Tall Nakiri Discussion

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adam_Cullen

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First off, let me say that I love nakiri knives! the tap chopping, the ability to be a canvas for blacksmiths to show off their finishes, the feel/history, the ability to cut through veg and squash like nobodys business... they are great! that said, i have a hard time finding what i am looking for in shops (meaning i have made a few impulse buys and suffered from buyers remorse), so i wanted to gauge what others thought about their personal nakiri.

I have bought a few and ended up selling/trading all of them because it doesn't quite perform in the way i'd like. sometimes the cladding is nice but it has a food release issue cutting things like zuicnini or squash... or it will cut like a beast but it has a lower blade height and might as well be using a santoku/bunka that is more versatile.. so i have shifted to looking for a tall nakiri that be make up the difference. one thing that i have noticed is that the average tall nakiri i have see is usually of 70mm+ in height.. so wouldn't that be closer to a Chinese clever?? ideally, i feel a kiruichi finish on a tall nakiri with a blade height of roughly 60-65mm would be a happy medium between the traditional 42-55mm blade height and the Chinese clever. so i am here to ask (before i make ANOTHER impulse buy), what do you think of them? what are you rocking? what do you look for in picking out a nakiri? is there anything else i should be considering in my next, and hopefully final, purchase? Let's Chat!!
 

cooktocut

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It's this amateur's belief that you're going to forever be disappointed if you're looking for a rectangular knife to have good food release. I use my chinese cleavers a lot more often than my nakiris, but they're all equally rotten at food release. Only difference is that the chinese cleaver is so tall that it takes a lot of built up food stickage to get all the way to the spine of the knife, which is usually when it ends up being an issue.

Side note, when I'm processing a lot of something and I can't be bothered to wipe the blade, I find it helpful to switch my perspective and start gauging the cuts from the other side of the knife, the side closest to the food being cut. That way I still have a good gauge for what/how I'm cutting.
 

adam_Cullen

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It's this amateur's belief that you're going to forever be disappointed if you're looking for a rectangular knife to have good food release. I use my chinese cleavers a lot more often than my nakiris, but they're all equally rotten at food release. Only difference is that the chinese cleaver is so tall that it takes a lot of built up food stickage to get all the way to the spine of the knife, which is usually when it ends up being an issue.

Side note, when I'm processing a lot of something and I can't be bothered to wipe the blade, I find it helpful to switch my perspective and start gauging the cuts from the other side of the knife, the side closest to the food being cut. That way I still have a good gauge for what/how I'm cutting.
hhmmm, i see what you are saying. i have only ever used my traditional nakiri and i felt as if i was always having to wipe the blade every time i touched veg like cucumbers, so i thought the larger surface area would be a good thing to consider. I personally feel a bit out of place using a blade as tall as a clever.. like, i have see a number of chefs start out using them in a professional kitchen and chip them because they were just too tall compared to what they were used to. it would take some adjustment, sure, just worries me a little. how log did it take you to get used to your clever if you don't mind me asking?
 

esoo

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One of the things to look at when you are getting a nakiri is the profile - some of them are shaped like a baby cleaver (slighter taller in the middle than the ends) or they are flat with a slightly shorter tip. If you like the former, the Takeda NAS nakiri has good food release due to it's grind.

There is always the option of a custom if you are looking for food release - like the large S-grind nakiri here by @Andrei

Remember that ultimately no matter the shape or grind, some food will stick, so you will have to wipe down the knife. The question will be how bad will the food that you normally cut stick to the blade that is in your hand.
 

cooktocut

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I'm a pretty big guy (6'9") so it could have something to do with that, but chinese cleavers have always felt natural for me. Instead of using just a claw grip for the food you're cutting, you can also use a modified claw grip. Basically you can hold the food as you normally would, but then use one finger (I use pointer usually) and point it straight up and out and actually guide the top part (near the spine) of the blade, which makes high volume cutting and chopping even easier. Helps keep the knife straight up and down so slices are even. I'm not sure if that translates well, and I may have to make a video to show you, but long story short I think the learning curve isn't nearly as steep as it seems.
 

Pie

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moritaka mega nakiri….. exists, but hard to find. Nice “budget” option for tall cleaver like things that aren’t cleavers. Pretty flat cleaver profile, nice and thin, not hefty in the least.

