Santoku Knives are used in Japanese kitchens just as western chef knife is used in western kitchens. It is a general-purpose knife that has no bolster and a flat edge and a blade which curves in an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. The top of the santoku handle is raised and is in line with the top of the blade, which allows for a cook's fingers to have clearance over a cutting board. Most people that use a santoku, like to chop instead of rock the blade and the unique features of this knife promote this style of cutting.
Here is our opinion on several santoku knives. We tested them for fit, finish, edge sharpness and edge retention over a 2 month period.
Shun Classic Santoku Knife 7"
Most testers loved this knife. The handle fits well in your hand; the blade was super sharp out of the box and retained its edge well throughout our tests. The balance of the knife was very good as well. In fact, we had a hard time coming up with a complaint about this knife. Our only issue was the fact that the handle design accommodates only left or right handed people so families with lefties and righties may want to try another knife. Overall we give this knife an A.
Misono UX10 Santoku Knife 7"
The Misono UX 10 Santoku tested highly for fit, finish and had the best balance of the knives we tested. Sharpness out of the box was excellent and edge retention was very good. One tester complained that the blade "stuck" to raw potatoes which would have been helped if the blade had a granton edge. Overall a good knife but expensive at about $152. We give this knife an A-
Global Hollow Edge Santoku Model G-48:
This knife had great appeal to our testers. The knife is attractive with good overall balance, above average edge sharpness and excellent fit and finish. The edge maintained it's sharpness for an average length of time and we found it easy to resharpen. One complaint was the knife felt a little uncomfortable where the forefinger comes in contact with the heel of the blade. This could be an issue with professionals that slice for long periods of time. Overall a good knife and excellent value, we give this knife an A.
Wusthof Grand Prix II Santoku With Hollo...:
This knife has an interesting history. Rachael Ray originally used this knife on her TV show and the knife became a huge hit. We found the knife handle to be a little cheap but the blade performed reasonably well in our tests. Sharpness out of the box was below average but edge retention was good. Wusthof has the best warranty policy in the business so if you have a family that may treat their knives harshly you may want to consider this knife. The balance of the knife was very good. Overall a good choice. We give this knife a B.