Santoku: which one to buy according to my budget?

The santoku is a multi-purpose Japanese knife. Thanks to its versatility, it is an indispensable tool in the kitchen of a Japanese, whether professional or not.

Its high and long blade makes it possible to slice food effortlessly and the balance of the utensil is facilitated during the cutting thanks to the curvature of its blade.

Find the right Santoku for your budget

Obviously, the price of a Santoku knife will depend on several criteria. The first question you will probably ask yourself is: What is a Santoku? But also how much does a good Japanese knife cost?

There are several ranges of Santoku knives, from the classic to the top of the range, you will know how to choose the one that will suit you best!

First of all, choose the brands of your knives!

You will find below the presentation of different brands of Japanese knives representing the Santoku. Knowing the brand is good, but you also need to know what your needs are and how you will use the knife.

And because the budget will always match your level in the kitchen, for cutting your food there are several major brands of Japanese knives, like BÖKER. But you can turn to a Japanese manufacturer like KAI or a French one like OPINEL.

1. Small budgets for novices and beginners: under 100€

Kai Couteau SANTOKU MGR-0170S, Marron, Lame 17 cm
  • couteau Santoku SEKI MAGOROKU
  • lame 17 cm en acier au carbone 1K6 (dureté 58 HRC)
  • manche en séquoia
  • Le manche et la lame sont reliées par une bande en plastique noir brillant
  • Fabriqué au Japon

This Japanese knife, will allow you above all to slice vegetables, to cut your meat and fish.

Opinel - N°219 Couteau Santoku Intempora - pour Hacher, Émincer Poissons/Crustacés - Lame Inox Rigide - Manche Polyoxyméthylène Robuste - Fabrication Française
  • Pour couper et tailler : le couteau Santoku...
  • Lame pleine-soie de 17 cm : la lame pleine-soie se...
  • Rigide et multifonction : conçu pour émincer,...
  • Lame pleine-soie de 17 cm : la lame pleine-soie se...
  • Lame en acier inoxydable X50CrMoV15 : l'acier...

The role and manufacture of the blades for these knives is very important.

The Santoku knife with honeycombs allows for a very pleasant cutting experience: its one-sided bevelled blade allows for cutting without damaging the flesh of the food, and without the food sticking to the blade. The Santoku is also available with a double bevel for a more versatile use.

2. Average budgets for amateurs and experts: from 100 to 300€

Connoisseurs will know that you will need to spend around 100 euros for a very good quality tool.

Böker forge wood-couteau santoku
  • Fermeture : festst ehend
  • Matière du manche : bois d'érable
  • Matière de la lame : inoxydable X50CrMoV15
  • Longueur totale : 29,3 cm – Longueur de la lame : 16 cm – Épaisseur de la lame : 2,5 mm
Kai DM-0702 Couteau Santoku 18 cm
  • Dimensions: 16,5 cm
  • La Serie Shun Damas remporte un large succes aupres des Cuisiniers les plus exigeants les couteaux professionnels shun sont fabriques en Acier Damas Inox compose de 32 couches et d' un Noyau Central en Acier Vg -10, cet Acier est tres dur resistant a la corrosion. Le tranchant convexe de la lame ainsi que l' affutage manuel de chaque couteau Shun garantissent une coupe remarquable la beaute du manche, en lamelles de Pacca compresse est rehausse par une mitre en bout
  • Lame 16,5 cm

Made of a damask blade, this knife will be perfect in your kitchen.

Kai Shun Premier Tim Mälzer Coffret cadeau | TDM-1702 Couteau Santoku japonais lame 18 cm | + Pierre à aiguiser Kai AP-0305 + chiffon de polissage premium
  • ✅ Kai Shun Premier Tim Mälzer Santoku TDM-1702, lame de 18 cm en acier damassé
  • Pierre à aiguiser combinée KAI AP-0305 avec grain 400/1000 pour un entretien parfait de vos couteaux japonais en damas + chiffon de polissage de qualité supérieure
  • ✅ Couteau de chef Kai en acier damassé résistant à la corrosion avec manche en noyer pour des performances de coupe précises, livré dans une boîte en bois Kai de qualité supérieure
  • Surface martelée à la main pour une esthétique intemporelle et un tranchant ultime, aspect élégant, parfait pour le poisson, la viande et les légumes
  • ✅ Ce kit comprend un couteau Santoku aiguisé et une pierre à aiguiser assortie, parfait comme cadeau

For the more curious, here is a kit to sharpen your knife: the sharpening stone and the cloth to polish your tool!

