 12, 2015
Messages
168
Reaction score
22
I've never used a Wat nakiri (and I want to), but my Masamoto KK White 2 was a better cutter than my KU Shig 165 - which I then sold because it felt like a delicate toy in comparison. I'm not sure why I'm a cheerleader for this knife - but it gets used a lot, and after a few years I have a lot of confidence in it for doing tough jobs.
 

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Banned
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,012
Reaction score
621
Location
Asia
Don't think anyone can determine your preferences based on what you said, and it seems you don't know yourself. You don't even know that aogami super is not a stainless steel.

You should get the simplest 165mm nakiri with average weight and height, either a cheaper stainless or a simple White #2 from one of the Sanjo makers. The Watanabe Pro 180mm nakiri in aogami super is a very good nakiri with normal specs that are easy for a beginner, but beyond your budget.
 

dafox

Supporting Member
Joined
May 27, 2017
Messages
1,545
Reaction score
579
Location
Colorado
I would recommend Wakui as well, but I would get the 180 one if it's possible.
 

wombat

Active Member
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
36
Reaction score
45
Location
Australia
Another vote for Watanabe Pro, I have the 165mm which I believe is blue #2. I like the profile and the weight feels right for me, nimble but just enough heft. Sharpened it a couple of times, it took a nice edge quite easily and retained it well.
 

josemartinlopez

我會買所有的獨角獸
Banned
Joined
Jun 27, 2020
Messages
1,012
Reaction score
621
Location
Asia
Other than the obvious $130 price difference and the type of steel (White #2 vs Super Blue), what difference in features are there between the two?
You are focusing too much on the steel, which is an easy trap to fall into trying to research knives for the first time. It won’t make a difference to you as a home user, except that a white #2 nakiri is an easier start when you learn sharpening. You should focus on the shape and geometry of the knife, and there are many choices up to $300 including those you listed.

If you began with the $330 Y Kato knife, I would personally instead buy the Watanabe Pro for a little more and not need to upgrade ever.
 
Top