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Brad Gibson
06-23-2013, 04:22 PM
Hey guys,

As I know many of you will agree with me, I don't like the looks of the santoku. I know there is obviously a ton of people who disagree with me and love santokus. The reason for this thread is to try and shed some light as to why santokus are good and what purpose they serve in a kitchen. I know they could be used as a chef knife on vegetables and herbs and things but why not use a Nikiri. Next I assume they could be mediocre for cutting meats and fish but why not use a gyuto or a suji. Then I think about small tasks and small areas, I know that a fellow KKF member has told me he uses a santoku in his kitchen 99% of the time because he has a small space to work with, but why not a short gyuto or a small petty?

I want to reiterate that these questions are not personal attacks and I do not want to make anyone feel like I am belittling their knife choices. If you have seen me talk bad about a santoku in the past it is because I hate the look and think that the shape is pointless.

Please tell me why you like santokus over other shapes and what the original purpose for them was and why they began.

Thanks guys,

Brad

Birnando
06-23-2013, 04:32 PM
I am not a big fan of them anymore, but must confess to finding it a versatile and quite nimble allround knife for a home cook like myself some years ago.
At the time I thought they looked ok, and many of the pros on tv had them for a while.
I guess that influenced me.

Nowadays, even my wife have abandoned her Santoku for a Petty of Japanese origin.
She seems to love the new one much better.

rdm_magic
06-23-2013, 04:59 PM
They're popular, and most people don't know what a nakiri is. When I took the catcheside nakiri to work, almost everyone commented on how nice looking that Santoku was.. It was easier not to correct them. I think it has to do with the widespread availability, the lack of intimidation due to size and the lack of a point, and the fact that many celeb chefs use them. I've seen everyone from jacques pepin to Gordon Ramsay using one.

NO ChoP!
06-23-2013, 05:02 PM
I find most santokus to be thick at the tip with little to no distal taper. I much prefer a 180mm gyuto or petty....

That being said, I use a mac pro santoku at home quite a bit, and rather enjoy it.

Brad Gibson
06-23-2013, 05:02 PM
If Jon wants to chime in, I'd like to hear the traditional reasoning behind why the shape came about.

tk59
06-23-2013, 05:19 PM
Honestly, I don't find that santoku or nakiri are very useful at all if you have space. If you don't have space, I can see why the more curved, pointed part of a gyuto would just get in the way when doing certain push-cutting jobs. As you mentioned, a petty could be used instead for that sort of thing, in general. In some of those cases, I do find myself wishing for a bit more heft and if I use a grip where my finger is on the spine, larger objects tend to bump into my finger. Mostly I just use a large gyuto with a flatish profile.

Chuckles
06-23-2013, 05:55 PM
I prefer smaller boards that are quick to clean at home for the every day stuff. On these it is hard to stop using a santoku. They are great for smaller cutting boards. When I break out the big board for a real meal I never reach for a santoku.

I do like the looks of the watanabe and heiji 180 gyutos but can't justify the $$ to cut cinnamon toast and peanut butter sammies.

Santokus are as phenomenal as Honda civics. They get you where you're going and fit in a tight spot and that's it.

CPD
06-23-2013, 05:59 PM
I've read a few different stories (legends?) on the origin of the Santoku. No telling which is correct, if any, but most seem to start with name translation which is something like "three purposes" or "three virtues." The implication is that it was intended as a single all-purpose tool for home cooks....not the best tool for any one task, but capable of several including protein and vegetable uses, largely where space is limited. If you didn't have the space, money, or skills for knives dedicated to specific tasks - the santoku geometry/form was to be your "swiss army knife".

A book I have on Japanese kitchen knives written by Hiromitsu Nozaki suggests it evolved from a kansai-style (curved tip) usuba. Interestingly, same book says the nakiri evolved from the usuba origin too. Difference being the nakiri was intended as a double bevel (though some make them single, I know) vegetable knife for home use and the santoku was meant as a do-all for light slicing, mincing, etc. for home use.

knife choices are so personal - so can't speak to why some love em, some hate em or anything in between. Comfort, convenience and effectiveness would seem to be the three criteria...just a factor of how you rank them. Personally, I do like Santoku but my habits and style lean toward a gyuto and other task specific tools if needed.

eshua
06-23-2013, 06:02 PM
The japanese kids on line told me they are marketed to home cooks in japan as: "three purpose knife... meat, vegi, fish" I don't enjoy them, but I can see it being a bigger draw than deba in a tiny tokyo apt.

