The Best Santoku Knife for the Money

best santoku knife in kitchen

A Santoku knife is a must-have for any kitchen that sees a lot of food prep. The subtle differences of Santoku knives can improve the results of your cooking, even if it’s similar to a chef’s knife in terms of size and usability. Here are 10 candidates for the best Santoku knife.

Top 10 Best Santoku Knives to Buy in 2020

1. Mercer Culinary M22707 Millennia 7-Inch Santoku Knife

Mercer Culinary M22707 Millennia 7-Inch Granton Edge Black Santoku Knife

The most trusted name in North America’s culinary institutes, Mercer cutlery is highly prized for its excellent quality and unique designs. The Mercer Millennia 7-Inch Santoku Knife is a common sight in any state-of-the-art cooking classroom, due to its solid construction and ease of handling.

With a Japanese steel edge, this product brings the best part of using a Santoku knife to your cutting board: unmatched sharpness. Suitable for quick and paper-thin cuts, each slice of food falls away from the blade thanks to the hollow edges in the knife.

It’s crafted in one solid piece so there’s no danger that it’ll snap at the handle. The grip is sheathed in a Santoperene/polypropylene blend for maximum durability and comfort and has a textured finger guard for extra slip resistance

What we like about this knife is the edge continues to be razor-sharp after months of use. Even if it requires a little maintenance, some light work with a very fine whetstone is more than enough to bring it back to peak sharpness

Key Features:

  • 7” inch high-carbon stainless steel blade is stain-free and corrosion resistant
  • NSF-certified for safe and sanitary food handling
  • Lifetime warranty provided by Mercer for each knife

2. Wusthof Classic IKON 7-Inch Santoku Knife

Wusthof Classic IKON 7 inch Santoku Knife

A proud manufacturer from the world’s “City of Knives”, Wusthof has 700 years of knife-making know-how crafted into all their products. A marvel of modern blacksmithing, the Classic IKON Santoku knife is one of the lightest Santoku knives you can ever use.

It’s crafted in a solid piece, with the edges cut via PEtec (Precision Edge Technology) for extra sharpness while remaining durable. The sharp edge is consistent throughout the blade, which gives you a clean and thin slice each time. Hollows in the knife reduce overall weight and help push the food on the board when cutting.

Compared to a Santoku knife like the Victorinox, this model has a full hollow ground edge that makes it thinner and lighter. You’ll get better cuts since the blade profile is small and you’ll have an easier time using the tip to scoop out the meat.

With a half-bolster design for better sharpening and a heel bolster to counterbalance weight, this product feels like an extension of your own hand in the kitchen. Many users have praised its well-balanced heft, which lessens the strain on your hands when slicing for a long time.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch high-carbon stainless steel blade is slimmer than the average chef knife for thinner cuts
  • Full-tang construction is triple-riveted to the handle for better knife control
  • Traditional rotary engraving with each purchase makes it ideal for gifts

3. Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife

Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife 7 Inch

A high-end knife manufacturer, Zelite Santoku knives have some of the best edge retention vs corrosion resistance ratios on the market. Their Infinity Santoku knives blend the best parts of Japanese materials with German engineering, resulting in a premium santoku knife that’ll be the pride of any kitchen.

Using VG10 steel as a cutting core, the blade is further reinforced with layers of SUS410 steel for a combined Rockwell hardness of 56. This gives it the ideal yielding edge needed to make thin slices and while still being stain-proof and rust-free even after heavy and regular use.

What’s great about this model is that the knife handle has a gentle swell which cups your hand when cutting. It concentrates the weight away from the blade, so you don’t have to exert a lot of effort to lift and slice. Ergonomically suited for lengthy periods of use in the kitchen, it’s the best Santoku knife in its price range.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch ThyssenKrupp high-carbon stainless steel is non stick for cleaner cuts
  • The tapered bolster provides you more room to maneuver when using the knife
  • Zelite Infinity free lifetime warranty with each knife (if bought from the manufacturer)

4. Dalstrong Santoku Knife, Shogun Series

DALSTRONG Shogun Series Santoku Knife AUS-10V Super Steel 67 Layers  Vacuum Treated

Mixing traditional sword-smithing methods with the demands of the modern kitchen, Dalstrong knives are known for their exceptional durability. The Shogun Series Santoku knife is a heavy-duty and resilient blade, capable of slicing and cutting through harder materials that other Santoku knives can’t handle.

