Usuba / Nakiri

Usu(Thin)Ba(Knife)

Usuba is a traditional Japanese knife shape with a thick spine and pronounced shinogi line. Characterized by their rectangular shape and utter lack of camber Usuba knives are best used when preparing vegetables. The shape of the Usuba blade and the angle at which the handle is affixed to it allow for a significant degree of knuckle clearance which can be quite helpful when working with larger quantities. It is important to note that Usubas are typically one sided although this definition is not universally applicable and some manufacturers do create double-beveled knives that would indeed qualify as Usubas. The westernized version of an Usuba, which is typically double-beveled and also intended for use on vegetables, is known as a Nakiri. Although many believe the distinction between Usubas and Nakiris to be their one or two sidedness this is not wholly accurate. The key distinction between the two shapes is the thickness of the steel from which they are formed. Despite being named “thin knife” Usubas are thicker than their westernized counterpart the Nakiri.

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