3. Budgets of more than €300

The MIYABI brand is a combination of Japanese know-how and German technology.

4. The big budgets for passionate professionals and Masters: knives at more than 1 000€.

Here we enter more into the world of collectors:

Here is a small selection of the nuggets that can be found and which are among the most expensive knives in the world, for the simple reason that even if the big brands are widespread throughout the world, Japanese cutlery remains the most renowned in the world because it is directly derived from the know-how of the blacksmiths who made the samurai’s swords. This is the case of Haiku Itamae Suminagashi, a handmade knife made in one of the many factories in Sakai, near Osaka.

Considered a piece of Japanese heritage, the Haiku Itame knife is a very valuable tool: the production of its blade is very low because it is exclusively designed by blacksmiths who have total mastery of this skill and maximum experience in making blades for Japanese knives, such as Damascus blades.

For an exceptional knife, exceptional products are assembled: the best steels in the world for its blade and the noblest wood for its handle.

Here the prices are not distinguished by the function of the tool, but by the prestige of its rarity in the first place.

Differentiating Santoku from Gyuto

The Santoku can easily perform the tasks of a « chef’s knife ». It is often compared to the Gyuto, another very versatile Japanese knife, which could be theequivalent of its European cousin, in reference to its shape.

What is the difference between the Santoku and the Gyuto?

Kai Shun Classic Coffret Cadeau Exclusif, ultrascharfes Couteau Santoku Japonais et + de DM 0701 et DM-0702, Pierre à aiguiser AP Baril de 316 + Planche à découper en Bois 30 x 18
  • ✅ Coffret cadeau de qualité supérieure de la marque KAI avec un avantage de prix sensationnel, composé de
  • ✅ + Couteau multi-usages ultra tranchant Kai Shun DM-0701, lame de 15 cm, parfait pour les petits travaux tels que la coupe de fruits et d'herbes
  • ✅ + Couteau professionnel japonais Santoku Kai Shun DM-0702 Lame 18 cm Idéal pour poisson, viande et légumes
  • ✅ + Aiguiseur de couteaux KAI AP-316 (grain 3000/6000) pour l'entretien de vos couteaux damassés de qualité supérieure
  • ✅ + planche à découper fabriquée à la main en bois de tonneau (chêne), 30 x 18 cm, fabriquée à la main dans notre atelier

The Japanese knife Santoku means 3 dimensions, referring to the ease of use for cutting meat, fish and vegetables.

Santoku: the size and shape of its blade

A multi-purpose knife whose blade length of between 16 and 18 cm and its shape, with a drooping tip, make it easy to slice and chop food and its compact blade has a rounded tip.

The shape of the « European » knife

The Gyuto, on the other hand, has a point at the end. Japanese knives differ from traditional European knives in the way they are used: the wrist and shoulder are used more for cutting. The Japanese cook pushes and pulls the blade of his knife, not going back and forth on the slice of the food he is working on. A technique that requires good training before mastering this art.

The Santoku: a very versatile knife

Along with the peeler, it is themost commonly used utensil in chefs’ kitchens for slicing meat, vegetables and fish, but also for cutting large pieces; it is perfect for long cuts on a board.

Depending on your eating habits, you will choose the Santoku for vegetables and the Gyuto for meat and fish. But it is perfectly possible to combine the two utensils for ease of use.

It is said that a badly sharpened knife is dangerous, but it is also a question of the composition, thealloy of its blade. A Japanese knife is distinguished by the quality of its steel, which will determine its price to a large extent

Read on: How to sharpen your Japanese knife ?