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Santoku vs Nakiri- Which Knife Should Be Your Ultimate Choice

Embrace culinary excellence with Santoku vs Nakiri: Deciding between these exceptional knives becomes a joyous journey to find your perfect kitchen companion.

There are numerous options to choose from when it comes to knives. If you’re a true knife enthusiast or a professional chef who frequently uses knives, your collection isn’t complete without at least one Japanese knife. In the western world, the Nakiri and Santoku are the most popular Japanese knives.

A Nakiri knife is used for cutting vegetables, whereas a santoku knife is more versatile and can be used for vegetables, fish, and meat.

This is just a brief introduction to these knives, as there’s much more to learn about them. While having both would be beneficial, knowing the distinctions between the two will help you make a quick selection if you only want to buy one.

You’ll find a description of each knife as well as the distinctions in this article. We compare the advantages and benefits of both knives in our Santoku vs Nakiri comparison to determine which one is the better fit for your kitchen.

What is Santoku Knife?

This Japanese knife is a versatile kitchen tool that can be utilized for a variety of tasks. Santoku is a Japanese word, refers to a knife with three virtues. It’s typically used for chopping meat, veggies, and fish.

Santoku knives are usually shorter (6 to 7 inches), making them easier to handle. It also has an asymmetrically ground blade with a blade angle of 10 to 15 degrees on each side. Many people like it because it has more balance and is typically made of thick Damascus steel, which makes it more durable.

Its blade resembles that of a conventional Chef’s knife (also known as a Gyuto). But, these knives are a little shorter than a chef’s knife as they were manufacture for household use. Santoku knives are now commonly used in both domestic and professional contexts.

Japanese chefs studied Western cooking skills throughout WWII to develop an all-purpose knife that would meet the needs of Japanese cuisine. As a result, the santoku knife was born.

In the early 2000s, celebrity chef Rachael Ray praised a Wusthof Santoku knife on her renowned cooking show, and the knife became popular in the United States.

Key features of Santoku

Key features of Santoku knives are:

  • Santoku knives have a well-balanced feel.
  • These are more versatile knives.
  • Santoku knives are useful for detail work in addition to chopping and slicing.
  • Due to its ergonomic handle, it provides a sturdy feel.
  • It has durable material.
  • Santoku knives come with a lifetime warranty.

What are Nakiri Knives?

In Japan, it was not allowed to consume four-legged animals during the Edo period. As a result, fish, rice, and vegetables dominated the Japanese diet. The Nakiri knife was manufacture during this period intending to develop, in the 17th century.

A Nakiri knife is a type of Japanese knife use primarily for chopping vegetables. In the last 400 years, the design hasn’t changed much. The rectangular blade features a squared tip and a straight edge.

Unlike chef’s knives, which are meant for chopping in a rocking motion, Nakiri blades can be utilized for straight up and down chopping. Instead of pushing and pulling the knife, you can slice through ingredients in one smooth vertical cut with this knife. The Nakiri knife is extremely lightweight and thin, allowing for quick and efficient work.

The Nakiri resembles the Chinese Cleaver, although it also can handle big chunks of meat. Because it has a broader blade, it is less precise when cutting smaller, delicate components. Because Chinese cleavers are heavier than Nakiri knives, they are more difficult to handle.

The usuba is another knife that is frequently compared with the Nakiri. The blade design and edge grind are the most significant distinctions. Usuba knives, like Nakiri knives, feature a flat edge and a curved spine, similar to santoku knives. They also have a single-bevel, which means they are sharp on only one side, making them more suited for professional chefs.

Key Features of Nakiri

Key features of the Nakiri are:

  • The Nakiri knives ensure more even and thin slicing of vegetables and meat.
  • These knives are perfect for delicate vegetables.
  • For precise control, the Nakiri knives have ergonomic handles.
  • This knife has a design that enables thin, consistent cuts. A Nakiri is a perfect tool for ribboning or julienne vegetables.
  • The crisp chopping motion of a Nakiri knife produces faster results than a rocking motion.
  • As the flat edge makes entire contact with the cutting board, you won’t have to worry about bell pepper or onion pieces sticking together.

