Looking for a good knife for multiple uses? Want to cut vegetables quickly and professionally? Santoku knives might be just what you are looking for. Santoku knives are general purpose knives known for their well-balanced weight distribution. “Santoku” translates from Japanese as “three uses” – slicing, dicing, and mincing. Santoku knives are great for cutting meat, fish and vegetables and I find that I reach for my Santoku as often as my chef knife.
The Santoku knife has a very distinctive appearance compared to conventional Western cutlery. They are shorter, lighter and thinner than their Western counterpart, the utility knife. Most of them are reinforced to make up for their thinness. One of the most distinctive signature is that they have no bolsters. And if you are looking to brighten up your kitchen with colors, modern Santoku knives often come in vibrant colors.
However, one may find a Santoku knife odd to hold as it is significantly lighter than conventional knives. Most Santoku knives are built with ultra-light steel such as molybdenum vanadium which means that they are easier to handle and usually hold up longer before needing to be sharpened.
You may want to take note that the Santokus tend to have a more linear cutting edge compared to utility knives. Users who are familiar with the rocking cutting motion may find a Santoku difficult to use at first. Santoku knives sometimes incorporate “scalloped” sides, also known as a Granton edge to prevent food from sticking to the sides. They also come with a more uniform thickness from blade to spine.
Best Santoku Knives
Victorinox Swiss Army 7-Inch Santoku Knife
You may think that this is a cheap knife, but what the Victorinox Santoku really is, is a cheap workhorse knife packed with value. If you need only one knife besides your chef knife, this is the one you should get. This lightweight and very sharp knife chops and slices and dices through meat, squash and soft tomatoes alike. You may feel like you’ve still got your arm attached after a whole bag of potatoes.
Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-Inch Santoku Knife
For those who prefer a forged blade and higher quality look, the Mercer is a great santoku knife you can buy. It is really affordable compared to high end names like Wusthof and Shun, while not compromising knife balance and heft.
This Santoku knife handles well. At 7-inch it’s great for large hands, and can cut through a huge chicken or roast without so much as a pause. For a forged knife this Santoku holds its edge well, and does not need the steel even after chopping a mountain of vegetables.
Kershaw Pure Komachi 2 Santoku Knife
If you’re one for fancy looks, the Kershaw Komachi 2 is color coded in food safe paint to brighten up the kitchen and more importantly, avoid cross contamination. This Santoku knife may be black and looks low profile, but beware of the super sharp edge when you cut.
This is in fact, so sharp that it’s able to slice things paper thin if you want, like a true Japanese knife.
You may also be interested in: