Searching for the Best Santoku Knife

If you’re a fan of Japanese cuisine in the kitchen, then it’s likely that you will need the best Santoku knife for your arsenal.

The design of Santoku knives is different from that of a typical western chef knife. Their blade is thin and sharp, but it’s also wider so you get greater manipulation space for your fingers.

With Santoku knives, you don’t really use that rocking motion to finish a cut like with western chef knives. Instead, you mainly use a single downward movement with the knife since the blade lands evenly from tip to end.

Santoku knives are generally shorter and thinner than regular western chef knives, which means they’re also a bit lighter. And while a western knife is usually about 8 inches long, you rarely find a Santoku knife that goes past 7 inches.

7 Best Santoku Knives - Comparisons


Product Name

Blade Material

Blade Length


Damascus steel


AUS-10V Japanese Steel


Carbon Stainless Steel


Japanese VG10 Steel


Stainless Steel


Cromova 18 Stainless Steel


Carbon Stainless Steel


Since Santoku knives are smaller and thinner, their blade is usually made from harder and higher quality steel. Often, Japanese knife makers pay attention to the beauty of the knives and use a variety of folding techniques and different alloys to form artistically gorgeous patterns called suminagashi.

The Santoku knife shines when you slice sushi with it, because the hard and thin blade really results in effortless slicing—however, you may end like most people and use it as your general-purpose knife. You can use it to slice, dice and chop, as well as to crush garlic cloves. It’s also great for cutting meat and veggies. Just don’t use it like a cleaver. Because of the hard steel and the thin blade design, the Santoku knife is more prone to chipping.

7 Best Santoku Knives - Reviews 

Getting even a cheaper, average Santoku knife will be a revelation for you the first time you use it. There’s a good chance that you’ll decide to make the switch and use it most of the time in lieu of your regular chef knife. But it surely helps if you pick the right Santoku knife, and here’s how we can help—make your selection from our top picks: 

Shun is actually part of the renowned Kershaw Knives/Kai USA company based in Oregon. However, Shun knives are made in the ancient tradition of Seki City, the center of sword-making and knife production in Japan. Each of their knives requires highly skilled technicians taking at least 100 handcrafted steps to complete each knife.

This premiere Santoku knife is a great example of Shun knifemaking excellence, and its design is styled after the traditional Japanese cook’s knife. Its blade is 7 inches long, with the knife’s overall length at 12.2 inches. It’s about 1.8 inches at its widest, and the handle measures about 0.8 inches thick.

Its blade is made from VG-10 high carbon steel, with a 16-degree angle compared to the 20 to 22 degrees you find in western chef knives. Then the blade is clad with 16 layers of Damascus stainless steel on each side for greater flexibility and strength. This corrosion-resistant metal isn’t just beautiful,it features microscopic air pockets that minimize the friction when you make your slices. The Tsuchime hammered finish features hollow ground cavities to minimize the drag when you cut.

The handle is gorgeous as well, as it is made from resin-reinforced Pakkawood. It’s also NSF-certified for use in commercial kitchens.

What we liked

  • This knife is gorgeous with the Damascus styling and Pakkawood whirls. No two Shun premier knives are exactly alike. It’s a good bet that once you get this it will be the most beautiful knife in your kitchen. 
  • The VG-10 steel he blade is absolutely terrific and it’s easy to sharpen until you get a wicked edge. Then it will retain that edge for a long time before you need to sharpen it again. 
  • The air pockets and hammered finish make cutting and slicing virtually effortless. 
  • The oblong handle sits in your hand comfortably, so it’s easy and very safe to use. 
  • The overall dimensions, balance, and weight are fantastic. 
  • It’s extremely durable, which explains why it has a limited lifetime warranty. Shun even offers a free sharpening service for the lifespan of the knife.

What we didn't like

  • Because of the fabled durability of the knife, some unscrupulous sellers are selling used knives as brand-new. You have to be careful about where you buy, especially if you’re going get it from an unknown retail store.

The Dalstrong commitment to excellence is quite obvious when you first receive your delivery. Their knives come neatly packed inside the justly famous Dalstrong packaging, and you’ll also receive a “PerfectFit” sheath to go with your knife. But upon first sight of this Santoku knife, it’s understandable if you’ll want to use it right away.

It’s absolutely terrific to look at even at a glance. That’s due to the astonishing beauty of the “Tsunami Rose” blade pattern. The handle isn’t bad either as it’s been polished by hand.

But this knife is not really meant just to be admired. It’s meant to be used, and you will want to use this. The blade’s cutting core is made from ultra-premium Japanese super-steel called AUS-10V, which offers unparalleled edge retention due to its 62+ Rockwell hardness. Then that steel has been clad in 66 layers of high carbon stainless steel to bolster its strength, durability, and resistance to staining.

