The Best Santoku Knife – Prepare For A Life Changer

Here’s the deal:

When I was going through the bunch of question that you guys had for me, there was a question that really stood out from the crowd…

Emma wanted to know what I reckoned the best Santoku knife was.

But did I really have a for-sure answer?

I mean there’s a lot to consider:

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This Japanese dish superstar knife with its wide blade that’s thin and super sharp is known for being the master of thin slicing.

While I love to stick to The Best German Chef Knives for everyday kitchen tasks, my Santoku is the only tool I turn to when I’m prepping sushi. Let me show you the difference between the two…

Chef Knives vs Santoku Knives

  • Western (chef) knives need a rocking motion to finish the cuts, whereas Santoku’s primarily rely on downward movement of the blade to slice.
  • The Santoku is a little shorter, thinner and noticeably lighter than the Chef, and they’re more likely than not made of higher quality steels too.
  • Santoku knives do not deal with bones at all. Chef’s knives can handle the punch of accidentally hitting a bone; the Santoku however will chip at its edge.
  • Santoku knives rule supreme when it comes to edge retention however, and that’s exactly why you should already own one.

Enough with the mumbo-jumbo! Let me get to the real reason you’re still reading

The Best Santoku Knife On The Market Today 

First I’ll show you the 3 best Santoku Knives money can buy. These bad boys do not sit well with budget conscious buyers, but they rock at the job.

#1 Shun Premier Santoku Knife

Thus hand-crafted Kershaw Knives Santoku is made from two pieces of steel.  I personally own one of these, which is why it comes in as my number one, and most recommended pick. The 7 inch blade has a core made from high carbon Japanese Steel, so you can sit back knowing that it’s amazing at retaining its edge. On top of the core lay 16 patterned Damascus steel layers which don’t only look great, but lend extra strength and flexibility to the blade.

The Pros:

  • The hammered finish (Tsuchime) creates small indentations on the blade surface to help reduce drag while cutting
  • The handle with its oblong shaped hardwood finish is comfortable to hold
  • The balance and handling of this Santoku is perfect

The Cons:

  • It’s expensive
  • Once the edge starts (eventually) dulling, it’ll be gone pretty soon
Shun Premier Santoku Knife, 7-Inch

Shun Premier Santoku Knife, 7-Inch


#2 Global G-48 Santoku Hallow Ground Knife

If you need something a little less expensive than the Shun Premier Santoku, the Global G-48 still brings you outstanding results in the kitchen at a much more affordable price. I really appreciate the price performance ratio this Santoku brings to the table. The high quality stainless steel blade and handle is ideal for general cutting and slicing applications. This is the perfect starter Santoku!

The Pros:

  • The knife is solidly forged from tip to handle
  • It has a nice heft and balance
  • It’s super sharp straight out of the box and is pretty good at edge retention

The Cons:

  • The metal handle is an issue as it gets very slippery when it gets wet
Global G-48 - 7 inch, 18cm Santoku Hollow Ground Knife

Global G-48 – 7 inch, 18cm Santoku Hollow Ground Knife


#3 Yaxell Gou 6-1/2 inch Santoku Knife

Look, if you need a knife that’s a serious looker and you don’t mind the crazy price tag, the Yaxell Gou is your go-to option. I never dreamt of calling a knife gorgeous, but this one is well worth the title. This knife is perfect for those of you with smaller hands due to its slightly shorter profile. The Damascus look is what makes this knife pop and the black canvas micarta seals the deal.

The Pros:

  • The blade is SG-2 Steel Clad with 101 layers of high carbon steel
  • It’s a hand-crafted knife
  • Its corrosion and stain resistant with an edge that’s dangerously sharp

The Cons:

  • Its crazy expensive, but well worth every cent
Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, 1-Count

Yaxell Gou 6-1/2-inch Santoku Knife, 1-Count


And now for the budget picks

#4 Faberware Resin Santoku with Blade Sheath

Coming in as one of the best received cheap Santoku knives out there, the Faberware Resin Santoku is quite the performer considering its price tag. The blade was sharp and well balanced, which made cutting through meats a breeze. The orange resin coated blade looks great and also acts as some kind of defense against food sticking to the blade.

The Pros:

  • It has a high-carbon stainless steel blade
  • It comes with a limited lifetime warranty
  • It’s ridiculously cheap

The Cons:

  • The plastic handle is flimsy
  • It’s not nearly as sharp as a real-deal Japanese style Santoku
Farberware Resin 7-Inch Santoku with Blade Sheath, Orange

Farberware Resin 7-Inch Santoku with Blade Sheath, Orange


#5 OXO Good Grips Professional Santoku Knife

For around $20 I found this Santoku to be pretty okay for the price. The quality is adequate and the looks are pretty good. I liked the fact that the OXO Good Grips Santoku has a hardened blade for the sake of durability and the handle with its soft touch was surprisingly comfortable to work with.

The Pros:

  • The soft and comfortable handle was a nice bonus
  • The full tang means this knife has proper balance
  • The stain and corrosion resistant blade is a plus

The Cons:

  • This knife actually sucks at edge retention
  • It will need a lot of regular sharpening
OXO Good Grips Professional 6-1/2-Inch Santoku Knife

OXO Good Grips Professional 6-1/2-Inch Santoku Knife


And that sums up my picks for the Best Santoku Knife spinoff. I’m sure you’ll be able to tell the best from the rest by now.

I’ll see you on the flip side when we’ll talk all things about Sushi and I’ll tell you all about the Best Sushi Knife before moving on to explore whether there’s really such a thing as Cheap Shun Knives.

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