Whether you are a seasoned chef or a casual home cook, a quality knife would be your best friend. Among the sheer types of chef’s knives out there, the Japanese Santoku knife stands head and shoulder above these options – and for good reasons.
The Santoku knife is multipurpose cutlery known for delivering incredible mincing, dicing, and slicing performance. Plus, it’s easier to handle, especially for people with small hands.
Sadly, not everyone knows their way around these knives and how to make the right choice. Hence, we have done the homework for you, and this comprehensive review will guide you on choosing the best Santoku knife to improve your cooking skill.
Table of Contents
Best Santoku Knives Review – Top 6 Picks for Home and Professional Kitchens
Wusthof 5-Inch Classic IKON Hollow Edge Santoku
If you want something other than the typical 7-inch Santoku knife, this 5-inch blade from Wusthof might be what you are looking for. This knife features profession-grade construction for impressive versatility at a higher cost.
This top choice’s blade is forged out of a single block of high carbon steel to guarantee it will last a lifetime. This heirloom stays ahead of the competition with its 58 Rockwell hardness rating that assures buyers of high edge retention and longevity.
Another thing we love about this best santoku knife is its gradually curved blade and 10-degree cutting edge for a straighter edge. Looking at this cutlery and considering the build quality, we don’t expect it to lose its edge any time soon and rust easily.
However, you don’t have to take our word for it; the manufacturer backs the Wusthof 5-Inch Classic IKON Hollow Edge Santoku with a limited Lifetime Warranty to protect your investment.
- Extremely durable
- 58 degrees Rockwell hardness
- High edge retention
- high initial cutting performance
- On the pricey side
- High level of maintenance
DALSTRONG 7″ Shogun Series Santoku Knife
Dalstrong knives have been synonymous with awe-inspiring design, top-of-the-line breakthrough technology, and outstanding craftsmanship. Hence, the Shogun Series earns a spot on our review of the best Santoku knives.
Each cutlery in this series undergoes a 60-day manufacturing process to offer high-quality knives that won’t disappoint. In our hands, it feels sturdy and robust and ready to handle just about anything thrown at it. This is probably because of its military-grade G-10 synthetic handles and Damascus steel blades.
What’s more? We noticed the manufacturer made the Shogun series to outperform the santoku knives from top brands like Kamikoto, Miyabi, and Shun. The DALSTRONG 7″ Shogun Series Santoku Knife offers a similar cutting performance without the hefty price tag.
Hence, it’s a decent choice for home or professional chefs looking to own a santoku knife but not willing to pay the high prices.
- 62+ Rockwell hardness for better edge retention
- Tsuchime finish for a non-stick cutting performance
- 66 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel layers for a durable piece
- Affordable price range
- 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee
- Misleading product description
Mercer Culinary-M23590 Renaissance 7-Inch Forged Santoku Knife
Like the DALSTRONG 7″ Shogun Series Santoku Knife, this cutlery offers lots of bells and whistles, making it an excellent value for money. Affordable knives do not translate to poor, low-quality products and its NSF certification proves this point.
Equipped with taper-ground, this knife won’t require you to sharpen time and again. However, we noticed the triple-riveted handle, which helps make handling this cutlery a breeze, is a bit short. So, this knife tends to feel a bit out of balance, but it offers a decent cutting performance.
It’s okay to be a tad concerned about the balance. But this might not really be a deal-breaker considering its full tang design to mitigate this issue.
Like other top choices, the 7-inch blade is forged from high carbon steel blades, making it resistant to corrosion and stains. All in all, it has a sharper edge and higher edge retention than most knives in its price range.
- NSF certified
- Affordable price tag
- Full tang construction for balance
- Ergonomic triple-riveted handle
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty
- The handle is a tad too short and might not be comfortable to wield
DALSTRONG Santoku Knife – 7 inch – Omega Series
While this 7-inch santoku knife does not come at a low price, it’s equipped with the hardest blade from this manufacturer with a 63+ degree Rockwell hardness. Thus, this Omega santoku knife is solid and ultra-sharp to handle just about any task.
This tool comes with a stylish leather sheath that catches the eyes, which gives this knife an aesthetically-pleasing appearance. Another perk of this pattern on the blade is to minimize drag for a swift cutting experience.
The DALSTRONG Omega Series 7 inch Santoku Knife features hyper steel construction, a unique combination of chromium, carbon, nitrogen, and molybdenum. Its sturdy build quality allows the blade to withstand the rigors of daily use.
