Top & Best Santoku knife: How to choose the best one in 2021?
First, the most important
- The santoku knife is the most widely used oriental knife in the world, for its versatility and practicality.
- It is different from the traditional chef’s knife and here we will show you how and why you should invest in a santoku.
- Amid so many variations of the santoku knife, we will help you understand what factors to take into account before purchasing yours.
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Ranking: The 3 best santoku knives
With the huge variety of brands and types of the santoku knife, we have gathered here the four best models that you will find available in the Brazilian market.
At first glance, it may seem easy to choose a santoku knife. But there are important differences between the different models that will influence your day-to-day life.
To help you choose the best model, we have prepared this Buying Guide with everything you need to know about the santoku knife.
What is a santoku knife?
The name Santoku has a Japanese origin and means “three virtues”, referring to the functions that this knife performs: cutting, chopping and slicing. Another theory for the meaning of the name is that this model serves to cut both vegetables, meat and fish.
In both cases, the idea of the name reinforces the purpose of this knife: its versatility, serving for different types of cuts in different foods. Because it is multipurpose, the santoku knife has become a basic and essential utensil in the kitchen.
What are the advantages and disadvantages of the santoku knife?
Like most kitchen utensils, the santoku knife has more advantages than disadvantages.
The first big advantage of santoku is that you don’t have to change your knife to chop, cut or slice all the ingredients of a recipe.
You can, for example, cut meat and different types of vegetables from a stew without having to change a knife. So, in addition to being versatile, the santoku knife is practical.
It is also common to find air pockets on santoku knives, which are on the sides of the blade. These pockets are nothing more than small depressions along the blade. They serve to prevent food from sticking to the knife.
This makes all the difference when you are cutting hard or moist vegetables like potatoes and onions. In addition to facilitating the cleaning of the knife.
The santoku knife also excels in tasks that require agility and precise cuts such as chopping delicate herbs. Another very common use of this knife is to cut fish and make the traditional Japanese dish, sushi.
This is because the santoku knife is accurate when cutting, without the need to apply a lot of force during the movement.
On the other hand, due to the flat blade, the santoku knife does not slide easily on the cutting surface. So it can be difficult to work with very hard foods. Anyway, it takes a little practice to get used to the santoku.
In the table below you can see all the advantages and disadvantages of the santoku knife:
What is the difference between santoku and other types of knife?
At this point, you may be asking: what is the difference between the santoku knife and other types of knives? The fact is that each knife has different blades to facilitate cutting different foods.
The serrated knife, for example, is ideal for cutting bread without kneading it. The vegetable knife, since it is much smaller, facilitates the removal of seeds from peppers and peels shrimp.
Each type of knife has different blades to facilitate cutting different foods.
Among general-purpose knives, there are two types: the santoku and the chef’s knife. But although both are multipurpose, they have important differences.
The main difference between them is in the blade. The blade of the santoku knife has a flat base and a rounded tip. Thus, the movement of the cut must be up and down.
The chef’s knife, on the other hand, has a curved blade forming a sharp tip that facilitates the gliding movement. In comparison to the chef’s knife, the santoku also has the blade shorter in length and larger in width.
The blade of the chef’s knife is usually longer and thinner. Let’s talk in detail about the size of the blades in the Purchasing Criteria. In addition to all these differences, the santoku knife is also tougher than the chef’s and does not need to be sharpened often.
With the variety of models, sizes and materials of manufacture, the price of the santoku knife varies widely, from R $ 30 to up to R $ 6,000.
The most expensive ones are recommended to professionals. The very cheap ones, on the other hand, are not usually as durable. Stay in the middle and prioritize quality materials.
Where to buy?
You can find the santoku knife in department stores and hypermarkets.
But as the best brands are still the international ones, your best purchase option will be in online stores like Amazon.
In addition to making your purchase from the comfort of your home, you will also find a greater variety of models and prices.
Purchasing criteria: Factors to compare santoku knife models
As we have seen so far, the santoku knife is a wild piece in your kitchen. Whether cutting, slicing or chopping, this is a multipurpose and efficient tool.
But, with its popularization, today it is possible to find models with different types of manufacturing material and sizes. These factors will influence your knife’s durability and practicality during use.
Therefore, we have gathered here the items that you should consider before choosing the best santoku knife model for you:
- Blade material
- Blade size
Next, we’ll detail each of these factors so that you can make the best decision.
The quality of a knife is determined by its blade, which must be sharp and heavy. The blade must also be whole, from tip to handle, without cutouts.
But the material of manufacture varies. You will find the blade of the santoku knife made of stainless steel, carbon steel or ceramic.
The most common are stainless steel. That’s because this material is more resistant to corrosion and keeps the cut sharp for longer.
It is also important to consider that the harder the steel, the longer the blade will be sharp. Therefore, note the weight of the knife. The heavier, the less force you need to apply.
Carbon steel blades, while having the advantage of being harder, oxidize more easily. If you prefer the santoku knife with this material, you must dry it quickly to avoid oxidation and contamination of the food.
The ceramic santoku knife is the lightest among them and the most accurate when cutting. In addition, this material does not oxidize and also stays sharp for longer.
But the disadvantage is that the ceramic is only suitable for delicate cuts. Pottery is not recommended for cutting meat with bone or very hard vegetables, such as pumpkin, for example. Below you can see the differences between the three types of blades of the santoku knife:
Another factor to consider before choosing the best santoku knife for you is the size of the blade. To facilitate cutting, the size of the blade must be proportional to the size of the food to be cut.
Generally, the length of the blades is measured in inches. One inch is equal to 2.54 cm. Thus, a 5-inch knife will have a 12.7 cm long blade.
You will find models of santoku knives with blades ranging from 5 to 7 inches. When in doubt, we suggest that you invest in a medium-sized santoku knife, the 7 inch.
As the best santoku knives are the heaviest, it is important that you choose the model with a suitable handle to hold it with precision and comfort.
The handles of the santoku knife must be durable and resistant to cracks and wear caused by washing. Therefore, it is ideal that at least one third of the blade is inserted into the handle.