Anyone who cooks will understand the importance of a high-quality knife in your kitchen. It is one of the most important cutleries that you can have in your possession and we all know how frustrating it can be to work with a blunt and dull knife.
Even though the traditional chef knives have been serving our purpose till now but Santoku knives have gained huge popularity in recent times especially to the Asian cooks. The multi-purpose Santoku knife is able to mince, dice, chop almost all sorts of food that you can think of starting from meat to herbs, it has got your back. However, since a lot of people are not acquainted with this new kind of knife and the market is always bombarding with a thousand options to go for, we have come up with our article where we will give you an insight into some of the best Santoku knives.
So, what are you waiting for? Let us dive right in, chop-chop!
After a tough competition, our best pick position was grabbed by none other than Wusthof 4183 Santoku Knife, and to be honest it was well deserved as it can fulfill all the criteria that you seek from an ideal Santoku knife. Starting from featuring a classic blade design with air pockets to coming with a precision edge technology, this has it all it takes. Plus, it is super-duper durable. With a bolstered handle that is made up of synthetic material that prevents discoloration and being rust and corrosion proof, this is our absolute favorite.
Mercer Culinary Santoku Knife is the product that offers way more compared to the amount of money you spend for it so no doubt this is the winner of our budget pick. With raw materials that are sourced from Germany, this santoku knife acts as a safeguard against rust, corrosion, and discoloration making it fit for extended use. The ergonomic handle and its super stability make chopping and slicing effortless. Moreover, the product is backed by a lifetime warranty which means you can purchase this without any sort of after-sale worries.
Quick Comparison: Top 12 Best Santoku Knife
1. Wusthof 4183 Santoku Knife
As the very first product, we have chosen the santoku knife from the German brand called the Wusthof which is built from high carbon stainless steel with full-tang and is forged with precision.
Classic blade design…
This classic hollow design of this product features a thinner blade compared to other traditional knives offered by the market. The thin blade comes with gradual curves up only at the end and provides a straighter edge. The blade is also placed at a 10 cutting edge.
The durability of this one is amazing! This is because, in addition to featuring a precision edge technology (PEtec) which gives 20% more sharpness to the blade, it also is two times more durable than the others. Moreover, the knife is tempered to 58 degrees Rockwell.
In addition to that, the knife features a hollow edge which is made by uniformly spaced alternating vertical hollows. These are able to form small air pockets between the blade and the food that you are going to cut. This facilitates cutting as the air pockets act like friction-reducing agents by assisting to gently push food off the blade in turn making the cutting process effortless. As the air pockets decrease the friction and drag, cutting starchy vegetables like potatoes also becomes as easy as a,b,c as it will not stick to the blade. This also opens up a wider range of food that can be cut using this.
The handle of the knife is made up of premium quality and long-lasting synthetic material called Polyoxymethylene (POM). The advantage of using this raw material is that it has a closely packed molecular structure that protects against fading off or any sort of discoloration. Not only that, this gives the knife a traditional touch.
What we liked: We loved how the knife features a finger guard which gives the knife a good balance in our hand. Moreover, it is rust and corrosion-proof which further increases its lifespan.What we didn’t like: So far we could not find any downsides of this product that is worth mentioning but it would be better if it was dishwasher safe.
2. Mercer Culinary Santoku Knife
Next up is the product from Mercer Culinary which comes with an NSF certification which makes it a good choice for both professionals as well as home cooks.
What’s the benefit of NSF certification?
This assures you that the product is of food-grade quality, i.e. it does not pose any health risks. Additionally, it certifies its claim of longevity and good quality.
Not only that…
The blade of the knife is made up of high carbon steel which is sourced from Soligen, Germany. The x50 Cr Mo V15 steel is stain resistant and protects against rust, corrosion, and discoloration.
The handle is made up of high-performance thermoplastic elastomer, Santoprene, which does not only ensure comfort but allows you a safe grasp so that it does not slide off while you are working with it. It also features a full-length full tang that gives the perfect balance and protects you from accidents that can be caused while working with sharp objects.
The chopping, cutting, and mincing are further facilitated by the tapered group edges which ensure 100% stability and sharpness.
What we liked: We loved how the product is backed by a limited lifetime warranty which means that you are not required to look for replacements any time soon.What we didn’t like: The downside of this product to us is that we have to hand wash the knife. However, this is true for washing any sharp object to retain its sharpness.
3. Kyocera Santoku Knife
This product from Kyocera is one of the smallest in size, featuring a length of 5.5 inches, among all the others in our review article, and is targeted at people who prefer working with smaller knives for intricate details.
