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Dec 27, 2007 07:47 PM

Santoku: Global vs. MAC

Sorry if this is a redundant topic...but I am looking to upgrade my knives and want to purchase a 6 to 7 inch santoku knife.

Based on my research and recommendations, I've narrowed it down to two knives:

Global 7-inch hollow ground Santoku (around $90)
MAC Professional Mighty Santoku 6.5 inch (around $80-$90)

I know there are a lot of brands out there, but these seem to be the best, highest quality and most versatile.

Anyone prefer one over the other? Or anyone think that these brands are just so-so and that there are better 7-inch (similar) knives? I'd like to keep it under $100.

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  1. Both of those are decent knives. I would suggest trying to find both in your area and actually hold them. The biggest knock on Globals is that some people find the steel handles get slippery when wet, others don't have that problem. Just see which fits your hand best. In terms of performance, they are about the same. The Global probably has better fit and finish, but both will perform well.

    And not to confuse you, but I'll throw in a 3rd option in the same price range. It's a Yoshikane 6.5 inch santoku, they make excellent knives.

    One last comment, with the Japanese knives, make sure you don't put them through one of those chef choice sharpeners. The Japanese knives have a more acute edge and the chef's choice sharpeners will grind them to a more obtuse angle, essentially making them less sharp than they came. The should be sharpened with waterstones or sent to a sharpening service that regularly sharpens Japanese knives.

    5 Replies
    1. re: BrandonPHX

      Thanks for your comments - very helpful. Wow that knife is gorgeous. I think I will have to go try them all out and see what feels the best. I have heard the same thing about global knives - that they can feel slippery b/c of the handle.

      1. re: pepperminta

        The Yoshikane is a beautiful knife, however keep in mind that it's cutting edge is NOT stainless steel. That doesn't bother me at all, but for some people it's a deal breaker.

        Some other knives to consider as well (all stainless steel):

        1. re: vanillagorilla

          The Yoshikane is stainless. It's made from stainless tool steel, not carbon steel.

          1. re: BrandonPHX

            It says in the description:

            The core steel is rust resistant SKD die steel

            It's not going to be as rust prone as my carbon steel knives, but you can't treat it like a regular stainless steel knife. Definitely want to was it right after use, and not put it away wet.

            1. re: vanillagorilla

              I'd say that of all good knives, stainless or not.

    2. I love my MAC. Bought it online about three or four years ago when it was toprated by Cook's Illustrated, and have been using it as my main knife ever since, replacing a carbon-steel chef's knife I'd used for 25 years. I thought so much of the MAC that I've sent some to family and friends as presents. I've handled the Global at cookware stores, and not only is the metal handle a bit too hard and uncomfortable for me, but it is also a bit slimmer and I like a thicker handle that I don't seem to have to grip as strong.

      3 Replies
        1. re: pepperminta

          I am almost certain that I have the SK-65. Less expensive, about $70 shipped.

          1. re: pepperminta

            The Mac superior is actually the one that was top rated by CI. I also have one and am pretty happy with it (for certain things; for most things I still tend to rely on my chef's knife). The Mac should also be in the $60 range.

        2. Can't say this happens to all of 'em, but my Global santoku, that I've had for 5 years, just snapped off at the handle while chopping onions

          3 Replies
          1. re: chasrn56

            hmm....that doesn't sound good! i read that they have a lifetime warranty. can you get it replaced?

            1. re: chasrn56

              i thought globals were made from one piece of steel? but if the handle snapped off, does this mean it's made from 2 pieces?

              1. re: soypower

                the global is a stamped piece of steel welded to a hollow (sand filled?) handle.

            2. I own a Global Santoku and have used the MAC professional version, but I recently purchased the Togiharu Hammered Damascus Steel Santoku from Korin in NYC. It's an absolutely gorgeous knife that's lightweight and balanced. It was love at first sight.

              I think the normal price is $140 but they are having a 15% Off sale until Monday on all knives.

              1. I am wondering what other knives that you already own and what kind of cooking that you do? I wanted to add a santuko to my arsenal, but now that I have one, I don't use it nearly as much as I thought I would. A Santuko is not a replacement for a chefs knife, but a specialized tool that makes precise cuts on veggies and boneless meat, IMVHO.

                I received a Kitchenaid santuko last year and love it, as does Sam Fujisaka, but I still reach for my forged French and German blades more often. I love my Kitchenaid knife, as its a great knife for the price, but it makes me cringe that it is made in China.

                I liked the Global blade shape, but I can't use the metal handles when they get wet, and the MAC handle feels unwieldy to me.

                4 Replies
                1. re: Kelli2006

                  I wandered onto this thread and thought of you as well as I was scrolling down. I do love the KitchenAid, also partly because it is as good as other stuff costing 5x or more. Made in China does not bother me for reasons so numerous that they would get this reply axed. Having said that, I'm also with Kelli2006 in that I use my 40 year old Sabatier (even though its kind of ugly by this time) the most. Also have an inexpensive no-name Japanese vegetable knife (nagiri) I use a lot because of its speed.

                  1. re: Kelli2006

                    i disagree that a santoku can't be used as a substitute for a chef's. I pretty much do all my chopping with a santoku. Santoku as a description can be a little deceiving. They all have similar shapes but feel very different in the hand. Some, like the Shun stainless, are heavy and feel like they can power through anything. The Mac on the other hand, seems to have a thinner blade, though still sharp. You'll need to hold one to feel if it's right for you. The regular pakka wood shun feels very different than the stainless, btw.

                    1. re: chuckl

                      I finally took the plunge and actually bought 2 knives: one is the global santoku (hollow ground) 7"- and the other, i got the 7" kitchenaid santoku b/c i had a linens n' things coupon so it came out to $16.99...couldn't pass that up.

                      Both work beautifully....the global is just beautiful to hold and slices and chops like a dream. it is so incredibly sharp...i have to agree w/ the comment above - you must respect this knife - it is SO sharp. I even have to say that the kitchenaid is actually a very sharp knife and feels good to hold...much better than i expected.

                    2. re: Kelli2006

                      I really go for whatever is handy and within reach at the time.

                      One of my old standy knives is a simple Gerber 6" Chef that's I've had since my college years. It's small and can work wonders. I also keep a Global Santoku that I use for most purposes. In the drawer, I've got two Dexter Russell 10" Chef knives that are used for general chopping and cutting. There's also a DR boning knife in there as well, and a DR off-set handled serrated knife for breads and stuff.

                      The knife roll has a bit more specialized stuff, like the Henkels 4 star filet knife, 5star paring knife, as well as a Chinese cleaver, butcher's cleaver and an old Japanese non-stick santoku with scalloped holes.

                      But some of my favorites now are the aforementioned Togiharu Santoku and Petty knives, as well as my Aritsugu 27cm Yanagi.

                      While I may have a collection of knives, I really use whatever is handy and within reach.