If you have never heard of them, a Santoku knife is a type of cooking knife which is Japanese in origin, but is growing more and more in its international popularity.
There are plenty of different versions of this blade which are popular for different reasons and in different regions.
The name Santoku is translated into three uses, or three virtues, and this refers to the three types of cuts this knife excels in doing, being slicing, dicing, as well as mincing.
The Santoku blade can be recognized for its flat cutting edge, and then its handle that is in line to the upper edge of its blade.
Then the end of the Santoku blade has a signature rounded curve which is commonly called a sheep’s foot, as opposed to a sharp point that is more common with a western style knife.
This style of flat blade can be quite useful as it will not rock on a cutting board in the way other knives are designed to.
This can have some unique benefits, but also means that they usually need a little practice before you can use them properly.
Generally speaking, a Santoku knife will also be a little shorter and lighter than a western chef’s knife, as well as a little thinner.
They are usually between 6 and 7 inches with the length of the blade which is compared to the standard 8 inches for a western blade.
There are plenty of factors which you will want to consider when it comes to buying a Santoku knife, and if you have never purchased one before, it is likely that you do not know what many of these features to look out for are.
This is why we have put this list together so you can see some of our favorite Santoku knives, so you have some options to choose from, instead of going in blind.
On top of this, we have also put together a buyer’s guide which will aid you in selecting what factors are most important to you when it comes to buying a Santoku knife, so if you are a beginner this will be incredibly helpful.
So, if you are looking to get a Santoku knife, but do not know where to start, keep reading!
Table of Contents
- Our Favorite Santoku Knives in 2023
- Santoku Knife Buying Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite Santoku Knives in 2023
Throughout our list of Santoku knives, we have selected a wide variety of options so you will see the range of variety in these knives and will see which will suit you best.
Just because we believe one knife may be better than another, the other knife still might be preferable for you, so make sure to look at all of our choices!
Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
Why We Chose The Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
This is our favorite Santoku knife when it comes to overall quality!
This knife balances a lot of the traits you will want in a Santoku knife, so if you want an easy choice, this is the one we recommend!
Why We Love The Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Very sharp blade
- The gentle curve on the front end makes rocking cuts possible
- Lightweight design
Why We Do Not Love The Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife
- Needs to be hand washed and will get damaged in a machine
- The blade itself is not forged, but has been stamped
Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife Product Overview
After we have done plenty of testing, we can say the Zwilling Twin Signature is one of the best Santoku knives available.
The blade is made in Germany and the blade is made from stamped metal that is ice hardened. In spite of being stamped it is still high quality and the blade is full tang which means it has a great sense of balance as well as weight.
The shape of the handle also encourages the proper technique for cutting and this makes it more comfortable for beginners to hold.
The knife itself is very sharp and is perfect for when you are making those super fine cuts when cutting ingredients into small pieces.
The edge is also contoured which is a useful design, as well as the hollow edge that stops ingredients from sticking. It can cut through whatever you need it to effortlessly!
Henckels Zwilling Twin Signature Hollow Edge Santoku Knife Product Specification
The length of this blade is 7 inches, and the handle is made from POM, the whole knife weighs 8.8 ounces.
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife
Why We Chose The Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife
We chose this knife because it is our favorite budget option, so if you want something more affordable, this is your best bet!
Why We Love The Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife
- Can be washed in the dishwasher
- Has a flat spin that provides extra cutting power
- Simple lightweight design
Why We Do Not Love The Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife
- The handle itself is a little too thin compared to others
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife Product Overview
If your priority is budget, but you still want a high quality product, then this is one of the best to go with. It is a stamped blade and features a granton edge.
The stamped quality of the knife does make it lighter which is a quality a lot of chefs prefer, and it also has a unique shape that makes picking up ingredients with it quite easy.
The handle is made from a unique and patented material that makes it slip resistant, while also being ergonomic and comfortable to hold.
Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife Product Specification
This knife has a blade length of 7 inches, and the material the handle is made from is a thermoplastic rubber, the whole knife weighs 3.2 ounces.
Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch
Why We Chose The Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch
This is our favorite high-end option, so if budget is not an issue, and you want the highest quality option, this is going to be your best option!
Why We Love The Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch
- We love the attractive 66 layers of the blade
- Has a great performance with the typical kitchen tasks
- Makes a perfect gift
Why We Do Not Love The Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch
- One of the heavier options
- The blade is a bit more curved than a more traditional Santoku design
Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch Product Overview
Perhaps our favorite aspect of this blade is just how beautiful it is, but in spite of this, the blade is also very functional and can get the job done.
While not many people prioritize the appearance of their cookware, if you want something that you can really show off, or want an impressive gift, this is one of the best Santoku knives for this.
As you can expect from a blade of this quality, the blade is full tang, and has a good weight, this gives it an impressive performance.
The blade is made from a carbon stainless steel from Japan, and it has a super sharp edge that makes cutting easy. While it is not perfect for cutting everything, it is great at doing everything a Santoku knife is supposed to do.
The hollow ground design also ensures that the food will not stick, and it is also tempered in liquid nitrogen that makes the blade last even longer.
