Nakiri Vs Santoku Kitchen Knives – Differences & Best Product Reviewed

There are plenty of knives out there. This piece of utility comes in many shapes and forms. If you consider yourself a knife enthusiast, you likely have at least one Japanese knife in your collection. If not, chances are you wonder about nakiri vs santoku kitchen knives.

In Japan, these knives are called nakiri bocho – a knife to cut greens – and santoku bocho – a knife that has three uses. In these names lies their difference. A nakiri knife is a knife that you use for cutting vegetables. On the other hand, you can use santoku for not just veggies, but also meat and fish.

To help you understand, we’ll explain both knife types in depth further on. We’ll also review six of the best products you can find online, just to make everything clearer and help you with your options.

Let’s begin!

Nakiri Knife

You’ll easily recognize a nakiri knife by its shape. It has a thin and flat blade without a point, making it look square. This makes it resemble a meat cleaver or an usuba, but it’s not as thick or as tall. If you know how these more common knives look, you’ll understand how nakiri looks like, as well. This shape is also the main difference when it comes to nakiri vs. santoku kitchen knives.

Most nakiri knives have blades that are around 5-7 inches in length. They have very thin blades, making them lightweight and effortless to use. The flat, dual-edge blade makes them perfect for most chopping techniques, and the handle is long to give you enough room for your fingers. This will keep your knuckles from hitting the cutting board.

Top 3 Best Nakiri Knives

1. Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife

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Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Nakiri Knife

Wusthof is a famous utensil manufacturer known for its high-quality knives, and this nakiri knife is no exception. It combines the versatility of a vegetable cleaver with the features of a chef’s knife.

The Granton-edge blade is angled on both of its sides to enable you perfect slicing and chopping. Still, it’s not entirely traditional, as it’s around 30% longer than the original Asian blade. This is because the greater blade length seems to fit Western users a bit more. It’s also approximately 30% sharper, so it can cut through almost anything.

The edge has no-stick properties thanks to carvings on its edge. These carvings allow the creation of air pockets that allow food to get released from the blade without any issues.

The high-impact handle is riveted to the tang, giving you superior maneuverability and balance. It’s also carved to fit your hand perfectly, ensuring you stay safe throughout the process. However, it isn’t recommended that you put this knife in a dishwasher, as it can ruin the design.

A fun feature of this knife is that it can come with a custom engraving. This engraving would be a traditional Rotary one, that won’t easily get removed.

Pros

  • Full-thang

  • You can get it with custom engravings

  • No-stick Granton edge

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Not dishwasher-safe

2. Miyabi Mizu Nakiri Knife

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Miyabi Mizu Nakiri Knife

If you are ready to pay a bit more for a high-quality traditional Japanese blade, look no further. This is a perfect nakiri knife for all your vegetable-chopping needs. It’s made of Micro Carbide powder steel core, which is surrounded by several layers of hammered stainless steel. The surface has a pretty Damascus pattern, to lower the chances of food sticking to the blade.

On the Rockwell hardness scale, this knife got a score of 63, making it one of the hardest knives on the market. This is enabled thanks to the special Criodur ice-hardening process, which maximizes all the properties stainless steel has.

It sports a Micarta D-shape handle that includes a mosaic accent and red spacers. Everything looks gorgeous and elegant, making this one of the prettiest knives out there.

If this isn’t enough to convince you why this knife is on our list – it was handcrafted in Japan and it comes with a lifetime warranty.

Pros

  • Handcrafted in Japan

  • Traditional Japanese design

  • One of the hardest knives out there

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Extremely expensive

3. Dalstrong Shogun Series X Nakiri Knife

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Dalstrong Shogun Series X Nakiri Knife

This nakiri knife combines cutting-edge breakthrough technology, award-winning craftsmanship, amazing design, and all the best materials you could find. It has a peak performance while staying as affordable as possible.

It features a razor-sharp edge that resembles the blade of a scalpel. It’s hand-polished to resemble a mirror, all of this using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. It was cooled with Nitrogen to ensure hardness and corrosion resistance while remaining flexible. Full tang offers great robustness, and everything is triple-riveted for additional resilience. Thanks to the hammered tsuchime finish, almost no food will get stuck onto the blade.

The core is strengthened with 66 layers of premium carbon steel that provide superb strength, stain resistance, and durability. The handle has life-long durability, it’s hand polished and ergonomically shaped. This gives the user superior control, control, and agility. The blade’s spine remained smooth, to ensure a more natural grip.

This model comes with a lifetime warranty and a 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee. You can purchase it without risking anything, and it’s surely worth a try.

Pros

  • Extremely sharp

  • Pretty design

  • Hammered finish

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • A bit too heavy for a nakiri knife

Santoku Knife

Santoku knives are just as long as nakiri knives, but their flat, thin blades have a point. Because of this, while they are excellent for chopping vegetables, they are not limited to this task. Instead, they are amazing for slicing, dicing, and chopping meat and fish.

