Takeda Nakiri Review

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pecanbery
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:51 am

Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by pecanbery » Tue Feb 27, 2018 2:38 am

After originally planning to purchase a Takeda knife through CKTG I had to find an alternative due to the shipping costs from the US to Australia. In the end I purchased mine from Shosui Takeda himself due to the more direct shipping, but I'd still like to thank Mark for his excellent advice.

https://imgur.com/a/RIjr5

The knife arrived in a much sharper condition than I'm use to from Japanese smiths, there was absolutely no need to sharpen the finished product. There has been a lot of talk about Takeda grinds and after testing on a range of different vegetables I feel like it's partially misguided. This Nakiri won't go easily through a large sweet potato (trust me I've tried), in that regard it's a "wedge monster". It will however mince a broken down sweet potato into a mash suitable for a hash brown in no time at all. It will also dice a large onion into 2.5mm cubes with absolutely perfect food release. I'm still getting use to using a nakiri but I'm finding for non-hard vegetables I can complete my prep work in about 1/2 the time compared to using my usual carbon steel gyuto.

This isn't an all purpose knife, and I suspect that even if I'd purchased the Takeda gyuto I'd still need something more suitable for large hard vegetables. The reason why I'm recommending this knife is that it's fun, you won't get the same enjoyment making chicken stock with any other knife.

Now for the downsides. It takes a while to get the hang of this knife on any board, the edge tends to cut into the board which provides resistance. The lacquer that comes on the knife can make the blade edge look terrible in certain conditions. Being a nakiri it's not suited for protein, I have used it to split beef cuts like top blade, but my gyuto doesn't dig into the board while performing the same task.

Overall, this knife is fun. I don't think anyone "needs" a nakiri if they have a gyuto, but using this knife for prep work on a large quantity of veggies is a completely different experience.

Side notes: Have used a Shun Nakiri before which didn't suit me.

pecanbery
Posts: 67
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2018 1:51 am

Re: Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by pecanbery » Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:30 am

I'd like to add that after using the nakiri for another couple of days, three very minor microchips have shown up along the edge. I was working on a maple end grain board but my AS gyuto has never had the same issue. I suspect it might be the difference in cutting style between the two knives. I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences with Takeda and microchips.

Ourorboros
Posts: 775
Joined: Fri Jan 27, 2017 12:38 pm

Re: Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by Ourorboros » Fri Mar 02, 2018 12:29 am

The Takeda may be sticking in your cutting board because it is that sharp. Use a lighter touch.
Which leads to the microchipping. Edge stuck in board + a bit of sidewise force can lead to chips.
However, it is known that some J-knives micro-chip on their original edge. Things often improve with sharpening.

salemj
Posts: 2833
Joined: Thu Jan 26, 2017 9:27 pm
Location: Victoria, BC

Re: Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by salemj » Fri Mar 02, 2018 10:49 am

Nice review. Your experiences parallel my own in many respects (with a Takeda). I'd second above: the edge should improve with sharpening, but it is also likely a bit of technique. Not only can you use a light touch, but if you are new to nakiris, you may also need to "observe yourself" a bit just to make sure you aren't using some new or unusual torquing motions with the new profile as compared to your gyuto, especially while mincing. I can imagine that if you are mincing with the nakiri, the shorter length and increased speed could mean that you are using way more lateral motion at the edge than when you use your gyuto. Just a though.
~Joe

Comments: I'm short, a home cook, prefer lighter, thinner blades, and own mostly Konosukes but have used over a dozen brands.

Alwayzbakin
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 22, 2018 3:41 am

Re: Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by Alwayzbakin » Thu Mar 14, 2019 7:57 am

pecanbery wrote:
Thu Mar 01, 2018 2:30 am
I'd like to add that after using the nakiri for another couple of days, three very minor microchips have shown up along the edge. I was working on a maple end grain board but my AS gyuto has never had the same issue. I suspect it might be the difference in cutting style between the two knives. I'm interested in hearing about other people's experiences with Takeda and microchips.
So I’ve had a 180mm bunka for a couple months of home use now and I have noticed a fair amount of micro chipping. At the risk of sounding defensive even to myself I think my technique is usually careful. I have a (I suppose it would be called side grain?) wooden board (not bamboo) and I also have felt the edge grip into the board a bit although I don’t think I’m applying much force (downward in the chop or lateral in the removal either). I wanted a really clean edge and just today went through a full progression from SG 500 to nakayama. Checked under a loupe and was all clean. Prepped some garlic (chopping), shallot(push and pull), zucchini (tip draw and chopping) and tomato (gentle push cuts this was actually when the knife dug into the board) and checked the edge later to find it riddled with microchips. I’ve seen a few pics of people using a microbevel but I’ve been really impressed so far with the cutting feel of the knife and I fear dropping the zero grind could also drop some of that magic. I found your post while digging through the forums looking for exactly this.

Carlo
Posts: 38
Joined: Fri Jan 11, 2019 6:36 am
Location: NYC

Re: Takeda Nakiri Review

Post by Carlo » Mon Mar 25, 2019 11:12 am

I have had a similar experience with the Takeda banno bunka, which looks very much like the nakiri. The relative thickness behind the edge has in some instances had me bearing down a bit too much in order to overcome the wedging and the edge has been biting into the board. It’s been worst when I’ve thoughtlessly cut with the blade lined up in the same direction as the edge grain.

A few days ago I split an onion lengthwise with a bit too much enthusiasm -THWOCK!- and the knife stuck, quivering, in the board with the onion falling away to either side. It sustained a small but visible chip that happily sharpened out pretty quick.

After that I thought maybe I might not want to keep it, but over the weekend I had to cut about 20 potatoes into 1/8” thick slices and that was a pretty satisfying operation with that blade and has me thinking I’ll hang onto it.

I haven’t had any micro chips. I have been sharpening with Shapton Pro 1000, then SP 2000, then a strop on colored newsprint. I am not a particularly good sharpener yet, I believe, though after an initial struggle to figure out the Takeda zero grind I think I am doing pretty well.

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