The handle of the blade is quite ergonomic and comfortable to hold, it has a great balance that is helped by the weight of the blade. So, if you want a gift for a friend who you know loves cooking, this is a great option!
Zelite Infinity Alpha-Royal Series Santoku Knife 7 Inch Product Specification
The blade is 7 inches long, and the handle is made from a fiberglass laminate, the whole knife weighs 9.4 ounces.
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, 7-Inch (M20707)
Why We Love The Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, 7-Inch (M20707)
- This blade has a great balance
- The handle is non slip
- The lightweight grip is very useful
Why We Do Not Love The Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, 7-Inch (M20707)
- The blade is prone to rusting if it is not fully dry
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, 7-Inch (M20707) Product Overview
This is an NSF certified knife that we loved working with, and it is also quite an attractive blade as well! It is also full tang making it very easy to work with!
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife, 7-Inch (M20707) Product Specification
The blade length is 7 inches, and the handle is made from Santoprene, the whole knife weighs 3.2 ounces.
Santoku Knife Buying Guide
As we mentioned in our introduction, buying a Santoku knife, especially if you have never owned or used one before, can be quite difficult.
This is why we have put this guide together so you can see what factors impact that quality of a Santoku knife.
This section will also help you understand how these factors will affect your use of the knife, and what factors you should prioritize.
So, if you struggled to choose a favorite knife when looking through the product list, then keep reading!
When it comes to buying a Santoku knife, you should not purchase based on the size of your hand, but instead you will want to keep in mind the use of the knife and what you will usually be using it for.
You want to think of the food you are cutting with it, and how big it is, as well as the size of the surface that you are cutting on, you also want to think about the comfort of the person that is using the knife as well.
You can use a 7 inch blade for cutting a wider variety of ingredients than a smaller blade, however, using a smaller blade will get better results when working with smaller ingredients.
As we have mentioned throughout this article, a Santoku knife is often used for more fine and delicate work, this is why thin blades are often preferred.
If you are looking to get slices that are thin as well as uniform, you will want your blade to be thin too. If you want to get a thicker blade there can be some benefits, however, the cuts will tend to be a lot less accurate.
When you look at a thinner knife you might assume that it can be flimsy, however, even some quite thin Santoku blades are well known for how inflexible and sturdy they are.
They are often made with stronger metals like a steel with a high carbon content, or a stainless steel. You will want to ensure that your Santoku knife has not been stamped from a sheet of metal.
This is because this type of knife is going to be weaker than a knife that has been properly forged.
When it comes to the durability of your Santoku blade, you also want to look out for a handle that is triple riveted, this ensures that the blade is completely attached to your handle.
If you can also look out for a knife that is full tang this is even better.
A knife that is full tang will have the blade going all the way through the handle, this makes the blade a lot stronger and there is a much lower chance of the blade snapping off in the long run.
Something else you may have noticed when looking at Santoku knives is that they tend to be taller than an average knife.
This is intentional and will help you balance your food as you slice in a downwards motion. This then ensures that your slices are even every time you make them.
This also gives you a bigger surface area to work with on the place which makes Santoku blades great for moving around diced ingredients.
When looking at Santoku blades you have likely noticed the oval shaped indentations on the blade. These are either referred to as granton or hollow edges.
These stop food from sticking to the blade as easily and mean you do not have to run your hand or something else on the blade to try and dislodge any ingredients.
Frequently Asked Questions
A Santoku knife is a Japanese knife that has a distinctly thin blade as well as a spine that is curved.
You will also see that most Santoku knives feature edges that are hollow, and the blade will usually be between 5 and 8 inches long.
They tend to be lightweight, but also can be made using a hard steel. They can also be made using a single or a double bevel.
The word Santoku itself refers to the three virtues, being the three main uses of the blade being chopping, slicing, and dicing.
You will usually find Santoku knives being used for chopping more precisely, as well as slicing and dicing ingredients.
They are useful for creating super thin cuts which are not possible using a standard chef’s knife.
These knives are perfect for if you are mincing herbs, slicing your seafood as thin as possible, or cutting up fruits or vegetables. This versatility is why Santoku knives are becoming more popular.
The materials Santoku knives are made from ensure that they are quite durable and have a long lifespan, however, like any knife, they will need to be sharpened regularly.
The best way to sharpen a Santoku knife is using a whetstone at a 20-degree angle, or if it is hollow 15 degrees.
This is because the blade is thinner, so if you use a steel sharpening rod, this could end up doing more damage than good.
We also do not recommend an electric or a pull through sharpeners since they are not designed for Santoku knives usually.
You also have the option to professionally sharpen your knife as well, however this will usually cost more.
Hopefully this guide has given you the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to buying a Santoku knife!
There is plenty to consider when it comes to buying one of these knives, so we hope this guide has given you the information you need.
If you have gotten through the product list and are still unsure which Santoku knife is best for you, we recommend looking through the buyer’s guide.
This will help you work out what factors you should prioritize when buying a Santoku knife, and you can then cross-reference this with the product list to aid in making a choice.