Santoku vs Nakiri- 6 Facts to Compare

Santoku vs Nakiri which knife is better? This is a very tricky question. Santoku knives are more popular among Western chefs. This is most likely due to their multi-purpose capabilities. They’re thin, long, and pointed, making them great for chopping up a variety of dishes.

This does not, however, diminish the worth of a Nakiri knife. They’re ideal for chopping and slicing fruits, vegetables, and greens. If you’re slicing veggies, they’re usually the safer choice in the kitchen because they feature a tall blade and no tip. 

So, let’s compare the advantages and benefits of both knives in our Nakiri vs Santoku comparison to determine which one is the better fit for your kitchen.

Fact 1

Santoku vs Nakiri comparison of their Versatility

Every chef, whether a professional or a home cook, want more adaptable knives. Any knife that is versatile can serve you better than blades that are specialised for certain tasks. When you compare the adaptability of Nakiri and Santoku, you’ll see the following.

Versatility of Santoku

Santoku, like a chef’s knife, can perform a variety of duties. It is quite popular in the Western world due to its numerous applications. With a Santoku knife, you can slice fruits and meat, mince vegetables, and cut small pieces of fish. A Santoku knife can meet your needs better than a Nakiri knife. Nakiri is primarily a single-purpose knife. Santoku, on the other hand, is a knife that may be used for a variety of tasks.

Versatility of Santoku

Versatility of Nakiri

You are aware that the Nakiri bocho was created solely for chopping and cutting vegetables. Nakiri uses a rectangular blade with a straight edge to do this. Because the blade is rectangular in shape, it comes into contact with the cutting board. As a result, it completes vegetable chopping in a single cut. There’s a slim possibility you’ll be able to use the Nakiri for anything other than cutting veggies.

Versatility of Nakiri
VersatilityCan perform variety of taskSingle purpose knife
UsesCan be used  for slicing, Cutting and choppingUsed for chopping only

Fact 2

Santoku vs Nakiri Comparison of Their Blade Design:

The design of a blade can reveal a little about the blade’s goals. Two distinct designs were created by Nakiri and Santoku. You can learn a lot about knives by looking at their distinctive designs. After that, you’ll be able to tell the difference between the two blades.

Design of Santoku

It also has a sharp tip and a flat sheepsfoot edge. As a result, it readily absorbs rocking motion cutting processes. The blades have a downward curving spine that connects at the tip. It has a slightly thicker consistency than Nakiri. As a result, it can effectively slice meat.

Design of Nakiri

Nakiri blades have no point at the end of their squired straight edge. With the touch of a chopping board, the flat edge aids in the chopping of vegetables. Furthermore, the straight edge produces a clean cut. Many Nakiri knives have a hollow edge that prevents veggies from sticking.

Despite the fact that both knives have flat edged blades, there is a slight difference between them. Santoku’s curved downward spine is rocking motion favourable, whereas Nakiri’s tip is rounded to a flat edge that is useful for up and down cutting.

DesignSharpe Tip and Flat Sheepsfoot edgeIt has Squired straight edge
MotionRocking motionUp and down cutting

Fact 3

Santoku vs Nakiri comparison of their Edge Grind

When it comes to cutting anything or boosting durability, the edge grind of a blade is crucial. The edge grind has the greatest impact on the blade’s cutting performance. Both Nakiri and Santoku produce blades with a high-quality edge grind.

Edge Grind of Santoku

For Santoku, the same double-beveled blades are used. Single-edged blades can be seen on some Santoku knives. This edge grind is known as kataba in Japan. The user’s dominant hand determines which side needs to be sharpened.

Edge Grind of Nakiri

Nakiri grinds his edges with a ryoba. Both sides of this edge grind require sharpening. The majority of home cooks throughout the world like the ryoba edge grind. Other Nakiri edge knives are also available on the market.