Even though it has a compact size, it is as effective in cutting, dicing, and mincing as any regular ones. Because it is made from ceramic, it is an ideal knife for your home kitchen.
The ceramic blades are constructed from Z206 zirconia material that is sourced from Japan. The unique blade is not only of good quality but is very eye-catching.
Light and breezy!
The feature we loved the most is the ease of use which is because of its lightweight. It is two times lighter than other conventional steel ones and as there is no extra weight added on the handle, there is no additional friction that acts on the knife which makes the process very effortless. Not only that, they are super easy to clean so that your hands do not become tired.
The blades are forged in such a way that it will not brown the food you are cutting as they are acid and rust-resistant. Furthermore, the ultra-sharp blades will retain their sharpness 10 times longer than others offered at the market and its beveled double-sided cutting edge is perfect for cutting fruits and vegetables in thin slices.
Additionally, if you want to flawlessly slice fruits, vegetables, and boneless meats, this knife should be your top choice.
It is advised to always use plastic or a wooden cutting board with this knife. Marble, stone, glass, or tiles should not be used as a base while cutting with this.
What we liked: This knife is dishwasher friendly! This means you do not have to go through the trouble of hand washing them. However, you are required to place the knife separately on your top rack so that it does not get damaged due to other metal utensils.What we didn’t like: Even though the knife is sturdy it is not fit for carving, boning, or cutting hard foods or frozen food. It will not work with hard cheese too as it requires twisting and the knife is not made up of flexible material.
4. MAD SHARK Santoku Knife
For the fourth entry in our article, we have chosen the professional’s choice of santoku knife which is from MAD SHARK which features a hollow edge design.
What’s special about the hollow design?
The oval-shaped indentations reduce suction by creating small air pockets which means your food will not cling to the blade. This will help in efficient and flawless slicing.
Its sturdy construction…
Being made from high-quality carbon stainless steel makes it wear-resistant. Not only that, but it is also rust, corrosion, and stain-resistant and all these features make this knife highly durable.
Rockwell Hardness Scale…
It comes with an HRC of 56-58 which gives the knife its strength so that it can be used for heavy duties.
The handle of the knife is forged with a military-grade high-quality polymer which is both durable and reliable for use in all sorts of kitchens. The blade of the knife is strongly supported by the rivets in the handle. The ergonomic handle because of its shape and tight grip gives a very good balance in your hand. It does not cause any sort of numbness or aches on your fingers and bolsters your hands.
The key feature of a perfect knife is its blade and the sharpness of it. This knife features an ultra-sharp edge design and is set up with German engineering that boasts its sharpness.
The German stainless steel blades are rust and corrosion-proof and do not discolor upon usage so it is ideal for use for several years without any worry.
What we liked: This kitchen accessory is accompanied by an amazing after-sales service for any kinds of complaints about ensuring 100% customer satisfaction. Moreover, it is dishwasher safe so it is easy to clean and you do not have to allocate separate time for washing it.
However, it is recommended that you hand wash it with a soapy cloth and dry it properly for retaining the sharpness of the blade.What we didn’t like: It does not really have a downside but it may require you to hone the knife using honing steel every 2-3 months so that it does not lose its sharpness.
5. Shun Premier Santoku Knife
Shun with its premier santoku knife is next up in our list which is especially targeted at the Asian chefs as it effectively provides a down-and-forward cutting motion and has a smaller length than regular chef’s knives.
The knife is made up of a VG-MAX super-steel and has 34 layers of stainless Damascus coating on either side of the blade. This premium layer is responsible for giving the knife a sophisticated look. The hammered ‘tsuchime’ finish gives it a mirror blade polish which is very attractive.
The ‘tsuchime’ finish does not only make it eye-catching but serves a special purpose and that is that it facilitates food release. The surface of the blade does not make the food that you are cutting to cling on to it rather decreases the friction between it for giving you a smooth cutting experience.
The knife features a walnut-colored Pakkawood handle that gives you a great grip and perfectly hugs your palms to give you enough precision and stability. The handle does not add extra weight to the knife and the light-weighted kitchen utensil does not only ensure your comfort but is safe to use as well.
What we liked: We loved the versatility of this one! Along with being able to perform the basic functions of a santoku knife, it is ideal for peeling, grilling out and also fits as a perfect gift for any occasion.What we didn’t like: The knife may end up with chipped edges while using it on hard food. Also, the knife is not dishwasher friendly which means you need to take extra care of it.
6. HENCKELS CLASSIC Santoku Knife
The sixth entry of product on our list is from the Spanish brand called HENCKELS that is crafted from premium-quality German stainless steel that gives the knife a sturdy build and offers durability.
