Modern knife sets tend to define different knives for different tasks. But you don’t always need to pay big bucks for large numbered sets.
Santoku knife is more like an all-purpose knife to get the job done. These quality knives are often superior to other knives like chef knives. That’s why it’s so popular that you’ll easily find many options.
Choosing the right knife may seem difficult, considering every aspect. But we unlocked the best santoku knife with relevant details right here.
Why Is It Called a Santoku Knife?
Santoku is a Japanese word, translating to ‘three virtues’ or ‘three uses’ in English. Its three uses specifically refer to the three basic chopping tasks – slicing, dicing, and mincing.
But some argue the three virtues indicate three basic food variations – meat, fish, and veggies. In total, Santoku refers to versatility and convenience. These knives are also super sharp and durable.
Santoku knives originated in Japan during the 1940s. It perfectly resembles a chef’s knife in a smaller measurement. The chef’s knife is a tall blade of 8″ to 10″, but a santoku knife is between 5″ – 7″.
These knives feature a plain edge with a handle aligned with the top edge. Instead of having a sharp point tip like western knives, the end includes a rounded curve. It’s called a sheepsfoot.
What Is a Santoku Knife Used for?
As mentioned, a Santoku knife can handle slicing, dicing, and mincing herbs, meats, veggies, and fish. Its flat blade barely rocks on the cutting surfaces compared to the chef’s knife’s action.
That’s why Santoku delivers more precision, maneuverability, and control over food preparation. Santoku knives effectively replace the three single-purpose Japanese knives – Gyuto, Nakiri, and Deba.
They used to handle meat, vegetables, and fish, respectively. Many home cooks see Santoku blades combining western style chef’s knives and Japanese Nakiri knives.
Why Are There Holes in a Santoku Knife?
You can visibly detect some holes arranged in a parallel pattern on the Santoku blade surface. Many keep wondering about the purpose of these holes or dimples.
They serve no actual purpose. However, these dimples reduce the resisting friction of food items. Therefore, comfortable slicing meat, fish, or veggies is guaranteed.
Air trapped in these holes can further help prevent the food from sticking to the knives. So, the chances of getting messed up become lower while making precision cuts.
What to Look for in a Santoku Knife?
Spending your valuable time choosing a reasonable Santoku knife may seem awkward. But you ought to know the influencing factors to make it worthwhile. And our experts have outlined a guide to let you understand the quintessential criteria.
Knife Length: You should understand that a Santoku is like a smaller version of a chef’s knife. But you must focus on the blade’s length to avoid accidents, fatigue, or discomfort.
Americans mostly choose 7-inch Santoku knives. But 6.5″ sized ones are also quite popular. Smaller ones are also available. That’s when you must consider wrist sizes.
Blade Material: As a Japanese style knife, almost all top-notch knives feature Japanese steel. Several knives have German or German-Japanese steel for construction.
However, original Japanese steel knives are rare to find. You can still find them in the market for the right price. The majority of knives are either Chinese, American, or German.
Blade Edging: The edges make all the cuts. Hence, special attention is necessary to get the knife edge. Nearly all Santoku knives come with their signature plain or straight edge feature.
Only a few can have slight exceptions, like a hollow and a taper ground edge. The angle should hold 15 to 18 degrees per side of the edge. Knives with laser-treated edges are preferred.
Overall Sharpness: Sharpness is what matters the most for a cutlery piece. And Santoku knives are well-known for nearly unparalleled, extreme, and long-lasting sharpness on the cutting edge.
Therefore, you must carefully use top-quality ones to avoid accidental cuts. Proper maintenance will keep the edge usable for months. Only occasional sharpening will be necessary.
Handle Material: Don’t forget to check the handle material while focusing on the blade. A steady grip is a must to avoid any accidental slippage and cut injury in messy or wet conditions.
