For versatility in the kitchen, most home cooks chose a standard chef’s knife for the general cutting and chopping tasks. Did you know there is another option that may be better?
While a chef’s knife is a great option to have in the kitchen because of the rocking motion it has when cutting large quantities of vegetables, herbs, and meats a santoku knife could be a better option for your cooking needs.
The Santoku knife is designed to handle other applications a chef knife simply can not. A santoku knife will give you precision when chopping, mincing, and dicing especially when it comes to vegetables and herbs.
The best santoku knife is a workhorse in the kitchen and should be considered when completing your knife set.
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The Top 10 Best Santoku Knives to Buy
There are many great santoku knives on the market today that can fit any budget. We have narrowed it down to our top ten best santoku knives to help you make a buying decision.
Global Knives Global 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80
The best santoku knife is the Global Knives Global 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80. This santoku knife is made in Japan of high quality steel for an affordable price.
This santoku knife is constructed of a single piece of steel with a unique convex edge. The handle is filled with sand to achieve the desired weight to allow for a balanced knife. Because of this unique handle you will have more control over the knife when chopping, dicing, and mincing.
- Well balanced with a sand filled handle
- Easy to Maneuver for precision cuts
- Easy to hold
- The hollows on the side of the blade are too high and food may still stick to knife
The Global Knives Global 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80 offers a manufacturers warranty.
Shun DM0702 Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife
The Shun DM0702 Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife is constructed with 16 layers of stainless steel for a rust-free Damascus look.
The Damascus detailing is both beautiful and functional. This detailing, giving the knife blade a wave look, prevents food from sticking as well as avoids crushing or damaging the foods while cutting. This detail is different from what we see in most santoku knives that feature hollows in the blade.
The Shun DM0702 Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife is dishwasher-safe. However, hand washing is recommended to keep the knife in pristine condition.
- Damascus detail for function and beauty
- Great knife to gift due to design
- Comfortable to handle with an ergonomic design
- The santoku knife is a bit pricey for a home cook
The Shun DM0702 Classic 7-Inch Santoku Knife has a lifetime warranty.
Global G48 G-48-7 inch Santoku
The Global G48 G-48-7 inch Santoku Hollow Ground Knife was designed by Komin Yamada to create a harmony between the person and the utensil making this stainless steel knife one of the best santoku knives on the market.
This santoku knife is hand crafted in Niigata Japan with Cromova 18 Stainless Steel making the knife hard enough to retain it’s sharpness yet soft enough to still sharpen with a whetstone. This knife is also resistant to rust and staining.
- Resistant to rust and staining
- Easy to sharpen with a whetstone
- Easy to hold in small to medium sized hands
- May not be the best option for large hands
The Global G48 G-48-7 inch Santoku Hollow Ground Knife offers a manufacturer warranty.
Wusthof 4183 Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife 7
The Wusthof 4183 Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife 7 is crafted with high carbon stainless steel to resist corrosion and dulling. The handle features a durable rivet and no joints for a comfortable grip with a full bolster to protect your hand.
- Designed for longevity when properly cared for
- Lightweight for long periods of use
- Durable enough to hold up against daily use
- Starchy vegetables may stick
The Wusthof 4183 has a limited lifetime warranty.
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife
The Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife is a 7 inch knife manufactured in Germany out of a high carbon forged steel that is resistant from rust, corrosion, and discoloration.
This santoku knife is well balanced with a full tang running the entire length of the handle. This knife provides professional quality at a reasonable price for the home chef.
- Easy to hold and use for small to medium sized hands
- Makes a great gift for aspiring home cooks
- Made of high quality materials for an affordable price
- Knife is prone to rusting if not properly cared for
- May need to sharpen more frequently
The Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife offers a limited lifetime warranty.
Mercer Culinary M22707 Millennia 7-Inch Granton Edge Santoku Knife
The Mercer Culinary M22707 Millennia 7-Inch Granton Edge Santoku Knife is an affordable option made with one piece of high carbon stain-resistant steel. This knife is designed with textured finger points for better grip and also has a protective finger guard.
- Affordable price point
- Thin, lightweight design
- Perfect for a beginner in the kitchen
- May need to be sharpened more frequently
The Mercer Culinary M22707 Millennia 7-Inch Granton Edge Santoku Knife does offer a manufacturer warranty.
Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7″
The Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7″ is a durable knife that is comfortable to slice, dice, and chop almost anything in your kitchen with. The knife is a bit shorter at 6.7” making it awkward if you have larger hands.
- Even edged allowing knife to be used by both left and right handed individuals
- Great for home cooks
- Exceptional craftsmanship
- Smaller than expected
There is no warranty information available for the Tojiro DP Santoku 6.7” knife.
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife
The Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife is a beautiful knife out of the box with a rose Damascus pattern and liquid nitrogen tempering. This santoku knife is ergonomically designed with a rounded handle for a secure and comfortable grip.
- Damascus pattern
- Handle is large with a secure grip
- Made in China with Steel imported from Japan
The Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife includes a lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects if purchased directly from “Zelite Infinity”.
HENCKELS Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
The HENCKELS Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife is a high quality santoku knife manufactured in Germany. The one-piece stamped blade makes for a lightweight knife without sacrificing strength. This knife is designed for everyday use in the home kitchen.
