Popular Santoku Knife Reviews
Santoku knives were once incredibly foreign to me. I remember looking at them, thinking about how different they looked from all the other knives which lined my kitchen drawers and thinking to myself “What on Earth are those things for?”
Fast-forward about a decade and you will find me using a Santoku knife almost daily. I use one to create thin slices of onion for my afternoon sandwich. I use one to create thin slices of cucumber for my evening salad. I chop parsley and basil and garlic with one. I even, sometimes, slice a ham for my sandwich with one as well.
If you are someone who is in need of a great Santoku knife to serve all the purposes listed above, and then some, you have come to the right place. I meticulously filled this page with reviews of today’s top-selling, popular Santoku knives. I put hours of research, mathematics, statistics, reading, and comparing into the preparation of this page, just so that I could ensure that I brought you the best of the best.
Included on this page are my “Top Three Choices”, based on their popularity, price, various specifications, and the reviews they have received from actual consumers. I have also included a handful of other favorites, listed under the heading “Honorable Mentions”, to give you more variety and points of comparison.
Top Three Choices
The following three reviews are for the three knives which I believe deserve the most attention. Each knife on this list has risen above all the others to show that it is superior in some way. The “Best in Class” knife is superior in quality. The “Best Value” knife is superior in its ability to match quality and affordability. The “Best Ceramic” knife is the ceramic knife with the best quality and feedback from consumers.
Of course, these knives rose above the rest based, mostly, on two things – consumer reviews and my own opinion. Although my own opinion was derived from hours of research into what constitutes a great Santoku knife and the qualities such a knife should have in order to satisfy most people, that does not mean it will fit your needs perfectly. You may not be “most people”. For this reason, I suggest that you also take some time to read through the list of “Honorable Mentions” listed below.
Best in Class
Dalstrong Shogun Series 7-Inch Santoku
The Dalstrong Shogun Series 7-inch Santoku knife was chosen as Best in Class based on its incredibly positive consumer reviews, exquisite construction, and extremely sharp cutting angle. I have to say that, after seeing the number and percentage of positive consumer reviews for this knife I knew it was going to find its way into this Top Three Choices list. Although this knife is a little more expensive than some of the other knives on this list, it received much more positive reviews that the others, which speaks volumes about its quality.
This knife features a sturdy, fully-forged high-carbon stainless steel, triple-riveted, full-tang blade encased in a heat-resistant, water-resistant, no-slip composite handle which has been crafted for a comfortable grip. Its cutting edge is estimated, by the company, to be somewhere between 8 and 12 degrees, making it perfectly suited to the thin slicing tasks one would expect a high-quality Santoku knife to perform.
I cannot possibly do justice to this knife and its superiority over many of the other knives on this list simply by supplying you with a short description of it on this main Santoku knives page. To fully explain why each of its qualities is wonderful and why the combination of these qualities is incredible, I will have to resort to writing about this knife on a separate page as well.
Shun DM0718 Classic Hollow Ground Santoku Knife
Priced somewhere in the mid-point between the cheapest and most expensive Santoku knives I found during my research for this website, this Shun Classic is the perfect marriage of price and quality. Its positive consumer reviews testify to its quality while its price shows that it is rather affordable.
I was unable, as I usually am, to select the cheapest knife on this list for the title of “Best Value”. While I truly wish that I could locate an incredibly inexpensive knife with the quality of a Best In Class knife, it is nearly impossible to do so. Although you may pay for brand names in other industries, you usually find yourself paying for quality and material type where knives are concerned.
I believe that this quality knife was made affordable by the manufacturer’s choice of materials. Whereas many more expensive knifes feature fully high-carbon or high-carbon stainless steel blades, this knife’s blade has been constructed of stainless steel with a high-carbon core for extra strength. For all the positive qualities and expert craftsmanship used in creating this knife, giving up high-carbon steel for price savings is hardly a sacrifice.
I will require an entirely separate page to bring you all the necessary information about what makes this Shun Santoku knife top quality and best value.
If you have read my “Santoku Knife Buying Guide” you may be scratching your head in confusion right now. In that guide, I suggest steering clear of ceramic blades when searching for a Santoku Knife. The reason I suggested this is because Santoku knives sometimes require you to sort of slam the knife down as you chop. Ceramic can be brittle, so I advised against purchasing a ceramic-bladed Santoku knife. Why, then, would I include a ceramic santoku knife on this list of “Top Three Choices”?
Although a ceramic blade can be difficult to work with when it is part of a Santoku knife, it is not impossible and is not an absolute no-no the way that it is with a boning knife. When working with a ceramic-bladed Santoku knife you will simply need to be careful not to work with anything too hard and to select an appropriate chopping surface (one with a little bounce).