Or may I present.. the cleaver that’s not really a cleaver but feels like a cleaver with a gentle short gyuto profile - Togashi’s bastard child what-is-this-thing tall bunka!
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Barely any distal taper, fat point right above the shinogi, quite thin behind the edge but shorter bevel means wedginess once in a while. Food release decent, nothing to write home about but nice for home use. Heavy enough to do all the work on its own, beefy and soft enough to smash chop (just don’t zero grind it), and ugly/unrefined enough to not feel bad butchering it on stones. The tip somehow kicks ass, and it’s nimble for something so chunky. Dirt cheap too compared to other high steel volume Japanese maker knives. Idk why togashi made this, as he’s a beast with high end/honyaki, but he did a great job.

Also believe masakage nakiri are fairly tall, but fall within the range of “normal” nakiri. They’re quite thin compared to something like the above or one of mazaki’s old heavy KU models.
 
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Jeff

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Takada Nakiris are tall and the S grind should help on release.

I have recently purchased a DAO VUA tall Nakiri (and tall santoku) to play with.

They are pretty inexpensive (about $70). Leaf spring steel so they are reactive and take a really keen edge.

They do require attention. I don’t mind sharpening but in a professional environment it may prove to be a tedious task. Also, rust prone if not dried.

I have been playing with forced patina on them
and it helps retard the rust issue.
 

Brian Weekley

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+1 for the tall DuoVua tall nakiri. It’s dirt cheap and tons of fun!

But … I’m a nakiri lover. They are my first choice for anything to do with chopping veges. After buying several I found that a do prefer “tallish” nakiri’s. Here my current two favourites.

First up a Catcheside nakiri …

7047B83E-D986-4647-B2A1-89F984FEC173.jpeg


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Second up my treasured Takeda AS …

D5C4F948-BA9B-4CED-8BFD-39953C985AF9.jpeg


They are both amazing performers scoring at the top of the “Naughty Schoolboy” contest. Yet they couldn’t have more different grinds. The Takeda has his trademark extreme “S” grind and Catchside forged his trademark chubby convex grind. … he has a better name for it but I can’t remember what he calls his grind. The edge … probably goes to the Catcheside nakiri … though you would definitely get arguments. The measurement’s… balance, ease of cut and lack of stiction.

Today is a big day, though, as I’m off to pick up my 195mm, Ryan Swanson tuned, TFTFTFTFTF NAKIRI …!

Peel the potatoes and clear the cutting board.

There’s a new challenger in town!
 

Brian Weekley

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Holy smokes …

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This nakiri is a monster! Pictured alongside my wonderful Catcheside nakiri. As I picked this knife up from District Cutlery I thought “why not get Ryan Swanson to thin it for me”. Thinning a stainless clad knife is definitely not my favourite task. It’s the best job of “tuning” a knife that I’ve seen and Ryan is definitely worthy of his great reputation. I can’t wait to put it to work. It will definitely be an addition to the “Naughty Schoolboy” thread. Like a naughty schoolboy

Stay tuned.
 

Pie

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Ooh ittetsu makes one (house brand I believe) at sharp knife shop too. It’s actually called “tall nakiri” too
 

4wa1l

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I ordered this as a custom. It's a bit rough around the edges and not as thin overall as the Wat pro but I love it. Absolute beast and not much I'd want to change about it. Took about 6 months to come but could be worth sending them an email.

I also had a Masakage and it was about 60mm tall. Great nakiri but 165mm was a bit shorter than I prefer.
 

Hz_zzzzzz

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Here’s my Toyama 210*65 nakiri on the side of a CCK 1303. Same length but shorter height. They felt quite difference initially. Not only height but also the balance. The Toyama was less forward balanced than the CCK, which leads me to use different cutting techniques when use these 2 knives.

C98341AE-5996-448C-91B4-52E8DFC468F5.jpeg


Now I’ve changed the handle of the Toyama to one that is 12 gram lighter. The balance of Toyama has moved forward from at ~5 cm ahead of the heel to 6-7 cm ahead of the heel. The Toyama now feels more similar to CCK although still different. Toyama is still easier to maneuver than CCK using a standard pinch grip, but the feeling of tap chopping has some cleaver flavor now. I really love it!
1E06F80C-8D4C-4405-B032-2147898B755E.jpeg
 
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adam_Cullen

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+1 for the tall DuoVua tall nakiri. It’s dirt cheap and tons of fun!

But … I’m a nakiri lover. They are my first choice for anything to do with chopping veges. After buying several I found that a do prefer “tallish” nakiri’s. Here my current two favourites.

First up a Catcheside nakiri …

View attachment 147998

View attachment 147999


Second up my treasured Takeda AS …

View attachment 148000

They are both amazing performers scoring at the top of the “Naughty Schoolboy” contest. Yet they couldn’t have more different grinds. The Takeda has his trademark extreme “S” grind and Catchside forged his trademark chubby convex grind. … he has a better name for it but I can’t remember what he calls his grind. The edge … probably goes to the Catcheside nakiri … though you would definitely get arguments. The measurement’s… balance, ease of cut and lack of stiction.

