If you own a kitchen knife set or if are you looking forward to buying one then one common model is a santoku knife. Santoku knives are originated in Japan and are meant for doing specific cutting tasks. The blade of a santoku knife is different from that of the regular chef’s knife which makes santoku suitable for different works other than regular chopping and cutting of food.
What is a Santoku knife best for?
Before you jump to the reviews, you might want to know what the word ‘santoku’ means. In Japan, it means ‘3 uses’ or ‘3 virtues’. This means the thin blade of a santoku knife is best for chopping, dicing, and mincing. Such a blade is great for the precision cutting of meats and foods. You can beautifully carve and cut food to make it look aesthetically pleasing.
Apart from the three basic uses, a santoku blade can also be used to slice cheese, chopping nuts, slicing fruits, mincing herbs, fine slices of seafood, veggies, etc. The blade is thin and short as compared to a chef’s knife which makes cutting and carving of ingredients easy.
But for a smooth preparation experience, you will need the best santoku knife. And with so many options available today, it becomes hard to decide the best one. Not to mention, but the increasing popularity of the knife has raised many fake blade producers.
Best Santoku Knives
You don’t have to go through the hassle at all as we’ve picked some of the best Japanese Santoku knives on the market.
1) Misono UX10 Santoku 7.0″ (18cm) – Right
If this is your first time buying a specific blade then go for the Minsono 7-inch santoku knife. Its exceptional sharpness is perfect for residential use. With its 70:30 asymmetric bevel, the blade is suitable for right-handers. But many left-handed people have also used this blade and finds it perfectly comfortable. The thin cutting edge gives good balance as well as approaches the sharpness of a traditional Japanese single-edged design. You can easily slice chicken, fish, fruits, and vegetables.
The lightweight blade makes it easy for you to carve food. Besides, nickel silver bolster in between blade and handle provides proper balance while cutting dense foods. And lastly, comes the composite wood handle that provides a great grip as well as blends perfectly with the stainless steel blade. It is better to handwash the unit rather than popping it into the dishwasher due to the composite wooden handle. Also, immediate drying would help preserve the texture and shine of the metal blade for a long.
2) Mercer Culinary Millennia Granton Edge Santoku Knife
Afraid of investing a hefty amount of high-end models then start with Mercer Culinary Millennia 7-inch santoku knife with Granton edge. The budget-friendly price tag of Mercer Culinary makes it ideal for beginners. But do not let the low price of the product make you think of poor quality as it is definitely not. Made from the highest quality Japanese steel, the blade provides professional results at home. You can cut, slice, and carve effortlessly using the razor-sharp blade.
The handle is ergonomic and extremely comfortable to use. However, it does not feel expensive but the rubbery grip makes it convenient for you to hold the sharp blade. Plus, it is advised never to put a sharp blade in the dishwasher. Intense heat and strong detergents damage the exterior as well as dulls the blade. On the positive side, it will take a minute to handwash and dry the unit properly with a soft hand towel. Easy to maintain and store, the unit is a good investment.
3) ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Pro 7 Hollow Edge Rocking Santoku Knife
Henckels is a popular name in the knife industry and if you swear by the brand then Zwilling J.A. Henckels 7-inch hollow edge santoku knife is perfect. Its unique blade shape and ergonomic bolster help you cut, chop, slice, and dice ingredients smoothly in one go. Instead of straight, the bolster of the Zwilling hollow edge Japanese santoku knife is curved. This curved design of bolster improves precision, safety, and comfort. The bolster does not add up much weight even though it aids in smooth food preparation.
Every blade no matter how sharp, losses its dullness after certain uses. But thanks to the full-length 7-inch blade of Zwilling pro that is easy to sharpen from bolster to tip. Honing the blade after a few uses will prolong the sharpening time as well as keep the blade in shape and razor-sharp for long. In addition to a sharp edge, the balanced bevel design adds flexibility while chopping and slicing ingredients for pro results at home.
4) Findking-Dynasty 7-inch Santoku Knife
Experience pro food chopping at home with Findking-Dynasty 7-inch santoku knife. This beautiful tool with an HRC of 60+/-2 is ideal for everyday kitchen work. The angeled edge helps you cut the rocking western style while the straight edge cuts food the Asian way. In short, you can use the 7-inch blade for a variety of prep tasks like chopping, cutting, mincing, dicing, etc. Besides, the clad dimple design allows for easy food release while thin-slicing onions, cheese, ginger, etc.