Proper cutting techniques…
The blade is an essential part of the knife and with this one, you do not have to worry about the blades as comes with a professional, satin-finish blade that gives extra precision to your cut food.
The strong blade of the knife is secured by a full tang which is further secured by a traditional triple-rivet design. The handle is both comfortable and ensures your safety by not skidding away. The handle fits in your hand like gloves and does not fatigue your fingers.
The 7-inch blade has a razor-sharp fine-edge which does not require frequent honing as it already comes with a long-lasting sharpness. The sharpness of the knife makes it ideal for cutting meat and fish into small pieces which are needed for stir-fry dishes or fajitas.
The hollow indentations in the blade prevent the food from sticking to the blade and helps in efficient cutting. The overall shape of the knife facilitates appropriate cutting techniques which result in fine cuts.
What we liked: We loved the fact that the product is dishwasher-friendly which means you can wash this with your other kitchen utensils.What we didn’t like: Even though it claims that food will not stick to the blade, starchy vegetables like potatoes still cling on to it. Moreover, it also comes with a sharp backside which makes it difficult to use a pinch grip.
7. MOSFiATA Santoku Knife
If you are looking for kitchen cutlery that is ideal for cutting vegetables and fruits with precision then this santoku knife from MOSFiATA should be on your priority list.
The 8-inch knife is made from premium quality German stainless steel that is able to protect against rust and corrosion. It also acts as a safeguard against discoloration. Even though the blade is shiny but it does not have a glaring problem. However, the trappings of the blade are shinier than the rest of the blade.
The knife comes with a thickness measuring 2.5 mm. Additionally, it features a 14 16 degrees sharpening angle and the blade is hand polished which gives it extra durability and strength.
Fit for all kinds of needs…
The knife is not only ideal for home kitchens rather its heavy-duty use makes it a top choice for professionals. However, the steel is a bit softer than the standard professional chef knives.
The handle is crafted from solid Micarta which does not strain your fingers or wrist. The handle is a perfect fit for your hand and does not only ensure comfort but takes care of safety as well. The ergonomic design will not fatigue your hands even after using it for a long time. In addition to that, the blade of the knife is secured firmly by the handle through the help of a triple rivet design.
Since it comes in a pretty package, it can make an ideal gift for any occasion especially during the holidays. Moreover, as it comes with a knife sheath, you do not have to worry about it causing any accidents.
What we liked: We loved the extra goodies that are included with the knife. It comes with a finger guard that protects our fingers from cuts and a knife sharpener. Since the sharpener accompanies the knife, we do not have to buy or look for a sharpener or other knives when the sharpness decreases, rather can sharpen it and use it for a long time.
What we didn’t like: There were quite a few things that were an issue with this one.
The cuts cling to the blade of the knife which may cause difficulty while cutting. In addition to this, the shiny finish is prone to rust which may be a major problem. Lastly, like the former one, this one is tricky while using a pinch grip.
8. Tojiro DP Santoku
The next product in our review list is from Tojiro DP which has a variety of knives offering the market but we will be reviewing the Tojiro DP Santoku which comes with a dimension of 6.7 inches.
The feature that makes it unique and our favorite is that its blade comes with even edges which make it ideal for both left as well as right-handed people. So, you can purchase this without having a second thought regardless of which is your dominating hand.
The knife comes with a full tang 3-clad construction and has a core that is made up of VG-10 super-steel. The core is coated by two layers of highly reliable and rust-resistant stainless steel.
It has an HRC of 60 and the blade angle is within a range of 9 to 12 degrees.
Furthermore, the blade is secured by a Micarta handle that is attached by three stainless steel rivets which give the knife its strength and balance.
The knife further features stain resistance which means that it will always remain shiny and as good as new even after years of use.
What we liked: We love that the product is backed up by a lifetime warranty which further boosts its durability. Moreover, this is our favorite because of its versatility as it is fit for cutting meat, fish, vegetables, and fruits.What we didn’t like: This one is rather on the pricier end when compared to Tojiro’s other products or any other santoku knife in general.
9. Shun DM0702 Classic Santoku
We have yet another product from Shun on our list which is a classic one featuring multipurpose use with a dimension of 7-inch blade.
This Japanese knife is made from VG-MAX super steel which is coated with 16 microthin layers of stainless steel that gives it a look similar to that of a Damascus-style blade. The stainless steel is of premium quality and resists rust like a champion.
The hollow indentations in the blade act like air pockets which reduce any sort of friction between the food slices and the blade. The blade also comes with a razor-sharp edge and 16 degrees angle that ensures perfect sharpness.
