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Good Santoku

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by Aerosmith101, Dec 7, 2018.

  1. Aerosmith101

    Aerosmith101

    44
    Oct 28, 2018
    I need suggestions for a good Santoku knife to get my mom for Christmas. It has to be inexpensive, about 7" in length, made out of a decent steel, must have the fluting in the blade, and has to be manufactured in a country with good quality reputation (not China or Taiwan)
     
  2. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    What’s your idea of inexpensive ??
     
  3. Aerosmith101

    Aerosmith101

    44
    Oct 28, 2018
    $85 or less
     
  4. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Good luck $100.00-200.00 is what a good Japanese Santuko goes for with all that you have listened that I know of ... $85.00 ones come from China.
     
  5. Aerosmith101

    Aerosmith101

    44
    Oct 28, 2018
    Yeah that's what ivI' noticed which is wierd considering I've found quality kitchen knives of every type except Santoku within that price range
     
  6. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Depends on what you are calling Quality?
     
  7. jdm61

    jdm61 itinerant metal pounder Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Aug 12, 2005
    And why does it HAVE to have "fluting?"
     
    hughd likes this.
  8. Eli Chaps

    Eli Chaps Basic Member Basic Member

    600
    Apr 20, 2018
    Wusthof Gourmet Hollow Edge Santoku.

    I have several knives from the Gourmet line (although not this particular one) and they are excellent. Yes, the steel is a little softer than the higher-end lines but nothing big for a home kitchen. The handles are very comfortable and overall value is very good.
     
  9. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
    Wüsthof Pro Hollow-Edge Santoku Knife - $50 - Made in Germany
    Victorinox Fibrox Pro 7" Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife - $45 - Made in Switzerland
    Victorinox Rosewood Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife, 7" - $65 - Made in Switzerland

    In addition to other options already mentioned.

    Just go to one of the big on-line kitchen product or cutlery retailers, search on "Santoku", sort by price, and find something in your price range that you like. Stick with manufacturers known for cutlery, rather than manufacturers known for pots and pans who decided to add cutlery as a secondary product line.
     
  10. hughd

    hughd Basic Member Basic Member

    347
    Feb 18, 2014
    6 1/2" & minus the "fluting"
    Japanese MAC Knife SK-65 Superior Series 6-1/2" Blade Santoku ($68/75.00 net on auction site)
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2018
  11. huelsdonk

    huelsdonk Gold Member Gold Member

    663
    May 2, 2016
    Good suggestions above. I was also going to suggest the Shun Kanso as it ticks all your boxes and is a pretty good knife.

    You could also look at the Japanese brand Tojiro. They have some lines that punch way above their weight in terms of value. I would suggest the Tojiro DP 170mm Santuko or the Tojiro Shirogami (White #2) 165mm Santuko. Both are well within your price range.
     
    GABaus and jc57 like this.
  12. Aerosmith101

    Aerosmith101

    44
    Oct 28, 2018
    Because my mom loves the fluting on the one she has now
     
  13. dgaddis

    dgaddis

    38
    Dec 26, 2018
    I know it's past Christmas, but for anyone else looking, I've been happy with my Mercer Renaissance Santoku and Nakiri. German-style handle, same steel used by Wusthof, forged blade, granton edge. At about ~$35, it's waaaay cheaper than a Wusthof Classic, and it's a heck of a great deal IMO. It is made in Asia, but it's well made. Came super sharp out of the box, and resharpens easily when needed.

    [​IMG]
     
  14. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Where in "Asia" makes a difference to some people including the OP. Just like we don't say my knife was "Made in Europe".
     
  15. dgaddis

    dgaddis

    38
    Dec 26, 2018
    Well, the Mercer knives are made in Taiwan.

    For the record it's pretty stupid to just lump all products made in one country together, as either 'good' or 'bad'. There's some fantastic stuff made in Taiwan and China, as well as some junk. Same can be said of US-made goods. I built custom bicycle wheels for a while professionally, most of the products are made in various places in Asia. When it comes to hubs, the ones made in the US are arguably the best (there's some nice Swiss made too, but they're overpriced IMO). But with rims, especially aluminum rims, the stuff coming out of certain factories in Taiwan and China are head and shoulders above the few brands making them in the US. They're straighter, rounder, the seam is WAY better finished, the spoke hole drillings are much cleaner, and the anodized finish is waaaay better. The alloy in the US rims also isn't as good, they dent up pretty easily. The company making them in the US, every one I've ever built I had to spend 15mins per rim shaking them to get the metal chips and shavings out of the rim. Their only saving grace is they make some stuff no one else makes, like super burly high spoke count rims that are great for fat dudes or tandems. I built a pair for a guy that weighs 400lbs for example...no one is Asia is making rims for dudes like that!
     
