Wouldn’t it be nice to have one knife that gets all the kitchen cutting tasks done? The Santoku knife does just that. It is a Japanese origin knife whose popularity is spreading in the US and other parts of the world. The term Santoku, in Japan, means ‘three virtues.’ This translates to ‘three uses’. Ergo, this knife slices, dices, and minces.
The blade of this knife has a flat cutting edge with its top falling in line with the knife’s handle. Its end is rounded, contrary to most western knives that come with a sharp pointed end. This curved end is called a sheep’s foot. Given this shape, the blade does not rock on the chopping board, and it may take you some amount of time to get used to it. While Santoku knives are good for all basic cooking cutting tasks, not all Santoku knives are good for you. We have selected the best Santoku knives for you below.
|Name||Blade length (inch)||Blade material||Handle material|
|Dalstrong Shogun Series VG10 7-Inch Santoku Knife|
|7||VG-10 Japanese steel||Ultra-premium G-10|
|Kotobuki Teruhisa Japanese Santoku Knife|
|8||Stainless steel||Magnolia wood|
|Victorinox Fibrox Granton Edge 7-Inch Santoku Knife||7||High-carbon stainless-steel||Fibrox|
|Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 7-Inch Santoku Knife||7||High-carbon, German steel||Santoprene|
|Kai Wasabi Black 6.5-Inch Santoku Knife||6.5||Stainless steel||Bamboo/polypropylene|
Dalstrong Shogun Series VG10 7-Inch Santoku Knife – Artistic and Durable Knife
You might want to consider this Santoku Knife if you are interested in a knife that not only cuts and chops but also lasts long after all other knives are gone. It should also make an artistic statement throughout its productive life.
According to the manufacturer, this knife is forged for 60 days and with strong Japanese super steel to make it great in performance, value, and beauty.
The knife features between 8 and 12 degrees of sharpness on both sides of the blade with 62+ Rockwell edge retention, Rockhollow divots to ensure the knife does not stick on food, tapered bolster to craft a weight length balance and make the knife easy to use and a rust and corrosion resistant cladding.
This knife is offered with a hand-polished spine, a full-tang build to enhance robustness, triple-riveting for resilience and engravings for beauty. Its tapered blade design makes slicing easy and at the same time makes cleaning a cinch. Being nitrogen cooled, this blade is flexible.
With an ergonomic, military grade, engraved handle, this knife offers comfort and agility and gives control to the user. It is impervious to extreme temperatures and moisture and comes with copper mosaic for beauty and a non-slip grip. On purchase, the Dalstrong VG107 comes with an embossed sheath and a polishing cloth in a gift wrapping. This knife is highly recommended for anyone who needs a general purpose kitchen knife.
Kotobuki Teruhisa Japanese Santoku Knife – Best Budget Santoku Knife
It is offered with original Santoku knife shape and seeing that it is created in Japan, all features meet the need for which Santoku knives were created. This knife was created for tasks that require a single cut downward. Ergo, it comes handy in kitchen prep work.
The Kotobuki Teruhisa is a good knife for its price. It was originally created as a vegetable knife but has found its way into other uses such as meat dicing. It is forged from high quality Japanese stainless steel which is rust and corrosion resistant.
The ergonomic wooden magnolia handle is non-slip and gives the user the control needed to do any cutting work. It is offered in a traditional Japanese style and is similar to knives used in a clone of the knives used by professional Japanese chefs only at a cheaper price.
Victorinox Fibrox Granton Edge 7-Inch Santoku Knife – Sharpest Mid-Range Santoku Knife
Created for perfect slicing, the Victorinox Fibrox couples chef’s knife features with Santoku knife features to create Granton edge flutes that enhance thin slicing without food sticking to the blade.
Its high-carbon stainless steel blade ensures the blade is easy to sharpen, retains sharpness for long, and offers a long, productive life to the knife. This build is stamped from ice-tempered cold rolled steel. It comes with a conical ground to reduce resistance during cutting and lacks a bolster meaning the entire blade has been sharpened for use.
Laser tested to guarantee maximum cutting power, this blade comes with a patented Fibrox handle which is textured and non-slip, ergonomic, balanced and comfortable to the user. Better still, the handle is NSF approved.
Though this knife is machine washable, hand washing is recommended. The Switzerland manufactured knife comes with a lifetime warranty. This knife is recommended for you if you are interested in a simple knife that gets all the cutting tasks done and at an affordable price.
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 7-Inch Santoku Knife – Comfortable Durable Handle Knife
If you are out shopping for a knife that feels comfortable in your hand and one that will deliver as you expect, for a long period, you might want to consider this knife. It is offered with a Santoprene handle for comfort and agility. This handle comes with a non-slip grip and can withstand use with wet hands, extreme temperatures and kitchen oils. The knife is designed with a short bolster that adds durability and strength to the knife as well as creating a balance between the knife’s length and its weight.
