The nakiri bocho, a common knife in Japanese kitchens, usually has a rectangular cleaver style blade with a rounded cutting edge on the forward corner of the blade. Wusthof’s Classic Nakiri Vegetable Knife follows the same general pattern but with the strong forged bolster style of Wusthof’s Classic knives. Claims that the Wusthof version is thirty percent sharper than ordinary Asian equivalents might be true enough, but ordinary blades in Asia aren’t remarkable.
It’s a safe bet that this is a much better knife than the cheaper hardware store versions you’ll find overseas, priced for the low-income household. Wusthof makes this knife of high quality forged Solingen stainless steel, accurately tempered and ice-hardened for extra toughness and long-lasting cutting edge. This style of cleaver really is handy in the kitchen but is used mostly for cutting vegetables and fruits. In many applications, chefs use it like a cook’s knife for mincing, chopping, and slicing. Unlike some high-end Asian cutlery, the Wusthof nakiri is tempered for toughness and easy sharpening. If you cross the line into slicing meat with this nakiri and happen to chop through a bone, don’t worry. The edge will hold up to it.
Though the nakiri isn’t a common style in American kitchens, it’s a fast crossover because it’s very efficient and easy to use. Not many will miss the pointed blade of a chef’s knife, since few use the larger cook’s knives for detailed piercing and gouging. This knife puts all the cutting edge close to the cutting board and has enough blade width for very controlled work. Wusthof also makes this knife in a santoku style with a granton hollow grind for an even more efficient cut.
The Wusthof Classic series features polymer-slab handles fastened securely to full tangs with stainless steel rivets. Always wash these fine knives by hand to protect the finish and the cutting edge.