The sharp blade of the knife is supported by a durable D-shaped PakkaWood handle that is not only comfortable but also takes care of safety as it is non-slip.
What we liked: We loved how the knife can be used even with wet hands due to its safe grip.What we didn’t like: The food gets glued to the knife and required force to remove it at times. Moreover, it is hard but fragile so unfit to be washed in a dishwasher.
10. Mac Knife Superior Santoku Knife
This product just like the previous is also made in Japan and has grabbed the tenth spot in our list with a blade of thickness 2mm.
The thin and razor-sharp blade of the knife is made up of very tough high-carbon sourced from Molybdenum Vanadium alloy. Not only strength, but the blade also provides resistance against rust and is able to retain the sharpness of the blade. The blade is sharpened on both sides for more convenient usage and does not bend or chip when used to cut hard food.
The blade is supported by a large PakkaWood handle that does not add any extra weight to the knife and fits perfectly in your hand with a comfortable grip.
The lightweight knife is ideal for mincing herbs and slicing starchy tough vegetables like potatoes very effortlessly. Moreover, it is highly recommended that you hand wash the knife and dry it properly for prolonged use.
The drag of the knife is reduced by the sand-blasted strip along the edges which creates small air pockets to facilitate it.
What we liked: With this one, you do not have to go through difficulty when it comes to sharpening it. Moreover, it comes with a limited lifetime warranty which means you can make a worry-free purchase.What we didn’t like: It is particularly specified that it is not dishwasher safe which means you need to allocate separate time to wash this cutlery as it cannot be washed with regular utensils. In addition to this, we found rust spots on either side of the knife. Not only that, the knife loses its sharpness very easily and requires regular honing.
11. Global G-48 Santoku Ground Knife
If you are looking for comfort then you should go with the G-48 Santoku knife from Global which is an all-purpose knife with a length of 7 inches.
The knife which is ideal for chopping, dicing, and slicing is constructed from high-tech molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel with a hollow-ground design. The hollows help the blade reduce drag so that the cuts do not stick to the blade.
Another feature that makes it our favorite is that it comes with a face-ground with a long taper which keeps the edges sharp for a longer time.
The feature that makes this different is its dimpled handle. The handle of this one is also made from stainless steel with a texture. The dimples help you with a very comfortable and strong grasp of the knife. This way it will not skid and serious accidents in the kitchen, ensuring your safety.
It is recommended that you sharpen the knife using a ceramic or a diamond steel sharpener or any derivative of these rather than a metal sharpener for extended use.
What we liked: We love that it comes with a lifetime warranty which gives us the manufacturer’s assurance for durability and we can claim for any issue rather than go for replacements.What we didn’t like: This product is not dishwasher-friendly which means it required extra attention. In addition to this, this knife is not fit for heavy-duty cutting.
12. PAUDIN Santoku Knife
For the last and final product, we have chosen the knife which has a very good name in the market in terms of its durability and reliability and comes with an ideal blade. The knife is none other than the one from PAUDIN.
The knife is fit for restaurant kitchens as well as home kitchens due to its ability to withstand extreme rough and tough conditions because of its robust structure. It can be used for all kinds of slicing, dicing, and mincing and is an all-rounder in its field.
The super-comfortable PakkaWood handle of the knife is a combination of comfort and safety. It gives a good balance in the hand and a super-tight grip of the handle prevents any slipping. The knife is lightweight yet feels good on the hand which makes it easy for us to move it the way we like.
Moreover, the handle is heat resistant which means it can be used near extreme conditions without any visible damage on it and is fit for use in any weather conditions.
Blades so sharp!
The razor-sharp blades are forged with high carbon stainless steel which gives protection against rust and corrosion. Due to its extreme sharpness, it is fit for cutting chicken, beef, vegetables, and fruits with perfection and efficiency without fatiguing your hands.
Additionally, the sharpness retention ability of the knife is commendable as it can go on for a long time without the need of sharpening it. This also makes the maintenance of this one super-easy.
Moreover, the blade also features a waved pattern which helps to reduce the friction and prevents the food from sticking to the blade.
What we liked: We love the after-sales policy of the product which includes a money-back option if we are not satisfied with the knife. In addition to this, it is also backed with a lifetime warranty if there are issues related to defects in the material or the work.What we didn’t like: So far we could not find any downsides to the product and it was able to satisfy all our needs.
Things to Consider Before Buying Best Santoku Knife
Meaning of the word “Santoku”
Santoku is a Japanese term that translates to “three virtues” and Santoku knives are called Santoku knives because they need to be able to perform three basic functions- chop, dice, and mince.