Today is a big day, though, as I’m off to pick up my 195mm, Ryan Swanson tuned, TFTFTFTFTF NAKIRI …!

Peel the potatoes and clear the cutting board.

There’s a new challenger in town!
Here’s my Toyama 210*65 nakiri on the side of a CCK 1303. Same length but shorter height. They felt quite difference initially. Not only height but also the balance. The Toyama was less forward balanced than the CCK, which leads me to use different cutting techniques when use these 2 knives.

View attachment 148117

Now I’ve changed the handle of the Toyama to one that is 12 gram lighter. The balance of Toyama has moved forward from at ~5 cm ahead of the heel to 6-7 cm ahead of the heel. The Toyama now feels more similar to CCK although still different. Toyama is still easier to maneuver than CCK using a standard pinch grip, but the feeling of tap chopping has some cleaver flavor now. I really love it!
View attachment 148119
So you prefer the Catcheside over the Takeda AS it seems. Based on what i typically go for, I would normally go for the Takeda AS or something similiar to the Shiro Kamo AS available through sharp, but the "S" grind is something I am unfamiliar with. I would be curious to see which of the 3 would be the better performer in a home and professional use. that Swanson nakiri is a beast though! I bet you'll have some fun with that

The CCK looking good too! Balance has (and will continue to be) a big thought as i look for more forward heavy choppers.. that said, how does it do on the food release side? In my experience, the Migaki/Kasumi finishes always look wonderful but don't do too well on the food release side, so I am curious!
 

adam_Cullen

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It's this amateur's belief that you're going to forever be disappointed if you're looking for a rectangular knife to have good food release. I use my chinese cleavers a lot more often than my nakiris, but they're all equally rotten at food release. Only difference is that the chinese cleaver is so tall that it takes a lot of built up food stickage to get all the way to the spine of the knife, which is usually when it ends up being an issue.

Side note, when I'm processing a lot of something and I can't be bothered to wipe the blade, I find it helpful to switch my perspective and start gauging the cuts from the other side of the knife, the side closest to the food being cut. That way I still have a good gauge for what/how I'm cutting.

that's a good point, I thought that having a taller blade would be better suited for that, but i don't want to get my hopes up. I might have to try the perspective thing though.. could come in handy.. i appreciate it!
 

Brian Weekley

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“So you prefer the Catcheside over the Takeda AS it seems. Based on what i typically go for, I would normally go for the Takeda AS or something similiar to the Shiro Kamo AS available through sharp, but the "S" grind is something I am unfamiliar with. I would be curious to see which of the 3 would be the better performer in a home and professional use. that Swanson nakiri is a beast though! I bet you'll have some fun with that”

It’s not as if I would choose the Takeda over the Catcheside or vice versa … they are both valued members of the family. What blows me away is how they both achieve such outstanding results with such different grinds. The Takeda really isn’t an “S” grind (relieved along the centre). It’s pretty much unique to Takeda and it’s not loved by all. How Catcheside achieves similar or better results with a distinct convex grind is amazing to say the least. Then again Catcheside claims his own distinct grind and who’s to argue. I’m going to put the Swanson tuned TF to work today. It will be interesting to see the results.

Stay tuned.
 

adam_Cullen

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“So you prefer the Catcheside over the Takeda AS it seems. Based on what i typically go for, I would normally go for the Takeda AS or something similiar to the Shiro Kamo AS available through sharp, but the "S" grind is something I am unfamiliar with. I would be curious to see which of the 3 would be the better performer in a home and professional use. that Swanson nakiri is a beast though! I bet you'll have some fun with that”

It’s not as if I would choose the Takeda over the Catcheside or vice versa … they are both valued members of the family. What blows me away is how they both achieve such outstanding results with such different grinds. The Takeda really isn’t an “S” grind (relieved along the centre). It’s pretty much unique to Takeda and it’s not loved by all. How Catcheside achieves similar or better results with a distinct convex grind is amazing to say the least. Then again Catcheside claims his own distinct grind and who’s to argue. I’m going to put the Swanson tuned TF to work today. It will be interesting to see the results.

Stay tuned.
I am staying tuned for sure. I wish there was a shop close to me that carried both! I just wanna do some side-by-sides.. is that so much to ask!? lol

thank for the insight though, i will look at both of these when i go looking to buy next. I appreciate the help!
 
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