PP (polypropylene), TPE (thermoplastic polymer), pakkawood, and metal steel are the most common. Ensure the handle is large enough to suit your palm while pressing for cuts.
Handle Surface: A plain surface is never the choice regarding the knife handle material. The surface finish has to contain textures and subsequent finger-point guards for further protection.
PP or TPE handles feature almost visible textures for a steady grip. But pakkawood and steel handles require careful observation. You don’t want to bear the pain of a serious cut.
NSF Certification: Using a Santoku knife, you’ll cut your meals into pieces. But it will mean nothing if the knife is unsanitary or poses potentially serious health hazards.
NSF certification eliminates the chances of this hidden, concerning, and missed-out issue. National Sanitary Foundation-certified Santoku blades are readily available among the best Santoku knives.
Maintenance: Automatic dishwashers generate excess heat and detergent to damage or stain the steel. Instead of a dishwasher, you can use warm soapy water to clean the knives.
However, only a few can undergo dishwasher cleaning. Still, you should stick to soap water. Avoid keeping the knife blade dirty or soaked in water for a long time after use.
Best Santoku Knife: Comparison Chart
|1. Mercer Culinary Millennia Santoku Knife||Blade Material: High Carbon Steel
Handle Material: Santoprene, Santoprene
|2. Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife||Blade Material: Carbon
|3.Babish German Steel Santoku Knife||Blade Material: High Carbon Steel
Color: High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Steel,Stainless-steel
|4. Imarku Ultra-Sharp Kitchen Santoku Knife||Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Stainless, Stainless Steel, Steel
|5. KAI Group Magoroku Santoku Knife||Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Stainless Steel
Item Weight: 0.29 Pounds
|6. TUO Japanese Steel Santoku Knife||Blade Material: Stainless Steel
Color: BLACK HAWK S
Handle Material: Stainless Steel,High-carbon, Fiberglass,Steel
|7. Shun Cutlery Sora Santoku Knife||Blade Material: High Carbon Stainless Steel
Handle Material: Stainless Steel,Steel, Wood
Blade Length: 8 Inches
|8. Cutluxe German Steel Santoku Knife||Blade Material: German 4116 Steel
Handle Material: Alloy Steel
|9. ZWILLING Pro Rocking Santoku Knife||Blade material: Alloy Steel
Handle material: Alloy Steel, Plastic
|10. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife||Blade material: Stainless Steel
Handle material: Stainless Steel
Top 10 Best Santoku Knives Reviews
Knowing all the essential facts will help you ensure the quality. Still, you’ll have to deal with too many options in the market. As it’s a very popular cutlery, many top santoku knife choices exist. And we picked the absolute best Santoku knife to save the search.
1. Mercer Culinary Millennia Santoku Knife
- High-carbon Japanese steel.
- Well-textured finger points.
- Greenish Santoprene handle.
- Stamped blade construction.
- Good sharpness on edges.
- Excellent edge retention.
- Nearly for all cutting tasks.
- Non-slip, comfortable grip.
- Satisfying maneuverability.
- Simple to clean and care.
- Blade seems narrow.
- No protective sheath.
Enjoy innovative features with unparalleled performance with the millennial knife from Mercer Culinary. Its long-lasting sharpness through easy edge maintenance can meet professional and home cooks.
The 7-inch Santoku knife has premium Japanese steel with high carbon content. The one-piece steel comes with an ergonomic handle having textured finger points. Your non-slip, comfy, steady, and secure grip allows nearly all chopping, mincing, and cutting jobs.
Dice the onions, mince the shallots, chop the herbs, crush the garlic, and shred the cabbages easily. Meanwhile, cleaning the blade using warm soapy water holds the edge in good condition for months.
2. Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife
- Blade Material: German 4116 steel
- Blade Edge: Hollow
- Blade Length: 12 Inches
- Handle Material: Pakkawood handle and Alloy Steel
- Construction Type: Forged
- Total Length: 17 inches
- Product Dimensions: 17 x 1.37 x 1 inches
- Weight: 0.6 pounds (9.6 ounces)
- Rockwell Hardness: 56+
- Warranty: Lifetime against material or workmanship defects
- Excellent blade durability.