Also, this cutlery feels right and well balanced in our hands, thanks to its full tang construction and G10 woven fiberglass handle. Furthermore, the manufacturer offers a 100% satisfaction or money-back guarantee for a risk-free purchase.
- 8-12°degree angle per side for superior sharpness
- Full tang construction for maximum robustness
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Excellent edge retention
- Quality control issue
ZWILLING TWIN Signature 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
After using the ZWILLING TWIN Signature 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife, it is hard to go wrong with this model.
To start with, the blade is forged from high carbon steel that guarantees it won’t rust or stain. This way, you don’t have to do much to maintain this santoku knife. Also, we find this cutlery easy to handle because of its lightweight design.
Lightweight does not correspond to flimsy construction; it’s a one-piece precision-stamped blade. Plus, the manufacturer swears by the ice-hardened FRIODUR blade for resilient and high-edge retention. According to customers, the edge stays ultra-sharp for an extended period without sharpening it time and again.
Our favorite part of this cutlery is the ergonomic polymer handle offering an easy grip and comfortable handling. Not only that, the handle balances the full tang blade for a precision cutting experience.
The ZWILLING TWIN Signature 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife has a 57 Rockwell hardness, which is not the hardest blade on this list. Still, its cutting performance and edge retention are not mediocre. Above all, you can toss this knife into a dishwasher for convenient cleanup after use.
- Corrosion and chip-resistant blade
- A single piece of high-quality German steel construction
- Dishwasher safe
- Ergonomic polymer-based handle for easy handling
- It lacks a Made-in-German stamp
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series 7″ Santoku Knife
By now, you should have figured out that Dalstrong is one of the best brands out there offering reliable Japanese knives. This 7″ Santoku Knife is forged using a single block of German high carbon steel, our favorite blade material. It eliminates any concern about durability and ensures a timeless look.
The edge is hand polished to 16 degrees. It features scalloped dimples to ensure this 7-inch santoku knife cuts through anything with ease. Like other Dalstrong models, the handle is made of G10 Garolite and triple riveted to the full tang blade for perfect balance.
Also, the handle features an ergonomic design offering a comfortable grip and handling experience. This NSF-certified cutlery is engineered to a 56+ Rockwell hardness. It was up to almost everything we threw at it, which makes a decent pick for casual cooks looking to take their culinary skills to the next level.
- It comes with a locking sheath
- Fabricated out of high carbon steel
- 56+ Rockwell hardness rating
- NSF certified
- It requires regular maintenance for a longer lifespan
How to Purchase the Best Santoku Knife – A Comprehensive Buying Guide
When it comes to choosing the best santoku knife, the nearly endless options presented by the market are not the only challenging thing. There are several factors to consider before splurging on one of these products.
Without further ado, here are the key factors that should influence your decision:
Stamped vs. Forged
Forged steel is made from one piece of heated metal, making it heavier and more pricey. Since they are fabricated from a single piece of material, this option features a full tang design to offer perfect balance and unbeatable control.
To tell the difference, you want to watch out for the bolster. This is usually located between the handle and the blade. Bolsters protect your hand while using the cutlery and also help stabilize the knife. Forged knives go through several processes, ensuring the sturdy blade holds its edge longer.
On the flip, the counterparts are crafted by tempering large metal sheets and honing the resulting outcome for shape. Hence, the blades are flexible, thinner, and lightweight. Some cooks prefer the stamped knives for the lightweight, allowing you to use them for an extended period without dealing with wrist fatigue. Sadly, the heavier forged knives are more suitable for chopping thick and tough ingredients.
When shopping for a santoku knife, it wouldn’t take long to realize that these knives are made from different materials such as stainless steel, carbon steel, etc. Most manufacturers use confusing terms to boost sales.
In simple terms, knives made with the so-called high carbon stainless steel are steel knives. The alloy consists of stainless steel and carbon steel. The latter is responsible for higher edge retention and strength to withstand heavy-duty use. At the same time, the former adds rust and corrosion-resistant properties.
Likewise, some manufacturers add chromium to the mixture to create a shiny silver blade and a timeless look.
The handle comes in different material options, from wood to plastic. Lower price knives come with synthetic handles, and they are a cinch to clean up after each use. Metal handles might seem like a good idea, but they tend to be slippery and difficult to handle with wet hands.
How to choose a Santoku knife – How to pick a good Santoku knife
If you need an all-around, flexible Santoku knife, any of the options reviewed here would be a perfect pick for your culinary needs. Some models are ideal for home cooks, while other options might be better suited for seasoned chefs looking to get outstanding performance.
Hopefully, this post helps you choose the best Santoku knife for your kit