A kitchen needs different types of knives for various cutting tasks. However, a knife that can perform multiple jobs fosters convenience. It makes things a lot easier when you cannot find a knife designed for a specific purpose, and the Santoku knife is such a blade.
What Are Santoku Knives?
A Santoku knife is a Japanese-style general-use blade that performs various tasks. It is suitable for dicing, chopping, slicing, and mincing ingredients. It is shorter than the western-style chef’s knife, with its blade length ranging from 5-7 inches. Santoku knives usually do not have a bolster. The market also offers Santoku knives with indentations on the edge that prevent foods from sticking to the blade. A Santoku knife provides fast, efficient cutting considering its short length and blade shape.
Why Are Santoku Knives So Popular?
Santoku knives are among the popular Japanese-style blades. The blade is thinner, providing better precision and refined slicing. A Santoku knife also feels light in the hand, promoting comfort and preventing fatigue. You get to cut more foods without getting tired easily. In addition, its short design is great for small hands. The lighter, thinner, shorter style ensure faster, more efficient cutting for chefs and home cooks.
Santoku knives are also popular due to their multi-purpose nature. They can cut different foods easily, enhancing the convenience in the kitchen. The knife can dice, slice, chop, and mince food. A Santoku knife allows you to perform different cutting tasks before you can buy other types of knives, such as paring, boning, and carving blades.
What Do You Cut with a Santoku Knife?
A Santoku knife is a versatile blade that performs different cutting tasks. As mentioned earlier, it does an excellent job of slicing, dicing, mincing, and chopping different foods. You can use it for cutting meat, mincing herbs and meat, and slicing cheese. It is also used for dicing, slicing, and chopping fruits and vegetables.
The blade also allows you to cut thin, clean slices of vegetables and seafood. Despite being a versatile blade, a Santoku knife is not ideal for chopping large bones, cutting bread, peeling, and other specific tasks.
Difference between a Chef’s Knife and Santoku Knife
A Santoku knife looks like a chef’s knife. A closer look shows it is thinner than a chef’s knife. It is also lighter and shorter. However, both knives are multi-purpose, allowing users to slice, chop, and dice foods. Here is how the two knives differ.
A Santoku knife has a Japanese origin and is made of tougher steel than western steel. The steel can hold an edge for longer, ensuring efficiency and less frequent sharpening. On the other hand, a chef’s knife has a France and German origin. If you like Japanese knives, your kitchen should have a Santoku knife.
The blade is also a valuable addition to a western-style collection of knives. It provides a different cutting experience in the kitchen with its lighter, thinner, and shorter design.
A Santoku knife has a blade length ranging from five to seven inches, while a chef knife can have a 6-12 inches long blade. However, the most popular chef’s knife blade is 8 inches long. Moreover, Santoku knives are lighter and do not have bolsters, a feature that keeps them short in length. Chef knives are heavier in hand and have bolsters.
Another difference is Santoku knives tend to be single-beveled, but the market has brands offering double-bevel varieties. As for chef’s knives, they are usually available in a double-bevel design. Additionally, a chef knife has a rounded blade edge that causes users to rock the knife forward to finish cuts. With a Santoku knife, you cut food in one downward motion without rocking the blade, ensuring quicker cutting.
Best Santoku Knives
The best Santoku knives have features that give you an easy time in the kitchen.
The best Santoku knife is super-sharp right out of the box, cutting through foods effortlessly. It chops, slices, minces, and dices ingredients with precision, giving you an easy time in the kitchen. It is also lightweight and feels nice in the hands. A lighter Santoku knife reduces fatigue during meal preparation and has an ergonomic handle that fits properly in hands.
The best Santoku knife is also well-balanced to enhance comfort. It cuts through foods with precision while being comfortable in the palms. Premium Santoku knives are also made from durable, corrosion-resistant steel to ensure they always look elegant and give you value for your money.
Premium Santoku Knives to Consider Buying
The knife industry has a variety of brands offering Santoku knives in different designs and lengths. What matters is buying the best Santoku knife available. House of Knives sells the best Santoku knives to consider purchasing whether you are a chef or a talented home cook. Below is a look at some of the blades to consider for your kitchen.
1. Tojiro Shirogami Double-Bevel Santoku Knife 16.5cm
The Tojiro Shirogami double-bevel 16.5cm Santoku knife is an elegant blade to consider for your kitchen. It does a wonderful job chopping, mincing, and dicing. Whether preparing fish, vegetables, or meat dishes, this knife provides seamless cutting of ingredients. It is easy to use and made from durable material with a Rockwell Hardness rating of 60.
