The Best Santoku Knife According to Chefs

If you’re in the market for the best Santoku knife, the most important factors to consider are the knife’s blade material, sharpness, and how easy it is to maneuver. To help you shop, I’ve put together a list of the best Santoku knives in the market. I’ve also curated reviews for each product. As well as a handy buying guide to further help you find an all-purpose knife for your daily food-prepping needs.

Best Santoku Knife featured photo

We’re all familiar with the traditional chef’s knife, characterized by its sharp point. It’s been one of the best all-around knives professional chefs all over the world have come to love. They play a special role in precisely and finely slicing herbs, caving meats, and mincing ingredients.

However, another great knife with roots in Japan has been gaining popularity among busy kitchens in the past years: the santoku knife. No wonder it’s being produced in many parts of the world today. With varying designs from legacy brands.

What Is a Santoku Knife?

Santoku knives are Japanese knives that are becoming increasingly common in the United States, with so many models manufactured both in America and overseas. In Japanese, Santoku translates to “three virtues” or “three uses”. But it also makes reference to the three cuts this knife is designed for. Specifically for slicing, dicing, and mincing.

When you look at a santoku knife, it looks identical to the traditional western chef’s knife in appearance. Its blade features a flat cutting edge, while the handle is parallel to the blade’s upper portion. The blade’s tip has a curved blade known as a sheep’s foot, instead of the sharp point found on western style chef’s knives.

Due to its flat blade, santoku knives don’t rock on the chopping board like a chef’s knife blade does. So, it may take a bit of time to adjust to the new style. A santoku knife is also shorter, lightweight, and has a thinner blade than a traditional chef’s knife.

Most santoku knives come in either 6 or 7-inch blades, as opposed to the more common 8-inch blade for chef’s knives. Check out the best Santoku knives to add to your kitchen arsenal, or if you want to expand your knife collection.

Why Invest in a Santoku Knife?

As I’ve mentioned earlier, santoku knives are similar to a chef’s knife in appearance. But owing to its rounded tip, it integrates the tasks of a cleaver and a chef’s knife in one tool. Santoku knives are particularly effective at chopping up delicate herbs. As well as doing detailed, incredibly thin cuts on veggies.

A chef’s knife, on the other hand, is heftier, has more power, and length. So, those with smaller hands will benefit from a santoku knife when it comes to ease of use. Santoku knives will have you preparing everyday ingredients precisely, no matter what recipes you have in mind.

My Top Picks: The Best Santoku Knife

ImageProductDetailsPrice
Best OverallMercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku KnifeMercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife– 2 x 1 x 13 inches
– High carbon stainless steel blade
– Santoprene handle
– Taper-ground edge
– Limited lifetime warranty
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Best High-endZelite Infinity 7-inch Santoku KnifeZelite Infinity 7-inch Santoku Knife– 12.52 x 0.94 x 1.77 inches
– High carbon Japanese steel
– Ergonomic rounded handles
– Triple-riveted, full tang
– Tsunami rose Damascus pattern
– Limited lifetime warranty
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Best BudgetSabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku KnifeSabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku Knife– 0.59 x 1.77 x 10.04 inches
– High carbon stainless steel blade
– Built-in shelf-sharpening sheath
– Triple-riveted ergonomic handle
– Limited lifetime warranty
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Reviews: The Best Santoku Knives

Santoku knives are one of the most useful kitchen utensils you could have in your collection. It’s about time you invest in one! By getting to know each one in my recommendation, you should be able to pick the best Santoku knife for your daily slicing, dicing, and mincing.

Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife – Best Overall

Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife

If you’re looking for the best Santoku knife, the Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife may be an excellent option. This 7-inch knife is made of German high carbon forged steel, a material known for its durability. It’s resistant to rust, corrosion, as well as stain.

This Mercer Culinary knife features a Santoprene handle that provides comfy and safe grips, making it easy on the hands. For superior balance, the handle has a full tang that covers the full length of the handle. It also has taper-ground edges which provide better stability, quick honing and lasting sharpness. As well as greater cutting and dicing efficiency.

Its sharp blade outperforms many other knives that cost twice its price. That’s what I think makes this Santoku knife easily a go-to cutting tool for all your ingredients. To preserve its sharpness and finish, you must handwash the knife. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:

– Durable and easy to use

– Well-balanced

– Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

– Knife may require frequent honing

– Requires hand wash

Zelite Infinity 7-inch Santoku Knife – Best High-end

Zelite Infinity 7-inch Santoku Knife

I like splurging on kitchen tools that I know are of great quality, which could make the Zelite Infinity 7-inch Santoku Knife a good high-end option. I find this knife both functional and attractive. While a beautiful knife may not catch your interest, who wouldn’t want to pull a knife out from a rack that has a tsunami rose Damascus pattern on its blade? I know I do! It adds fun to preparing food.

