Equipment Review: Best Santoku Knives & Our Testing Winners
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We tested 10 santoku knives to find the best one (listed in alphabetical order):
Global G-48 7″ Santoku Hollow Ground Knife
Kramer by Zwilling J.A. Henckels Euroline Essential Collection 7″ Santoku Knife
MAC Superior Santoku 6 1/2″
Mercer Culinary Genesis 7″ Forged Santoku
Misono UX10 Santoku 7.0″
OXO Good Grips Pro 6.5″ Santoku Knife
Shun Classic 7-in. Hollow-Ground Santoku
Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 7″ Granton Blade Santoku Knife
Wüsthof Classic 7″ Santoku, Hollow Edge
Zwilling Pro 7″ Hollow Edge Rocking Santoku Knife
With its petite build and curved tip, this friendly-looking Japanese blade is giving Western-style chef’s knives a run for their money. But does it offer something unique?
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WINNING TRAITS OF A GOOD SANTOKU KNIFE
– Slim, sharp cutting edge that retains its sharpness
– Slim tip for precision work
– Narrow spine (top edge of blade), less than 2 mm
– Handle of moderate width and length, and neutral shape, so it is comfortable in various hands and grips
– Handle that doesn’t become slippery when hands are wet or greasy
– Spine that isn’t sharp, facilitating pinch grip
– Good balance between handle and blade
WHAT WE TESTED
We tested 10 santoku knives and also compared their feel and performance to that of our favorite chef’s knife, the Victorinox Swiss Army Fibrox Pro 8″ Chef’s Knife. We measured the knives’ blade length, blade angle, and spine thickness. All knives were purchased online.
Performance: We minced fresh herbs, diced onions, broke down whole raw chickens into parts, and quartered unpeeled butternut squashes. To assess precision, we cut carrots into matchsticks and sliced slightly frozen boneless steak against the grain into uniform slivers (a technique used when preparing beef for Vietnamese pho). Knives that sliced smoothly and helped us complete the tasks with crisp cuts and neat results scored highest. We also assessed the sharpness of each knife before and after testing by slicing sheets of copy paper; blades that started sharp and stayed that way rated highest.
Ease of Use: Throughout testing we rated the knives on how comfortable and easy they were to hold and use, evaluating the handle shape, spine sharpness (if we used a pinch grip), weight, and balance of the blade. Six testers of varying heights and handedness, including three proficient with knives and three self-described knife novices, chopped onions and rated the knives. Knives rated higher if most testers found them comfortable and easy to use.
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