Having the right tools in your kitchen is key to making exceptional dishes. One such tool is the Santoku knife. If you are looking for the best Santoku knife to add to your kitchen, then you are on the right page. Today, we are going to go over everything you need to know about when it comes to picking the right Santoku knife. We will begin by going over what a Santoku knife is, how it differs from other knives, the purpose of a santoku knife (what it is used for), and the overall benefits of using one. In addition to that, we will go over a Santoku knife buying guide that will highlight what to look for when you are looking for your own Santoku knife set. At the end of this post, you will find that we have even included a video that demonstrates the delicate skill that goes into crafting a Santoku knife. And last but not least, we have some Santoku knife reviews featured that will allow you to narrow down the best Santoku knife for your kitchen. Let’s get started!
Is Having the Right Knife important?
For every at-home chef or professional chef, it is very essential that you have the best and appropriate tools when you are preparing a meal. Having the right tools are what allow you to take a dish from being acceptable to exceptional. While these tools range from having the best kitchen appliances to having the right kitchen utensils, one tool that every chef should pay close attention to is their knife collection. A chef’s knife is perhaps one of the primary secret ingredients that allow them to take their cooking to the next level. And unlike many secret ingredients, a chef’s knife takes on several forms. Not all knives are made the same. Every chef’s block includes a range of knives including a carving knife, a boning knife, a ceramic knife, and a slicing knife. While all these knives hold a specific responsibility when it comes to usage, one knife, the Santoku knife, has a very specific role that it plays.
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What is a Santoku Knife?
In the past few years, the Santoku knife has become an extremely popular kitchen item. It has been used by many chefs on different food TV networks. And if you are a fan of many cooking shows, then you may have noticed that the Santoku knife has become a staple in America’s Test Kitchen. You might ask why a lot of professional chefs use this kind of knife in their kitchen. More importantly, you might be wondering why you might want to consider purchasing one yourself. Essentially, a Santoku knife is a Japanese general purpose knife that is dedicated to finely and accurately chopping and preparing meals.
What is a Santoku Knife Used for?
Santoku is a word that refers to three cutting tasks in the kitchen. These tasks include mincing, dicing, and slicing. What makes the Santoku knife unique is the fact that the knife’s handle and blade are designed to work harmoniously by matching the weight and width of the blade to the weight of the handle and blade tang. By having that balance, the task of slicing and dicing is one that can be done more artfully.
What is a Santoku Knife Good for?
A good Santoku knife is specially developed for easy preparation of original Japanese cuisine. This cuisine includes Japanese staples such as sushi, fish, and vegetables. The blade is much wider than your typical knife in order to provide better manipulation space for a chef’s fingers. With its sharp and thin blade, the Santoku knife can cut in thin slices exceptionally well. Typically, its blade comes in 2 variations: with a Graton edge or with a smooth edge. The Graton edge is the term used for the edges with indentations on both sides of a blade. These indentations offer a somewhat non-stick coating because they keep the thin slices and sticky foods off the blade.
How to Properly Use a Santoku Knife
When it comes to Santoku knife uses, there is a right way and a wrong way to incorporate it into your kitchen. For starters, a Santoku knife is a general purpose knife that is much like the western chef knife. Generally, it can be used to slice vegetables and meat and it is also perfect for general dicing and chopping. You can even use it the blade for crushing herbs such as cloves of garlic. However, unlike traditional ceramic blades, it should not be used if you slice and dice with rocking motions. In addition to that, it should never be used a cleaver either. If you hit bones with it, you run the high risk of damaging or even chipping the Santoku blade.
Santoku is also very famous for its sushi slicing capabilities, where the thinness of slices completely shines and the slicing is much easier. Keep in mind, though, that you should still be wetting the blade while you slice to help you get that smooth cut. If you’re a sushi lover and you want to prepare sushi at home, a Santoku knife is a must for you to make your life easier. The flat, thin blade will help with saving you time and energy as you prep your sushi. On top of that, it makes the presentation of your sushi that much more appealing.
