Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Cookware >
May 26, 2007 05:38 PM

A Great Santoku Knife for Under $50?

Hi Hounds,

I'm looking to purchase a high quality santoku knife as a gift for someone who I know would appreciate it, but have a gift budget of about $50 (I'd prefer to spend a little less even, truth be told).

I've done a little research on my own, and have found that J.A. Henckels, Wusthof, and Shun all come highly recommended, but they are also highly priced. I wonder if a few of you can direct me to a few great, reasonably priced santoku knives that I might consider.

On Amazon, I found a "Henckels International Forged Synergy 7-Inch Hollow Edge Santoku" for $24.99 (originally $48), and a "Calphalon Traditional 2-Piece Knife Set with 8-Inch Chef's Knife and 5-Inch Santoku Knife" for $29.99 (originally $69.99). Are these good buys? I noticed the Henckels knife is missing the "J.A.". Mean anything?

And should I buy a "hollow" santoku (what does that even mean)..??

Thanks for any and all insight - much appreciated, as always.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I wouldn't call it "great" but I got my wife the 5 inch Calphalon Santoku knife that is included in that set on Amazon and she likes it very much. Its got nice weight, is a great size for anyone with small hands, holds an edge well and takes one fairly well. I would say its a great value and a good knife. I don't have any experience with the 8 inch knife in the set, but I'd have no reason think it would be any different overall than the Santoku knife.

    I've used some of the Henckel Synergy and Twin Star products and I've been unimpressed almost across the board.

    Hollow or hollow ground refers to the beveled edges ground into the blade that allow food to release a bit more easily when sliced. We've got one Santoku with and one without hollow grounding and honestly, they are both very useful and not a lot different if kept sharp.

    1. Buy a 7" KitchenAid with a composite handle for next to nothing (pricewise). Mine has gotten a lot of use in a short time; and I'll swear by it!

      4 Replies
      1. re: Sam Fujisaka

        Sam, My daughter bought me the Kitchen Aid Santuko for X-mas and I love it. This knife has a neoprene grip on the handle that I love, and she chose the pink grip Susan G. Korman knife model, and K-A donates $5.00 for breast cancer research.

        I love good knives and I expect a lot from them, but this knife is quite impressive. It hold a great edge and the blade is straight and true. I have seen them for sale at $32.00 at Bed Bath and Beyond.

        My only quibble is that it is made in China, but it seems that almost everything is lately.

        1. re: Kelli2006

          Kelly200, I have the bright red handle. Didn't know about the pink handle plus breast cancer donation--a very good idea. I don't think I paid more than $20 at Target on a visit to the US. I have a few SS ChefMate pots and pans--also individual purchases from Targets on stop-overs in the US: they perform really well for the next-to-nothing prices--and are also made in China.

          1. re: Kelli2006

            Sam, This is the knife she got for me, but I think she paid a few dollars more.

            She is moving to a apt for her Jr and Sr year in college and I bought her Kitchen Aid knives, but I agree with the target SS pans. They are very impressive for the price. I love my All-Clad MC pans, but I'm not going to invest in those for 2 college kids.

            1. re: Kelli2006

              K2006, "Cook for the cure" to me is really wonderful. I looked up my knife on Amazon: slightly different handle shape, red instead of pink, same blade, same price: $19.99, and sold at Target. I'll be getting a bunch of the pink "Cook for the cure" knives as gifts for my friends.

              As to the pots and pans, why not give the All-Clad MC to the kids? From my first wife on (we graduated from college in 1972), I've used, taken care of, and appreciated high-end stuff. Only as I've gotten older, however, have I been able to appreciate beating pots and pans to death in the heat of the moment--and in doing so have found that the cheaper stuff is just as good--even better if you value not having to worry about stuff quickly looking like it was run over by the bus.

        2. If I had twice as much to spend, I still might get the Tojiro DP-series santoku (model F-503).

          $45 at Direct link -->