Both knives will make decent cuts, but only specialists should handle the single bevelled knives. Kataba knives have razor-sharp edges. As a result, mastering the procedures for using certain knives is critical.

BladeDouble –beveled bladeSingle-beveled blade
Edge GrindKataba edge grindRyoba edge grind

Fact 4

Santoku vs Nakiri Comparison of Their Sharpness

Every home cook desires precise cutting. Sharpness allows for a more fluid cut. As a result, the knives must be sharpened from time to time. To sharpen their knives, Nakiri and Santoku use various edge angles.

Sharpness of Santoku

Santoku blades are usually sharpened with 10° to 15° edge angles on either side. The kataba bevel blades, once again, require a 10° sharpening angle on one side. As a result, single-beveled Santoku knives are sharper than double-beveled Santoku knives. 

Sharpness of Nakiri

Nakiri sharpens its ryoba edge blades with a 15° per side edge angle. Nakiri’s razor-sharp blade can slice vegetables very smoothly because to its sharpening angle. Because the blades are so sharp, there’s a danger they’ll chip away at the edge.

The kataba knives are sharper, but they are difficult to use for those who do not have the necessary knowledge. Both knives will sharpen to about the same degree.

SharpnessFrom 10 degree to 15 degree15 degree per side 
SafetyIt is very sharp knife and should use by only professionalIt is safe to use even by kids

Fact 5

Santoku vs Nakiri Comparison of Their Weight

When you’re going to utilize any type of equipment, you’ll want to feel at ease because hefty tools or instruments lead your body to become fatigued. In terms of weight, there is a slight difference between these two sorts of knives.

Weight of Santoku

Santoku knives are less heavy than Nakiri knives. Because of its many uses, it is lightweight. It causes your body to be less fatigued. Santoku knives are used for a variety of cuts and ingredients, thus they should be light and easy to manoeuvre. As a result, Santoku is far more comfortable than Nakiri.

Weight of Nakiri

Nakiri will make you feel a little heavy. The knives were created with the purpose of mincing vegetables in mind. The tap chopping helps to alleviate tiredness due to the gravitational effect. This weight allows the knives to effortlessly move the hand up and down during the cut.

WeightIt is light weight knife causing your body  to be less fatiguedIt is heavier with the purpose of mincing vegetable
ComfortIt is comfortable  because of its light weightLess comfortable due to heavy weight

Fact 6

Comparison of Their Price

Another factor to consider when making any kind of purchase is the price. You want to spend your money on the best possible item. Nakiri and Santoku knives, on the other hand, come in a wide range of pricing. You must choose the best option within your budget.

Price of Santoku

Santoku comes in a variety of brands. Santoku is also priced differently depending on the brand. Santoku is more affordable than Nakiri.

Price of Nakiri

The pricing of Nakiri knives vary depending on several factors. It is highly dependent on the materials and features it offers. Nakiri is a touch more expensive than Santoku. Again, some high-quality companies charge slightly more for Nakiri due to its high quality material.

Santoku will take a little money from you, but Nakiri will take a little more. Both brands, however, will provide you with excellent stuff.

PriceComes in affordable pricesSlightly expensive
CoatingCarbon coatingStainless steel with Nickel Silver alloy

Why you should go for Santoku knives?

Santoku knives slice through food in a forward and backward motion, as opposed to Western knives, which require a rocking action, which produces thicker slices and takes longer to cut than the faster Santoku blade. The Santoku is a multi-purpose knife with a consistently wide blade that is utilizing for slice, dice, and minces both large and tiny materials. This all-purpose knife is great for preparing most fruits, vegetables, boneless meats, fish, and poultry at home.

Types of Users Who Need Santoku Knife?

When it comes to buying a new kitchen knife, you’ll find that there are a lot more possibilities than you might think. That’s fantastic news for chefs and blade enthusiasts. Knife shopping may become a big nuisance if you start to feel that all of the options are more frustrating than amazing.