The blade consists of Shirogami steel and soft iron, while the handle is made of magnolia and a resin collar. The two materials come together elegantly to offer chefs and home cooks a stunning Santoku knife. Magnolia is water-resistant, fostering the handle’s durability. Besides, the blade has good edge retention and is easy to sharpen.
2. Miyabi 5000MCD Birchwood Santoku Knife 18cm
Your knife set needs the Miyabi 5000MCD 18cm Birchwood Santoku knife. It features a lovely design with a flower Damascus pattern on the blade and a spectacular birch handle. The knife is made from SG2 super steel and 100-layer Damascus steel. The blade is ice-hardened through four stages to ensure customers get a high-quality Santoku knife. The edge is hand-honed to give you superior sharpness, and the blade has a Rockwell Hardness rating of 63.
The beautiful birch handle feels great in hands and has a mosaic pin and a steel end cap that give the knife a spectacular look. This Santoku knife has a full-tang design and provides lasting sharpness. You should only hand-wash it to protect the blade and overall knife quality.
3. Musashi VG-10 Stainless Steel Yaki-Urushi Santoku Knife 18cm
The Musashi VG-10 Stainless Steel 18cm Yaki-Urushi Santoku Knife is a hand-forged blade. It has hammer dents that prevent ingredients from sticking to the knife. The dents also add to the knife's beauty, which is made from VG-10 stainless steel. It has a double-edge blade and a Yaki-Urushi handle that gives it a nice traditional look.
The steel used in making the knife is corrosion-resistant and has good edge retention and sharpness. The handle is made from anti-bacterial and disinfectant material to ensure food safety. It is also shaped to ensure comfort in hands and has a luxurious feel. The knife is durable, easy to use, and makes meal preparation a breeze.
4. Felix Smoked Oak Santoku Knife 16cm
The Felix Smoked Oak 16cm Santoku Knife features a traditional Japanese style. It is a useful blade for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing food. You can also utilize the wide blade to carry ingredients directly from the cutting board to the pan.
The knife has a slightly rounded edge, making it possible to chop herbs finely to ensure proper meal preparation. The blade consists of drop-forged steel, and the smoked oak handle adds to the elegance of the knife. The handle undergoes a smoke process that makes the wood more resistant and smoother for durability and comfort. This Santoku knife is one-piece and hand-crafted. You should only hand wash it to prevent damage and ensure longevity.
5. Shun Kai Classic Santoku Knife 18cm
Shun Kai is another popular brand offering the best Santoku knives on the market. The Shun Kai Classic 18cm Santoku Knife is a stunning, hand-crafted knife that provides superior sharpness and performance. It is made from VG-MAX steel and 32 layers of Damascus steel.
It has a double-bevel edge and is hand-sharpened, providing chefs and home cooks with premium functionality. The knife also has a PakkaWood D-shaped handle that feels comfortable in hands.
The hardwood resin handle is moisture resistant to ensure the knife’s durability. Hand-wash, the knife, wipe dry, air-dry for some minutes, and store it safely. Shun Kai also provides an 18cm Santoku knife with a scalloped edge that looks stunning and prevents food from sticking to the blade.
6. Tojiro Hammered Santoku Knife 17cm
The Tojiro Hammered 17cm Santoku Knife adds style to your knife set. It features a unique design and gives you an effortless experience when chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing foods. The hand-made blade consists of a VG10 core and is hammered to give the knife a lovely texture. The Santoku knife also has a D-shaped handle that is well-balanced and fits nicely in hands.
It features a double bevel highly polished blade, and the magnolia handle is water-resistant and has a soothing smooth feel. The knife has a 60-62 Rockwell Harness rating and is suitable for right and left-handed users. You should apply oil on the blade after use to prevent rusting.
7. F Dick 1778 Series Plumwood Santoku Knife 17cm
F Dick provides another stunning Santoku knife for your kitchen. The plum wood 17cm Santoku knife is designed for chopping raw meat and vegetables, preparing fish and roast, and filleting. You can also use it for artistic food presentation.
It is super-sharp and well-balanced with a lovely, ergonomic plum wood handle. The blade is highly hardened and made of high-alloy VG-12 carbon steel. The knife’s core includes materials that give the blade a flexible nature suitable for delicate, even cuts.