- Slicing everything from things like thin veggies to thick cuts of lean meat
- Dicing onions and fatty slices of meat
- Mincing, which these knives are specifically good at because of their exceptional construction
- Scooping and pushing because of the handier nature of these knives
What Sets a Santoku Knife Apart From The Rest?
For starters, when it comes to Japanese kitchen knives, a Santoku blade is different from its sister blades, and really all blades in general. The first thing that you will notice is that the shape of the blade is different from your typical kitchen knife. Unlike traditional knives, the blade of a Santoku knife is flat. This means that you are unable to rock your knife back and forth when you are working on your cutting board. Instead, you are supposed to either slice or chop with your knife. In addition to its specific use, the Santoku knife is best known for its ability to make precise cuts.
Secondly, a lot of the Santoku knife blades that feature a granton edge are hollowed out. The hallowed out blade will lessen friction with slashing starchy and wet foods such as onions and potatoes. The decreased friction is what allows the food you cut to fall away from the blade. In addition to that, the hallow edge allows you to have a more accurate cut in a shorter amount of time.
Third, a lot of the Santoku knives are smaller and shorter than a typical piece of cutlery. This makes the Santoku knife ideal to use for those with smaller hands. Its lighter weight and perfect size will allow you to work for longer periods of time with less hand cramping. This can be especially helpful if you are working on a large cooking job. What is more, the smaller blade makes the knife more agile than a typical chef knife.
Review of The Top 5 Best Santoku Knives for 2019
Once you have a solid understanding of a Santoku knife vs a chef knife, your next step is to find the best one for your cooking needs. This means that it’s time for the best part of the page: what we believe to be the best Santoku knives on the market today. This is based on years of experience using these knives and tests done by independent chefs. Let’s get started with our favourite picks of the best Santoku knives that you can get your hands on.
#1: Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife: Wusthof 4183-7 Wusthof Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife
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The Wusthof Classic is the best Santoku knife to date amongst professional chefs and at home chefs. Wusthof is a remarkable company with regards to blades. Because the company is premier in catering, it is no surprise that they are one of the most renowned brands when it comes to the Santoku knife. Both amateur and professional cooks utilize these knives. The Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife is also one of the preferred and favorite santoku knives amongst homeowners and food establishment proprietors because of how well it performs despite its cost efficiency.
Reasons Why You Will Love Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife:
- Robust and Effective Blade Engineering: The company is popular for their attention to detail and tough styles. The state of the art Wusthof Classic Santoku Knife comes with alternating hollows, a broad blade, and sharp edges that were designed to slice easily. and sharp edges that were designed to slice easily. The one metal blade is also a good reason why other chefs enjoy using this knife, and you will, too.
- Reasonable Price: The Wusthof Santoku Knife is also considered to be one of the cheapest knives you can purchase. However, it offers a fineness that competes with costlier Santoku knives out there.
- Durable: This knife allows you to cut tougher veggies like Brussels sprouts with ease so you don’t have to put too much pressure on your hand or worry about breaking or shattering the blade.
- Integrated with a Wider Blade for Easy Mincing and Dicing: What makes this knife unique is the wide blade that adds weight to the knife. This added weight allows you to push away ingredients that you have minced and diced to the side easily.
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#2: Shun Santoku Knife: Shun Premier Santoku Knife, 7-Inch
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Shun Premier Santoku Knife is the second best choice of Santoku knife due to its many essential features and benefits. This Shun classic Santoku knife offers function and form in one package with a very reasonable price. This knife is ideal for dicing, slicing, chopping, and mincing. It comes with a stainless steel blade that has been precision forged and features a scalloped edge which stops food from bonding to the blade. Due to its rust free features, the Shun is ideal to use in any commercial setting. The Pakka handle is tough and D-Shaped and comes with lifetime warranty.
Reasons Why You Will Love the Shun Premier Santoku Knife:
- Layered Damascus Stainless Steel Blade: The Shun Premier is made from a tough and durable high-carbon steel metal. It has a Rockwell hardness score of 60 to 61.
- Comfy Pakkawood Hand: This knife is easy to grasp as the handle keeps your hand safe, all while reducing any discomfort that you may feel while chopping.
- Superb Balance: Because of the way this knife is weighted, you will feel like this knife is a part of your body rather than simply a tool.