How sharp is this knife? It’s like a scalpel, that’s how sharp it is. Many of the premium Santoku knives employ much sharper angles such as 16 degrees instead of the 22-degree angle you normally find in western knives,but this one takes the cake, as the angle is set from 8 to 12 degrees.

The handle uses G-10 Garolite and it’s been ergonomically shaped to fit your hand better. This material offers military-grade strength plus durability than can last a lifetime. It can easily withstand extreme temperatures (heat and cold) and moisture doesn’t bother it either. The full-tang knife has been triple-riveted, and there’s a stainless steel cap at the end to offer an ideal counterbalance. 

What we liked

  • The packaging is fantastic, so there’s no risk that it will get damaged during the shipping. 
  • The blade design is entrancing and the sharp edge really cuts meats and veggies with little effort. It also features “Rockhollow” divots along the edge, which keep the food from sticking to the blade. 
  • The ergonomic shape makes this knife comfortable to hold, and it even promotes the use of the pinch grip. 
  • It’s resistant to corrosion, so it’s easy to take care of. 
  • Comes with a lifetime warranty against defects. 

What we didn't like

  • Compared to the complicated design on the blade, the handle looks just a bit dull and plain.

The Germans are renowned for their no-nonsense approach to engineering and manufacturing, and they do have a solid knife making tradition in Solingen, Germany. This tradition is exemplified by the Wüsthof brand, which has been run by the same family for more than 200 hundred years. They combine classic devotion to excellence with innovative styles, and that’s certainly the case with their 7-inch 4183-7 Classic Santoku knife.

The blade has been forged from a single piece of premium high carbon stainless steel, and it offers a full-tang design so the steel goes all the way through the handle. Wüsthof uses its special Precision-Edge technology on their knives, so they end up with a blade that’s 20% sharper than other blades using the same sort of steel. What’s more, their treatment results in a 58-degree Rockwell hardness rating, and its edge retention is often twice that of other similar knives.

The design of this knife is much thinner than even other Santoku knives, as you get a 1-degree cutting edge. It comes with a hollow edge, and along the length of it you can find evenly spaced vertical indentations that create tiny air pockets in between the food and the blade. These indentations reduce the friction and drag you may encounter when making your cuts.

The handle comes with a traditional look and feel, so it’s familiar and comfortable in your hands. However, the handle is made from high-grade polyoxymethylene (POM) with a much tighter molecular configuration, making it even more resistant to discoloration and fading. The knife also features a full bolster as well as a finger guard. With a full-tang design you know you have a solid handle to hold, and the triple riveting means that the synthetic handle will stay in place no matter what. 

What we liked

  • The blade uses high carbon stainless steel that makes it harder so you can make cuts more easily. 
  • Such cuts require less effort because the edge is much sharper than you’d normally expect. 
  • With its double edge retention feature, you won’t have to sharpen the edge as often. 
  • The blade cuts through without having food sticking to it. Even potatoes won’t stick as much with this knife. 

What we didn't like

  • This knife seems plain and merely functional without the beautiful styling on the blade that gives Santoku knives their unique charm. Even the handle seems boring compared to Pakkawood.

TUO stands for Technology, Utility, and Originality, and all these core attributes are evident in their superb yet reasonably-priced Santoku knife. The blade core is made from the same Japanese VG-10 stainless steel that is commonly found in this type of kitchen knives. This steel is durable and tough with a 62+ Rockwell hardness rating along with excellent corrosion resistance. Then this steel is clad with 66 layers of softer stainless steel to give it a bit of flexibility so that the blade will bend instead of break under pressure. You’ll also get the typical wavy Damascus blade design that gives these knives their unique character.

The handle is mostly black, and it’s made from military-grade G10 composite material. This handle will last for a lifetime, as it won’t be damaged by extreme heat or cold. Even moisture won’t damage it. There’s a set of 5 rings around the top of the handle near the blade that functions as a hand guard you don’t hurt yourself through carelessness. 

What we liked

  • The blade is quite sharp with its 15-degree angle, and it keeps its edge for longer so you can work all day. 
  • Its handle is pretty much indestructible, yet the shape is easy to hold and control. 
  • This knife still looks exquisite, even though it’s not as expensive as the other works of art on this list. 
  • The red rings are a nice touch, and its whimsical inclusion into the design surely does remind you to take care. 

What we didn't like

  • The blade is only 5.5 inches long. We wish it was a bit longer for better control and leverage.

You shouldn’t be surprised with the inclusion of the Victorinox brand on this list. Victorinox does offer its own version of the Santoku knife, and like its iconic Swiss Army knife,this knife is a marvelous combination of utility and affordability.

This Santoku knife doesn’t come with the entrancing wavy designs on the blade, but then you don’t really need that sort of thing to prepare your food anyway. This is what you get when fancy looks aren’t any sort of priority for you.

It’s not that it’s ugly—in fact, this Santoku knife comes with a Granton edge that is characterized by the use of a line of identical hollow dimples on the edge of the knife. These dimples enable easier cutting without shredding the meat, while it also allows for improved food release so food doesn’t stick to the blade. 

