By reading the name “Nakiri” you already know it is from Japan, which is a well-known country to be the origin of man amazing knives that you know till now. This Nakiri knife is designed as a vegetable knife with features that makes it a favourite knife of kitchen users to chop greens to perfection.

In the native areas of Japan, people also use the term “Nakiri Bocho” for the knife. The meaning of the term is a knife that is used for cutting and chopping greens. The outlook of the Japanese knife resembles the structure of a cleaver. But from a cleaver, the structure of the Nakiri knife does have some significant differences. The Nakiri knife has more weight and is very sharp to let you cut tough items like meat.

The Nakiri knife is not like the usual kitchen knife that you own. There are a lot of interesting facts and details about the Nakiri knife that we included in the overview. As the Nakiri knife is unique, the maintenance of it is also different. For this, we included some information briefly about how to maintain a Nakiri knife.

We will also specify what makes the Nakiri knife an ideal cutting tool and other uses you can accomplish using the Nakiri knife. There are some FAQs as well that might arise in your minds, so have a look at all of the following information penned down below.

Overview of Nakiri Knives:

The feature that highlights the Nakiri knife is the blade structure. The blade of the knife can lay flat on a cutting surface and like usual knives, the blade does not have any camber. The cutting technique that you use with the Nakiri blade is that you go straight and move the knife upwards and downwards for getting slices with precision.

You will see that the blade of the Nakiri knife is very thin and yet very sharp like the razor. As the construction of the blade is both flat and thin cutting vegetables into fine pieces becomes very easy and accurate. You will love the outcome of the slices of items like onions and carrots.

The tip of the Nakiri blade is rounded allowing you to cut food items with precision by going along an angle. The design of the tip ensures that you cut any vegetable or herb with precision. The blade of the knife has a double-sided grind that allows you to swiftly chop up vegetable items and save up a lot of your cooking time. Another advantage of the Nakiri knife having a double-sided grind is that both left and right-handed people can use the knife comfortably.

Now let’s get to know some history and how the Nakiri knife was introduced into the world. During the early days and before the 17th century arrived the native people used small-sized samurai swords for cutting veggies which were considered risky. However, after the 17th century, things changed in Japan and the government made it easy for people to get to know foreign tools and various materials which also included knives.

Now, the brilliant knife makers of Japans had a look at various foreign knives that emerged from the western countries. This stirred the creativity of the Japanese knife makers and they made many other knives that were lightweight, had various features, had blades that were sharp and thin. Amongst those knives, the Nakiri knife was one of them.

Why the Nakiri Knife is an ideal cutting tool?

Since this whole article is about enlightening you about a Nakiri knife, you need to know that way the Nakiri knife is one of the best cutting knives you can own for cutting vegetables. We have listed down details regarding features and reasoning that makes it easier for you to understand.

  • Vegetables come in various sizes, shapes and hardness of the body. Cutting techniques that you use will vary according to these aspects. Hence, to handle all sorts of vegetables the Nakiri knife is adequate as it has a blade with a length that is perfect which ensures you work smoothly. The usual blade length of a standard Nakiri knife is around 5 to 7 inches.
  • You will eat vegetables that have fluids oozing out if you slice them up. With usual knives, it gets difficult for someone to cut smoothly with the fluid mess. For such cases, the Nakiri knife is your saviour as you can make clean and smooth cuts while keeping your knife position in one direction without the need of pulling or pushing movement.
  • Any chef feels satisfied when they can get perfect and precise slices of any vegetable that they cut. The Nakiri knife provides a control for precise thin slices. The blade of the Nakiri knife is thin for that purpose. Because of the blade, the Nakiri knife is a perfect cutting tool for vegetables.


If the Nakiri knife would have a thick blade, then that would result from the vegetable getting squashed under pressure and the cuts or slices wouldn’t be clean like you expect. Thick blades are preferable for food items that are hard like meat and bones.

  • The Nakiri knife has a dual cutting edge that is another feature making it perfect for cutting veggies. Like usual knives, the Nakiri knife does not have a pointed tip. The tip has a square edge that gives wide coverage to the blade body so you can use the entire length from the tip till the end of the blade attaching the handle for cutting veggies.

How to maintain the Nakiri knife?

As the Nakiri knife is a unique one with a different type of blade, you need to take proper care of the knife that ensures the longevity of the knife and you will get better satisfaction while cutting. We listed down some ways of how you can maintain the Nakiri knife and you can use these ways for taking care of your other precious knives as well.

  • Clean your Nakiri knife right after use. If you are in a rush and can’t wash the knife, then try to wipe the blade with the help of a towel and do proper cleaning later onwards.
  • Only use the Nakiri knife for what it is intended. You know by this time that the Nakiri knife is intended for cutting fruits and vegetables. Do not use the Nakiri knife for cutting hard items. Do the same for the rest of your knives as well.
  • Do not dent or bend the blade of the knife. This will damage the shape and the knife will not be effective for using much.
  • Soak off moisture from your knife after you wash. Store the knife only when the knife is dry.


  1. Can a nakiri knife be used for meat?

Ans: The Nakiri knife is a Japanese style knife that has a thin and straight blade that is perfect for cutting food items like vegetables. The Nakiri knife cannot be used for meat and bones, as they are tough and cutting these items requires a thick blade.

  1. What is a nakiri knife good for?

Ans: The design of the Nakiri knife makes it suitable for cutting veggies. You can use the knife for cutting, slicing, dicing and also chopping vegetables smoothly as it is not only good but best at that job.

  1. Is nakiri a cleaver?

Ans: The Nakiri is not a cleaver but the overall structural design is close to a cleaver and what makes the Nakiri stand out is the thin blade. A cleaver is ideal for cutting meat and even bones as it has a thick blade.

  1. How long is a nakiri knife?

Ans: The standard length of a Nakiri knife ranges between 5 to 7 inches.

Where to buy Nakiri Knives?


To sum up, we know you are intrigued by the nakiri knife just as much as we are. The nakiri knife is indeed a must-have cutting knife for any chef who loves cooking. Even vegans who are always chopping, cutting and slicing vegetables will love the functionality of the knife because of the smooth cutting experience it provides.

The blade shape, length and thickness of the nakiri knife shows the amazing skills of the Japanese knife makers. The thought that they applied to these important aspects of the nakiri knife makes the knife an ideal tool that allows a chef to cut perfect and satisfying pieces of vegetables that are thin with clean cuts. The nakiri knife gives a knife user a great time to enjoy cutting, cooking and prepping food.

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