The Nakiri and Kiritsuke knives might make you love your vegetables more. These two Japanese-style knives allow you to cut all types of veggies quickly, with ease and precision.
But while the two are the best vegetable knife options available, they are different in many ways. Not only do they differ in terms of blade design and maneuverability, but also in pricing and blade length.
Therefore, knowing their features can help you decide which is the best for your kitchen needs.
In this article, we will highlight what exactly these knives are, their applications, and their differences. So, read on.
What Is Nakiri Knife?
This is a type of Japanese knife specially designed for mincing, chopping, slicing, and dicing vegetables. At first glance, you might mistake it for a Chef’s Knife or Chinese Cleaver. This is because of its thin and double bevel edge blade design.
But guess what? This vegetable knife features a long, straight, and rectangular blade, which is what makes it different from your chef’s knife. It also boasts a lightweight design. Therefore, when cutting your vegetables, you use the up-and-down technique instead of the rocking motion.
What Is Kitchen Nakiri Used For?
While you cannot use this knife on hard ingredients like meat, it still has so many uses in the kitchen. These include:
- Well, because of its flat, straight, and thin edge blade, you can use your Nakiri knife to cut up every type of vegetable.
- Even delicate vegetables, this knife can handle without squishing them like thicker and heavier blades do.
- For example, you could use it for slicing cucumber, cauliflower, mushroom, broccoli, and eggplants.
- Besides cutting and chopping vegetables, you can also use this knife for small tasks such as mincing garlic and ginger.
- Best of all, it does a great job cutting herbs without getting stuck on the blade.
- Additionally, you can use this kitchen Nakiri knife for preparing fruits.
- The knife makes clean cuts whether you are slicing melons, oranges, pears, limes, or apples.
Making Thin And Even Slices
- When you want to prepare a recipe with thin ribbons of vegetables, a Nakiri knife will surely not disappoint you.
- Its flat blade design allows you to cut paper-thin slices with minimal effort.
What Is Kiritsuke Knife?
Similar to Nakiri, this is a Japanese-style knife best suited for chopping fruits and vegetables plus slicing meat. The knife combines the features of two Japanese chef’s knives, including the Yanagiba and the Usuba, where the Yanagiba is used for cutting raw fish while the Usuba is best for chopping vegetables.
However, this knife boasts a longer blade, about 240-330mm. In addition, you will notice its blade has a straight edge compared to that of Yanagiba.
For this reason, it is best suited for highly skilled chefs because it can be difficult to use its single-edged blade. But don’t worry because you can also find the Kiritsuke knife in double-bevel design, which is relatively easier to use.
What Is Kitchen Kiritsuke Knife Used For?
The Kiritsuke is a versatile knife because it combines some features of the Yanagiba and Usuba Japanese knives. Some of the tasks you can use this Japanese utility knife for include:
- One of the things this single bevel Japanese knife does well is dicing vegetables.
- Thanks to its straight, long, and flat blade, you can use it to chop both small and large vegetables.
- Examples are tomatoes, cucumber, cauliflower, celery, potatoes, and onions.
- It can also cut delicate veggies with minimal effort and without damaging them.
Slicing Fish And Meat
- The Kiritsuke knife features a sharper tip than your chef’s knife to ensure the meat does not stick to the blade.
- This allows you to slice fish like salmon, tuna, mackerel, and other seafood with ultimate precision.
- Even better, you can use it to prepare skinned fish such as red snapper and trout.
- More importantly, it allows you to portion or thinly slice boneless proteins like chicken.
Cutting Herbs And Fruits
- Like the Nakiri kitchen knife, this single bevel Japanese knife allows for push-cut motion instead of rock-chopping.
- For this reason, you can easily use it to cut your herbs and even a wide range of fruits.
Nakiri Vs Kiritsuke: What Are The Differences?
Although both Nakiri and Kiritsuke knives are best suited for chopping fruits and vegetables, they are somewhat different. So, allow us to walk you through some of their key differences.
The blade of a Nakiri knife is only available in a double bevel edge design. Because of this, you will find it an excellent option whether you are a left or right-hand user.
- Also, the blade boasts a thin and rectangular profile with a blunt tip.
