Usuba vs Nakiri – Which One Is The Best Knife Among Them

Making the right choice from the debate of the Usuba vs Nakiri knife is somewhat a difficult task. They have similarities and dissimilarities in many ways, from sizes to shapes. That’s why it becomes tougher to decide which one is the best fit for your individual needs.

Indeed, everybody wants a reliable knife to use in their kitchen, but the availability of loads of models and varieties make it confused. For example, Usuba and Nakiri knives are challenging to choose the suitable one for many users, especially for the beginners.

While both of them have some good reasons to choose, they have some unique features for some specific needs. So, we have done more in-depth research about these two knives to make our readers learned more about this concern.

A Brief History Of Japanese Knives

Right through history, the tools that have crafted in Japan are considered as the most beautiful designs in the culinary world. Making them an excellent investment that lasts for years, Japan has acquired a status for its terrible knives. Without a doubt, as Japanese knives have romanticized with cooks and chefs, they’re inspiring many to switch to use.

Japanese knives last for a long time with vast care because they have conventionally made from high-carbon steel named hagane. But, they can be rust and dull in due course if you don’t maintain and sharpen them properly despite their incredibly sharp edges.

Also, these knives are sharp as well as lightweight and stiff simultaneously. These features make them hefty when you work with them to prepare and cook food. It doesn’t worth mention that these knives have made using unique manufacturing and folding techniques.

These techniques ensured to offer a thin blade for sharp and robust performance. Because of the higher popularity and excellent performance, most parts of the planet have adapted Japanese-style knives to manufacture. As a result of the Japanese inspired history and formation, you have many options to choose from plenty of Japanese knives available in the market.

What Is A Usuba Knife?

Among the most popular knives to cut vegetables, the Usuba is one of them. It’s a knife that comes with conventional Japanese leanings, and the term Usuba stands for ‘thin blade.’ The origin of this knife is the Kanto area in Tokyo; the variety design of Usuba helps maintain the natural texture and shape of vegetables and fruits.

It means that the knife just does its job entirely without destroying or breaking the cell walls of foods. As a result, it sustains flavors and colors of foods even after you have cut them and delays the oxidation process. An Usuba knife looks long, tall blade with sharpening on one side.

So, it falls into the type of single-beveled knife. Due to its long and more massive blade, it gears to deal with larger foods that usually are challenging to address. The vegetables are easy to cut through this knife include lettuce, cabbage, and some others be like that are a bit hard to do by some other types of knives.

Also, this unique cutting tool fulfills the specific cutting method known as “katsuramuki.” It helps you to cut a vegetable as thin as paper sheets. But, this knife has made a bit differently for people who use right-hand and left-hand. Indeed, this knife has made right-handed people lean to the left, while those have made for left-handers bend over the right.

Professional Japanese and other country’s chefs love to use this knife because of its fantastic performance. As the edge of the blade of this knife is insanely pointed, you can cut veggies as precisely as thinly.

But, you should keep the knife away from some hard vegetables like Kabocha squash. That’s because the knife indeed has formulated to use for softer veggies. Also, you should wash the knife manually on hands avoiding dishwasher to maximize its durability.

Usuba Knives In Different Types

Mainly, two types of Usuba knives are out there. The ranges of these knives are from 180mm to 240mm in general. The models include Kanto Usuba and Kamagata Usuba.

Kanto Usuba

This type of knife comes with a square tip blade, and sometimes it may vary with its blade. That’s why it’s available on semicircular and rectangular appearance. Also, it has a comparable similarity to a meat knife regardless of a bit small in size.

Kamagata Usuba

Besides, this type of knife comes from the region of Kansai in Osaka. With the somewhat pointed tip, the knife allows for added precise work. This knife will enable you to make complicated carvings, cuts, and arrangements for vegetables and fruits.

Once, chefs for the royal ancestors used this type of knife to prepare beautiful spreads and ornate fit for the imperial family.

Why Should You Use A Usuba knife?

As its name suggests, the knife comes with a thin blade. So, you’re all set to cut through the fruits and vegetables very thin pieces like paper sheets. If you visit Japan, you’ll find almost all professional and skilled chefs are using this knife.

It’s one of the significant three knives in the Japanese kitchens because of some specific aspects that are a sign of professional usage. Usuba are carve ground with a bevel on their front side and a hollow urasuki on its backside like some other Japanese professional knives.

With a flat edge and with or without a curve and tall design, the knife allows you to knuckle clearance when you need to chop something. The knife is also used for dedicated cuts like katsuramuki while shaving vegetables into a smaller sheet.

It becomes possible just because of its straight edge and height. The style is known as Kataba in Japanese that the blade of the knife has one-side sharpness. When you use this type of edge, its better cut will help you to get thinner slices than other types of knives like nakiri and ryoba.

However, if you want to get the most out of your Usuba knife from the discussion of usuba knife vs nakiri, you should gain some skills for the optimal results. The sharpened part of the knife is typically the right side that’s suitable for the right-handed people.

But, if you’re left-handed, you can choose the left side sharpened model for comfortable use. This knife is top-rated to Kyoto chefs that use Kamagata usuba to perform almost all of their tasks. Kyoto is surrounded by land; they depend a lot more on vegetables than Tokyo.

