The Best Santoku Knives (Review) in 2020
The Santoku knife is an all-purpose kitchen knife that originally hails from Japan. The knives are usually between 5 and 8 inches in length and are defined by their flat edges and sheeps-foot blade that arches at a 60-degree angle. Some models have a honeycombed edge and this creates a non-stick feature and others have a smoother edge. These knives can handle a myriad of foods including fish, meat, fruit, nuts, and vegetables and are the perfect tool for tasks such as dicing, slicing, mincing and chopping. They are ergonomically designed to ensure ultimate precision and user-ease and are truly a great tool for anyone who is passionate about food. In fact, they are the most popular style of knife in Japan and since it’s a center for culinary delight and innovation, we trust their judgment. Whether you’re a professional chef needing to chop bountiful ingredients on the daily, or an aspiring at-home kitchen whizz, adding one of these fabulous Santoku knives to your kitchen kit is a brilliant idea.
As always, our buying guide contains a wide-range of products that suit various style and budget needs. So let’s take a look at our best picks when it comes to Santoku knives for your kitchen.
7-inch Japanese AUS 10 steel Santoku knife
Elegant and Rust- and stain- resistant 67-layer high-carbon Damascus steel
9- to 12- degree razor-sharp edge with excellent retention
Comfortable and light rounded G10 handle with 3-metal mosaic rivets
7-inch Santoku knife made with premium high-carbon steel
Durable and comfortable polyoxymethylene handle with 3 metal rivets
Easy-release, ultra-sharp edge
Forward, curved partial bolster for better control
6.5-inch Santoku knife
High-carbon, Daido 1K6 stainless steel construction
Attractive bead-blasted blade with Japanese character embellishment
Sturdy polypropylene blend handle
The Best Santoku Knife
The first pick on our list is an amazing 7-inch model by Zelite Infinity. When it comes to top-quality and style, this brand are truly in the know. This fantastic pick has been made with superior quality Japanese steel and is thus highly durable and true to original form. It’s also a non-stick blade that will allow for precision cutting every single time. Its rust-resistant nature also means that it will last a long time and will become a kitchen staple. The specialized ergonomic handle ensures for maximum user-comfort and ease and the razor sharp edge will enhance cutting quality and style. Whether you’re cutting meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit this knife will certainly not disappoint.
Its unrivaled performance is noteworthy and this amazing model also comes with a 100 percent satisfaction or money back guarantee. If you’re not entirely happy, you’ll get your cash back! This item is a perfect pick for anyone who loves cooking and would also make an amazing present. It combines gorgeous style, ergonomic design, and high-quality materials and is thus a brilliant choice if you want to add a Japanese kitchen knife to your collection.
7 inches in length
Made with premium Japanese steel (Non-stick, anti-rust)
Ergonomic handle design for user-comfort and ease
100 percent satisfaction or money-back guarantee
Up next is a fabulous pick by Kai. This all-purpose Japanese kitchen knife will make meal times an absolute breeze and can perform a number of tasks including dicing, chopping, and slicing an array of ingredients from meat to vegetables. This knife boasts extreme durability and is made up of top-quality materials including cobalt, vanadium, and chromium. This model boasts strength, corrosion resistance, and sharpness and will certainly be a hit in any kitchen.
The ebony Pakkawood handle has been ergonomically designed for superior comfort and control. It has been specifically infused with resin to ensure that it’s water resistance and will thus last for a long time. This 7-inch Santoku knife combines incredible quality with a flawless design and is bound to impress chefs and guests alike. Users have commended this model for its remarkable sharpness, user-ease, and top-quality.
7 inch all-purpose Santoku knife
Ebony Pakkawood handle (water resistant)
Hollow-ground indentations for a smoother cut
Number 3 on our amazing list of Santoku knifes is a fabulous pick by Zwilling J.A Henckels. This German manufactured Japanese kitchen knife boasts amazing quality and is characterized by its no-stain high carbon steel. The specialized ice-hardened ‘Friodur’ blade stays super sharp for longer and boasts ultimate resilience. The amazing precision honed blade with its laser-controlled edge guarantees a perfect cutting angle every single time and the three-rivet handle ensures ultimate user-ease and comfort for all your slicing and dicing needs.