If you want to buy the best knife for your kitchen you should buy the Santoku. Why? Because it is light in weight, which is why it is appropriate for less tough foods. When using Santoku, you will get a decent outcome if you move up and forward. Santoku knives typically have a lower length of 7 inches. Most expert chefs nowadays prefer to use Santoku Knives.

6 benefits of Santoku over Nakiri knives

  • Santoku is a multipurpose knife for all kinds of food.
  • It has an ergonomic handle that provides a sturdy feel.
  • These knives have durable material which makes them long-lasting.
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty.
  • The Santoku Knives has triple-riveted for further agility.
  • It is manufacture to give a professional performance.

Things that are not as good as Nakiri Knives

Knives from the Nakiri family are ideal for cutting vegetables. You can cut right through to the chopping board with them because of their squared design and straight edge: instead of rocking the blade back and forth, you simply bring it down in a single chopping stroke. This is a feature that makes Nakiri knife a little bit extraordinary than The Santoku knives. 

Nakiri Knives are also ideal for shredding larger vegetables like cabbages or lettuce, thanks to the deep, flat blade. The acutely sharp edge can also be used to make very thin, even slices, which is ideal for garnishing foods with vegetable ribbons. Whereas, The Santoku knife has a lower length of 7 inches making it difficult to cut vegetables like Cabbages.

Quick Tip

  • It’s generally acceptable to let your knives dry on a dish rack. However, immediately after washing the blades, wipe them dry with a cloth to reduce the risk of rust. Instead of having to wait for them to dry, you may put them in a safe place right away.

Why you should go for Nakiri Knives?

If you are shopping for a new knife, you should buy Nakiri Knives. It is a large Japanese-style knife that is similar to a chef’s knife in that it has a design that can slice and dice whatever you throw at it. The rectangle blade with a flat edge is where a Nakiri shines.

A Nakiri blade resembles a Chinese cleaver in appearance, but it is significantly lighter and has a straight blade edge that allows for the precision cutting of various types of vegetables. Moreover, this knife is essential due to its thin blade and longer blade length, as well as the fact that it is the best vegetable knife to have.

Types of Users Who Need Nakiri Knife?

Do you need to cut up 10 onions for a soup? It’s not a huge deal. For a large family supper, you’ll need to chop scalloped potatoes. It’s time to put down the mandolin and pick up the Nakiri. Do you need to make a tiny stir-fry for two people? The Nakiri will finish it in a matter of minutes.

Your Nakiri can be just as effective as your chef’s knife. They can do small tasks like mincing garlic and chopping herbs, but they can also hold their own in a large green pile of kale or a 5lb cabbage. This is the knife you need if you’re a vegan who exclusively cuts vegetables. The air in the knife’s furrows prevents the slices from sticking to the blade.

6 Benefits of Nakiri over Santoku

  • It has a flat blade that allows it to cut very thin and even slices. It’s ideal for crafting vegetable ribbons because of this.
  • Nakiri knives are often lengthy, making them suitable for cutting through most vegetables.
  • The flat blade makes it possible to cut completely through the vegetable to the cutting board, resulting in extremely clean slices. You don’t get vegetables with small threads attach to them.
  • Nakiri knives are great for delicate vegetables because they don’t squash them.
  • The Nakiri’s straight edge makes it easy to chop vegetables without having to ‘rock’ the blade.
  • When cutting, the Nakiri’s broad blade shields your knuckles from hitting the cutting board.

Things that are not as Good as Santoku Knives

With a straight edge, a sheep foot-shaped blade, and a pointed tip, the santoku is an all-purpose knife. The Nakiri knife is specifically designed for chopping vegetables but it is an all-purpose knife. It has a rounded tip, a straight edge, and a rectangular blade which is only designed to cut vegetables. The fundamental benefit of steep beveling is that it makes the knife extremely sharp — frequently considerably sharper than western knives. A santoku knife’s sharpness enables for exceptionally precise slicing or chopping, which is important in many Japanese foods, particularly sushi. These features are not available in Nakiri Knives if you compare Santoku vs Nakiri knives.

