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.
Best Santoku Knives Review – Top 6 Picks for Home and Professional Kitchens
#1 – Wusthof 5-Inch Classic IKON Hollow Edge Santoku
- WÜSTHOF CLASSIC IKON SERIES – Features a sleek and sophisticated black handle with a double bolster for exceptional balance, beauty, and the ultimate cutting experience. Classic IKON: Design, Ergonomics, and Quality Perfected
- PRECISION FORGED – Forged from a single block of High Carbon Stainless Steel and tempered to 58-degree HRC. The Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) yields a blade that is 20% sharper with twice the edge retention than previous models
- ASIAN KNIFE – The CLASSIC IKON 5" Hollow Edge Santoku Knife is designed with a thinner blade than the traditional chef’s knife, at a 10 degree cutting edge, and gradually curves up at the very end providing a straighter edge. The hollow edge is crafted with evenly spaced vertical indentations, which create small air pockets between the blade and the food
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
#2 – DALSTRONG 7″ Shogun Series Santoku Knife
- The Ultimate Vegetable Knife: A Dalstrong culinary revolution combining outstanding and award-winning craftsmanship, cutting-edge breakthrough technology, awe-inspiring design, and the absolute best materials available. Peak performance never looked so good to you or your wallet.
- Unrivaled Performance: Ruthlessly sharp scalpel like edge is hand finished to a mirror polish at 8-12° per side using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method. Nitrogen cooled for enhanced harness, flexibility and corrosion resistance. Full tang for superb robustness and triple riveted for even more resilience. The Shogun Series exquisite hammered tsuchime finish reduces drag and minimizes stuck on food.
- Dalstrong Power: This vegetable knife features an ultra sharp AUS-10V- Vacuum Treated Japanese super steel cutting core at 62+ Rockwell hardness: extraordinary performance and edge retention. 66 layers of premium high-carbon stainless steel layers ensure exceptional strength, durability and stain resistance. Perfectly balanced. Dalstrong's stunning 'tsunami-rose' genuine Damascus layers.
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
#3 – Mercer Culinary-M23590 Renaissance 7-Inch Forged Santoku Knife
- QUALITY CONSTRUCTION: Knife is precision-forged with high-carbon German cutlery steel for incredible long-lasting sharpness
- SUPERIOR DESIGN: Triple riveted, ergonomic handle is tough, lightweight and resistant to excessive physical wear, and rounded spine offers a comfort grip
- BEST USE: The perfect knife for chopping, mincing, and cutting. Ideal for dicing onions, mincing shallots, chopping herbs, and crushing garlic
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
#4 – DALSTRONG Santoku Knife – 7 inch – Omega Series
- The Omega Series Knives are a precision made instrument. Ideal for briskets, roasts, ham, turkey, sides of salmon, and expertly suited for prepping large fruits and vegetables, slicing bread loaves and layer cakes, the screamingly sharp blade ensures ultra-thin, uniform slices in a single stroke. These Knives are a required addition for every pitmaster, chef, baker, home cook, & more.
- The “LiquidMetal” pattern on the blade reduces drag and increases efficiency, allowing you to glide through prep. Featuring ultra-premium American forged BD1N-VX hyper steel, the addition of Nitrogen increases hardness, flexibility, and toughness, while the blade's composition and added vacuum heat-treatment to 63HRC provide astonishing performance, with a screamingly sharp edge. Painstakingly finished to 8-12° per side by expert blade smiths using the traditional 3-step Honbazuke method.
- The G10 woven fibreglass handle is near impervious to heat, cold and moisture and is presented in a midnight black with subtle dark red colorings. Centered in the full-tang handle is an ornate and over-sized copper and brass mosaic, creating a distinct and striking appearance. The painstakingly detailed craftsmanship continues with the Dalstrong lionhead insignia carefully engraved on both the mirror-polished end-cap and blade itself.
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
#5 – ZWILLING TWIN Signature 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- QUALITY MANUFACTURING: Manufactured in Germany. Special formula high carbon NO STAIN steel. Rust resistant
- LIGHTWEIGHT and STRONG: One-piece precision-stamped blade for a lighter weight knife without sacrificing strength.
- RESILIENT BLADE: Ice-hardened FRIODUR blade starts sharper stays sharper longer and has superior resilience
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
#6 – DALSTRONG Gladiator Series 7″ Santoku Knife
- Outstanding craftsmanship, cutting-edge technology, stunning design elements, and premium materials. Peak performance has never looked so good at this price.
- Incredibly razor sharp, full-tang, imported high-carbon German steel with a hand polished edge at 16-18 degrees per side. Oval shaped hollow divots minimize suction of stuck on food, slice faster and cleaner.
- The premium black G10 Garolite handle is triple-riveted, with a grip that ensures comfort and maneuverability. Laminated and polished for a sanitary build, it’s perfect for busy kitchens.
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
Last update on 2022-03-04 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API