Usuba vs Nakiri Knives : Which One Is Better?

There are two vegetable specialists: Usuba vs Nakiri knives.  But what are their main differences? Which vegetable knife is best for you? This summary should help you get started.

These two rectangular vegetable knives are not meant to be pointed and could easily become confused in Western culture. They are both Japanese-style chopping knives and look very similar to one another. They both have straight blade edges and are designed for cutting vegetables. But that’s not all there is to it.

It is important that you do not get these knives mixed up if you are considering purchasing one. The usuba knife is difficult to use properly. However, the nakiri can be used by anyone. These two amazing Japanese vegetable knives are described in more detail.

                      Nakiri                                                                                                       Usuba

  •       Double bevel                                                                                             Single bevel
  •    Easy sharpening                                                                                     Skilled Sharpening
  •  A good volume processor                                                   The choice for fine and decorative cutting work
  •       Lighter                                                                                                            Heavier
  • Suitable for both left and right-handers                                 Right-handed *or* left-handed
  • Commonly, 1618cm, western and handles                  Longer blades available, Japanese handles
  • Comparatively, low-priced                                             Premium knives can command premium prices

Usuba vs Nakiri Knives: Which is better?


  • Length: These knives are just long enough to cut most vegetables.
  • Extremely sharp: This blade is extremely sharp and can be used to cut through meat and vegetables without damaging them or squishing.

Nakiri Knife

Nakiri is an extremely simple and powerful tool. It is versatile and simple to use. Nakiri roughly means “Leaf Cutter” which gives you an idea of what they are used for. The blade measures approximately 3.5 inches from edge to spine. It is also quite tall. The whole blade contacts the cutting board without any follow-through. 

Nakiri, a double-beveled knife, is sharpened symmetrically like knives in European or North American kitchens. They are easier to use than their single-beveled counterparts and also easier to sharpen.

Nakiri knives have a straight blade with a flat front (no tips). This knife is almost exclusively used to chop vegetables in a vertical-only manner. There is no pushing or pulling. Just chop. A nakiri, like most Japanese-style knives, has a very thin, sharp, and ultra-hard blade. It is easy to use for any job.

Nakiri knives are typically 5-7 inches long. Their shape allows for a smooth chopping motion and plenty of room for your hands so that they don’t get hurt. It’s great for cutting and working around bones, but it’s not the best knife for all tasks. 

Usuba Knife

Usuba knives have a flat front and a straight blade. Its name, “usuba”, actually means thin blade. This tells you more about the knife. It is not only thin but also unique in that it can only be sharpened on one side. This knife is known as a single-bevel. This blade is common on good sushi knives.

A special knife is available for left-handers and righties that can only be ground on one side. You will need to be trained in how to cut them. Left-handed knives tend to pull to the left, and vice versa. Professional Japanese chefs use usuba knives more than home cooks.

Which is better?

This is subjective and depends on the person asking. This knife is ideal for cutting vegetables. It is safe, easy to use, inexpensive, and very unique. The answer depends on what you want from your knife. Take your time to think about them.

This comparison will help you decide which Japanese vegetable knife is best for you. The Nakiri can be used to cut all types of vegetables. The Usuba, a Japanese vegetable knife that is more delicate and can be used to make delicate cuts in your kitchen. The Nakiri knife is better suited for home chefs. The Usuba is for professional sushi chefs.

The Usuba knife is a striking and beautiful piece of kitchenware that will make a lasting impression. It is important to understand how the Usuba was made and what its recommended use is before buying one. The Usuba, a single-sided and single-bevel kitchen knife, is difficult to sharpen. It is difficult to master.

The Usuba knife is the most commonly used kitchen knife in Japan by Japanese trainee chefs. It is best to learn the Usuba knife slowly, and then more carefully if you are not a professional user. You will need to practice using the Usuba knife safely for several hours.

Usuba vs Nakiri Knives

A further fact is that the nakiri weighs 40% less than usuba of similar length due to its thinner blade. It is 40% lighter than the usuba with the same length blade. It is also a more affordable option if you’re looking for a knife that will fit your budget. This knife is great for processing large chunks of vegetables. You can make katsuramuki or sengiri with this knife.


Both the Nakiri as well as the Usuba knives are excellent, and both have the same purpose: to slice and cut vegetables. They succeed at what they do. We recommend the Nakiri knife to beginners. It is cheaper and easier to use. The Usuba knife is a great choice for those who are experienced in vegetable decoration and kitchen work. It’s of professional quality and will not disappoint. 

We hope you found this article helpful and that it has settled the Nakiri knife debate versus Usuba knife debate. You won’t regret picking any of these knives. It is important to choose a product that suits your needs and preferences. 

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