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Everyday Santoku


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I've been looking for a Santoku knife for some time now. Unfortunately I don't live in an area that has many knife shops where I can really feel them out. What I want is, a very nice comfortable santoku knife that looks nice while being something I will have for a long time, if not forever.

I'm a big fan of Japanese knives. My everyday knives are a Global 8" Chef's, a MAC 10" Yanagiba, a Kershaw serrated "sandwich" knife, a no-name Usuba, and various paring/petty knives. I'd say I use the Global the most, but its slippery handle is a bit wierd at times in my average-size hands.

If anyone has had day to day use of the following knives, please share your thoughts.

Thanks in advance!

Glestain 817TK

Glestain 817TM

Togiharu Hammered Texture Damascus

Hattori HD-5

Misono UX10 "Dimples"

JCK Gekko GE-2

Shun Elite Santoku

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So, um, he doesn't need 5 cleavers. A real man would only need one to do just about everything anyway, not 5. The OP was asking about brands of Santoku's. While I'm definitely not a Santoku kind of guy, I'm not about to recommend a gyuto instead and then not answer the poor guys question.

Generally, a knife within the same brand/line will have the same characteristics. I have used a Hattori gyuto and a UX10. Both knives are great but I think the UX10 would hold up better in a pro kitchen. BUT, don't spend extra for the dimples...waste of money. The only knife they really work on is with Glestain.

The Hattori is very thin and can be somewhat fragile as a result. Not everyone experiences this fragility but I've heard about many who have including myself. It can be remedied though by changing the bevel angles to be more obtuse. Nice knife.

I have heard the Gekko is pretty good as well as the Togiharu. I'm not a fan of shun and really never have been. I do recognize that it's a good knife but not for me. You can get way better for the money.

The biggest problem for me with a Santoku is the length or lack of it that is available on the market. 165mm is just too freakin short for an every day knife IMHO. At least the Gekko has one at 190mm. Much closer to a desirable length than pretty much all others. I think Hiromoto makes a 190mm too.

Hope this helps a little.

Good luck with your search.

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It's all personal preference on what someone likes to use in a kitchen. Gyuto, santoku, cleaver, lightsaber, etc, whatever gets the job done shouldn't matter what kind of knife they use. My previous chef used a petty knife all day and was pretty awesome at it.

As per santoku's: I have used Kikuichi gold series before (~$120). Retains edge quite well, smaller than misono by a smidge and quite easy to work with. Glestain (which i was also contemplating on getting), from what I have read is quite blade heavy due to the lack of a real tang. Always on sale online for ~$99.

Currently, Korin has their annual holiday sales and the misono ux-10 (which, after doing some research on a bunch of diff. santoku's, I've come to the conclusion it is one of the best) is on sale for $143. That's about 20 dollars cheaper than usual.

The UX-10 with dimples is very expensive, exceeding 200 dollars, deff. not worth it imo.

Perhaps I will treat myself to the misono this year, finally...


Edited by stealw (log)
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I own a Hiromoto AS 190mm I bought at the Christmas sale at Japanese Chef Knives Direct last year and I've been pretty pleased although I'm not a Santuko guy. Per the folks at the site this is far and away their best selling Santuko, if that means anything. I agree with Bob, I wouldn't go smaller than a 190mm if your looking for a general prep knife.

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Thanks for those who posted suggestions. For others asking why I want a santoku and not a gyuto...

I already have a main chef's knife, the global. I pretty much do everything with it. I want something a bit smaller that I can use for general purpose. I work at a fine dining inn with a small kitchen and cook a wide range of food for up to 35 covers a night. Just myself mostly, my boss and an intern come in when I get busy.

A friend of mine has a Global Santoku, which I've used quite a bit, and like the smaller feel of it. However since my main knife is a Global I want something different.

I don't really have alot of experience with dimple/hollow knives. In theory it seems it would work, I've also heard the Glestain knives are the best at this...to confirm what another poster here said.

Edited by zeph74 (log)
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Ended up ordering a Glestain 817TK. I was leaning towards the Togiharu, but thought the Glestain would hold up better to everyday use, plus it was cheaper than the Misono (my other main choice). I'll post about the knife after I get it and use it a bit.

Thanks for the replies!

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  • 10 months later...


I do not have any of the aforementioned brands of knives. I recently bought: LamsonSharp Santoku, at Cookware. The reason I chose the LamsonSharp Santoku, was because its blade is wider, and allows more clearance for my knuckles, than other Santokus, which blades are narrower, and the handle is closer to the cutting board. It is double-beveled, not single-beveled, nor ground to 15-7 degrees, as the typical Japanese Santoku. Japanese knives tend to be narrow, and close to the cutting board. I also bought: Fällkniven K2 White Whale, which was made in Japan of VG10 laminated stainless steel, and appeared to be double-beveled, but very sharp.

Chroma USA have some Santoku knives, available at: KnifeMerchant, and Cookware.

Böker Arbolito Santoku's blade is said to be made by Kyocera, availabe at: IraWoods. Böker's Yamada IV Santoku has a Damascus blade made of 37 layers of laminated VG10 stainless steel, available at: Knife-Depot.

Dexter-Russell Japanese Chef's Knives.

Mundial Sushimen's Line.

Knives are like that Lay's Potato Chip commercial, "You can't have just one." I hope that I have given you some viable alternatives to consider. Good luck. :cool:

Buttercup: You mock my pain.

Man in Black: Life is pain, Highness. Anyone who says differently is selling something.

-- The Princess Bride

If the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy -- Red Green

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