The traditional and ideal Santoku knives come with a chisel bevel design which basically features a tapered blade but only on one side. It also comes with dimples or hollows that facilitate quick food release so that they do not stick to the blade by acting like small air pockets which in turn reduces friction.
Santoku knives can be best described as Japanese Western-style knives.
Santoku Knife vs. Regular Chef’s knife
- Size: The standard size for Santoku knives varies between 5 to 7 inches but the standard for regular chef knives is between 8 to 10 inches.
- Blade: This is hands down one of the major differences between a santoku and a chef knife. The santoku knives feature a hollow design near their edges which facilitate quick food release. On the other hand, chef knives have a plain flat surface with no texture.
- Cutting-technique: Chef knives are mostly used in a chop-like motion whereas a santoku knife is most effective when used in a rocking motion.
- Weight: Santoku knives are way lighter than chef knives.
- Blade size: Santoku knives are made with thinner blades where regular chef knives feature broader blades.
Key Attributes to Look for in the Best Santoku Knife
What is a good knife without its sharpness? This has to be one of the key features that you should seek in the best santoku knife.
You would want to go for a knife that does not have slices sticking on its blade and the one that cuts effortless with precision. Cutting starchy vegetables can be difficult if you do not have the right kind of knife at your disposal. On the other hand, precision is of utter importance while dicing your vegetables.
Last but not least your knife should be able to mince herbs perfectly without crushing or mushing them.
The handle of the knife is yet another important feature of any knife actually. Your choice of santoku knife must feature a handle that ensures your comfort as well as takes care of your safety. It should offer a good grip so that it does skid away when applying pressure on it. The handle moreover needs to fit your palm and must have a good response to it as this ensures greater control of the knife.
Remember, a knife with a smaller handle will not give you a good grip and a handle that is longer in size will be difficult to control.
Balance of the knife is significant because upon this your ease of movement will be dependent. Balance, to be more precise, the weight of the knife should not be too heavy or too light. The handle should not add extra weight to the knife because in that way your hands will be fatigued pretty soon. On the other hand, too light ones will not feel good on your hand. So you should reach out for the ones which are lightweight but not TOO light.
The material and length of the blade that the knife features is another important factor. This is because there are a variety of options that the market offers you so it can be a tiresome process to choose the correct one that is durable and does not come with major downsides.
The materials used for the blades are mostly different forms of stainless steel, most of which prevents rust and corrosion.
On the contrary, the length of the blade will not depend on the size of the cook’s hand rather what type of food you are going to cut with the knife. The length is also based upon the size of the cutting area and the desire of the user.
Even though there are no definite standards for the length but is considered that a 7-inch blade is fit for a variety of foods and a 5 inch is appropriate for cutting smaller ingredients.
It has already been established that a blunt blade of a knife is of no use. Having said that, it is also wishful thinking if you expect your knife to retain its sharpness forever because it does not work that way. Yes, it comes with the right amount of sharpness when it is new but eventually, you would require sharpening it and the frequency of it will depend on your usage. Therefore, it is wise to go for the ones which offer easy sharpening methods. It is always encouraged to refer to the user’s manual properly to know which way is the most effective for honing the knife that you have decided to purchase.
6. Dishwasher safe or not
This point may be crucial for some users as some of you hate washing your utensils by hand or barely have enough time to do it. So, if you are from that group, you should go for the ones which are dishwasher-friendly.
However, it is always suggested regardless if it is dishwasher safe or not to handwash Santoku knives for prolonged sharpness retention.
Q. Does a Santoku knife require frequent honing?
Answer: It actually depends on how often you use it in your kitchen. If you are a regular user, then your knife will lose its sharpness faster. So it is totally relevant to your use.
Q. Can a Santoku knife be used for cutting meat?
Answer: Santoku Knives are usually and mostly used for chopping, slicing, and mincing and not particularly for boning. However, they can come in handy in cutting other foods in the kitchen as well and if their strength allows then it can be used for cutting meat.
Q. Is there any ideal size for a Santoku knife?
Answer: There is no standard size of a Santoku knife however they are usually made between a length of 5 inches to 7 inches.
Summing it up
Choosing the right cooking tool is important but you cannot imagine any kitchen regardless of a restaurant or the one at your home is impossible. A knife that features an ergonomic handle, a razor-blade sharpness that does not require frequent sharpening, and one that is long-lasting are the basic requirements from the best santoku knife. However, you may seek more features from your santoku knife and that is completely fine and this is where our article plays an important role in giving you a proper insight regarding this matter. We hope you find your choice of santoku knife that will be a smart addition to your kitchen.