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Good, Cheap Nakiri or Usuba

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 

With all the knife threads here, I figured I'd add one more to the mix. 

I'm looking at adding a veg knife to my small, but growing collection. I'm looking at spending under $100, maybe a little over that. 

I'd rather buy an Usuba, but it seems that Nakiri's are more plentiful and cheaper. So, I may just buy a Nakiri. I've bought from CKtG before and wouldn't hesitate to buy from there again. I'm afraid there will be a very limited (and over budget) selection of knives locally that I can personally wield at WS or SLT. So forget about those.  So, looking at CKtG, as far as Usuba's, there's two in my budget.


A Bunmei 7" for $110

A Global 5.5" for $92


I'm not a big fan of the handles on Globals but may still consider it if the blade is considered good. Obviously I could go see this knife in person at one of the local retailers mentioned.


The Nakiris are the big question here, keeping in mind I'd rather buy an Usuba but would be fine with a Nakiri if it's a suitable one. (the reason being is I've used a co-workers Shun Usuba and liked the design) 

The handles are not a big concern, I'm used to western handles, but I'd like to add a Wa handle to my collection, but not if it's going to fall off in a few years or get all nasty. I'll be using this in a professional setting.  


CKtG has...


Dojo Hayashi Nakiri 165mm


MAC Nakiri Knife 6.5"
Regular price: $105.00
Sale price: $84.95


S.Takayuki Damascus Nakiri 160mm
Regular price: $150.00
Sale price: $111.95


Tanaka Kurouchi Nakiri 165mm


Tojiro DP Nakiri 165mm
Regular price: $90.00
Sale price: $69.95

(or damascus for $10 more)


Tojiro DP Wa-Nakiri 165mm
Regular price: $89.95
Sale price: $74.95


Tojiro Shirogami Nakiri 165mm


I'm not expecting much from the $50 Tojiro but it has great feedback for the price, so I would consider it even though it's the cheapest. I like Tojiro's, for being a cheap knife, I feel they are a great bargain. I'm particularly curious on feedback on the first four Nakiri's listed. Anybody tried these?

That Global Usuba is probably the only knife that I can handle locally out of the entire bunch. 

post #2 of 14

Do you understand the difference between single and double bevel knives?  What about the differences in sharpening and use?  If your answer to either of those questions is no, then the nakiri is for you.  However, if your answer is yes, then you have to figure out what kinds of things you will be doing with the knife.  If you do katsuramuki, yoko-ken, tate-ken, etc., usuba is for you.  If you are dicing, jullianneing, etc. you may want a nakiri (especially if you work with harder taller items more often).


However, its worth noting that i have never seen a good usuba at $100 (usually around $200 and up).

post #3 of 14
Thread Starter 

Yes, I understand the differences

post #4 of 14
Thread Starter 

Oh, and sorry I didn't mention your company. I just have never bought from you and it seems the selection is more expensive. (with good reason I'm sure) Are you saying the Gesshin Uraku you sell is not good? I'd consider that too. I just saw it after you posted. 

post #5 of 14

lol... no worries at all.  My purpose in responding wasnt about making a sale... it was making sure you end up with a knife that is going to work well for you and what you intend to do with it.


With regard to the gesshin uraku, i think its a good option, but i think its best if i stay out of talking about the products i sell.  Maybe other people can chime in.

post #6 of 14

Simple rule:  Jon only sells well-chosen products.  If Jon sells a knife, it's a good knife. 


Whether or not it's a good knife for you is another question.  That leads me to ask a few questions of my own:

  • Why do you want a nakiri?  That is,
  • What will a nakiri do better for you than an ordinary chef's/gyuto? 



post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 

Jon: Maybe you can compare the Gesshin Uraku to say... the Sakai Takayuki in my list above? Since they are around the same price point and it seems to be the best knife in my list.


BDL: I would mainly use this on onions, yams, potatoes, garlic, tomatoes, chili peppers, limes, all in large quantities. In Peruvian cooking, these are some of the main vegetables being prepped and we use ALOT of them. (in fact, peruvian food has a ton of influence by chinese and japanese immigrants) I think I would like to have one mainly for scooping up large quantities of veg off the cutting board. I have a decent chef knife that gets used for this type of prep already. I guess I really just want to add another specialty knife to my collection. Maybe I'm bored? If I added a Nakiri/Usuba to my collection, I'd relegate my chef's for the more "meaty stuff" ... or tough veggies.

post #8 of 14

again, i dont feel so comfortable talking about the products i sell in a forum like this...if you would like to e-mail, PM, or call me, i would be happy to talk in much more depth, but i am of the belief that this forum should not be the place for me to push sales.  Sorry.

post #9 of 14

If I was processing the quantities of veg you describe I'd get either the Nakiri, or a Chinese cleaver.  I have both Nakiri and Usuba and the Usuba is heavy and I know I would find it tiring to use for extended periods of time.  That said I use my 240 Gyuto, or 10" chef for most everything prep wise.  They are long, light and well balanced.

post #10 of 14
the usuba is great for fine detailed cuts, but too heavy for everyday prep work. i say get a nakiri and you'll be more than happy with that.

with jon's prices on the gesshin line. they're a great choice for the price.
post #11 of 14

I recommend a cheaper alternative- Mercer genesis usuba or nikiri they range about $35-$40 and tend to keep an edge and sharpen with a breeze

post #12 of 14
Thread Starter 

I got the Sakai Takayuki for christmas from my wife. I think it's a really good knife. Takes a really sharp edge and holds it for a good long while. It's easy enough to sharpen.

Out of about 100 knives at my job, this is the sharpest of them all. 

It's got a few bad traits but not enough for me to say this is a bad knife or it's overpriced. I do really like this knife and would recommend it. 

post #13 of 14

Nakiri or Usuba?

post #14 of 14

Posted by Chris Jeffery View Post

I recommend a cheaper alternative- Mercer genesis usuba or nikiri they range about $35-$40 and tend to keep an edge and sharpen with a breeze

In the greater scheme of knives, Mercers are made from a mediocre steel (X45CrMoV15), and are otherwise barely mediocre quality.  They are heavy, dull quickly and don't ever get really sharp.  On the other hand, they are quite inexpensive, and are well-finished considering the price.  While they're better than what you'd find at Target or WalMart -- stay away. 



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