The Zelite Infinity Santoku knife isn’t just about the looks. It has a full tang and a decent heft to it, and it’s built to perform well. The razor-sharp edge is made of 67-layer high carbon Japanese stainless steel and allows for easy slicing. 

Its hollow-ground prevents food from sticking, and it has been tempered in liquid nitrogen for reliability. The handle is also triple-riveted for stability, and the rivets themselves are tasteful featuring a three-metal mosaic pattern.

This knife has an ergonomically designed handle, with the tapered bolster offering a comfy and perfectly balanced grip. Overall, I think it’s one of the most beautiful knives you could ever own. It’s on the pricey side, but I think it’s worth it. This knife comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:

– Functional and attractive

– Razor-sharp blade

– Ergonomic handle

– Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

– A bit on the heavy side

– Can’t be put in the dishwasher

– Expensive

Sabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku Knife – Best Budget

Sabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku Knife

If you’re looking for a Saroku knife with a good self-sharpening feature, then the Sabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku Knife may be a great choice. It’s the knife’s built-in mechanism, which is designed to hone the blade automatically after each use, ensuring a razor-sharp edge. Never a dull moment with this one! Literally.

The Sabatier Santoku’s blade is made of high-carbon steel and has a perfect cutting angle. Its handle is ergonomic and triple-riveted, providing you a firm grip and complete stability. This ensures comfort and maneuverability. Since this handle material is extremely durable, this knife should last you for many years. 

Thi knife is on the smaller side though, so I would recommend this to those with smaller hands. Since it has a shorter length and flat cutting edge, this versatile knife plays best at precision cuts and slicing. Plus, it’s super affordable! Make sure to hand wash the knife and dry it right away. This year comes with a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:

– Self-sharpening sheath lessens the hassle of honing

– Ergonomic handle

– Durable and versatile

– Affordable

– Comes with a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

– Can’t be put in the dishwasher

– Shorter length

– Has no bolster

Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged 7-inch Santoku Knife

Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife

The Mercer Culinary Renaissance Forged 7-inch Santoku Knife has almost the same build as the Mercer Culinary Genesis. Except for the design of the handle. Much like most fine knives, it’s made of high-carbon steel with a Delrin handle. The handle is triple-riveted and is ergonomically designed. With the round spine, it’s easy and comfy to grip and maneuver.

This Mercer Culinary knife has a shortened bolster that reveals the entire blade edge for easier sharpening. For superior balance, the handle has a full tang that spans the entire length of the handle. It also has taper-ground edges which provide better stability, easy honing, and lasting sharpness.

As with most knives in my list, you’ll need to hand wash the knife to maintain the blade edge and the surface. This knife is NSF-certified and backed by a limited lifetime warranty.

Pros:

– Easy to use with ergonomic design

– Well-balanced

– NSF-certified

– Comes with a limited lifetimes warranty

Cons:

– The bolster edges be duller; could bite into fingers

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-inch Santoku Knife

Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-inch Santoku Knife

For professionals, a good collection of knives wouldn’t be without a great Santoku knife. The Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7-inch Santoku Knife could be a good addition. This knife isn’t much of an extravagance, but it’s sharp straight out of the box. It’s also simple to hone in the longer term. It’s made of high carbon steel with a thermoplastic rubber handle.

The Victorinox Santoku knife has the ideal combination of features of a cleaver and a chef’s knife. With such a distinctive shape, it makes it possible to be used as a handy spatula to scoop up whatever it is you’re chopping.

This knife features a Granton edge, which keeps food from sticking to the blade and reduces friction. Its flat cutting edge is ground in two directions to produce lasting sharpness. Plus, it does not rock. This results in super-efficient slicing.

It also has an ergonomic handle that is non-slip even when it’s wet. The knife has a nice heft to it and is balanced for ease of use and comfort. It meets the strict National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) standards for public health protection, making it a safe choice for daily food prep.

Pros:

– Sharp and durable blade

– Ergonomic non-slip handle

– Granton edge keeps ingredients from sticking to the blade

– NSF-certified

Cons:

– Plastic handle is a bit flimsy

– Has a thinner blade compared to others

TUO 7-inch Santoku Knife

TUO 7-inch Santoku Knife

The TUO 7-inch Santoku Knife, in my opinion, has a sleek design. Its made of German stainless steel. Combined with a precise vacuum heat-treatment and nitrogen cryogenic tempering. This ensures superior toughness and versatility. As well as long-term performance.