- Hammered Finish: Due to its Tsuchime finish, expect more from this product. For example, it reduces drag, avoids food from bonding or gluing to the blade, as well as makes cutting or slicing almost effortless.
#3: Global Santoku Knife: Global G-48 – 7 inches, 18cm Santoku Hollow Ground Knife
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Third among the best Santoku knives available, the Global G-48 is precisely balanced and super light which makes it so easy to use. The blade is finished from high technology vanadium stainless steel for durability and sharpness. The edge does a superb job at retaining its serration so you hardly ever need to hone it. In addition to that, the handle is made of durable stainless-steel yet is easy to use with dimples that ensure a better grip. You’ll never have to replace the Globe G-48 as it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Reasons Why People Love Global G-48 Santoku Knife:
There are many reasons why lots of people including professional chefs love using this Santoku knife. These reasons include:
- 7-Inch Hollow Ground Blade: This feature makes this knife easy to maintain. It will sustain its sharpness for a longer span of time compared to typical chef western knives if it is used well and properly maintained.
- Tapered Edge/Hand-Sharpened Edge: This essential feature makes cutting and slicing things easier all while allowing the blade to keep sharper for a longer span of time. On the other hand, the hand-sharpened edge enhances its sharpness while lessening the microscopic imperfections common in mass-produced kitchen knives.
- Longer Knife: The Globe G-5 measures 11 inches which makes it feel more like a conventional chef’s knife.
- Stainless Steel Handle: The handle is easy to maintain and clean. All you need to do is to wash it and utilize a soft cloth to make sure it stays shiny and beautiful, keeping the structure tough and sturdy.
#4: Yaxell Gou Santoku Knife: Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch
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Yaxell is a renowned manufacturer of professional knives that are particularly used by professional chefs all over the world. On the other hand, a lot of homeowners use this knife due to its superb function as well as its durable features. The amazing Yaxell Gou Santoku Knife is considered one of the top Santoku knives on the market today.
Reasons Why You Will Love the Yaxell Gou Santoku Knife: Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch
- SG2 Steel: The powdered magnesium is combined with high-carbon steel to make one of the most excellent alloys for kitchen knives. This material enables supreme durability when it is made properly.
- Remarkable Durability: The amalgamation of 101 layers of folded steel and SG2 steel make this knife the most durable and the toughest of the bunch. It could last years of everyday use if well maintained.
- Stain and Corrosion Resistant: Yaxell knives are made to last, which is why it is no surprise that the Gou Santoku knife will resist stains and corrosion.
- Very Comfortable Grip: The grip of the Gou Santoku knife is finished from canvas-micarta. It’s fashioned to the solid piece of steel utilizing rivets, which makes the grip comfortable. This comfort also lessens the amount of pressure your hand experiences when utilizing it.
#5: ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife 7 Inch
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At position five in the our review of the top five best santoku knives is the ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife (7 inch). This is one of the best Santoku knives available on Amazon.
If you have ever wanted to add refinement and style to your kitchen or impress your guests with visually stunning cutlery, the ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife will do exactly this for you. As you can see from the picture, this is a very beautiful knife.
Reasons Why You Will Love the ZELITE INFINITY Santoku Knife:
- Very Comfortable Grip: The grip of the ZELITE INFINITY Santoku knife is finished from canvas-micarta.
- Sturdy Design: It’s fashioned to the solid piece of steel utilizing rivets, which makes the grip comfortable. This comfort also lessens the amount of pressure that your hand will feel when working with it.
- Made with Premium Materials: The knife is made from premium materials, with 67-layer high carbon stainless steel that incorporates a hollow ground blade. This makes the knife razor sharp, non-stick, long lasting, and stain and rust resistant.
- High-Performance Knife: It is a high-performance knife with minimal slicing resistance, satisfying heft, full tang, and premium materials. Lastly, it measures 7 inches and makes for an ideal knife for larger hands.
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#6. Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-Inch Santoku Knife
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This next knife is a bonus addition because it just is that great. Although it is cheap in price, it is made with the impeccable quality of higher end knives. The Mercer Culinary Genesis is ideal for people who are looking for a forged blade and superb look. Even though it is cheaper when it comes to price point, the knife does not compromise the overall heft and balance. This knife measures out to 7 inches, making it the ideal knife for larger hands.