    Last edited: Jan 3, 2019
    figarow and Ham bone like this.
  16. scott_robot

    scott_robot

    2
    Jan 5, 2019
    Just found the forum today, it's great. I thought I would hop on this thread rather than create a new one because I'm also looking for a Good Santoku or another flatter edge blade knife for light general purpose use in the kitchen. Most of my cutting needs are fruits, vegetables, cooked meat and fish, so mincing, chopping. I have a heavier knife (butchers from a rail spike) and a fillet knife I use when the time calls. I decided I want to update the other knife I use most, which is currently a 8" chefs knife which has a rounder edge profile. I want a new knife because the metal is soft (it's an inexpensive knife) and needs sharpening too frequently. Our family does not own a dishwasher and we always cut on either plastic or endgrain boards, but we cannot count of drying the knife after every use, so we don't want anything that can rust.

    I nearly hit the buy button on this $95 knife from Cangshan Cutlery, LINK - a 7" Santoku made with 14c28n. Cangshan is a a 4 y/o manufacturer from China it seems. I'm aware of this brand only after picking up a bread knife that impressed me (at $40 it was the most expensive kitchen knife I've ever purchased). After finding the forum I thought I'd ask for suggestions and get some feedback if this Cangshan knife had any red flags. Their knife block sets are sold at Costco, which is a retailer most of the world (and certainly myself) trusts.

    I'm willing to spend $150+ if there's a similar knife or knife type with a dramatic performance difference than the one I've linked. Any suggestions would be most welcome. Thanks!
     
  17. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    I would gladly buy a Chinese cleaver made in China. But I would not buy a "Japanese knife" made in China.
    Option 1- A Japanese Santoku made in Yangjiang China. While cutlery was made there for centuries, it was not until 1980 that western style knife production started there. Cangshan has a 4 year old history. Santoku price $95. Steel is 14c28n.
    Option 2 - A Japanese Santoku made in Tsubame City Japan, an area known for Echizen Cutlery going back 700 years. Western styled knives have been made there since the late 1800s. Tojiro has a 66 year old history. Santoku price $76. Steel is VG10.
    Take a look at Tojiro products for high quality budget knives. If no budget there are countless other alternatives.
     
  18. KenHash

    KenHash Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 11, 2014
    Deleted as repeat post.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
  19. scott_robot

    scott_robot

    2
    Jan 5, 2019
    I'm American and my background is engineering and new product development so I suppose that biases me to trust more in new innovation and processes and not rely entirely on tradition. I also have other bills to pay, so this is in part why I was drawn to China which typically has less expensive manufacturing costs for high end products (think Apple) and some impressive original design (Xiaomi Amazfit Bip), and I know there's plenty of metal work done in that big country. Plus, my cleaver was made in the Philipines and aside from soft rail tie steel (I'm not sure if this is bad on a cleaver), everything about it says it would retail for 5x what I paid for it, so again I'm biased to believe that processes and quality can be learned. After looking at knives literally all weekend, I did grow some bias toward something more unique and custom and took a look custom manufacturers on this site but didn't find the type of kitchen knife I was looking for in the $150 price range which is what I expected. The main draw to Cangshan is their apparent innovation in 14c28n steel, along with not many but only a few good reviews. My research suggests this type of steel has mainly been used in shorter blades and this could be my confirmation bias. Maybe Cangshan is onto something with a 10" breadknife or the 8" Santoku and they've got "forged" stamped all over their marketing material, and maybe it's just a gimmick, but I ended up going for Option 1.

    That said, I'm going to stay away from this and other knives sites for a while because this can be an expensive (I also picked up some new steak knives) and time consuming habit with as much black box, anecdotal, and case-specific information and opinion as should expected from something as complex and personal as knife. That said, the next time I need a knife (probably a Gyuto or Kirutsuke, possibly a Sashimi) I will likely err or spending more $$ (and going to a store) rather than spending as much time as I have trying to get a bargain on the internet. (I might get a few more grinding stones and a non-stainless knife for kicks before then).

    Thanks and see you next time!
     

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