Gyuto vs Nakiri Knife

Gyuto vs Nakiri Knife

1. Gyuto Knife: The All-Purpose Maestro

The Gyuto knife, hailed as the Japanese counterpart to the Western chef's knife, is a true all-purpose maestro. With a blade typically ranging from 8 to 12 inches, the Gyuto seamlessly navigates a spectrum of culinary tasks. Its versatile design allows for precision slicing, dicing, and chopping with ease. Whether you're crafting intricate dishes or preparing simple weeknight meals, the Gyuto knife adapts to your culinary ambitions with grace.

2. Nakiri Knife: Embracing the Art of Vegetables

 The Nakiri knife characterized by its straight blade and squared-off tips, the Nakiri excels in precise vegetable preparation. From finely julienning carrots to tackling hearty butternut squash, this knife's design ensures optimal contact with the cutting board for efficient and controlled chopping. The Nakiri is the perfect ally for those who revel in the art of plant-based culinary creations.

3. Blade Design

The Gyuto and Nakiri knives, while sharing the Japanese commitment to craftsmanship, boast distinctive blade designs. The Gyuto's gently curved edge accommodates rocking motions, making it ideal for a variety of cutting styles. On the other hand, the Nakiri's flat edge allows for a more straightforward up-and-down chopping technique, maximizing contact with the cutting surface. Each design element reflects a harmonious blend of form and function.

4. From Everyday to Extraordinary

Whether you're tackling a weeknight stir-fry, preparing a Sunday roast, or crafting a vibrant vegetable medley, the Gyuto and Nakiri knives infuse your culinary adventures with precision and flair. The Gyuto's versatility shines as it effortlessly transitions from protein to produce, while the Nakiri's finesse brings out the best in every vegetable, turning mundane chopping into a culinary art form.

Head to Head Comparison: A master explains the difference 

Gyuto knife is easily the most versatile knife out there. The Gyuto is good for a number of different tasks and there's many reasons for that. First and foremost is the length. Typically a gyuto is going to range anywhere from 180 millimeters up to 300 plus millimeters which one could argue is the standard size.

Next thing that makes the Gyuto so great is the profile or the curvature of the blade. Typically a Gyuto is going to have a flat spot in sort of the back portion close to the heel and is going to gradually curve up towards the tip. This profile is great because it allows us to use an up and down push and or pull chopping motion but also allows us to use more of a rocking motion, so if you prefer to use either one of those cutting motions you'll be able to use it with a Gyuto.

Lastly, in line with the shape of the profile, the front of the knife we've got a nice sharp tip which makes more intricate work super easy but we still get a nice bit of blade height which provides a little bit of travel for our guide finger.

Nakiri knife 

Did you know the Nakiri also comes in various form factors and the etymology of Nakiri is that the 'kiri' is a Japanese vegetable knife and the name in English translation means cutting green or a vegetable slicer. So as the name suggests these knives are fantastic for prepping your produces. So if you're a vegetarian or you're vegan or you just eat a lot of veggies in general, you might want to consider adding one of these to your arsenal.

A lot of people pronounce the Nakiri as 'nocri', but if you want to know the proper pronunciation a quick google translate will help you out. The nakiri has a very unique rectangular shape which has no tip. So essentially it has a square tip on it which kind of reminds you of a more compact short version of a chinese chef knife or chinese cleaver. So if you have ever worked with a Chinese cleaver knife you might also enjoy Nakiri.

Traditionally the Nakiri has a very flat cutting profile, it has very little to no belly whatsoever which makes it great for push cuts and chop cuts. The reason they have such a flat cutting profile is actually by design. They want to ensure that the cutting edge makes full contact with the cutting surface to ensure that the veggies are cut clean through.

Now if you have cut any kind of veggies like green onions or garlic and things like that with a normal western chef knife with a heavier belly, it's that after you're done cutting it there's just like a sliver of it that doesn't get cut clean through and when you pick it up it's just like you have like a veggie garland sitting in front of you.

So the flatter profile of the nakiri actually makes it a little bit better cut out for the job. As things are starting to get more westernized and companies are trying to make more utilitarian designs, some companies have actually modified the shape of the traditional Nakiri to add a little bit of a curve to the front of the knife to accommodate more rock cuts.

The other distinctive features of a nakiri is that it usually has a taller blade height in comparison to your normal chef knife and this is actually by design. Because you're going to be doing a lot of chop cuts with your Nakiri they actually give you a little bit more blade height so that way you can guide it more safely with your knuckle and also with the cleaver leg profile it creates a little bit more of a surface area which is great for scooping or moving your ingredients around like a Chinese chef knife.

Last feature of the nakiri is that it is ground very thin so it has a very very thin blade on it. The reason you want a thin blade is so that it cuts through veggies and produce cleanly. When you have a thicker blade it tends to wedge through and tends to crack and break the vegetable instead of actually cutting it through very cleanly. So that's why a Nakiri being a vegetable knife is a pretty thin knife.


In conclusion, as we embrace the rhythm of everyday cooking, the Gyuto and Nakiri knives stand as essential instruments in the symphony of culinary mastery. Their versatile designs and precise capabilities elevate the mundane to the extraordinary, turning each meal preparation into a celebration of artistry and flavor. Whether you're a seasoned chef or a home cook exploring new horizons, these knives are the silent companions that transform your kitchen into a canvas of culinary creativity.
Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.