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How to choose the best Santoku Knife?

One of the most contentious debates among knife connoisseurs is over what is the best santoku knife. Because of the newfound trendiness of santoku knives in the marketplace, premium cutlery companies have invested premium resources into creating the best version of the knife that they possibly can.

While not many people are aware of what a santoku knife actually is, they are considered by many to be the most effective and most universal tool that a chef can wield in the kitchen.

What is a Santoku Knife?

Santoku Knife
Santoku Knife

In order to make a conclusion about what the best santoku knife is, it is important to answer the question, “Just what is a santoku knife?” While the name might sound foreign to many non-chefs, the design of a santoku knife is almost recognizable to anybody who has ever worked in a kitchen or watched a cooking show on television.

The santoku knife is a general purpose style of knife that originated in Japan. Unlike other types of knives, it can be used effectively for several different purposes around the kitchen. Santoku knives are similar to chef’s knives, with the most noticeable exception being it’s universally recognizable granton edge.

Santoku knives earned their name (which means “three virtues” or “three uses” in Japanese) from the fact that they are incredibly well designed for chopping, dicing, and mincing. The santoku knife’s multi-purpose design has given it the reputation of being the Swiss Army Knife of the kitchen.

Santoku knife use has increased in America over the past several decades. As the global economy continues to grow, chefs and consumers alike have become inundated with foreign products like santoku knives. Since it is such a high-quality and durable product, santoku knife use ballooned when people started to realize the many benefits that it can provide.

While the blade of a santoku knife is technically a straight edge, the small indentations above the edge of Western-style santoku knives set them apart from other straight edged knives. These indentations allow for the knife to cut through delicate meats and vegetables without any shredding. This uniquely styled blade is referred to as a granton edge.

List of Best Santoku Knife

Thumbnail Name Brand Rating Buy
Mac Knife Damascus Santoku Knife, 7-Inch Mac Knife Damascus Santoku Knife, 7-Inch Mac Knife 4 Buy
Mac Knife Japanese Ho Series Fish Slicer, 12-Inch Mac Knife Japanese Ho Series Fish Slicer, 12-Inch Mac Knife 5 Buy
Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, 1-Count Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, 1-Count Yaxell 5 Buy
Shun TDM0743 Premier 7-Inch Sumo Santoku Shun TDM0743 Premier 7-Inch Sumo Santoku Shun 5 Buy
Shun Reserve ND0718 Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife, 7-Inch Shun Reserve ND0718 Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife, 7-Inch Shun 5 Buy
Friedr. Dick 1893 Damascus Steel 7-Inch Santoku Knife Friedr. Dick 1893 Damascus Steel 7-Inch Santoku Knife Friedr Dick 5 Buy
DE BUYER Fibre Karbon 1 Chef's Santoku Knife, 7.5-Inch DE BUYER Fibre Karbon 1 Chef's Santoku Knife, 7.5-Inch De Buyer 5 Buy
Yaxell Super Gou Santoku Knife, 6-1/2-Inch Yaxell Super Gou Santoku Knife, 6-1/2-Inch Yaxell 5 Buy

Santoku knives traditionally have a blade of anywhere between 5 and 7 inches. They have a flat edge as well as a sheepsfoot blade, which curves at an angle of up to 60 degrees at the point. This unique design draws the knife’s spine down to a pointed tip at the front. This allows for the blade of the knife to remain relatively linear.

The santoku knife is shorter, thinner, lighter, and harder than its Western counterpart: the chef’s knife. Manufacturers of Santoku knives must ensure that the blade is made of harder materials because a thinner blade is more likely to break and chip. While chef’s knives are less likely to chip, they also have more material to exert pressure on whatever is being cut (thick meat, bones, herb stock, etc.)

Due to their ability to perform multiple tasks around the kitchen, santoku knives have become very popular with chefs and knife connoisseurs. Like the traditional Western chef’s knives, they are an integral part of the cooking experience.


What is the Best Santoku Knife?

There has been much debate over what the best santoku knife on the market is. Some consumers may tend to value specific qualities over others. For example, many people believe that sharpness is the most important characteristic of a knife. Still others might argue that the balance of the knife is the most important aspect of a quality santoku knife.

Wusthof Classic Hollow-Ground Santoku


The Wusthof Classic Hollow-Ground features an obscenely sharp 7-inch blade that has been precisely crafted with computer aided manufacturing. A laser measures the blades before sharpening. Computer programs then calculate the precise angle for sharpening the blade to maximum sharpness. At that point, the knives are sharpened using a whetstone guided by precision robots.

Wusthof knives are also known for their unique design. Instead of manufacturing several different pieces into one knife, each knife is crafted from a single piece of high-carbon, no-stain steel. This fluid design keeps the blade from snapping off of the handle in situations where high amounts of cutting pressure are required.

One drawback of this knife is that the edge tends to let vegetables stick to it when it is used for chopping. While this is not a major flaw, it is certainly annoying since its granton edge is supposed to prevent these kinds of issues.



Shun Premier 7-inch Santoku Knife

Shun is often considered as one of the world’s finest santoku manufacturers because of its Japanese heritage and the consistent quality of its knives. The Shun Premier 7-inch is to santoku knives what the BMW 7-series is to luxury automobiles. It is the top-of-the-line model from a manufacturer that is universally recognized as one of the industry’s best.

The reason why many believe this is the best santoku knife is because it is well built and it performs wonderfully. The blade is crafted from Damascus steel, a metal that is both incredibly sharp and incredibly hard. It’s wooden handle also makes it a beautiful knife to look at. The only drawback that the Shun Premier faces is that it is very expensive. It sells for an average of around $200 per knife. At this price point, anything less than perfection can cause a bad case of buyer’s remorse.



Victorinox Fibrox 7-inch Granton Edge Santoku Knife

The main strength of the Victorixnox Fibrox santoku knife is its value. It sells for less than $50, but performs like a knife that should cost at least three times as much. This knife showcases another reason why santoku knife use has taken off: it is easy to use. While it may not have any of the bells and whistles of the boutique santoku knives, it is incredibly sharp, light, and well balanced. The main drawback with this knife is that it dulls quickly. While it provides an incredible value, there is a reason why it is so affordable. However, this is a problem that can be easily solved by investing in a good sharpening tool.


While santoku knife use has become incredibly popular, each knife is unique unto itself. Some knives are sharp and affordable, while others are well-balanced and durable. Whether you are looking for a cheap santoku knife that will work well, or a lifetime santoku knife that might cost a lot more, there is a best santoku knife for every person.

What santoku knife would you recommend? Let us know in the comments below!

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