Edit... lol post above snuck in while I was spaced out on the phone.

MikeHL
06-23-2013, 06:44 PM
I'm thinking its more of a fashion trend to like (and not like) santoku's.

Case in point, the movement to "lower tipped" gyuto such as a funyaki, wa kurtsuke's follow the lower tipped advantages of a santoku. In my option (and only mine), they are just a longer and sometimes skinnier santoku, are they the same? no. But they are more sankotu-ish then the run of the mill gyuto. I'm not sure why santoku's have such a negative connotation's here, perhaps someone can explain this to me?

Its all about personal preference, if they are comfortable with what they have, then who am I to question their choice of cutlery. Cause at the end of the day knives are just tools that enable us to make/cook great food.





I know that a fellow KKF member has told me he uses a santoku in his kitchen 99% of the time because he has a small space to work with, but why not a short gyuto or a small petty?



I would say a chinese cleaver is a far better choice :D

xdrewsiferx
06-23-2013, 07:03 PM
I use a santoku for almost all of my cooking.

The reason is that it has a high wall good curvature from the tip to the mid and a long flat. This complements my cooking technique quite well. I am able to move quickly and efficiently. I find a Gyuto of the same size useful but the long sweet and short flat does not work as well for me.

I like using nakiri but for different tasks like match book fry cuts for example, that being said I am not as quick using my nakiri over my santoku.

Even when I was doing work in professional kitchens I found my self grabbing for my Santoku over any other knife.

But that is what is beautiful about knives, they are an item that is personal and people find preferences in some designs over others.

Brad Gibson
06-23-2013, 07:29 PM
I like it drew, great feedback

bkdc
06-23-2013, 07:43 PM
If you have space, it will never beat a gyuto.

If you are a home cook with limited space, I will argue for the benefits of the Santoku.

First, it is TALL - and anyone who likes to push-cut rapidly in chopping sessions understands why this is useful. It can do what a nakiri does (but not quite as well). I'll take a 50 inch heel over a 44 inch heel of a small gyuto any day. This is personal preference. Secondly, it is able to do some tip work unlike a nakiri. It is not a gyuto, but you are looking at compromises here.

You can stop bashing the Santoku. Obviously, its uses are limited in a professional kitchen. But in a home kitchen with limited space, it really is a quiver of one.

Noodle Soup
06-23-2013, 08:55 PM
It is an all purpose mid-size knife and that is what most people that aren't fanatics about their culinary cutlery like we are want. I've used them in the past but I have so many more specialized knives now there isn't much point. I have noticed they are very popular over a wide part of Asia outside Japan too.

mkriggen
06-23-2013, 09:15 PM
The santoku is incredibly popular with the public at large because the vast majority of them have never heard of gyuto, nakiri, petty, or any of the single bevels, and even if they had they wouldn't be willing to pay for them. That leaves them with a choice between a German style chef or a santoku. Sense most home cooks don't actually do a lot of rock chopping, they find the santoku pretty awesome. Hell, just last Christmas (before I caught my addiction from you bastiges') I was STOKED to get a Hinckels 7" santoku (WITH GRANTONS :laughat:). Remember guys, we're a statistically negligible part of the knife owning populace. As to santokus not having a pointy tip, that's what 6" utility and steak knives are for:wink:

chinacats
06-23-2013, 09:37 PM
Not a big fan of the ones I've used, but I believe they were all a bit too short at ~165. Seeing Micioarcs (sp) Shig in the newest purchase thread makes me want to try a longer one.

TheDispossessed
06-23-2013, 09:46 PM
Hell, Takeda calls his banno bunkas, nice marketing they seem to get respect.
The only knives i throw a dirty glance at in a kitchen would be poorly maintained ones. Knives are awesome, but the most important thing in cooking is heart.
Generally speaking i would never prefer a santoku, but they can be awesome line and prep knives if you do a lot of veg based work and push cut.

keithsaltydog
06-23-2013, 10:09 PM
It is an all purpose mid-size knife and that is what most people that aren't fanatics about their culinary cutlery like we are want. I've used them in the past but I have so many more specialized knives now there isn't much point. I have noticed they are very popular over a wide part of Asia outside Japan too.