This pick combines amazing quality with superior design and is sure to be an absolute hit in any kitchen. When it comes to your culinary needs, this brand have you covered. Users have commended this Santoku knife for its durability, precise cutting abilities, and user-ease.
Non-stain high carbon steel blade
7 inch precision honed blade
Specialized three-rivet handle for added user ease
Black and stainless steel design
Number 4 on our list is an amazing pick by Damascus. This Japanese santoku knife boasts unbelievable value and gorgeous craftsmanship. This blade has been created with super durable Japanese super steel and the blade is characterized by its scalpel like edge that is finished to a 12 degree angle. Since it’s been nitrogen cooled it has enhanced flexibility and is corrosion resistant. The amazing G-10 handle forms effortlessly around the tang and is resistant to cold, heat, and moisture.
The makers truly believe in the quality and durability of this all-purpose knife and if you’re not happy they offer a moneyback guarantee. This knife also boasts a lifetime warranty and thus it’s built to last! If you’re looking for great value and top-quality, this is certainly a great pick for your kitchen!
7 inch Japanese steel blade
Scalpel like edge blade
Nitrogen cooled for enhanced flexibility
G-10 handle for user ease
Up next is a fantastic Santoku knife by Mercer Culinary. This model combines gorgeous style with ergonomic craftmanship and is sure to be a hit in any kitchen. The specialized Santoprene handle allows for superior user ease and comfort and offers users a non-slip grip, even when their hands are wet. This 7 inch blade has been created with German cutlery steel and is rust and corrosion-resistant. The taper-ground knife edge allows for extra stability and even longer lasting blade sharpness.
Users have commended this product on its incredible value, amazing design, and great quality. This Japanese kitchen knife is great for an array of dishes and will suit anyone with a passion for food. Whether you’re chopping meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit this is a fantastic option for all.
Made with German cutlery steel
7 inch blade
Santoprene handle for user ease and a non-slip grip
This all-purpose 7 inch Santoku knife is a brilliant choice for anyone who loves spending time in the kitchen and is a brilliant pick for all your chopping, dicing, and slicing needs. Whether you’re chopping met, veggies, fish, or fruit, this model by Global has you covered. Made with super high-tech vanadium stainless steel, this model is built to last and won’t corrode or rust. The tapered blade edge ensures that this knife remains sharper for longer and thus it is truly built to last. The stainless steel handle is ergonomically molded for increased comfort and user ease. This model should be washed by hand to ensure the amazing quality is retained. Users have praised it for its amazing value, stylish and sleek design, and versatility.
7 inch vanadium stainless steel knife
Ergonomically molded stainless steel handle
Wash by hand
This fantastic pick by Tojiro boasts incredible value and is a great option for those who don’t want to spend a fortune on their Santoku knife. When it comes to picking your lucky number 7, we’ve got you covered. This stain-resistant specialized slicing knife is great for meat, fish, veggies, and fruit and is a perfect all-purpose tool for any slicing and chopping. The 6.7 inch model is well-suited for left and right-handed users and is a versatile tool that will delight any chef. Users have commended this model on its gorgeous craftsmanship, fantastic value, and ‘hair shaving’ sharp blade that is bound to cut through a myriad of foods. If you’re looking for a pick that amalgamates incredible value with brilliant quality, you won’t go wrong with this Tojiro santoku knife.