- Perfect piercing of foods.
- Ergonomic handle design.
- Well-balanced versatility.
- Extended edge sharpness.
- Blade may feel heavy.
- Slight sticking problem.
Set the standard for kitchen knives with the Mercer Culinary genesis forged Santoku knife. The high quality blade meets with superior design and further efficiency in handling cutlery assignments.
The 7″ knife features precisely forged German stainless steel with high carbon contents. A taper-grounded edge confirms optimum sharpness with longer retention. The sharp tines can pierce through any food item. Also, you can slice and dice chicken, ham, and turkey meats.
Use the Santoprene handle of the finest quality to enjoy a non-slip grip, even in messy or wet conditions. Likewise, keep up with the fresh and usable condition by handwashing these knives in warm soapy water.
3. Babish German Steel Santoku Knife
- Hollow, slender, Granton edge.
- Carbon-rich steel construction.
- Oval-shaped German steel grip.
- Tempered, grounded, polished.
- Fully tang and textured handle.
- Maximum blade sharpness.
- Ideal cutting of all food items.
- Well-balanced construction.
- Comfy, steady, non-slip grip.
- Simple to handle and move.
- Foods sticking to blade.
- Handle may feel flimsy.
Slicing through tougher foods with the right amount of rocks becomes easy with the thinner blade. Babish’s 6.5-inch Santoku knife of high carbon stainless steel is ready to handle all your cutlery tasks immediately.
Single-piece German metal steel builds the entire knife through top forging construction. Its straight, slender, and sharp edge can go through everyday vegetables and meats effortlessly. However, the hollow edges impart efficiency in making precise slices on the cutting board.
The full-tang steel handle enables steady, comfortable, and non-slip grip for superior maneuverability. Easy maintenance involves cleaning in warm soapy water without heat or a dishwasher.
4. Imarku Ultra-Sharp Kitchen Santoku Knife
- Lightweight Pakkawood handle.
- High carbon German stainless steel.
- Scalloped hollow blade edge.
- Hand-polished edge of 15° – 18°.
- Precisely sharp at 2.5mm thickness.
- Resistance to kitchen rigors.
- No sticking to the steel blade.
- Securely comfortable grip.
- Restaurant and home use.
- Stable and sanitary handle.
- Slightly improper balance.
- Minimal sticking to blade.
Let your santoku knife excel by doing the kitchen tasks of home cooks and restaurant chefs. imarku’s exclusive santoku blade alleviates all concerns regarding everyday slicing, dicing, mincing, and cutting.
Its German high-carbon stainless steel resists corrosion, rust, and discoloration. Superb finishing polish lets the blade retain its razor sharp edge in messy and wet sessions. Its 2.5mm thickness makes the hollow edge Santoku knife superior to chef’s knives.
The ergonomic pakkawood handle will reduce wrist tension to secure a comfy and maneuverable grip. And its especially smooth surface texture will let you pierce anything perfectly against any wrist size/shape.
5. KAI Group Magoroku Santoku Knife
- Japanese metallic steel build.
- Continued blade-to-grip design.
- Plain blade edge for sharpness.
- Streamlined texture on handle.
- Dishwasher safe for cleanups.
- Excellent blade durability.
- Sufficiently good handling.
- Non-slip and comfy grips.
- Minimized cut resistance.
- Notably easy to maintain.
- Blade becomes dull fast.
- Poor packaging problem.
Skip the traditional steel-pp or steel-wood combo for the homogeneously crafted santoku knife blade. KAI Group gets a blade like no other in design, quality, construction, and performance.