Reasons Why You Will Love the Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-Inch Santoku Knife
- Ergonomic Santoprene Handle: This handle offers superior comfort thanks to the non-slip grip. This holds true even with wet hands. In addition to that, it will not break down from exposure to kitchen oils and is able to withstand hot and cold temperatures.
- Durable and Strong: Bolster strengthens the knife. This adds durability and provides excellent balance for better handling when cutting food. This knife is also available in short bolster too.
- High Quality: High-carbon, no-stain German cutlery steel. This steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. Lastly, this knife offers precision forged construction for better strength and durability.
- Stability: Taper-ground edge allows for added stability, easy honing, long-lasting sharpness, and increased efficiency when cutting and chopping.
- Limited lifetime warranty
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The Best 2 Cheap santoku Knives
#1: Victorinox Fibrox 7-inch Granton Edge Santoku Knife
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This Victorinox Santoku Knife is one that combines the features of a cleaver with a chef’s knife. Its Graton edge flutes can make paper-thin slices and completely prevent the food from sticking to the blade. It is made from high carbon stainless steel, providing maximum edge retention and sharpness, and is ice tempered and stamped from cold-rolled steel. Click here and securely buy it on Amazon
- Multipurpose Use: This straight edge paring knife is designed for garnishing, mincing, peeling, slicing and dicing. The razor sharp, laser-tested, tapered knife-edge ensures maximum cutting performance and durability.
- Great Grip: The polypropylene handle is dishwasher safe and very durable and ergonomically designed for a non-slip grip.
- Enhanced Precision and Accuracy: This knife features a short blade for enhanced accuracy and precision. This paring knife is optimally built for jobs where control is essential for prepping the perfect meal. This makes it perfect for more intricate jobs such as peeling fruits and vegetables or trimming beans. It also is super versatile and great for bigger jobs like dicing an onion or slicing mangos.
- Overall Quality: Expertly crafted in Switzerland and is designed for professionals who use knives all day.
- Lifetime warranty against defects in its material and workmanship.
#2: OXO Good Grips Professional 6-1/2-Inch Santoku Knife
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The OXO Good Grips Professional Santoku Knife features perfect quality cutting thanks to its comfortable and soft grip. Its stainless steel, sharp blade is hardened for strength and the blade is full-tang for proper balance and great durability. In addition to that, the non-slip, soft handle cushions your hands and provides a secured safe grip.
- Great Handle: This knife is perfect for chopping and scooping.
- Great Grip: The soft and comfortable handle ensures a safe grip.
- Precise and Durable: Sharp, no-stain blade is hardened to make it strong and durable. In addition to that, the full-tang blade keeps it properly balanced
What are the Benefits of a Santoku Knife?
The Shun Santoku Knife is one of the best knives you could purchase. A lot of top chefs nowadays use this kind of knife because of its ability to cut things well. For starters, they are very versatile as they are capable of cutting just about anything in precise cuts and slices, but they offer even more attractive benefits which include the following:
- The best Santoku knife is lighter: Global Santoku knives are much lighter than traditional knives, thus allowing less strain and faster cutting.
- Useful for any kind of job: No matter what you’re working with from boneless meat, to fish, to vegetables, a Santoku knife can handle just about anything.
- No “rocking”: Some people are fond of the “rocking motion” when chopping, but oftentimes, straight chopping is a lot quicker. With the use of a Santoku knife, the rocking motion is limited, but thin slices are easily achieved because of its quick, single chopping motion.
- The best Santoku knife has a thin blade: Having a thin blade requires great durability and hard steel. Provided that you can take proper care of the knife, Santoku can provide you with great results thanks to this thin blade.
- Very easy to work with: Because Santoku knives have thin blades and are lightweight, they are very easy to work with. If heavier and larger knives like cleavers are very hard for you to handle, a Santoku knife is a great alternative to use instead.
In terms of lightweight, versatility, and ease of use, a Santoku knife is a must-have kitchen tool for you especially if you spend lots of time in your kitchen.