The vacuum-sealed blade is precision-forged from a single, full-tang high-carbon steel. With 66 alternating layers of Damascus cladding, it’s extremely resistant to staining, rusting, and other defects that metal falls prey to.

With a mirror-smooth 8-10 degree cutting edge, this Santoku knife can give you whisper-thin cuts on any food. It’s a utility knife designed to take on all slicing that you need to do in the kitchen, with a military-grade fiberglass handle.

Unlike the Zelite Infinity, this model has a Rockwell hardness of 62+, putting it in league with some of the sturdiest knives out there. You can use it on beef shoulder cuts, enormous fish, and even firm cheeses without worrying that it’ll break. If you’re looking for something that can slice through food while keeping a sharp edge, this is the one you should go for.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch AUS-10V Japanese steel blade is nitrogen-cooled for enhanced hardness
  • G-10 handle is heat, cold, and moisture-resistant
  • Dalstrong Lifetime warranty against defective knives

5. Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife

Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Santoku Knife

While their knives are favored by professional cooks around the world, Mercer also believes in making quality cutlery accessible to the everyday cook. The Genesis Santoku knife is a less impressive version of the Millennia, but has the top-tier craftsmanship that you can expect from this company.

Unlike the Millennia, this knife puts more emphasis on comfort rather than performance. It still has the hollow Granton edge blade, but they made the handle out of Santoprene coating for better gripping power. This makes it one of the best Santoku knives for beginners, as it’s less likely to let it slip out of your hand while cutting.

Aside from the excellent ergonomics, it has excellent edge retention and requires less sharpening to get a clean cut. The steel is yielding while avoiding the brittleness of low-quality Santoku knives, it’s also got enough flex to deal with tougher slices like chicken backbones.

This knife isn’t dishwasher-safe since the chemical agents and scrubbing action strip away the handle’s non-slip coating. With that said, it is NSF-certified to handle different foods without cross-contamination, so it’s the perfect tool for a busy kitchen.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch CrMo V15 stainless steel blade resists discoloration
  • The full tang blade design allows for better handling and durability
  • Limited lifetime Mercer warranty against defects and other product faults

6. TUO 7” Inch Santoku Knife

Fiery Series Hollow Ground TUO Santoku Knife - Pakkawood Handle

TUO Cutlery has brought affordable and high-quality Japanese knives to an international audience, combining expert craftsmanship with modern innovations.

The steel edge is machine-worked to a thin taper that can cut right out of the box. The full-tang blade is further reinforced by a handsome Pakkawood handle, which is a high-density material that avoids cracking or discoloration. For those that want a traditional Santoku knife or dislike the feel of a plastic grip, this model provides a great alternative.

One thing to note about using this knife is that the combination of the wooden handle plus the softness of the steel (around 56 on the Rockwell hardness scale) makes it more prone to breaking if misused. Compared to the tapered bolsters you can find on the Zelite Infinity, you need to be extra careful not to use this on food like boneless beef.

For cooks looking to get the best santoku knife that can fit in with their traditional kitchen tools, this product is the ideal pick.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch CrMo V15 stainless steel resists rust, staining, and other corrosion
  • Curved-handle design provides additional support and reduces the load on the hand
  • TUO Lifetime warranty against defects and other faults

7. MOSFiATA 7” inch Santoku Knife

MOSFiATA 7" Super Sharp Professional Kitchen Cooking Knife with Finger Guard

A relative newcomer to the world of cutlery, MOSFiATA has made waves with its mass production of quality products that always have user convenience in mind. The MOSFiATA Santoku knife works as a splendid gift for an amateur cook or a new and reliable tool for your kitchen.

The blade material is similar to the metal used in many chef’s knives, which helps give this model higher resistance against corrosion and staining. This is handy for food preparation that requires a lot of wet work, such as slicing chicken or fish into thin strips.

This knife also comes with a knife sharpener and finger guard. The former can bring back the edge to its original sharpness with minor effort, as the relative softness of the blade doesn’t require much to hone. The latter is made of reinforced steel that won’t give even when scratched.