The 6.5-inch or 165mm Japanese knife features a high-carbon stainless steel blade. Its seamless design comes from a unique grinding process for smooth piercing. Reduced cutting resistance through the sharp edge will keep up precise cuts for nearly anything.
Meantime, the blade passes through the same steel-made handle’s inside for a steady balance. Notably, the streamlined handle surface will keep your fingers and wrist secure while making tougher cuts.
6. TUO Japanese Steel Santoku Knife
- German high-carbon steel.
- Full-tang, triple-rivet design.
- 8-12 degrees edge per side.
- Forged 3D waving patterns.
- Hand-polished sharpness.
- Superior lasting property.
- Excellent cutting precision.
- Very versatile and flexible.
- Standard watery cleaning.
- Minimal sticking of foods.
- Handle seems smaller.
- Slightly heavy for style.
Enjoy the combo of elegantly modern and purposefully functional design from the Black Hawk S series. TUO guarantees superb flexibility with satisfying versatility for cutlery tasks with these forged knives.
It’s a high carbon blade of German 1.4116 stainless steel Santoku knife. The 3D water flow pattern is unlike many Santoku knives. Its sleek finish uses the traditional Honbazuke method for manual edge sharpening. So, precise blade contact will easily chop down veggies and meat.
A top-quality G10 handle imparts an ergonomic pinch grip, satisfactory heft, and comfy maneuverability. The full-tang structure has a triple riveted handle to initiate a balance between resilience and durability.
7. Shun Cutlery Sora Santoku Knife
- VG10 with 420J steel combo.
- Hollow ground indentations.
- Well-textured PP/TPE handle.
- Hand-sharped to 16 degrees.
- Two laser-cut blade sections.
- Protectively supportive cut.
- Exceptionally balanced grip.
- Attractive waving patterns.
- No corrosion, rust, or dullness.
- Sufficient maneuverability.
- Not rocking enough.
- Tip isn’t very flexible.
Sora refers to the sky in Japanese. And let Shun’s sora impart sky-high quality, performance, and satisfaction to your kitchen. A proprietary composite blade technology makes the knife a perfect cutlery for cutting.
The 7-inch metallic blade features a VG10 steel with some additional 420J steel. Its special San Mai edge construction uses the 420J on the blade’s upper side. Thus, its razor sharp blade retains the edge sharpness against rigorous, intense, and prolonged uses.
Hollow grounded indentations of the plain edge help reduce friction, letting it glide through easily. And a full-tang handle of textured PP/TPE polymer blend enables a secure, stable, and strong grip balance.
8. Cutluxe German Steel Santoku Knife
- High carbon German blade.
- Entirely hand-sharped edge.
- Triple-riveted knife handle.
- Laminated & polished wood.
- Perfect 14° – 16° edge sides.
- Durable steel construction.
- Excellent handling control.
- Long-lasting performance.
- Maximized edge retention.
- Sanitary and balanced grip.
- No protective sheath.
- Blade may feel heavy.
Remove multiple and confusing cutlery pieces for different chopping tasks with one perfect knife. Cutluxe’s versatile santoku knife can handle all cutting, slicing, dicing, and mincing jobs.
Its precisely forged high-carbon German metal is engineered to perfection, durability, and performance. And you won’t have to deal with any rust, corrosion, bend, or stain with the blade. The steel achieved a 56+ score on the Rockwell Hardness scale for its strength.
The luxury wooden handle of the pakkawood incorporates a secure, comfortable, and steady grip. The laminated and polished wood has a three-rivet construction to maximize cutting accuracy.
9. ZWILLING Pro Rocking Santoku Knife
- Forged stainless steel blade.
- Full-tang, triple-riveted grip.
- Laser-patched edge retention.
- Supportive curve on bolster.
- Well-textured POM handle.
- Highly resistant to stain/rust.
- No sticking of food to blade.
- Durable and resilient handle.
- Long-lasting edge sharpness.
- Ideal cut angle for precision.
- Excessively thin blade.
