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Why You Need a Nakiri Knife in Your Kitchen

By George Steckel
Feb 25, 2021
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If you've ever sat at your favorite sushi bar and ordered omakase, then you've probably seen a Nakiri knife in action. It's the knife that looks like a cleaver, but is used oh so delicately and precisely to perfectly slice eggplant, dice onions, and julienne vegetables. It is also a new addition to the Made In knife collection and is guaranteed to be your new favorite tool for quick chopping and easy prep. So what is a Nakiri knife? How is it different from a Santoku? Is it true that the Nakiri would make an amazing holiday gift? I’m glad you asked.

A Nakiri knife is a classic Japanese-style knife that has a straight, symmetrical edge that is most commonly used for slicing, dicing, and chopping vegetables. Its main feature is its straight blade, which encourages a specific style of cutting. Unlike a Chef Knife, which utilizes a rocking motion, the Nakiri is ideal for an up-and-down motion, perfect for celery stalks, carrots, onions, leeks, zucchini, and eggplant. Get the point yet? This knife is perfect for all your vegetable needs!

Nakiri vs. Santoku

So what’s the difference between the Nakiri and Santoku? The main difference is in the blade. A Nakiri’s blade will sit flat on the cutting board, while the blade of the Santoku is curved to allow for the rocking motion while cutting. The flatness of the Nakiri’s blade means you can cut all the way through to the cutting board, without the rocking motion. The Nakiri also has a thinner blade, so it should not be used for tougher cuts, like butchering meat or cutting through thick vegetables. The squared-off tip is another major design difference, as it limits the length of the knife. Most Nakiris are just over six inches, which gives the user more control over the knife’s movements.

Originally released as a Limited Edition Knife with a Spanish olive wood handle, we quickly re-released it in our traditional red and black handles after the Limited Edition sold out in just over 3 hours. So if you already have Made In knives and want the Nakiri knife to match your set, you now have the option to do so!

Your New Favorite Knife

I was able to put this knife to work recently (perks of the job!) and let me be the first to tell you that this knife performs beautifully. The smooth handle looks even more elegant in person, and the blade made pristine cuts on every vegetable I could get my hands on. Another thing I love about this knife is that I was able to work through my prep faster than normal due to the up-and-down motion that the knife encourages. Still not convinced? Due to its large surface area, it also serves as a perfect vessel to transport your vegetables to your pans. Like all Made In knives, the Nakiri knife is full tang and fully forged, as well. So whether you’re trying to add to your knife collection or have a knife aficionado's birthday coming up, make sure to turn to a beautifully crafted Nakiri knife.

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