6.7 inch blade
All-purpose slicing knife
Suited for left and right handed users
Super sharp blade
Up next is another amazing pick by Kai. When it comes to amazing quaility and user-ease, this brand are seriously in the know. This Japanese style Santoku knife is perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing and is bound to delight anyone with a passion for food. This model is made with Daido 1K6 high-carbon stainless steel and this creates extra edge retention and durability. This model also boasts a beautiful design and the embellished patern and text saying ‘wasabi’ adds to its gorgeous exterior. The blades have been specifically bead-blasted for extra precision and since this knife is made in Japan it boasts authenticity. It also comes with a life-time warranty and thus the makers truly believe in the value of their product.
Multi purpose chopping knife
High carbon stainless steel blade
Made in Japan
Number 9 on our sensational list of Santoku knives is a brilliant pick by Victorinox. This versatile brand are in the know when it comes to all things cutlery, and this Japanese style kitchen knife certainly won’t disappoint. The 7 inch stainless steel blade boasts ultimate durability and strength and is the perfect tool for slicing, chopping, dicing, or mincing. The knife’s unique shape means it embodies the qualities of both a chef’s knife and a cleaver and can also be used to scoop excess food off the chopping board.
The specialized garton edge ensures that food doesn’t stick to the knife whilst chopping and the ergonomic Fibrox pro handle ensures that it’s super easy to use thanks to it’s no-slip grip. Even when this knife gets wet, it won’t slip out your hand and thus it’s built for ultimate cutting accuracy and precision. This company pride themselves on offering their customers superior Swiss quality and offer a lifetime guarantee against any defects in craftsmanship or materials. Thus, you can buy the knife with the security that it’s built to last and won’t disappoint.
7 inch stainless steel blade
Graton edges so food won’t stick to the blade
Specialized no-slip handle
Lifetime gaunrantee against defects
Last, but certainly not least on our list of best Japanese kitchen knives is a fabulous pick by the German powerhouse that is Wusthof. When it comes to top-quality, and beautiful craftsmanship, this brand know what they’re talking about. This custom engraved 7-inch knife can either be bought alone, or with a specialized knife guard for added security and protection. The ridged handle allows for extra user ease and comfort and the graton edge ensures that food doesn’t stick to the blade when in use.
This multi-purpose knife is great for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing and will be a brilliant addition to any aspiring chef who wants to build up their kitchen kit. Users have commended this knife for its amazingly sharp edge, remarkable balance, and amazing quality. It’s a brilliant Japanese knife pick for professional chefs, and home users alike and will certainly add some flare to any kitchen and any dish.
Custom engraved 7 inch blade
Option to purchase with a knife guard
Best Santoku Knife Buying Guide & FAQ
What to Look for When Buying a Santoku Knife
When opting for a Santoku knife you’ll need to consider a few things including what materials the knife is made for, durability, and value.
A non-stainless carbon steel blade is usually your best bet when it comes to material and these knives can often withstand a lot. However, other models are made with stainless steel or ceramic and are also perfectly apt at getting the job done. You will also want to think about what kind of handle you want. Do you want a non-slip plastic handle that will ensure precision even when wet? Would you rather have a steel handle to maintain a sleek look and design? Considering materials is twofold. You need to think about the practicality of your model, but you also want to think about the look that best suits your kitchen and your other kitchen tools.
You will also need to think about how much you want to pay when it comes to your Japanese style Santoku knife. If you are a professional chef who works in a kitchen every day, you might want to opt for a pricier brand that utilizes top quality materials and comes with a lifetime warranty. If you’re an at-home chef, and will be using your knife on a less large-scale basis you might not need something as complex or durable. All the knives on our list are noteworthy and get the job done, but they differ in price and materials used and thus there is a pick for all needs and budgets.
Santoku Knife Uses
Santoku knives are brilliant for an array of food types since they are an all-purpose knife. Some of their best uses include:
- Cutting different cuts of meat
- Slicing cheeses
- Dicing various herbs or mince
- Chopping or dicing fruit, veggies, or nuts
- Scraping food from the chopping board
- Finely slicing meat, or fish
Different Types of Knives
When it comes to Santoku knives, you have three main differences. These are material, blade type, and handle.
