May 8, 2021

How to use a nakiri knife?

If you are looking to buy a premium quality knife for yourself, then you must have heard or gone through a Japanese knife as an option. Japanese steel is known globally for its exceptional strength and durability. It is why Japanese steel swords are looked as a prized possession by collectors. Using the same Japanese steel, many Japanese companies have started manufacturing handmade Japanese knives, which offer the same kind of steel quality and sharpness as a Japanese Katana sword. The sacred place of knife making in Japan is Seki city, which is known to be the hub of all Japanese knife making companies. One of such popular Japanese knives is the Nakiri knife. A Nakiri knife is primarily used for chopping vegetables and is a great tool for both professional chefs and beginners. The knife is characterized by its straight blade and squared-off tips. Here we will discuss how to use a nakiri knife properly to attain maximum usability.

A Nakiri knife will help you to cut all the way through the cutting board without having to use a horizontal push or pull. The only useful movement with the knife is the downwards movement, which makes using this knife easier and comfortable. Since the knife has a straight blade, it is basically used to cut vegetables with precision. If you want to cut all the slices or pieces of the vegetable with the same size and a thin profile, it can only be done with a Nakiri knife. The precision with which this knife can cut provides equal pieces of vegetables while slicing and chopping. While using a Nakiri knife one has to understand that this is not an ordinary knife and cannot be used in the same way as a Santoku or a chef’s knife. The knife needs to be handled very precisely to make sure that using it becomes easier.

How to use a Nakiri Knife

Since a Nakitri knife has been designed in a different shape than other knives, using it in the same way as a chef’s knife or any other knife will not provide you the same kind of performance and functionality that you would expect from a traditional Makiri knife. Let’s have a look at a few handling tips on how a Nakiri knife can be used.

Have a firm grip

Having a firm grip is one of the most important things that one must take care of while using a Nakiri knife. Hold the handle with a tight and firm grip and make sure to pull your hand back while holding the vegetable.

Up and Down Motion

With all the other knives, you have to follow a rocking motion where the knife moves a lot for that perfect cutting angle. However, in a nakiri knife one has to use a straight up and down position and not the rocking motion. Using the up and down motion will easily cut the vegetables in even pieces. Also since the nakiri knife has a double bevel edge, the food or ingredients do not stick to while it is in use.

Use your knuckles

To make sure that you don’t cut your fingers while using the knife. Make sure to hold the vegetable with the hand-shaped like a claw, where the knife comes in contact with your knuckles and not a finger. The contact with the knuckles will help the knife to glide easily and cut the vegetable. This technique keeps your fingers safe, whenever you use a knife. Simply glide the knife up and down while touching your knuckles slightly. Go on straight to get them evenly cut.

Do not use heavy items

The knife has been designed keeping in mind the cuisine of Japanese chefs. Since there is a lot of fish and vegetables in their cousin, this knife has been made to cut and process vegetables and fish only. This knife should not be used on heavy and hard objects like meat with bones etc. Since this knife is used for delicate cutting of vegetables, it should only be used on vegetables and fish. Although it can be used on things like poultry it will decrease the sharpness of the blade quickly. Also, do not cut any frozen item or open a bottle cap using this knife apart from chopping.

Do not use dishwashers

Although companies claim that these knives are dishwashers safe, it is better to simply hand wash these knives to make sure that the blade does not catch rust. Simply clean the blade using warm water and remove anything sticking on it. Once done, simply clean it with a dry cloth to avoid any kind of rust formation. It not only makes the knife better but also increases the knife of the blade.

Don’t add too much force and maintain the handle

While using the knife you will have to make sure that you are not putting any extra pressure on the knife, which is more than required. It makes the blade bend, which reduces its life and creates a microfracture in it. It will compromise the integrity and strength of the blade. Since the blade of a Nakiri knife is extended all the way up to the handle, make sure that the handle is firm and grippy. If you feel the handle is becoming loose, repair it to get better performance from the knife.

Sharpen the blade

While using the blade make sure that you sharpen it regularly after a certain period of time. Constant usage of a knife makes the blade dull and less effective. Make sure that you get your blades sharpened after every few weeks.

Store it in a sheath or wooden block

Most of the companies are now providing the consumers with a sheet or wooden block in a knife set to make sure that the blades are properly covered when not in use and avoid any kind of damage to the blade’s edge. If you do not receive any kind of sheath, then make sure to get a sheath separately to increase the knife of the blade.

Also, for more info watching this video.


These are a few things that you can follow to increase the performance and functionality of a Nakiri knife. After following all these instructions, the Nakiri knife will surely become one of your favorite tools ever. A nakiri knife can complete a lot of different tasks when compared to other knives and still feel a lot lighter and maneuverable. So the next time you want to buy a nakiri knife, make sure to follow the above tips to increase their life and handle them properly.

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