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Santuko (Santoku) Knives...Need advice!!!

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Phoebe Oct 15, 2006 05:30 PM

I'm interested in purchasing a santoku knife and have a few questions. For those that own one...Do you actually use it or does it just sit in the drawer? Also, wondering how much can I expect to pay for a reasonably good one? Not necessarily the best and most expensive. And any particular brands that stand out among the rest?

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    Kelli2006 RE: Phoebe Oct 15, 2006 05:43 PM

    I don't have a santuko of my own, but I have used co-workers knives where I work. I love the blade shape of the santuko for prepping veggies, as the slightly sheep's foot blade is very adept at chopping, dicing and julienne.

    I would expect to pay at least $65.00 and you can easily pay more than $200.00 for a custom Japanese knife maker, but its all up to you. Wusthof makes a very nice santuko, and the Global knife is also very popular in professional kitchens. I would suggest that you try all blade and handle shapes to she what you like, and what fits your hand and style of cooking.
    I love the shape and thickness of the Global blade, but I prefer the shape of the Wusthof handle.
    You might want to look at the websites of Cooks tools, and cutlery.com.

    I hope this helps, and please report back on your results.

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      howund09 RE: Phoebe Oct 15, 2006 05:58 PM

      I would stay away from European brands of Santuko style knives. Global are excellent and retain their edge for a long time if treated properly ; no dish washer and not thrown in a crowded drawer. My fav is Shun brand by Kershaw. Great quality, great handle, maybe a little pricey but it will be your fav for years if you don't abuse it. Check out Knifemerchant.com for the best prices, even with s&h.

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        shopgirl RE: Phoebe Oct 15, 2006 09:03 PM

        I recently purchased my first Santoku knife. I boughta Henckels Twin Signature, Ice Hardened, No Stain Santoku. I can tell you for a fact that THIS knife does not sit in my drawer with the others! In fact, I have cleared a space for it so that no other blades touch it! I practically revere it! I pretty much have used none of my other knives. It's being treated properly...sits all alone and never goes in the dishwasher. I snagged it on a Macy's sale. Reg. $99 on sale for $50. The best $50 I ever spent! Hope you find one you like. As Kelli suggests, try out the handles to make sure they are comfortable for you. Good luck!

        2 Replies
        1. re: shopgirl
          Pei RE: shopgirl Oct 15, 2006 09:43 PM

          I had that knife for a long time, and loved it! I used it every day. I liked it so much that I recently upgraded to a Shun santoku. Wow! Even better (but over $125). I love the shape of the santoku, the length is perfect whereas I find a 8" chef's knife a little too long for me to leverage properly.

          If you are willing to spend the money to buy from an expensive store like Sur La Table, they will let you try the knife for awhile and bring it back with the receipt. I never had any hassle the few times I've done this in the past. Once the salesperson really hyped up a knife and I asked if I could bring it back if I hated it. he said they would definitely want to know, and I did end up bringing it back because I found it so useless (the Shun tiny mini prep knife--too small to slife a large onion or orange!). Another time I was deciding between Global and Shun Santokus and they just said to buy one and see how I liked it.

          The Global is thinner, lighter, and sleeker. It might even be sharper, or that could be an illusion. The Shun has more heft but I find the blade fits in my palm more easily. Either one is fantastic.

          1. re: shopgirl
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            Zydecopapa RE: shopgirl Oct 16, 2006 01:45 AM

            My Professional "S" Henckel Santoku is my favorite knife. Like all my knives, I hang it on a wall mounted magnetic strip.

          2. UnConundrum RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 01:56 AM

            I strongly suggest you browse through this site: http://japanesechefsknife.com/product... You'll find many versions and manufacturers there. I believe most accept the Tojiro brand as a good quality starter. The Hattori KD line is considered one of the best. Whole bunch in between. The Hattori HD-5 Santoku 170mm at $115 would probably be a great addition to your kitchen ;

            )

            Did you know there's also a forum that specializes in kitchen knives? Check out http://www.knifeforums.com/forums/sho... bunch of great, knowledgable folks hang out there.

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              oracle347 RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 02:06 AM

              For my university Graduation present, I asked for an 8-Inch Henckles Santoku. At around 85$ a few years ago, it was my first piece of seriosu kitchen equpiment - before my All Clad 3-quart Pot, before my spring loaded tongs, before my first silicon baking sheet. Let me tell you, that knife has seen me through my first apartment and crappy cutting boards, boyfriends and out-of-country moves. To this day, it it a staple in my kitchen. The only other three knives I own are a cleaver, a paring knife and a ceramic santoku that was a present to me. I can chop, slice, dice, carve- I can even bone a chicken. You simplly can't go wrong :)

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                omnivoreswanderlust RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 02:24 AM

                i find it useful to designate my knives for rough duty or intricate knife cutting. unconundrum is on the money for suggesting japanesechefknife, i also own wusthof, henckel and globals. the reward from a beautiful japanese knife you've honed on a whetstone then shave the most delicate chives is more than any sacrifice of the wallet. know what you buy and for what purpose. remember that skill accounts for more than expensive tools. enjoy.

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                  rosa RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 02:44 AM

                  I'd never heard of a Santoku knife till recently. I was shopping @ a new outlet mall in Round Rock, Tx and one of the stores was giving away FREE with purchase a small Chicago Cutlery Santoku knife. I had bought a set of expensive knives a couple of years ago and wasn't too interested in it till I tried it. It was great. Sharp and the food fell away from the knife as I sliced. Not sure that price has anything to do with it!

                  1. paulj RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 06:25 AM

                    This talk makes me feel like a cheapskate - my favorite knife is a Faberware Santoku, which sells for less the $20.

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                      nosh RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 06:40 AM

                      I bought my first Santoku a couple of years ago after Cooks Illustrated recommended the MAC and it has been my knife of choice ever since. I even bought copies for my dad and brother. Mine cost about $60 including shipping back then -- I think the same model is up close to $100 now. I like it for its versatility, lightness, and edge -- it scares me a little if I get careless and come close to dropping it on unshod toes. I violated its instructions and use a normal steel to maintain it, but that seems to be working out ok. I have the non-beviled model and have no problem with food sticking to the blade. I bought mine from an internet source that worked out fine.

                      1. Ora RE: Phoebe Oct 16, 2006 03:01 PM

                        OP--if you are in NYC, Broadway Panhandler on E. 8th Street is running a very good sale on quality knives. For example, I bought a 3 piece global knife set (santoku, paring, utility) for 127 + 10tax=137 total. I love this small set and use all of the knives regularly for different applications. These three knives are the "go to" knives for a home cook.

                        1. Chocolatechipkt RE: Phoebe Oct 17, 2006 01:20 AM

                          Don't laugh, but I have a $12 Santoku made by Henckels from Target. I'm sure it's not as good as some of the more expensive Santukus, but it's the knife I use most--and I do have a full set of Wustof knives. In any case, it's an option if you want to test out the Santoku waters before diving in.

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                            Phoebe RE: Phoebe Oct 18, 2006 12:38 AM

                            Thanks everyone for the feedback. I'm a cook in a restaurant and know NOT to store a knife in a drawer. I was just interested in knowing if your Santoku was gathering dust. I store all of my knives on a wall mounted magnetic strip. No dishwashing either!!! Glad to hear all you find it an invaluable knife. Sounds like I should definately spend the extra cash and get a good one. Thanks again!!!

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