The Santoku Knife vs The Traditional Chef Knife Vs. Nakiri knife
The purpose of knives is to chop, slice, and cut items. The most noticeable difference between the best Santoku knife and traditional chef knife is the shape of the blade. Traditional knives are slightly rounded and quite heavy, allowing them to make the rocking motion back and forth in order to slice. All knives are made to work better when the blade it voluntarily slicing through, not putting so much pressure or pushing the knife against the item. Unlike traditional knives, the blade of a Santoku knife is flat. You shouldn’t rock a Santoku knife back and forth in order to cut items. Instead, you should utilize either single chopping or slicing motions. The Santoku knife features a flat blade that allows the knife to slice continuously with an up and down straight chopping motion. This, in turn, provides the chef more kitchen versatility. The versatility of the best Santoku knife allows the chef to replace several pieces of kitchen cutlery. Its flat blade makes it much quicker to chop and slice items and make precision cuts.
Another thing is that a lot of Santoku knife blades are made hollow with a Graton edge. The hollowed out blade reduces the friction when cutting wet and starchy foods like onions and potatoes. The lowered friction helps the items to easily fall away from the best Santoku knife blades as the chef is cutting the food. This allows for faster cutting and precise cuts. The only drawback of having a Graton edge is that they can be very tricky to sharpen. You need to ensure that you’ll be using a high-quality sharpener when you sharpen a Santoku knife.
Many Santoku knives are smaller and shorter than traditional chef knives. This makes them perfect for use by people with much smaller hands. The lighter size and weight reduces hand fatigue when performing large slicing, cutting, or chopping jobs. Furthermore, the best Santoku knife often features a small blade makes it more accurate than the traditional chef knives.
On the other hand, a Nakiri knife has a double-bevel blade sharpened on both sides with a shorter handle. The blade of a Nakiri is thin but robust.
The difference between these three knives comes down to a matter of utility and personal preference. You will often find yourself using a Santoku as a primary knife, whereas a Nakiri is a more specialized cleaver for dealing specifically with vegetables.
Santoku knives provide many benefits and have become popular for various reasons. However, the main reason is that they’re just amazing cutlery.
Santoku Knife Buying Guide: What to Look For In a Santoku Knife
There are certain things that you need to know before purchasing a Santoku knife, including the blade material, which is the first thing that you need to take into account before buying a Santoku knife. Below are some additional features to consider before making your choice:
Nowadays, blades are typically made of stainless steel, ceramic, high carbon steel, or carbon steel. Usually, high carbon steel is the most preferred choice for people who invest in the best, high-quality Santoku knives. This type of steel is durable and highly resistant to stain and rust. In addition, it can be sharpened easily.
A carbon steel blade is a next choice that you might want to consider. This is less expensive than the high carbon steel but can be subject to rusting and staining over time.
Stainless steel is the most common knife-blade material and is resistant to staining, corrosion, and rust. However, it won’t be able to hold its edge as compared to the first two mentioned.
Lastly, are the ceramic knives which virtually require no maintenance and are very lightweight. These can last for several years but their blades are very fragile and can only be used on a chopping board.
For handle composition, there are also options available for you to choose from so that you get the best Santoku knife. The best handle is one that includes important factors such as safety, balance, and control. You can choose a composite, wood, plastic, or stainless steel handle for your Santoku knife. The handle that you choose really depends on what you need your knife to do for you. Some may feel more comfortable with a wood knife, while others may prefer a stainless steel one instead. The handle will also affect things such as your control, balance, and the overall appearance of your knife.
VIDEO: How a Santoku Knife is made.
Final Thoughts on the Best Santoku Knife
This ends our ultimate buying guide for the best Santoku Knife for you. We hope that this guide has allowed you to gain a better understanding of what a Santoku knife is. In addition to that, we hope that you are now able to navigate the world of knives in order to find the best fit for you. Now that you know the importance and role of a Santoku knife, you can finally find some inspiration to get you back into the kitchen.
If you have any questions regarding our post or queries about Santoku Knives, feel free to share it with us by commenting below. You can also contact us and leave us a message as well.