Quick Tip

  • If the blade is kept filthy for an extended period of time after usage, the acid, water, and other chemicals from the food will eventually ruin it, creating dark blotches and rust. The simplest approach to avoid this is to wash the knives as soon as you finish using them.


Is it necessary to have both a Nakiri and a santoku knife? The short answer is no, it isn’t always the case. Santoku blades can be used for a variety of tasks. A double-bevelled santoku knife can do all of the functions of a Nakiri, plus a lot more. A Nakiri knife is a speciality knife that excels at one task: cutting vegetables and fruit. The Nakiri’s key benefits are speed and homogeneity. You can quickly chop vegetables with their flat edge and straight blade. With these knives, you don’t need to rock the knife to complete each cut.

In order to obtain clean, uniform cuts every time since the flat edge makes full contact with the cutting board. A Nakiri could be a useful addition to a larger set that includes a santoku or chef’s knife if you’re a vegetarian or vegan. If you want an all-purpose knife with a little more skill than a chef’s knife, a santoku is a way to go. Buy a Nakiri if you want to add a knife to your collection that is specifically made for chopping vegetables. There is no clear winner between the Santoku vs Nakiri knives comparison because their functions are so dissimilar.

The Nakiri is ideal for cutting vegetables, fruits, and greens, and if you cook a lot of them, this knife will quickly become one of your favourites. If you’re searching for your first professional knife, the Santoku is a wonderful place to start because it’s multipurpose and a good way to learn about high-performance blades. Our Santoku vs Nakiri review will help you a lot to know more about these knives.  Do let us know in the comment section down below which knife is your favourite and why.


What is the difference between a Nakiri knife and a Santoku knife?

The Nakiri knife resembles a butcher cleaver in appearance. Because it has a straight blade, it provides the necessary strength for cutting on a chopping board. The Santoku knife has a somewhat narrower blade and is ideal for slicing. It’s also good for dicing and mincing. The santoku is an all-purpose knife with a pointed blade. It can handle any ingredient and perform all cutting procedures, much like a chef’s knife while the Nakiri knife was created to cutfor the purpose of cutting vegetables. Read our Santoku vs Nakiri review above to know more about these knives. 

Can you use a Nakiri knife to cut Meat?

The Nakiri knife is a Japanese-style knife used mostly for chopping, mincing, and slicing vegetables. It’s also good for fruits. It looks like a tiny Chinese Cleaver, with a broad, straight-edged blade and a square tip, but it’s thinner and lighter. It also won’t cut through tough things like meat bones.

What is the Nakiri Knife used for?

A Nakiri knife is a traditional Japanese-style knife with a straight, symmetrical edge that’s ideal for slicing, dicing, and chopping vegetables. Your Nakiri can be just as effective as your chef’s knife. They can do small tasks like mincing garlic and chopping herbs, but they can also hold their own in a large green pile of kale or a 5lb cabbage. This is the knife you need if you’re a vegan who exclusively cuts vegetables. Read our Santoku vs Nakiri review above to know more about these knives. 

What is the Advantage of a Santoku knife?

The fundamental benefit of steep beveling is that it makes the knife extremely sharp — frequently considerably sharper than western knives. Santoku knives allow for exceedingly thin slicing or chopping, which is crucial in many Japanese foods, mostly sushi. Santoku Bocho knives, which translate to ‘three uses,’ have a straight edge and a narrow sheep’s foot blade, making them perfect for mincing, dicing, and slicing. These knives evolved from the rectangular blade of the traditional Japanese vegetable knife.

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I'm Laura, I like all the kind of delicious grilled foods which makes me hungry all the time I see them. That's why I built this blog to share with you all of my Grilling experiences, recipes, and all the tips about foods that I've learned from food experts.

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