- Unfitting to knife blocks.
Let ZWILLING Pro can replace the knife performed poorly in kitchens using other cheap knives. Its long line of products also has a perfectly crafted 7″ santoku knife from 280 years of experience in the market.
Precise forging of a single special steel unit makes the high-carbon steel blade. Meanwhile, ice-hardened surface treatment keeps the edge sharp for an extended period. Its perfectly honed blade with laser-treated edge delivers an ideal cutting angle for everyday items.
A bolster on the curved blade enables improvised angles for cuts, encouraging precision and smoothness. And a POM handle incorporates superb wrist resilience, promoting comfort, safety, and control.
10. Victorinox Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife
- Plain or flat-edged cutting.
- Standard polymer handle.
- Stainless steel Santoku knife.
- Inclusion of Granton edge.
- Full stamped construction.
- Comfortable handling.
- Simple maneuverability.
- Easy to clean the blade.
- Reduced wrist fatigue.
- Further cutting support.
- Not dishwasher safe.
- Slightly thin handle.
Slicing, mincing, or dicing – let the military-grade santoku knife handle all your kitchen chopping tasks. The multipurpose knife is a trusted favorite from the well-reputed Fibrox Pro series of Victorinox.
Its steel composition combines the features of a chef knife and a cleaver knife. The 7″ knife has a granton edge to prevent food from sticking to the blade. Also, the flat cutting edge tends to lower friction, allowing the blade to pierce through foods.
A branded handle of polymer with surface texture gives you total control, ergonomics, and safety. Its perfectly weighted balance between the grip and blade enables more stability, precision, and strength.
How Do I Sharpen My Santoku Knife?
A standard cutlery piece requires sharpening after every 1-2 months of regular use. The timespan can extend or shorten depending on the severity of your application.
Since we’re talking about a super sharp Santoku knife right out of the box, the interval is different. You can keep it functional by resharpening it only once or twice a year.
Proper sharpening is necessary for edge retention as well as avoiding damage. Only whetstone is suitable for restoring the sharpness of the Santoku knife, not honing steel.
# You can choose any usable whetstone for the task. But better keep the grit between 600 and 1000 for the stone. 600 grit is the perfect one for the Santoku knife’s exceptional sharpness.
# Keep the pointed tip faced forward by holding the knife with your dominant hand. Maintain a stiff position for the rest of your hand and forearm. It’ll help avoid sudden discourse.
# Move the blade back and forth against the whetstone. Never move in up and down or circular motion. Use a rocking motion to sharpen the blade by keeping it flat on the whetstone.
# Too dull or excessively damaged knives will require honing steel first. Run short strokes in back and forth or circular motion at 45° up to 60° angle against the stainless steel.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
It's more like an all-purpose knife to cut down meats, fish, and veggies to sizes. You can easily mince shallots, dice onions, crush garlic, chop herbs, and shred cabbages.
The straight-edged blade is considerably good for cutting meat without hard pressing or sawing. And the heavy-duty heel can take care of thicker slabs of meat and even softer bones.
No, Santoku is different from comparatively expensive Sushi knives. It specifically has a single beveled finish. Still, you can use Santoku for preparing sashimi and sushi.
Standard Santoku blades can measure anywhere from 5 to 7 inches. However, knives within 6.5 to 7.0 inches are the most popular in western countries.
A chef's knife is a perfect all-rounder to handle veggies, meat, and fish. But a Santoku blade suits dishes with veggies, fruits, and softer meat better than most chef's knives.
You can surely spare all the single-purpose knives for kitchen tasks with the best santoku knife. But it’ll take time based on the essential criteria and enormous market options.
However, set your demands to find the best Santoku knives from our list. Our reviews with further details should enlighten you about choosing a great knife for your budget.
In our opinion, the Mercer Culinary genesis forged Santoku knife is the most balanced, performing, and steady option. You may adjust the budget range to try out other ones.