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If you’ve never used a Santoku knife, you’re missing out.

Corey Williams
October 01, 2018
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Santoku knives are Japanese knives that are gaining popularity in the U.S.—and for good reason. The blades are thinner than most chef’s knives, which allows for more refined slicing. “Santoku” translates to “three virtues” or “three uses.” This refers to the three types of cuts the knife is made to perform: slicing, dicing, and mincing.

The Santoku’s blade is flat, unlike many rounded Western knives. Most chef’s knives have a rounded blade, allowing the knife to rock as it cuts. Though the flat edge will likely take some getting used to, it’s generally considered to be faster and more efficient.

WATCH: How to Hone a Knife Like a Chef

 

Santoku knives are thinner, lighter and shorter than most Western-style knives. Because of this, these knives have to be stronger and more hardened.

If you frequently find yourself getting frustrated with your bulky chef’s knife, it might be time to look into purchasing a Santoku.

We did the research, so you don’t have to:

Best Value: 

Cravings by Chrissy Teigen 7" "My Go To" Serrated Santoku Knife, $14.99

I actually purchased this knife myself this weekend and, you guys, HOLY COW. This knife could replace all my other knives without breaking a sweat. Its size does take a little getting used to, but you'll never look back once you get the hang of it. I honestly can't believe I only spent $15. Thank goodness for Chrissy Teigen. 

Best Seller:

Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, $36

Mercer

More than 1,200 people gave this knife a 5-star review on Amazon.

“Believe the hype,” one Amazon user commented. “This knife makes me feel like a proper professional chef!”

The handle offers superior comfort and a non-slip grip, even with wet hands. Plus, the German-cutlery steel resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. At less than $40, this is actually a great deal for a good Santoku Knife.

Best Investment:

Dalstrong Shogun Series 7-Inch Santoku Knife, $118

Dalstrong

Trust me, I know that $118 is a lot to spend on a single knife. But if you frequently slice or mince delicate foods, it might be worth the investment. Made with the best materials available, this knife will amaze you with its razor-sharp, scalpel-like edge.

“I am a professional chef with a heavy focus on knives and knife technique,” one review reads. “This is a beautiful piece of gear. I used it as my primary knife for dinner service tonight and it met every task a proper Santoku ought to. I even used it to break down a fish and shoulder cut of beef, for which I would typically use a Sujihiki or a Granton edge slicing knife with almost twice the length, and it held its own!”

Best Set:

J.A. Henckels International Fine Edge Pro 2-pc Asian Knife Set, $21

JA Henckels

Two knives, for less than the price of one. This set includes a 5-inch Santoku knife and and a 7-inch Santoku knife. Now, don’t expect the quality of a higher-end product—this set is an absolute steal at $21. But, according to reviewers, these inexpensive knives actually get the job done.

“For the price I didn't expect a whole lot,” one reviewer explained. “But I've always liked J.A. Henckels knives. These feel just fine and are decently balanced—they won't stay super sharp long, but re-sharpen quickly with a basic pull-through ceramic sharpener and are good to go in under 30 seconds. My only regret is not buying these sooner!”

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