While many budget santoku knives feature a composite or rubberized handle, the Findking-Dynasty comprises of solid hardwood handle. Crafted from African rosewood, the hexagon shape handle provides a great grip and enhances the beauty of the unit. Besides, the double bevel santoku knife is ideal for both right and left-handers. The absence of bolster and preserve of double bevel edge makes the unit ideal for both residential and professional purposes. The balance point runs heel to spine up the billet allowing you to do more precision cuts.
5) Cuisinart C77TR-7SAN Triple Rivet Collection 7″ Santoku Knife
A heavyweight knife will cause wrist strain if you’re preparing dinner for a crowd even if the blade is sharp. And if you love to cook meals for your family at home then Cuisinart’s triple-rivet santoku knife is just perfect. The classic forged knife made from superior high-carbon stainless steel material is ideal for beginners and home cooks. It is a quality product under a budget-friendly price tag. Low price and high-quality make Cuisinart kitchen knife a perfect housewarming gift.
In addition to forged construction, Cuisinart features an extra-wide safety bolster. The bolster provides a safe space to keep your index finger as well as adds stability while cutting dense foods like meat, special fishes, etc. Triple rivets on the ergonomically designed handle secure the full-tang blade. Tight rivets ensure the blade stays in place and the handle does not wobble while cutting, chopping, slicing, or dicing ingredients.
6) J.A. Henckels International Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
Sticking food to the blade is common if you’re cutting juicy ingredients like tomatoes, mushrooms, cheese, etc. So J.A Henckels International offers classic hollow edge blades with small indentations, or say grantons, that prevent food from sticking while cutting. These grantons are beneficial for the precise cutting of cheese, mushrooms, etc that are soft by nature and tend to break easily on little pressure. While grantons prevent the sticking of food, the fine edge razor-sharp blade helps to cut various ingredients in one go.
Made from high-quality German stainless steel, J.A. Henckels International 7″ hollow edge knife is extremely durable. Plus, you can easily maintain the shine and sharpness of the edge by simple care. Instead of throwing the unit in the dishwasher, prefer handwashing. Clean the blade carefully with a mild cleanser and dry immediately for long-lasting sharpness. But if you’re too tired to handwash the unit then it is okay to pop in the classic santoku knife in the dishwasher.
What is the difference between a Santoku and a chef knife?
Though they look very similar, there are differences between a santoku and a chef knife. You can easily pick the right knife if you’ve already used a kitchen knife set. But not to worry even if you haven’t used one as the below differences will help you identify the knives easily.
- Thick blade design that supports western-style cutting, i.e, rocking motion
- Usually has a bolster that adds weight to the blade for effortless cutting of dense foods like meat
- Bolster adds weight which can be heavy for some people to hold
- Double bevel design suitable for both left and right-handers
- Good for all-round kitchen food preparation
- Easy to sharpen manually or by using an electric knife sharpener
- 8-inch standard size which can go up to 10-12 inches
- Originated in Western parts; France and Germany
- A comparatively thin blade that is ideal for fine cutting
- The name santoku itself stands for ‘3 uses’, that are chopping, dicing, and mincing
- Best for creating fine slices of veggies/fruits/seafood
- The lightweight blade is easy to maneuver
- Usually single beveled but nowadays you can also find santoku in a double beveled design
- Bolster present in a few models to assist western kitchen cutting
- Best way to sharpen a santoku knife is by using a whetstone
- 7-inch standard size
- Originated in Japan
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The Bottom Line
The thin edge of santoku knives makes them perfect for mincing, chopping, and slicing a variety of ingredients. Narrow, straight-cutting edges are extremely helpful while chopping fine ingredients like garlic and soft ingredients like cheese. And thanks to the short-length blade that makes carving foods easy.
The short blade and handle length are also great for people with short hands who find it uncomfortable holding a regular chef’s knife. The right size santoku knife is easy to grip on and use for different preparation tasks other than three basic santoku skills, i.e, chopping, dicing, and mincing. So get your best santoku knife today and explore new comfortable ways of food preparation.