Nakiri is a thin-bladed double-edged knife popular in Japan. It is primarily used by home cooks to cut, slice, and chop vegetables and fruits quickly and efficiently, and has become a popular knife among vegetarians. It is one of the typical Japanese blades found in Japanese knives.
Although often mistaken for a Chinese army knife, the Nakiri is too thin and light for tough working conditions and should never be used to cut bone or very hard materials.
Usuba is an alternative to the single-edged nakiri, also specifically designed for chopping vegetables and chopping herbs. Usuba has thicker and heavier blades than Nakiri and also offers longer blades.
Like santoku, nakiri tend to have slightly taller blades than similarly sized gyuto or petty knives.
The rectangular profile of the blade has a special advantage: it stands out from other knives (Santoku, Gyuto, Yanagi). Among the different blade sizes, 165mm and 180mm are popular and valued choices.
Some blades have hammered surfaces that help the food loosen as it's being cut. This increases the speed at which vegetables such as cucumbers or zucchini are cut. However, not all chefs are convinced of actual benefits beyond aesthetics.