What we like about this product is the micarta handle. A thermoset blend of linen, paper, and fiberglass, it offers increased grip when it’s wet – perfect for kitchens that may deal with a lot of seafood. It also minimizes wrist tension which can improve knife handling, allowing you to use it for longer periods without straining yourself.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch high-carbon German steel is hand-polished and sharpened for extra durability
  • Full-tang design is blade heavy for more precision when cutting
  • 16-degree tapered edge provides more surface area for bigger slices

8. Cutluxe Santoku Knife

Black Cutluxe Forged Kitchen Knife

Cutluxe is another rising star in the world of cookware, with designs that focus on the tried-and-tested aspects that make for excellent kitchen knives. Their Santoku knife is a distinct and classic throwback to the very first Santoku knives but has the versatility and durability to function as a chef’s knife.

The full-tang design ensures that it won’t break apart under intense use. That inherent durability is further reinforced with triple-engraved rivets that give the handle a nice heft. Since it uses tapered bolsters, it’s perfect for chefs who prefer a pinch-grip on their knives while doing food prep. This construction also provides the best amount of protection against cuts while keeping the blade level.

Like the TUO Santoku knife, this model has a Pakkawood handle for a more stable grip. Additionally, it’s laminated and polished for extra resistance against cross-contamination, with a steel end cap to further improve handling.

If you’re looking for a simple, no-frills Santoku knife that can get the job done while being easy to maintain, this is the knife for you. It’s at its best when used on fruits, vegetables, and other soft material, as the hollow ground design prevents food from sticking to it.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch high-carbon German stainless steel is hand-sharpened to 14-16 degrees per side
  • Tall blade height provides enough knuckle clearance for rapid chopping
  • Cutluxe lifetime warranty against defects and other issues with craftsmanship

9. Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Santoku Knife

Victorinox Swiss Army Cutlery Fibrox Pro Knife

The manufacturers of the iconic Swiss Army Knives, Victorinox has plenty of experience with manufacturing high-quality cutlery. The Fibrox Pro Santoku knife combines the versatility you’d expect from the company with the unique demands of a specialized kitchen knife.

This model combines the design of a chef’s knife and cleaver into one model which allows you to cut, slice, dice, and chop most foodstuff with ease. The hollow ground Granton edges prevent food from sticking to the blade, while the flat profile makes it ideal for chopping.

What might turn off prospective buyers from this knife is that while it has superb edge retention, it may not be as sharp as other Santoku knives right off the box. This is to keep people from slicing themselves when they first use it – but it can be an issue for cooks that want to get the thinnest slice possible.

Apart from that, it’s an adequate tool that’s well-balanced and easy to grip. A great backup for those who already have a dedicated Santoku knife. For cleaning, it’s best to do it by hand as this knife isn’t dishwasher safe.

Key Features:

  • 7” inch high-carbon blade resists rusting and staining even with regular use
  • Fibrox-coated handle reinforces grip when wet or submerged
  • Victorinox lifetime guarantee against defects and flaws in workmanship

10. Wusthof 4183 Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

Black Color Wusthof 4183 Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

Wusthof knives are famous for delivering unparalleled cutting power without sacrificing the weight or overall construction. The 4183 Classic Santoku Knife is a luxury product; it’s a solid, long-lasting, and sharp knife that will last you years.

With its seamless construction, this knife looks and feels like they’ve molded it from a single material. The handle transitions smoothly into the blade with a full bolster providing extra security and balance, while the buffed and polished knife itself has a finish that can glide through food with one slice.

The thin blade measures only 10 degrees on its entire edge, with a gentle curve at the very end for easier cuts. Lightweight even compared to other Wusthof knives, the shaped handle allows you more room to brace your hand against when cutting.

The high price tag may seem a little intimidating to a lot of cooks, but if you want to take your kitchen preparation to a whole new level, it’s worth the purchase. It requires almost zero effort to maintain and is easy to work with – it’s easily one of the best Santoku knives you can use for a high-end kitchen.

Key Features:

  • High carbon stainless steel blade with Precision Edge Technology (PEtec) for better edge retention
  • Full-tang blade is triple-riveted for additional knife control
  • Polyoxymethylene (POM) handle replicates the feel of wooden handles

Our Takeaway

Based on our reviews, the Mercer Millennia is the best Santoku knife on the market. But if you’re more experienced in the kitchen or have special demands when cooking, then any of the other knives are all excellent picks. A high-quality knife can make all the difference in the world with your food prep!

Brian M. Casey

    Product reviewer & passionate blogger. Beside writing for this blog, I spend my time crafting research based contents for HuffingtonPost, Lifehacker & Forbes!

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