Forged from high-carbon German stainless steel, this knife is not only stain resistant but also corrosion and discoloration resistant. It is precision forged to enhance durability and strength. Offered with taper ground edge technology, the Mercer Culinary Genesis offers great stability, ensures easy honing, high edge retention and enhanced efficiency when chopping or cutting. The full tang of the blade ensures comfort and balance. Besides being NSF approved, this knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty.
Kai Wasabi Black 6.5-Inch Santoku Knife – One Of The Best All-Purpose Knives For Chefs On A Market
The Kai Wasabi is an all-purpose knife that comes great as a replacement for conventional chef’s knives. It works great on anything in the kitchen from vegetables to fruits and meat to chicken and fish.
Offered with a relatively shorter blade, rounded tip and a high position handle, the Kai Wasabi is not only versatile in use but also comfortable on the hands of the user.
Though its edge is relatively flatter enabling it to excel at push cat, it comes with a slight curve that makes it great at mincing too. As with other double-beveled knives, it is excellent when precise cuts are needed.
The Wasabi combines high carbon German stainless steel for durability, sharp edge and a graze finish that enhances its beauty with a polypropylene handle crafted in original Japanese style to bring beauty and comfort during use.
Hand washing is recommended though the knife is machine washable. It is offered with a limited lifetime warranty.
Differentiating Santoku Knives from Chef’s Knives
To a not-so-keen observer, the Santoku knife is strikingly similar to a Chef’s knife; they are both equipped with wide blades and are designed for all-purpose use. However, they are different . Santoku knives are shorter, thinner and lighter than chef’s knives. Given their thinness, they are more hardened and thus stronger than Western chef’s knives. Santoku knives come with flat divots on both sides of the blade just next to the cutting edge; this is referred to as Granton edge. The edge ensures that food does not stick on the knife’s blade. However, it is not entirely perfect on its function but still does a great job especially when slicing hard veggies.
You will find that most Santoku knives are designed with a 6 or 7-inch blade while most chef’s knives are 8 inches or more in blade length. Though most Japanese styled knives are sharpened on one end, the Santoku knife, just like western styled knives, is sharpened on both sides for more precise cuts. Japanese Santoku knives are now common in the US and other western countries. There are also Santoku knives manufactured in other countries such as Taiwan, Switzerland and the US and distributed to all parts of the world.
Features and Benefits of Santoku Knives
The blade of a Santoku knife can be metal or ceramic. Metal blades are believed to be more durable than ceramic blades and do a better job at cutting meat and hard vegetables. Ceramic blades, on the other hand, are 100 percent stainless and resistant to acids and other corrosive substances. They keep their sharpness for longer when cutting soft foods such as veggies. Ceramic is light and can be washed in a dishwasher. However, ceramic is brittle and loses edge faster when cutting meat. When dropped ceramic breaks easily and even worse, when sharpening, you will require stronger abrasives.
Metal knives are considered stronger. They might be made of stainless steel or high carbon steel; both are stain and corrosion resistant. They retain their edge even when cutting meat and hard vegetables. Though some are rated dishwasher safe, hand washing is always recommended. Metal blades can be forged or stamped. Forged blades are considered superior while stamped blades are light and relatively cheaper.
A knife’s handle crafts balance and makes it comfortable during use. Handles may be made of metal, composite or wood. Metal handles are durable, heavy and some are structured to offer a non-slip grip. Wooden handles offer beauty, lightweight, ergonomic and strong grip but they are not durable especially when exposed to water or high temperatures. Composite handles offer the best of both worlds; they offer beauty and performance.
Bolster is the space between a knife’s blade and its handle. The bolster offers a balance and is also a safety feature. Some santoku knives have a thin or no bolster making the whole blade useful in cutting while some knives have a large bolster for strength and balance. Most Santoku knives are full tang; the blade material is riveted to the handle.
Choosing the Best Santoku Knife for you
This is where you consider the material of the blade and of the handle, the tang, bolster and other aspects that concern the features of a knife as discussed above. You need to weigh the advantages and disadvantages of each aspect, in relation to the knife’s price.
Though most santoku knives are lightweight, a good knife should bear a good blade, and handle balance. Given that Santoku knives are large, they should have a balance point between the blade and the handle. This means that the handle should not be extra heavy in relation to the blade and neither should the blade be too heavy in relation to the handle. Their length should also be balanced.
Though you may consider the price of a santoku knife, it is imperative that you get a knife that feels comfortable on your hands. For high-end knives, you may consider factors such as warranty. Some Santoku knives will be offered with a polishing cloth and a storage sheath. These are added advantages.
