Nakiri Knife Versus Cleaver

A Nakiri is a type of chef’s knife primarily used for slicing or dicing vegetables. On the other hand, a cleaver is designed to cut through meat and bone.

In this blog post, we will learn more about the characteristics of these blades and later on, decide which is the better blade.

Nakiri Knife Versus Cleaver

Nakiri Knife

Size and Shape

A nakiri knife has a length between 5-7 inch blade, long enough to tackle various vegetables. Unlike most knives, it has a rectangular blade instead of the usually rounded blade.


As mentioned above, this knife is primarily used for slicing and dicing vegetables. Its thick blade means that it is very effective in cutting through tough root vegetables such as carrots or potatoes.

The flat blade also allows the user to scoop out the sliced vegetable from the board, which is not possible using a curved blade knife.



This is a double bevel edged knife that has a tall and thin blade. Nakiri has a rectangular blade that is a bit rounded towards the edge, though remains straight. This is an advantage because the entire runner, or edge, comes into contact with your cutting board when you slice.

The straight blade on this knife makes it easier to make even, flat cuts in the kitchen.


With a wa-style handle, the balance point of your knife will be closer to the blade. This helps give you more control and precision while cutting down items on your chopping board. Its lightweight design allows for greater dexterity.


Nakiri knives are very beneficial for home cooks and professionals chefs alike. Among their benefits include the following.


These blades are generally very sharp because of their double bevel blade. It is made of high-quality steel that can retain its sharpness for a long time. With proper maintenance, it will stay razor-sharp.


They can cut through delicate vegetables and fruits well without damaging their flesh and skin. The straight edge prevents produce from sticking to the blade because of its smooth cut.

Ease of Use

The straight edge of the Nakiri allows you to chop vegetables without rocking the blade. The tall, thin blade helps give it a sturdy and rigid feel in your hands making cutting effortless. Its shape also makes it easier to use for people who have smaller hands sizes, as they can wrap their fingers around the handle for better grip.

Furthermore, the broad blade of the Nakiri prevents your knuckles from hitting the board while chopping.


Size and Shape

A cleaver knife is heavy, rectangular-shaped. This type of kitchen utensil usually measures between 10.5 to 12 inches in length with the blade measuring 6-8 inches long.


Cleavers are designed to cut meat and bones. Because of its wide blade, you can slice through large pieces of meat easily due to the high amount of force it can generate. The thin tip is also effective in cutting and separating bones by driving into them or by hitting them on the edge.



As stated above, a cleaver has a wide blade that is thick all the way to its back. This type of knife is most effective when used for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting through bones, chopping vegetables and meats.

Blades are made using high-carbon steel that is tempered to reduce the amount of brittleness present in these blades. They are designed to be rigid so that you can easily chop through various meats.

Trivia: Butcher knives usually have holes on the blades so that they can be hung up for an easier cut. Because butcher knives tend to be big and bulky, they are useful for people who need storage solutions with ample space.


Cleavers are generally quite heavy and also have a relatively short blade. It may either be one piece with the blade or separately attached.



These blades are not limited to just cutting meats and bones. Instead, cleavers can be used for dicing, slicing, mincing, and pounding a variety of other foods.


As explained, the blade is made out of high-carbon steel. This means that the knife is very strong so it can withstand heavy day-to-day use without getting damaged easily.


This type of knife is very safe because of the guard and the handle of the knife. The heavy blade minimizes your need to get very close to whatever you are cutting while its curved edge gives you extra control over what you can cut in a way that prevents accidents.

The Better Choice

Both of the blades featured in this blog post are worth investing in. Yet, its versatility and durability put the cleaver on top as the best type of knife to have in your kitchen.

While a Nakiri is great for cutting vegetables and fruits, it cannot handle heavy-duty tasks as a cleaver can.

Final Verdict

In conclusion, if you are looking for a knife that can efficiently handle your heavy-duty tasks, then the cleaver is the right choice.

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