The handle is riveted for longevity and looks spectacular in every kitchen. If you are buying new knives for your kitchen, keep in mind this F Dick plum wood handle Santoku knife. It is elegant, high-quality, flexible, and durable. Besides chopping, slicing, and dicing food, you can also use it for filleting and decorative cutting tasks.
8. Wusthof Classic Series Santoku Knife 17cm
The Wusthof Classic Series 17cm Santoku Knife is a worthwhile purchase. It is useful when preparing different foods, including fish, meat, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. Use it for chopping, dicing, slicing, and mincing herbs.
It has an extremely sharp edge that ensures easy cutting of food. Whether you need medium-sized slices or thin cuts, this Wusthof Santoku knife has you covered. The edge sharpness is simple to maintain to ensure top performance always.
The blade is made from alloyed stainless steel that fosters durability. The seamless handle fit fosters hygiene as food particles have nowhere to hide. This Santoku knife is a should-have for a home-coking enthusiast and chef, offering quality sharpness, edge retention, and easy use.
9. Zwilling Four Star Santoku Knife 18cm
The Zwilling Four Star 18cm Santoku Knife is a well-made, durable blade. It consists of a high carbon stainless steel blade that is ice-hardened to ensure strength and durability. The knife features a one-piece, forged style and is hand-sharpened and polished on each side. It is extraordinarily sharp to ensure efficient chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing. It is also well-balanced to ensure comfort and proper performance.
The manufacturer hardens the blade to a 57 Rockwell hardness to ensure knife stability, longevity, and sturdiness. Besides, the slim handle ensures comfortable handling. You can put the knife in the dishwasher, but hand washing is recommended to clean the knife. A dishwasher’s high heat might damage or discolor the handle.
10. Musashi VG-10 Steel Western Handle Santoku Knife 17cm
The Musashi VG-10 Steel Western Handle 17cm Santoku Knife is a well-made blade. It has hammer dents that prevent ingredients from sticking to the knife. The dents also give the knife a beautiful look. This blade gets the job done, whether it is chopping, dicing, or mincing. It is an all-rounder knife made from VG-10 steel with a Damascus finish. VG-10 steel has good edge retention and high corrosion resistance.
The knife has a double-edged blade and a western handle style with two rivets to foster durability. It provides superior sharpness that cuts through foods quickly, saving you time and effort. The handle is sturdy, luxurious in the hand, and has a good grip to prevent fatigue.
Knife Maintenance and Storage
Ensure you follow a manufacturer’s instructions for cleaning and maintaining Santoku knives. While some brands are dishwasher-safe, others are not. However, most knives are hand-washed only since dishwasher heat can damage or discolor the handle. Ensure you dry the knives thoroughly and allow them to air-dry for some minutes before storing.
You can keep Santoku knives in knife blocks, magnetic strips, sheaths, or in-drawer organizers. That way, the blades do not rub against each other, keeping them in proper working condition and appearance. A knife block looks great on countertops and allows easy, quick access to knives. A small kitchen can use magnetic strips, as they save countertop space. You mount them on the wall and display your knives.
However, if you prefer your knives being out of sight when not in use, in-drawer organizers are ideal for you. Instead of tossing your blades in the drawer and having them rub against each other, invest in high-quality in-drawer organizers. They ensure each knife has a separate slot to prevent damage and dulling.
Knife sheaths, cases, and bags are helpful when on the go. Perhaps you are going camping or cooking at a friend’s place. You do not want to carry your knives on a knife block or magnetic strip. Knife sheaths, bags, and cases take up little space in your car and make it easy to carry around knives. They also keep you safe from knife scratches and cuts.
Sharpening your Santoku knives properly keeps them in proper shape. If you have a hard time sharpening your blades, a professional can help you maintain them. Your kitchen should have razor-sharp knives at all times to ensure efficiency and frustration-free meal preparation. Dull knives can ruin your ingredients and harm you.
A Santoku knife is an excellent alternative to a chef’s knife. It is shorter, lighter, and thinner than a chef’s knife, allowing faster, more efficient cutting. Apart from chopping, slicing, and dicing food, Santoku knives are also ideal for mincing herbs, filleting, and decorative cutting tasks.
The best Santoku knife is lighter in the hand, well-balanced, ergonomic, and well-made. The market has a variety of brands to consider buying.
Ensure that you settle for high-quality, easy-to-maintain Santoku knives that provide superior performance in the kitchen. The above guide has Santoku knives to keep in mind when shopping. They come in different designs and blade lengths, offering a variety of options.