Frequently Asked Questions
NSF (National Sanitary Foundation) is a body that tests products for sanitary safety. A knife that bears NSF seal means it meets all the safety standards; it is food-safe, and it is user-safe. This means that it will not contaminate the food and it is ergonomically designed to reduce injuries to users. Most knives are NSF approved.
For basic kitchen cutting tasks, a santoku knife can replace other knives; it will dice, mince and slice with ease. However, professional chefs will still require a set of knives for different tasks; in their case, a santoku knife can replace two or three knives but not an entire set.
Most online knife retailers offer a brief description of the knife on sale, price and customer reviews. When shopping, read the description to see whether the knife meets your needs, read customer reviews to understand the weak points and strengths of the knife and compare prices with others. Most customer reviews are from verified purchases and will be honest. Usually, what you see online is exactly what you get. Be sure to shop from renowned online shops such as Amazon, eBay or Walmart. You can also shop from the product manufacturers.
Fibrox material handles are an innovation of Vicrorinox Forschner but they are used on many knives. They are hygienic, can assume any shape, they are dishwasher safe and most manufacturers are able to make them non-slip. Put simply, they offer more advantages compared to wooden and metal handles. Even better, they are relatively cheaper and look great on knives.
Santoku knives, though some have high edge retention, needs to be sharpened occasionally. However, how often will depend on the material of the blade, how often you use your knife, the surface you use your knife on and how you take care of your knife. While you may not sharpen your knife often, it is imperative that you hone the knife’s blade often. This does not affect the knife’s sharpness but keeps the blade straight and functioning well. Some knives will be accompanied by a sharpening and honing manual.
Given the varied materials and designs of Santoku knife, there is no average price. While some knives may cost as low as ten dollars, other may cost as high as hundred dollars. Nevertheless, most knives cost between 30 dollars and fifty dollars. When choosing a knife based on price, consider the material and the durability of the knife as well as performance it will offer.
Given their lightweight and their thin blade, santoku knives are relatively easy to use. They also have a shorter blade compared to chef’s knives making them comfortable for kitchen tasks.
PEtec Technology on Santoku Knives
As knife manufacturers work towards producing sharper and high edge retention knives, new technologies are coming up. The Wusthof PEtec sharpening technology is one of them. This technology is now being used by a number of knife brands making it universal. In a nutshell, the blades are measured and a computer decides the precise angle at which the knife should be sharpened. Robots then sharpen the knives on a whetstone at the exact angle specified by the computer and the blade is polished by use of a special disc. The knife produced through this process is extremely thin and the result is a very sharp knife.
This technology comes with a couple of benefits; the knives produced are very sharp and retain their edge for long (this means long blade life) and the quality of the knives is reproducible. This technology was tested in Germany, and the results were sterling.
How to Use a Santoku Knife
For a homeowner, a Santoku knife can do all the tasks needed. It is a great addition to someone’s kitchen. It is used mostly on vegetables, fish, meats and cheese. Before you begin slicing veggies, you need to know how to hold the santoku knife. Learning how to effectively use a santoku knife may take a few days for the inexperienced but it is worth it.
Place the thumb and the index finger just behind your knife’s blade and curl all other fingers around your knife’s handle. If your knife comes with finger grooves, align your fingers on them. Holding the knife like that, place the blade end on the chopping surface with the vegetable or the item to be cut beneath it and drag the knife towards you.
Taking Care of a Santoku Knife
Again, most knives are rated dishwasher safe but it is always advisable to hand wash them and dry them before storage.
Care should be taken when using a santoku knife not to slice on hard surfaces as this may dull it. Given the fine blade of a santoku, it is advisable to leave sharpening to professionals. However, with a little sharpening experience, you can do it.
Most Santoku knives, especially those of oriental origin, are Japanese styled and thereby are crafted like ancient Japanese swords. Manufacturers, however, are working to make the knives better in sharpness and ergonomics. To this end, new technologies in sharpening and edge retention hare come up where the blades are made stronger to handle different food items without losing their edge. Composite handle materials, such as Fibrox are coming up to add to knives’ ergonomics and usability. In future, we can expect santoku knives that not only perform more than three functions but that are efficient in all they do and are more durable.
As with other kitchen cutlery, it is painstakingly hard to choose the best santoku knife for every chef or kitchen enthusiast; the range of qualities, features and prices is so wide. To this end, though we have already listed the five top-rated products, it is advisable to compare knives for different aspects from price to material and build to shape and beauty. If a knife is a good fit for one person, it does not necessarily mean it will be a good fit for you. Some santoku knives are laser tested for usability among other aspects; these are among the best in the market.