Though ceramic is not the ideal blade type for a Santoku knife, I realize that some of you out there are die-hard ceramic blade fans. I figured that it was only fair of me to go out and find you the best, top-selling ceramic-bladed Santoku knife so that you could satisfy both your needs and desires. I truly believe that this Yoshi Blade knife will do just that.
Three Santoku knives couldn’t possibly meet the needs of every person on this planet, could they? Maybe, but I highly doubt it. In case your particular needs were not met by the three knives listed above, I have included a list of seven “Honorable Mentions” in this section.
Though not quite the quality of the three knives listed above, each knife on this list deserves your attention as a possible addition to your kitchen. In fact, since some of what defined the quality of the Top Three Choices knives was my own opinion, you may actually find that one of these knives suits your needs even better than one of those listed above.
Take a few moments to peruse the list below to see if any of these “Honorable Mentions” meets your needs.
Kai Wasabi 6.5-Inch Santoku
Measuring 6.5 inches in length, this mid-sized santoku knife is the perfect length for most of your slicing, dicing, and chopping needs. It isn’t too small to create long, thin slices of onions. At the same time, it isn’t so long as to be difficult to control when performing fine tasks such as mincing garlic or herbs.
This knife’s high-carbon stainless steel blade has not been forged for added strength, but should be strong enough to withstand most chopping tasks, thanks to its high carbon content. The only downside to this blade is that its lack of a hollow edge may cause food to stick to it. Still, that isn’t much of a sacrifice for the incredible price of this rather well-constructed knife. The lack of a hollow edge simply means that you will spend a little more time wiping certain sticky foods off the blade than you would with some other knives.
Although many people prefer a very straight blade, the slight curve of this blade makes it perfect for beginners who are more familiar with using a chef’s knife than a Santoku knife. Since it is not as curved as a chef’s knife, the Wasabi’s slight curve can act as a transition between the sweeping motion used with a chef’s knife and the chopping motion used with straighter Santoku blades.
Adding to this knife’s list of impressive features is its tall blade, which is perfect for sweeping chopped veggies, herbs, and fruit right up and dumping them into a dish. The steel bolster and full-tang handle offer this knife a balanced weight, keeping control in the palm of your hand as you grip its comfortable, somewhat ergonomically-shaped polypropylene and bamboo handle.
OXO Good Grips Professional Santoku Knife
Much like the Kai Wasabi knife listed above, this OXO’s blade features a slight curve which makes it a wonderful transition knife for those who would like to move from using a chef’s knife to a Santoku knife. The hollowed edges of this blade mean that you will easily be able to slice, chop, or dice any sticky food without worrying that it will stay stuck to the blade. You won’t have to stop chopping to clean off your blade, because the air pockets created by the hollow points will force the food to fall free on its own.
This knife’s rounded handle has been ergonomically contoured to fit the basic curves of any hand, allowing you to get a firm grip which shouldn’t slip away as you perform tasks. Some knives feature extremely contoured handles which prevent you from grasping different types of grips. Although the type of grip you will use for this particular knife shouldn’t change very much from one task to the next, it is good to know that it hasn’t been formed to a degree where people with different sized hands may find the grip uncomfortable.
This knife is constructed with a stainless steel blade and a soft-grip synthetic handle, which make it perfect for those who rely on a dishwasher. The blade is full tang, extending the entire length of the handle for strength and weight balance. Though the blade does not appear to be riveted into the handle, I do not suspect that you will be placing enough force on this knife for that to really be of great importance.
Kershaw Pure Komachi 2 Hollow Ground
This high-carbon stainless steel Santoku knife boasts a few exciting features as well as some other basic, but essential, features which, when combined, almost earned this knife a spot in the “Top Three Choices” for “Best Value”.
Let’s begin by discussing this knife’s blade. Constructed of high-carbon stainless steel, this blade is bound to be strong enough to withstand most of the pressure you will place it under as you smack it against a cutting board. In keeping with this topic, I must tell you that the blade is not full tang which may mean that you will not be able to smack it as hard as some other knives. It was the lack of a full-tang blade which kept this knife from making its way into your Top Three Choices. Still, if you are looking for something lightweight and do not anticipate putting too much pressure on this knife, this partial-tang blade may be just fine for you.
The although this blade does not feature a hollow edge, it has been coated with a non-stick FDA-approved resin coating to stop those annoyingly sticky fruits, vegetables, and herbs from adhering themselves to it. Although unimportant to our discussion about quality, some of you may be delighted to hear that the non-stick coating applied to this knife’s blade is available in a variety of bright, bold colors.
