'Shun' has a serious reputation when it comes to high quality knives and the Shun Premier series only builds and enhances this reputation even further with seriously high grade workmanship. Other Nakiri knives from Shun have proven themselves to be extremely reliable but how does the TDM0742 Premier Nakiri stack up against the rest? In this article we firslty take a rather objective look at both the features and design of the knife itself -- and then we will go on to provide a 'human perspective', comparing it against what customer reviews had to say.
The Nakiri Style of Knife
Nakiri is not a brand or style owned by Shun or any other company, it is a style of knife derived from the traditional Usuba knives and honed for precise vegetable cutting -- and Nakiri simply translates to "vegetable knife". The square shape means the knife can cut all the way to the chopping board along the entire length of the blade. The blade itself is also very thin compared to Western chef's knives and the angle of the cutting edge is much steeper, and therefore much sharper. These combined factors make the Nakiri the perfect knife for cutting, dicing, mincing and finely slicing any vegetable. With chef's knives you use a forward and backward motion to force the blade to cut but with the Nakiri you simply use a downwards motion.
Design and Features
Shun stick to tradition as much as possible with their knives and the TDM0742 Premier Nakiri knife is hand forged using traditional methods and materials. The blade of this particular knife is also hand-hammered to produce a texture that is distinctive looking whilst also serving to reduce friction with vegetables while cutting. The handle is made from Pakkawood, a type of resin-impregnated hardwood and it is quite short, being shaped for frequently small Japanese hands. Customers with large hands may find the handle a bit short but most chefs should find it very easy to grip. The blade length on this particular model is 5.5-inches, which is a comfortable medium in the range and is well suited to most tasks. Shun does have shorter and longer Nakiri knives available, but not in the Premier range.
Care and Sharpening
It's always a good idea to know the care requirements before buying a relatively expensive knife. Shun's Nakiri knives do need some special attention in terms of sharpening but this is made easy thanks to Shun's sharpening services. However, an experienced user should also be able to easily sharpen the Nakiri themselves with a sharpening stone and steel provided they maintain the sharp angle of the blade. Besides sharpening the only care requirements are gentle hand washing and storage without contact with other metal.
Customer Reviews and Opinions
As with many of Shun's other knives the Nakiri 5.5inch Knife (TDM0742) reviews extremely well, it even scores an incredibly impressive 'average review' score of 4.8 out of 5 stars on Amazon. The sharpness of the blade and the overall beauty were the most commonly cited reasons for the high review scores. Many customers said that they loved showing their Nakiri off to their friends and that they didn't mind paying a high price for a high quality knife that they would use daily. Some customers mentioned that it felt rather small compared to their other knives, obviously a drawback of the Asian design for some people, but the overall quality, aesthetic and manoeuvrability seems to make up for this.
Who Should Buy This Knife?
The Nakiri is an excellent addition to most collections and it is extremely versatile but it can't take on every task. The thin blade means that the TDM0742 Nakiri knife from Shun cannot easily cut meat and some fish with small bones. For this reason this Nakiri is a purchase recommended for people that already have, or plan to soon obtain a decent meat-cutting chef's knife.
If you have any questions, remarks or concerns either regarding the Nakiri 5.5 inch premier knife or the review itself please be sure to make them in the comments section below and I will be sure to reply to you as soon as possible.