The Xinzuo Nakiri knife has a 440C core material with outer cladding from the same material. The cladding is very visible and adds to the aesthetics of the knife. The blade has a brushed vertical finish, which also helps break down water content from food to stick less on your blade. The knife comes with a full-tang G10 handle with three rivets. The middle rivet has a mosaic pattern. (I also reviewed the 440C Gyuto from Xinzuo).
Knife Rockwell Hardness and Core Material
The knife Rockwell hardness is specified with a Rockwell of 58 + or – 2. But during my testing, the Rockwell came close to 58. If used at home, you can get away with 3 to 4 months before needing a whetstone touch-up if you regularly hone your knife with a honing rod. The 440C core material is also very sturdy and durable, so you don’t have to worry about chipping your blade. There is also no noticeable flex during use.
The knife profile is interesting, the knife is sold as a Nakiri, but it does not feel like one. The Xinzuo Nakiri is sold as a new concept that blends into the classic Nakiri Design. For someone that has used and owns a Japanese Nakiri, this new concept has failed as a Nakiri. As you can see, the Xinzuo Nakiri knife has a curve upwards at the front and a round belly in the middle. The upward curved profile accommodates a rocking motion rather than a traditional straighter profile for an up and forward motion.
Knife balance point
I buy a Nakiri for the middle or front-heavy balance point.
It will accommodate the forward chopping or fast-tapping techniques that are required for most vegetable prep work. For a cleaver-style knife like the Nakiri, I prefer the middle or front-heavy balance point. The front to middle balance point accommodates the straighter profile. At the same time, the Xinzuo Nakiri design and balance point do accommodate the curved front profile.
The handle is very comfortable to hold because of its size. It has a slightly curved belly that sits snugly around your fingers. It also has a butt at the end of the handle, which prevents you from slipping. The curved bolster also adds extra grip.
Xinzuo new Nakiri concept?
The Nakiri from Xinzuo failed as a Nakiri; however, the 440C core material is the real surprise. I like the 440C core material, and this is a core material that I can recommend to anyone to try. It is perfect for everyday use without worrying about blade chipping. It will even go through semi-frozen food with no problems or worries. If you want a Nakiri-styled knife that performs like a Chef’s knife, then this knife is for you. You will keep the extra width for better knuckle clearance and food transfer. But it will not perform like a Nakiri but more like a Chef knife.
My recommendation is to skip the Nakiri and buy the Gyuto version from Xinzuo. The 440C knives from Xinzuo exceed my expectations. The knife core is as advertised with a Rockwell of 58. The handle is comfortable to hold and is very durable; the quality control of Xinzuo is excellent. I did not receive any knives that had issues if you want a Nakiri because it is a Nakiri, and you expect the Nakiri to perform like one then avoid the Xinzuo Nakiri since it performs like a chef knife. I would highly suggest the Xinzuo Gyuto with a 440C core over the Xiznuo Nakiri.
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The Nakiri from Xinzuo looks like a Nakiri but unfortunately, it does not perform like a Nakiri. Therefore I recommend the 440C Gyuto from Xinzuo over the Nakiri.
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