- In addition, this knife provides you with a straight edge.
- This allows you to cut your veggies all the way through on the chopping board.
Unlike the Nakiri knife, you can get a Kiritsuke knife in either a single or double bevel edge design.
- The single bevel Japanese knife offers better versatility but is best suited for experts. Meanwhile, the double bevel is more beginner-friendly.
- But overall, the Kiritsuke blade is long and flat with a straight edge just like a Nakiri blade.
- The difference is that it has an angled and sharper tip, which is what makes it best for slicing fish.
You can get both the Nakiri and Kiritsuke knives in two handle designs. One is the Japanese ‘wa-handle’, which is the most common, and the second is the western-style design.
- As for the wa-style handle design, you will find it more lightweight than the western design.
- Another difference between these two designs is that the western-style features a three-rivet style for enhanced durability.
- However, the wa-style handle is not riveted in place for ease of replacement.
- So, the main difference between the handle design of a Nakiri and Kiritsuke knife is their length and weight.
- Basically, the Kiritsuke handle is a little longer and heavier than that of a Nakiri, which is lightweight.
Most Nakiri knives you will come across are either made of low-carbon Japanese stainless steel or high-carbon steel.
- However, the high-carbon options are more durable and easier to maintain than their low-carbon counterparts.
- As for the handle, some of the common materials used include wood, ebony, brass, resin, and stainless steel.
On the other hand, the common material used for making a Kiritsuke knife is high-carbon steel.
- Basically, this knife employs about 0.95% of carbon content with chromium infusion for enhanced durability.
- For the handle, it is made of different types of wood materials such as Pakkawood, curly maple, and olive.
A Nakiri knife made of low-carbon steel tends to dull pretty fast than one made of high-carbon steel. As such, you will need to sharpen it more often. High-carbon steel Nakiri knives, on the other hand, tend to hold their edges longer and are easy to sharpen.
Since Kiritsuke knives are mostly made of high-carbon steel materials, you can expect them to stay sharp longer. Simply put, their edge retention is much better than that of low-carbon steel Nakiri knives.
One of the things that stand out about a Nakiri knife is its lightweight and flexible design. Because of this, you will find it easy to maneuver when chopping fruits and vegetables, even if you’re a beginner. After all, you just need to move it in up and down motion to make precise cuts.
A Kiritsuke knife, on the other hand, features a lightweight blade, but the handle is a little heavy. In addition, the knife is not flexible like its Nakiri counterpart. For this reason, it is best suited for professionals since its maneuverability is not that great.
Compared to Kiritsuke knives, you will find Nakiri knives relatively cheaper. Depending on your budget, you can get a good Nakiri knife for about $50 to $100. However, some of the best models can cost you over $200.
A decent quality Kiritsuke knife, on the other hand, will cost you around $100 to $200. But for high-end models, you might have to part away with over $300.
On average, a Nakiri knife is relatively small in size compared to its Kiritsuke counterpart. Basically, this vegetable knife measures around 5-7 inches in length. Its generous length allows you to chop your vegetables quickly without making frequent repeat cuts.
Typically, a Kiritsuke knife measures around 8 to 12 inches long or even more for some models. So, you can bet it is longer than a Nakiri knife. You might even mistake it for a short sword.
A Nakiri knife is not as versatile as the Kiritsuke. This is because it is primarily made for cutting vegetables, fruits, and herbs, as well as mincing various ingredients. However, you cannot use it on hard ingredients like meat.
As for the Kiritsuke knife, it has so many applications making it quite versatile. Essentially, you can use this Japanese utility knife to chop veggies, slice fish and boneless chicken, and cut fruits and even herbs.
Which Should You Buy, Nakiri Or Kiritsuke?
Both knife styles are great choices. However, the Nakiri knife is the overall best option. This is because whether you are a beginner or professional, you will find this vegetable knife easy to use. Of course, this is thanks to its double-bevel edge design, excellent flexibility, and how lightweight it is.
So, we would recommend starting off with the Nakiri knife. And once you master the basics, you can buy a Kiritsuke knife. But if you are a professional chef, the best knife to buy would be a Kiritsuke. It is a more versatile option compared to the Nakiri because you can use it to chop both fish and vegetables.