It is not known what the ‘three uses’ of the knife originally were. Some think this refers to things this knife can cut – meat, fish, and veggies. Others, however, think this indicates three cutting types – slicing, dicing, and chopping. Whichever is the truth, you have already figured out that this is a versatile knife.

Today, you can find a lot of westernized santoku knives, as they are becoming more and more popular in this part of the world. Because of this, they tend to look a lot like rock-choppers instead of traditional santoku knives.

Top 3 Best Santoku Knives

1. Zelite Infini7” Alpha Royal Santokuty 

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Zelite Infini7” Alpha Royal Santokuty

This santoku knife is made of 67 layers of stainless steel and includes a genuine Damascus pattern. It also includes Grantons on the side of the blade. These two combined reduce the possibility of food sticking to the edge of the knife while cutting. This makes everything effortless to clean.

The knife is lightweight but not too light to feel invisible in hands. Instead, it’s well-balanced, giving you perfect control. It’s made of premium materials and has all the great features you would look for in a traditional Japanese knife. The Damascus pattern gives it a gorgeous look, and it also has a brand’s logo on the side – but it’s kept tasteful and elegant.

The handle is rounded and triple-riveted to the full tang, ensuring perfect strength and durability. It’s ergonomically designed to give you a secure yet comfortable grip. This way, everything is kept safe yet functional.

Pros

  • Made of premium Japanese steel

  • Easy to clean

  • Comfortable yet strong handle

  • Beautiful Damascus pattern

Cons

  • Expensive

2. Dalstrong Santoku Knife – Shogun Series

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Dalstrong Santoku Knife – Shogun Series

Dalstrong is a brand known for making high-quality utensils, and their santoku knives just prove this. They use premium materials and advanced craftsmanship to create perfect knives that will last you for a very long time.

The knife is made from an extra sharp AUS-10V Japanese steel cutting core placed between 66 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel. This ensures extraordinary strength and durability, but also stain resistant. The blade has small rectangular divots that minimize surface resistance while enhancing non-stick properties.

The G-10 handle is heat-resistant, cold-resistant, and moisture-resistant. It is made military-grade and comes with life-long durability. It’s ergonomically shaped to provide you with perfect hand control, comfort, and agility while giving you a strong grip.

The product comes with a 100% satisfaction guarantee and a lifetime warranty against any sort of defects. There is nothing that can prove how sure Dalstrong is in the quality of its product more than a good warranty!

Pros

  • Comes with a sheath

  • Made of premium Japanese steel

  • Great warranty

  • Amazing handle

Cons

  • Expensive

3. Global G48 Santoku Knife

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Global G48 Santoku Knife

While not made of Japanese premium stainless steel, this is still a high-quality knife made with master craftsmanship. It’s 7 inches long, making it the perfect length for all the dicing, slicing, and chopping. It’s designed with high-tech vanadium/molybdenum Cromova stainless steel, so it’s durable and strong.

It has a hollow edge, and these hollows are very close to the blade’s edge, so it enables you a firm and safe grip. It won’t slip from your hand at any point of the cutting process, which is very important, as the blade is extremely sharp.

The knife is face-grounded and it has a long taper. This means it’ll likely stay sharp longer compared to many similar models. Also, the knife is manufactured by hand in Japan, making it as genuine as possible.

This is yet another santoku knife with a lifetime warranty, so you can be certain you’ve invested your money in a high-quality knife.

Pros

  • Hollow edge

  • Made of Cromova stainless steel

  • Manufactured in Japan

  • Lifetime warranty

Cons

  • Can break near the handle

Nakiri Vs. Santoku Kitchen Knives – Which One Do You Need?

When it comes to nakiri vs. santoku kitchen knives, it all comes down to your needs and preferences. Both knives have their advantages, and a professional chef would have use of both of them.

However, we are aware that most users don’t need that many knives on a regular basis, and they plan on getting just one. So, which one should they get?

The truth is, it all comes down to your preferences and what you plan to use this knife for. If you only plan to cut vegetables, then the nakiri knife would serve you the best. This is the ultimate knife for all your chopping needs.

However, if you’re looking for a bit more professional product, then you could certainly use a high-quality santoku knife.

The Verdict

As we’ve already mentioned, it might be difficult to find a winner when it comes to choosing nakiri vs. santoku kitchen knives. Santoku is the more versatile one, while nakiri is excellent at what he’s meant for.

If you are a knife lover or a collector of kitchen knives, it would be best if you managed to get your hands on both of these knives, as both have uses they are best for. Not to mention their unique design!

Feel free to look at the knives we’ve reviewed and to find the one that will suit your needs the best.

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