- Dishwasher safe (hand-washing recommended)
- triple-riveted handle for a strong grip
- Honed and hand-finished
- Starchy vegetables may stick to blade
- Handle may become slippery with wet hands
The HENCKELS Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife has a lifetime warranty.
Sabatier Forged Stainless Steel Santoku Knife
The Sabatier Forged Stainless Steel Santoku Knife is a highly affordable santoku knife available in both a 5-inch as well as 7-inch size allowing you to choose which size you may be more comfortable handling.
This knife is handcrafted for edge retention and maximum sharpness.
The triple riveted handle design offers both grip and stability when chopping, slicing, and dicing.
- Affordable price point
- Self sharpening edgekeeper sleeve included
- Edge is curved more than expected
The Sabatier Forged Stainless Steel Santoku Knife offers a lifetime limited warranty.
What is a Santoku Knife?
The santoku knife is a japanese style knife that has gained popularity in the United States due to its three main uses.
In Japanese, santoku translates to “three virtues” or “three uses”. The three uses include slicing, dicing, and mincing making this a versatile knife that every kitchen should have.
While a santoku knife is very similar to a chef’s knife there are a few key differences that I would like to point out.
A santoku knife is thinner and lighter than a chef’s knife with a standard length of 5” to 7”. This smaller size makes the santoku knife easier to handle especially if you have smaller hands.
The santoku knife is also designed a bit differently than a chef’s knife with hollows on the sides allowing air pockets to form to prevent your food from sticking to the blade. This is especially helpful when working with vegetables and herbs.
4 Benefits of Using a Santoku Knife
The Santoku Knife offers a Steep Beveling
The bevel of a knife is the angle on the blade that tapers down to the cutting edge. The angle of the bevel is crucial to the sharpness of the knife. The smaller the angle, the sharper the knife will be.
Most western knives are beveled (angled) around 20 degrees. The Japanese knives, including the santoku knife, are beveled more steeply. This makes the santoku knife much sharper for more precise slicing and chopping.
The Best Santoku Knives are Lightweight
A santoku knife is 5” to 7” in length making it a shorter knife and is often constructed to be thinner and more lightweight. This smaller size makes the knife easier to control for many chefs.
Santoku Knives are Known for Their Precision
Due to the thinner nature of the santoku knife you are less likely to crush food when chopping, dicing, or mincing. You will also produce cleaner cuts because of the sharpness of the blade allowing for very fine cuts.
Damascus Pattern or Hollows on the Santoku Knife
The best santoku knife is designed with hollows or a Damascus pattern on the blade. This manufacturing design allows foods to easily slide off the knife allowing for precision cuts on herbs and vegetables. You won’t have to worry about your food sticking while working with a santoku knife.
When looking at a santoku knife with a Damascus pattern you should verify if this pattern was created during the manufacturing process or it was etched onto the knife later. The Damascus pattern that occurs naturally in production is ideal. If the design was etched onto the knife after production it is more for looks than actual function.
5 Things to Look for in a Good Santoku Knife
Finding the best santoku knife on the market is easy when you know exactly what to look for. Not all santoku knives are treated equally and there are a few things you should consider before making your buying decisions.
Light Weight from Handle through Blade
A santoku knife is used for chopping, dicing, and mincing in the kitchen. This means you will be using the knife for a longer period of time in your food prep. You want to find a santoku knife that is light weight from handle through blade. This allows you to continue working without your hand becoming fatigued.
High Quality Steel Used in Knife Production
When deciding on a santoku knife you want to know what materials were used in the manufacturing process. A high quality steel will produce a longer lasting santoku knife. This will also determine if a knife is going to rust or show corrosion more easily. Of course, proper care of the knife is also a factor but a high quality steel will make a big difference.
Excellent Edge Retention
A well designed santoku knife will have excellent edge retention. This means you will not need to sharpen your knives often. While sharpening your knives is important for the longevity of the tool it is not something that should be done after each use. You want a high quality knife with an excellent edge retention to only be sharpened occasionally when signs of dulling occur.
The santoku knife is between 5 inches and 7 inches in length. While the 7 inch length is standard for most companies a shorter length may be desired especially if you have smaller hands. You may also consider the length of the handle when purchasing. You want a handle that is comfortable in your hand for precision.
Companies may offer special features when purchasing a santoku knife from them.
Some santoku knives feature special designs such as the rose design in the Damascus pattern. Again, you want to ensure this design was intentional and created in the manufacturing process rather than etched onto the knife later.
You may also look for a santoku knife that is dishwasher-safe although it is still recommended to hand wash and dry the knife.
A storage sheath may be a desired addition when purchasing a santoku knife or even a storage sheath that allows for sharpening of the knife. If the knife does not come with a storage sheath, most manufacturers do sell them separately.
The Best Santoku Knife for Your Kitchen
A santoku knife is a great addition to any kitchen especially if you like to prepare your own fruits, vegetables, and herbs. The santoku knife is designed for precision with chopping, dicing, and mincing making it a workhorse in your kitchen.
You will find many different santoku knives on the market today. We highly recommend the Global Knives Global 7 Inch Hollow Ground Santoku Knife G 80 due to the ergonomic design making the knife easy to hold and use in the kitchen. With a unique handle design filled with sand for achieving balance you can be confident the knife will not slip. This knife is made from high quality Japanese steel at an affordable price for a home chef.