Santoku (Japanese: 三徳包丁; meaning “three virtues” or “three uses”) knives are a Japanese-style knife that has become more popular in the United States, with many versions being made in America as well as abroad. It refers to the three types of cuts the knife is designed for: slicing, dicing, and mincing.
The blade has a flat cutting edge with the handle in line with the spine of the blade. At the end of the blade there is a rounded curve called a sheep’s foot, rather than a sharp point that is more common with western blades (see image to the right).
Because of the flat edge, the santoku doesn’t rock on the cutting surface like the blade of a chef’s knife does, so it might take some practice to get used to the style.
Santoku knives are shorter, lighter, and thinner than Chef’s knives. Because of the thinness, they tend to be more hardened than Western knives, to add strength. Many Santoku knives have indentations on the sides of the blade near the cutting edge, which is known as a granton edge or a hollow edge. These indentations help keep food from sticking to the knife. It’s not foolproof, but it does make a difference, particularly when slicing hard vegetables like potatoes and yam.
Most Santoku knives have a 15 to 17 cm blade, compared to the more common 20 cm and above lengths for many Chef’s knives. Whilst most Japanese blades are sharpened one one side, compared to Western blades on both sides, traditional santoku blades are sharpened on both sides, but with a more extreme angle, similar to other Japanese blades.
Santoku knives aren’t better or worse than chef’s knives — they are simply a different style of knife that performs similar tasks. Here, the best Santoku knives for your kitchen.
Victorinox Santoku Knife with a fluted edge is a good Santoku knife, that has a stamped blade with a granton edge. The handle is made from a patented material that is slip-resistant and is ergonomically designed for comfortable cutting. Because the blade is stamped, this knife is lighter in weight, which some cooks prefer. It is Dishwasher safe.
Value for Money: 4/5