The blade is also wider, so it does offer cleaver functions. It’s also big enough so you can use it to scoop up your ingredients to put it in your bowl.

The black Fibrox Pro handle is ergonomically shaped, and it’s made from durable synthetic material. All in all, it’s nice enough to hold, as it offers a secure grip and good control over the knife. 

What we liked

  • The steel used for the blade is lightweight, and for an all-day food preparation, these weight savings work great to reduce the wrist tension. 
  • The dimples on the blade help keep the food from sticking to the blade. They make the knife look more unique too. 
  • The substantial size of the blade allows you to use it like a spatula to scoop your chopped up ingredients. 
  • The blade is quite sharp, and it’s easy enough to sharpen quickly. 

What we didn't like

  • This knife doesn’t come with a sheath. You better figure out where you’ll put this safely, as the edge is wicked sharp.

Those who prefer an all-steel design tend to gravitate towards the Global G-48 when they are looking for a Santoku knife. This reasonably-priced model is made from hard molybdenum/vanadium stainless steel, and it has been sharpened by hand to get that 15-degree angle you need for precise sushi cuts. What sets this blade apart is Global’s unique process which results in a sharp edge that lasts longer than even premium stainless steel knives with high levels of carbon.

This is a lightweight blade, and if you’re working with it the whole day then it’s certainly a relief. The handle is made from stainless steel too, and it’s been shaped and textured to give you a secure grip. The unique feature is that the handle is actually hollow, and an amount of sand has been injected inside. The sand flows inside the handle to keep the weight balanced as you move the knife around.

With stainless steel all over, you won’t have problems with stains on the handle material. It’s certainly tough, and it comes with a lifetime warranty. 

What we liked

  • The all-steel look of this knife goes well with kitchens featuring a techno or industrial look. The stainless steel handle is also easier to clean. 
  • Its blade features the customary dimples in Santoku knives for easier cutting and to prevent food sticking to it. 
  • The edge remains sharp for a long while, so you can work all day without taking a break for sharpening. In fact, for regular folks, you can use this for months before you need to sharpen it again. 
  • The handle is easy hold and there’s a finger notch in the middle of the blade and the handle for extra protection. 
  • It’s extremely durable and comes with a lifetime warranty. 

What we didn't like

  • You still need to hand wash this knife regardless of the stainless steel handle.

Icel’s motto is “We Place Value in Your Hands”, and that starts with an affordable price tag. Then they start to put in various excellent features that really put a lot of bang for the buck. It begins with a nice blade made from high carbon stainless steel to provide the durability needed to make the thinner Santoku knife design work. The blade comes in with the expected 7-inch length, and it keeps its sharp edge fairly well.

The blade also comes with the typical Granton feature that Santoku knives are known for. You have a line of oval hollow dimples along the side of the edge, which enables you to cut through your ingredients more easily. In addition, these dimples keep the food from sticking too much to the blade when you cut them. 

This is a fairly lightweight knife at about 6.5 ounces, with a specially-shaped handle for better control and reduced wrist strain. The handle is made from polypropylene, which offers antibacterial capacities, plus the design also keeps your hand from slipping from the handle. The overall safety of ICEL knives is assured, which is why it comes with NSF-certification.

This knife is tough and durable, and it’s supposed to last you for many years of service even with daily use. That’s why it comes with a lifetime money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied. 

What we liked

  • Even though this knife is quite affordable, it still comes with the dimpled design along the edge of the blade, giving you the expected benefits of the Santoku design. You can cut more easily with the thin blade, while the food doesn’t stick as much to the blade. 
  • The handle is very easy to hold, and it sure feels good so there’s no strain to worry about. The handle’s antibacterial nature also helps in keeping the food preparation process safe.
  • It comes to your home sharp, and it keeps that sharpness for quite a while before you need to sharpen it again. That high carbon content in the stainless steel really helps. 
  • This knife is dishwash0er-safe, so if you’re not feeling good about washing it by hand then you still have another option. 
  • It will certainly last for a long time, and the lifetime money-back guarantee really shows ICEL’s confidence in the durability and usefulness of their knives. 

What we didn't like

  • To cut down on cost, this is not a full-tang blade, which can result in balance issues as the weight is on the blade and not spread through the handle.


For numerous general-purpose food preparation tasks, you may find that the Santoku design is a more convenient option thana traditional western chef’s knife. Of course, the advantages you get depend greatly on whether or not you try to get the best Santoku knife for your money.

Spend a bit more, and you can enjoy a true work of art in the kitchen. The Santoku knife can really catch your attention with its entrancing beauty and efficient function, and once you try it you may have a new favorite knife in your kitchen arsenal.

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David Valle

I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable fishing experience. I deliver more than fishing gear guides, and motivate people to hit the water!