- Material: Santoku knives are usually made of steel, Damask steel, or ceramic. The steel models might be stainless steel, or non-stainless carbon steel.
- Blade: Your Santoku knife will either have a honeycombed graton edge, or a smooth blade edge. The graton edges prevent foods from sticking to the blade by allowing air to get in-between the food and the metal. This is thus a non-stick option. This is entirely a personal preference thing and you’ll only know which style you prefer when you try out the santoku knife.
- Handle: Much like the knife itself, the handle of the Santoku knife can be made from diverse materials. They are usually steel, a synthetic material like a plastic (which might be a non-stick handle), or a wooden handle. Again, this comes down to personal preference and you’ll want to opt for a handle that feels comfortable.
Care of the Santoku Knife
- Only use your knife for up and down motions and avoid any lateral use. Wedging or prying foods with this knife could cause a lot of damage and thus you need to use your knife properly.
- Avoid tough jobs like deboning meat or cutting frozen foods as this could damage your knife and cause the blade to dull or even chip.
- Avoid excess force. Your knife should glide super smoothly through your food. If you find yourself having to apply loads of pressure then you’ll want to opt for a different type of meat. Remember your Santoku knife is great for mincing mince and herbs, slicing softer fish and meats, cutting veggies, and fruit.
- Opt for a softer cutting board that is made from plastic or wood, rather than a hard board that’s made from marble or glass. Harder boards could damage your knife’s edge and thus shouldn’t be used. If your knife can scratch your board, then you’re using the right strength board. If it can’t, it’s too hard and you need a softer one.
Best Santoku Knife FAQ:
Q: What is a Santoku knife?
A: A Santoku knife is a multi-purpose kitchen knife that hails from Japan. It is a brilliant pick for chopping, slicing, mincing, and dicing and usually around 5 to 8 inches in length. The name Santoku translates to virtues and this points to the various abilities that the knife has. This type of Japanese kitchen knife is characterized by a wide sheeps-foot blade without a tip and is usually lighter in weight to optimize even balance. They often have a specialized graton edge and this prevents foods from sticking to the blade.
Q: Can Santoku knives be made with ceramic?
A: Yes, some Santoku knives are made with ceramic blades. They are made with zirconium dioxide and differ slightly to steel knives. Although the edge is often harder than a steel model it is not as tough and oftentimes more brittle. Non-stainless carbon steel is one of the best materials and will create added durability and strength.
Q: Are all of these knives dishwasher safe?
A: No. Most of these models are hand-wash only and this will ensure that your Santoku knife retains its quality. Some models might be dishwasher safe but it’s always better to check the user manual and ensure that your model is suited for a dishwasher. Each model is different and this will depend largely on the materials used.
Q: What should I avoid cutting with a Santoku knife?
A: A Santoku knife has a thin and flexible blade and is thus not suited for tougher jobs like deboning meat or cutting through very thick veggies (like a butternut). If you use it to do these tough jobs, the steel blade might chip and your knife will be ruined. Thus stick to using this knife for slicing, dicing, mincing, and chopping and leave the tougher jobs to your other knives.
Our Top Pick
While we adore all the knives on our list, we have opted for this amazing pick as our best model. This 7-inch model by Zelite Infinity is a truly brilliant Japanese kitchen knife. This pick has been made with durable Japanese steel and is thus sturdy and true to the original form. The non-stick blade enables precision cutting for every meal. It is also rust resistant. The specialized handle ensures user-comfort and ease and the sharp edge enables brilliant cutting quality and style. Whether you’re cutting meat, fish, vegetables, or fruit, this knife will definitely not disappoint. Its precise performance is notable and it comes with a 100 percent satisfaction or money back guarantee. This fantastic kitchen knife is a fabulous pick for anyone who loves cooking and would also make an amazing gift for birthdays or Christmas. It combines chic style, ergonomic design, and top-quality materials and is thus a superb knife for your collection.
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