Thus, the usuba becomes the ideal knife of expert chefs out there. The flexible tip allows for complicated cuts and arrangements in Kyoto cuisine. And it has spread over the world for the best use and productivity.

What Is A Nakiri Knife?

Besides, the Nakiri knife is ideal for cutting a large number of vegetables that don’t need to make very precise. But, it doesn’t mean you can’t use it for cutting vegetables. Indeed, you can thoroughly practice with this knife to apply Japanese cutting methods. No matter it’s not delicate like the Usuba knives.

But, it’s closer to the western-style knives that have made clear in ways, and thus you can sharpen it. Also, it matters little that Nakiri knives are a bit tough to sharpen because of their dual-beveled blade as it’s ideal for home cooks. That means this knife has the feature of home cook tools like a Lansky kit, a whetstone, and ceramic wheels.

Among the other stunning features, the major one is it’s noticeably lightweight than their rivals. It’s almost half in weight if the sizes of the knives are the same. Also, they come with western-life handles. So, you’ll get the feel more realistic to the western chefs who like to learn a new skill.

With the capability of using it like the Usuba knives, the Nakiri knives have a sharp blade ideal for a wide range of chopping. The Nakiri knives are more suitable for rougher and repetitive use on your chopping boards.

That’s because they have a lightweight blade that is far easy to get razor-sharpness. You might not get these knives in most Japanese kitchens, unlike their rival Usubu knives. But, in the debate of Nakiri vs Usuba knives, it doesn’t mean the Nakiri knives have no use for domestic cooks.

If you consider the Nakiri knives’ prices, you’ll find it great to use in your kitchen. It’s mainly for you if you’re a novice to Japanese-style cooking to make you crash in worship with the new way of cooking. For more information in this issue, you can check out our review of the best Nakiri knife.

Why Should You Use A Nakiri knife?

For some good reasons, the nakiri knives look a bit like the meat cleavers. In design, they’re good performers for the same type of cut on the different items. The Nakiri knives come with the straight blades that give you the strength to cut on your chopping board. You can do it without pushing or pulling things, unlike some other types of knives.

That means you can cut something in a more controlled way as you just make it in a single direction. Also, their blades are much thinner than other chef’s knives and the meat mentioned above cleavers. The Nakiri knives have not designed to chop through things like small bones despite having thicker blades to make things easier.

Usually, a knife with a thicker blade can break fruits and vegetables while cutting instead of slicing them. But, the Nakiri knives have designed at the way that will get them clean, smooth cuts without breaking any vegetables.

Moreover, the blades’ cutting edges have also flawlessly planned when you want to cut vegetables. Although the edge of a blade is persistent these days, it wasn’t predominantly common when it made for the first time.

Because of having bevels on both sides, they allow for a directly slicing motion, which is very easy to replicate. It’s probably a much user-friendly knife that has patterned for the best task while you can try it to chop meat using a butter cleaver.

But, as a vegetarian, if you think about the Nakiri knife, it might be remind cutting of steak for you. Overall, Nakiri knives are a superb tool when you need to deal with lots of vegetables.

The Similarities of Nakiri Knife & Usuba Knife

Despite lots of dissimilarities and unique features, Nakiri and Usuba knives have some similarities. So, let’s know what likenesses these two different types of knives share. First of all, the most common thing about them is both of these are Japanese style cutting knives.

Also, they look alike when you look at them with an untrained eye. Moreover, these two knives are rectangular with no point, and can they confuse you, particularly in Western culture.

Besides, the length of these knives is just enough to get better cuts of most types of vegetables. Also, their sharpness is another similar thing that their blades have and allow you to cut through precisely meats and vegetables without squishing or damaging them.

Usuba Vs. Nikiri: Which One Should You Buy?

It’ll possibly better suit you for an Usuba knife in the question of the nakiri vs usuba knife if you have enough skill to handle a knife.  The Usuba knives offer you précised outcomes as they have designed for the professionals in the cooking industry. But, you should invest in one that has made for the leading hands to meet your needs.

You might need to take a look at this if you’re a kitchen expert or a professional chef. Besides, the nakiri knife is worth trying for the people just starting their culinary trip or simply needs to get their domestic cooking game up.

Apart from fitting for most users, a Nakiri knife is commonly a useful tool to get in the kitchen due to its flexibility. This knife also has a full surface that gives you the knuckles space to show the blade while cutting.

Unlike the Usuba knives, the blades of Nakiri knives don’t short or diminish in due course regardless of recurring sharpening. So, in the dispute of nakiri knife vs usuba, Nakiri knives are worth making an ideal investment.

Final Verdict

We’re at the end of the debate of the Usuba vs Nakiri knives, and we found some similarities and uniqueness on both knives. For example, both of them share the profile of the same blade. Also, both of them have made mainly for cutting vegetables.

If you look at them separately, you’ll find that most professional chefs use Usuba knives in Japan and many places in the world. Moreover, the primary knife the trainee chefs use to be master is the Usuba when they start training.

This knife is the most suitable one to give you the most accurate cuts right the way you prefer. But, when you look at the Nakiri blades, they also have a large number of users.

If someone searches for high-quality knives, then the Nakiri could be their best choice. This knife is not just lightweight and sharp; it’s also effortless to operate and save you some bucks.

So, it widely depends on where and who will use this knife to decide the suitable type for them.

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