The TUO Santoku knife is hand-sharpened by seasoned knife smiths. It features has a full-tang structure with tree silvery rivets assembled to guarantee firm durability. As well as outstanding resilience. Just like all the knives on my list, this one is also ergonomically designed for a secure, comfy grip.

The blade’s shape also provides minimal slicing friction. Its blade has also been hand polished to a satin finish. The finish makes it certainly stunning. The luxury imported black pakkawood handle also adds to the overall aesthetic of the knife.

Pros:

– Sleek and ergonomic design

– Durable and lasting sharpness

– Mid-range price

Cons:

– Wood handle is porous

– Full tang is slightly off from the handle

A Buyer’s Guide in Choosing the Best Santoku Knife

Before you pick a Santoku knife, you must consider its blade material and sharpness. The handle design is also important as it determines how easy it is to use and maneuver the knife. Find out more on the handy buying guide below.

Blade

When I was doing my research, users gauged the sharpness of a Santoku knife by cutting through sweet potatoes. This way, you’ll find out if the blade catches on the interior of the potato. Also, you’re going to want a smooth and easy slicing.

In terms of precision, some other knives make it easier to cut steadily thin or even slices. When looking for a good Santoku knife, you must look for one that can cut through piles of spices without smashing or muddling them.

Blade length is also essential in choosing the ideal santoku knife for you. When picking a knife, you shouldn’t consider the size of your hands. But rather the purpose of the knife, the ingredients you cut, and the space in your cutting surface. It’s also important to determine your comfortability.

Santoku knives with 7-inch high carbon steel blades are suitable for cutting a wide range of foods. Whereas a 5-inch blade is a safer choice for smaller ingredients.

Handle

When it comes to the handle’s materials, there are plenty of options available. Ranging from man-made components to wood with beautiful grain patterns. Although a lot of users prefer the primal look of wood, synthetic materials tend to be more impervious to cooking oils and cleaning agents. They are also less expensive.

All things considered, I suggest you choose what feels the most comfortable in your hand. You should seek a knife with a comfy handle that’s neither too long nor too bulky. If you plan to store the knife on your counter, you may even decide on the aesthetic of the handle.

Finish

The blade’s finish also matters. If you plan on having it sit on your countertop, a steel with a nice finish will add a touch of elegance to your kitchen. You may also consider the point where the blade and the handle connect. Get a good feel of a well-crafted knife with a classy handle.

Maneuverability

A Santoku knife must be lightweight to move around, and easy to slide back and forth when cutting, dicing, and mincing. You also need to make sure it’s responsive. This means that you should feel the blade interact with your hand. Some users test the responsiveness of knives by pressing them against a cutting board. A responsive knife should vibrate back into your hand, allowing you to cut with more precision.

Special Features

Each knife has its own distinct characteristics. Many have special handle designs and new looks of Granton edges. While other santoku knives are even dishwasher-safe. Certain Santoku knives come with extras such as storage sheaths, a full tang, or self-sharpening capabilities. Before purchasing a Santoku knife, consider what you truly need the knife for.

FAQs

What is the best use of a Santoku knife?

Santoku knives are excellent for cutting and making fine slices. They’re great for chopping or dicing fruits and veggies, and nuts. Because of their wide blade, they’re also great for mincing herbs and picking food off a cutting board.

Should I get a chef knife or santoku?

When cooking a certain food such as a menu loaded with seafood, fruits, and veggies but low on meat, a Santoku knife is a wiser alternative. A chef’s knife is ideal if you need a solid all-purpose tool that can carve meat. As well as slicing fruit and veggies.

Why is the Santoku knife special?

The santoku knife is designed to cut thin slices of meat, seafood, cheese, fruit, and veggies. The finer cuts are used in a variety of Japanese dishes. The wide blade of a Santoku knife is also effective for scooping ingredients off the cutting board.

Should I get a 5 or 7-inch Santoku knife?

The blades of a Santoku knife are typically 5 to 7 inches long. And therefore should be roughly proportional to the chef’s height. In terms of knife length, a taller blade is also handy for scooping up spices. Whereas a narrower blade is ideally adapted for highly precise cuts.

Conclusion

My favorite is the Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife because durable and easy to use, and it’s well-balanced. I also appreciate that it’s reasonably priced given its high quality. But if you don’t mind shelling out on a great Santoku knife that’s well-curated, the elite Infinity 7-inch Santoku Knife could be a good high-end choice. It’s both functional and attractive, featuring a razor-sharp blade and ergonomic handle.

If you’re looking to save, the Sabatier Forged 5-inch Santoku Knife may be a nice option. It may be on the smaller side, but it has a self-sharpening sheath which saves time for honing. These and the rest on my list are just some of the best Santoku knives you could get in the market today.

So, make sure to check out the latest prices and discounts of these precious knives above. And as always, good luck!