Zwilling J. A. Henckels Twin Pro S 7-Inch with Hollow Edge
This J. A. Henckels Santoku knife features a full-tang blade which has been triple-riveted into its handle for extra strength. The high carbon content of this high-carbon stainless steel blade means that it will be strong enough to handle most of what you throw its way. The blade’s hollow edge will stop food from sticking, allowing you to quickly and effortlessly slice and dice your way through almost anything you desire.
Though the handle features a steel bolster for added weight distribution, it does not feature an end cap. Those of you who are used to seeing me point out that both are essential in a well-weighted knife will actually be pleased to hear that that is not the case with a Santoku knife. When using a santoku knife, you actually want the bulk of the weight to be at the midsection and within the blade itself, so that gravity does part of your job for you as you slice, chop, and dice.
The synthetic handle of this knife is a welcome escape from the non-submergible Pakkawood handles featured on many Santoku knives. Although this handle may not be the most comfortable due to its squared edges, it has been created bulky enough to keep it from flipping over in your hand and to allow you to get a firm grip.
Global G-48 7-Inch Hollow Ground Santoku
Of all the Santoku knives listed on this website, this is the only one which is constructed fully and completely from steel. The blade and handle are created from one seamless piece of stainless steel, which means that they will never come apart during regular kitchen tasks. It also means that there is no gap between the blade and the handle in which bacteria can gather and multiply, making cleaning a much quicker and simpler task.
As much as I love the positive qualities of steel handles, I often advise against them, because they can easily become slippery and create a dangerous situation in your kitchen. Thankfully, Global thought of this and decided to texture the handle so that you can easily grasp a firm grip.
Though stainless steel is not my favorite option for a knife blade, those who like stainless steel will probably be satisfied with this option. They will be happy to know that this particular blade will be much stronger than many other stainless steel blades because it has been fully forged instead of stamped. Stamped stainless steel is usually weak and flimsy. The forging process used in the creation of this entire knife has made it much stronger, sturdier, and more durable.
Instead of creating a protective bolster between the handle and the blade to keep your fingers from sliding forward, Global has chosen to create a small section of pinched metal. This section of pinched metal will allow you get a firm, comfortable grip for small tasks, such as mincing garlic and herbs. Your selection of a precision grip or a safety bolster should be based upon your own needs, preferences, and skill level.
Wusthof Classic Ikon 7-Inch Hollow Edge
If you have read some of the knife reviews on our other pages, you may have noticed that Wosthof is a rather popular brand in the world of kitchen knives. That is because this company is known for its reliable, quality products; this high-carbon stainless steel 7-inch Santoku knife is no different. Its strong blade is full tang and has been triple-riveted into its handle for extra strength, durability, and longevity.
The blade barely features a curve, which will allow you to chop the full length of the blade to your heart’s content. Although I am uncertain of this blade’s cutting angle, consumer reviews have reported that it is rather sharp and easily accomplishes the thin slices you should expect from any quality Santoku blade.
This knife’s handle has been ergonomically designed with comfort and strength of grip in mind. It will provide you with a gripping experience to rival some of the best knives on the market overall. The synthetic materials used to create this handle boast more longevity than typical plastic handles and can more easily withstand changes in temperature and moisture levels without drying out and cracking.
Shun Premier 7-Inch Santoku Knife
Although I will be speaking mostly about the 7-inch version of this knife, I believe it is important for you to know that it is also available in a 5-inch option for smaller, more precise tasks. The 7-inch version of this knife is perfect for working with regular-sized fruits and vegetables and is also useful in working with larger vegetables such as cabbage and cauliflower.
The high-carbon steel blade of this knife would be strong enough simply having a high carbon content but has been made even stronger and more durable through a forging and hammering process. The hammered finished not only creates strength in the blade but also makes tens, if not hundreds, of hollow points to stop food from sticking to the blade. The blade is nice and tall which will facilitate transportation of chopped goods from the cutting board to your serving or cooking dish.
This knife’s pakkawood handle is not dishwasher friendly and should not be submerged in water. Take care when working with this handle and it will, in turn, take care of you. The wood of the handle will be warm and comfortable to grip. The ergonomic contours of this handle make it comfortable to hold and easy to grip without being so contoured as to restrict one’s ability to select between different types of grasps.
This knife’s 16-degree cutting angle, though not as acute as some other razor-sharp Santoku knives, should allow you to perform most expected tasks. Unfortunately, it may limit your ability to achieve paper-thin slices. However, this does make it a good practice blade for someone who is afraid to use a sharper blade due to inexperience.
Which is Best For You?
Now that you have read through all of the reviews on this page, you should have a better idea of what it is that you are looking for in your next Santoku knife. I hope that I have been able to help you select your next knife or, at the very least, narrow down your choices.