Suggestions for Nakiri

Discussion in 'The Kitchen Knife' started by MatisManu, Aug 14, 2018.

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  1. Aug 14, 2018 #1

    MatisManu

    MatisManu

    MatisManu

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    l looking for a 160-180mm nakiri. I love the look of Tanaka’s Blue #2 Nashiji. However, I’d love something that’s stainless steel clad. Price up to $275. Any suggestions?
     
  2. Aug 14, 2018 #2
    Only one answer to your question - the Watanabe Pro Nakiri is stainless clad blue and just over $200. The mother of all nakiri.
     
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  3. Aug 14, 2018 #3

    MatisManu

    MatisManu

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    This one right?! I’ve been looking at it and love it! But I have a big clever....would it be be pointless? Could u tell me some about it first hand?
     

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  4. Aug 14, 2018 #4
    That's the one.

    You'll hear arguments that a gyuto can do anything that a nakiri can do. And while true, a nakiri is a specialized knife for veg and it's fun to use and a better tool for the special job. The Wat is quick and nimble, at 180mm it's exactly the right size (for me), it's balanced just right, and my choice when doing a lot of veg.

    Compared to others, I've had a Carter and a Shig that I did not like as much. Compared to your cleaver it will be like the difference between driving a mini-van (almost said station wagon) and a 2 door sporty. My personal "best" was 8 cases of mushrooms at one time - and it was coming back for more.

    He does offer a handle upgrade that will have a horn ferrule rather than the stock plastic one. For reasons unkown the 165mm variant has a horn ferrule.

    And something that's usually not considered - if you buy one and end up hating it (you won't), you can resell it on here at close to retail and it will go quick.
     
  5. Aug 14, 2018 #5

    Noodle Soup

    Noodle Soup

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    Another vote for the Watanabe. And I've used Shigs, Carters, Toyamas and several lesser known makes.
     
  6. Aug 14, 2018 #6

    brianh

    brianh

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    Just got a watanabe nakiri (my second). Not only a great nakiri but Shinichi is always easy to work with.
     
  7. Aug 14, 2018 #7

    Marek07

    Marek07

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    The Watanabe 180mm nakiri is the recommended nakiri on this forum. However, if you think it's somehow too close in size and function to your cleaver, you could opt for his 165mm nakiri.
     
  8. Aug 14, 2018 #8

    77kath

    77kath

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    That is the knife I’ve been looking for! The site shows it out of stock, with only 5 available in a month. I guess there’s a waiting list; I don’t have time to track it down just now. But thanks, MatisManu, for bringing it up. (And everyone else for supporting the idea!)
     
  9. Aug 14, 2018 #9

    brianh

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    I refreshed the site every day or so and as soon as it was back in stock, I grabbed one.
     
  10. Aug 14, 2018 #10
    He's very easy to chat with via email. Guessing(?) you could reserve one from next batch.
     
  11. Aug 14, 2018 #11

    77kath

    77kath

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    Good advice. Thanks
     
  12. Aug 14, 2018 #12

    Jkts

    Jkts

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    A cleaver and a nakiri are very different knives- basically a cleaver is a chopper and a nakiri is a slicer.

    A cleaver is heavier and thicker, you can use its weight to chop down through your material. You develop a rhythm to take advantage of the heft.

    A nakiri is thinner and lighter. You generally push through veggies using the sharpness, rather than the weight. It’s sharpened flatter to the face than most other knives, which gives it a very smooth cut.

    Of course, there are folks with very sharp slicing cleavers and others who like to chop with nakiris. But they are two very different knives by design.
     
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  13. Aug 17, 2018 #13
    Wait, isn’t this the other way round? A vegetable cleaver is large and rather heavy (although rather thin). Because if its size it us used for slicing or push cutting. Chopping would require quite some strength and - because of the weight - it would be very easy to damage the thin blade upon an impact on the cutting board.

    Nakiri because it is much lighter cab be used for quick and precise chopping. It can be of course used as well for slicing and push cutting.

    Some nakiris are very thin, but the best choppers are not exactly lasers, so that the food does not stick too much. Think of the aforementioned Watanabe.

    In general 165 nakiris tend to be better fast chopers because of lower weight. I had a 180 Toyama and as great if a knife it was, at 200g it was too heavy for me to chop comfortably with it.
     
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  14. Aug 17, 2018 #14
    To add a suggestion - I would go with 165 over 180 for a first nakiri. The Watanabe will weight some 180g, others will be lighter. I have used several ones and like the best my 175g 180mm large AS Moritaka the best. The relatively narrow wide bevel works exceptionally well for chopping.

    In fact - for me the ultimate nakiri would be from Bryan Raquin (he can make them both light or heavy)
     
  15. Aug 17, 2018 #15

    Jkts

    Jkts

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    Hi Matus

    I like the question and it may have to do with personal style.

    Chopping with a Japanese cleaver doesn’t require as much strength because the heavier weight lets gravity do the work, you lift the knife and then drop it through the veggie.

    It could be whether chopping to an individual means the use of force. With a cleaver, I think of more a chop-chop-chop, with speed and rhythm, but not as much muscle. Other folks are probably powering through, esp if they need more speed.

    For myself, I would worry about chopping with a nakiri in that I might damage the edge or chop myself, when it’s sharp enough to just slice through with minimal effort.

    How do other people use cleavers and nakiris?
     
  16. Aug 17, 2018 #16

    Paraffin

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    I chop and slice with my 165mm Yoshikazu Ikeda nakiri. Rapid chopping for minced garlic, chili, and onion. Very narrow, precision cuts for chilis and veg for garnish on Chinese dishes.

    Most nakiris (like this one) have a small bit of curve in the edge, along with a sharpened forward curve leading up to the flat front of the blade. This lets you use different parts of the blade for different purposes. Rapid chopping uses the middle part of the blade, so the worst of the wear against the cutting board happens there.

    For slicing, I'll use the heel end of the blade for something fairly thick and resistant like carrots. For the precision stuff, I'll draw-slice using the front of the blade, with the nakiri at a higher angle, so I'm even using a little of that curve at the front. That front curve is always the sharpest part of the blade, and is great for draw-slicing because it never hits the board when chopping.

    One other thing -- I use soft hinoki boards for vegetables and nakiri work. Much more gentle on the edge than a hardwood or hard plastic board.
     
  17. Aug 18, 2018 #17

    Xenif

    Xenif

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    Balance of the knife has a lot to do with how well it chops. I have a 250g+/210mm Heiji, its an excellent push/pull machine its not great at chopping because of the forward balance and extra weight up front. 200g/180mm Shig I found it an excellent chopper because of the balance and grind.

    Are people generally concerned about chopping with a nakiri? When I say chop I mean fast but light repeatitive board impact not hard heavy through bone chop.

    https://www.instagram.com/p/BmUlRLMnMVW/?utm_source=ig_share_sheet&igshid=ujh23n9gsry2

    Heres my Shig chopping, sorry about poor skill.
     
  18. Aug 18, 2018 #18

    valgard

    valgard

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    this one, I suggest 180mm direct from Watanabe if you want bigger and heavier, this is my favourite nakiri. 165mm can be had from Carbonknifeco for a few bucks less if you are in the states.
     

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