They are popular all over.All Santokus are not created equal,fr. cheap Walmart to thin edged in excellent steel.All purpose mid size is a good thing.I like forward push cuts,that's why I like cleavers.I think they are shorter versions of the more traditional Japanese drop nose Gyuto.I like Santoku's too and not the least bit shy to say it.:razz:

mkriggen
06-23-2013, 10:14 PM
Hell, Takeda calls his banno bunkas, nice marketing they seem to get respect.

First, I believe it's "bunka banno"

Second, don't be calling my bunka banno a santoku!:punish:
(I like to think of it as a small kiritsuke style gyuto:wink:)

bkdc
06-23-2013, 10:23 PM
I consider my Takeda funayuki a santoku. It's my FAVORITE santoku. ^_^ I just sold the Banno Bunka. Great little performer. It's hard not to like a knife with that kind of name.

Zwiefel
06-23-2013, 10:30 PM
I was thinking about this recently....and wondering if it was a double-bevel version of the kamagata usuba.

mhelminski
06-23-2013, 10:52 PM
bunka bocho ("culture knife") is another name for a santoku. It's the name my wife was familiar with. Whatever you call it, it's a common, popular knife here in Japan. Take a look at the domestic sites for makers like Sakai Yusuke, for instance. Their top seller is a 180mm santoku:
http://www.sakai-ya.com/gin3/g3-3toku180.htm

And I picked up a Zakuri tosagata bocho recently, basically a thin santoku. I like it a lot, especially vegetables or when I feel like I don't have the space for my 240mm gyuto.

ecchef
06-23-2013, 11:33 PM
I own a santoku that came as part of an entry level Watanabe set. I've thinned the crap out of it over the years and it is my go to at home because it never gets put away. I appreciate its height and ability to work in confined spaces.

echerub
06-23-2013, 11:50 PM
I like using santoku. Of course, I also absolutely love to use nakiri but I am adamant about using them only on vegetables.

As someone else mentioned previously, I like the fact that santoku have pretty high profile heights for their length. In many cases, the same 50mm or so as a 240mm gyuto. Profile height is a key factor for me when it comes to comfort with a knife. A 165mm or 180mm santoku has far greater profile height than a short gyuto, but gives me almost the same degree of usefulness *when preparing a small meal*.

I like variety. That's the other thing. Sure, I could use a chinese cleaver or a 240 gyuto for almost everything, but where's the fun in that? :)

If I'm going to use a nakiri for veggies, deba for fileting fish, yanagiba for slicing fish, then why not use a santoku for small meals? :)

deanb
06-24-2013, 12:50 AM
A while go I bought a Henkel's Twin Cermax made of M66 (ZDP-189) steel. I bought it for the steel, never owned a ZDP-189 knife and I was curious. It also was on sale for a ridiculously low price of around $70.

The steel is very hard to deburr. I viewed Jon Broida's video on one-sided microbevels. It was a revelation. It's supposed to strengthen the edge and quickly deburr. Given the hardness of the steel (RC 66) I wasn't really worried about the strength of edge but I was finally able to remove the burr, and quickly. The knife will take a very fine edge and will keep it for a long time now that deburring is easy.

I like the flat edge profile for push cutting veggies, herbs, etc. I've had a Wusthof Santoku with the kullens for several years but I rarely use it. I thinned the edge and within a half hour of use the edge will roll over because of the soft steel. If you don't mind steeling every ten minutes and and going to the stones often then I guess it would be usable but, for me, that's not what I want. I want to be able to touch up with a CrO2 loaded strop occasionally and go to the stones rarely, perfect for the hard steel.

Of course it's useful only for medium to small jobs.

daveb
06-24-2013, 01:07 AM
Ladies like the Santoku. That's reason enough to have one.

I've been told Rachael Ray used a Wusthof Santoku early on the Food Network. (Awkward, dull and fat, the knife is not much to look at either...) Inexplicably, American housewives wanted to be "groovy" and it became a popular style here. I've used the Wustie and Shun versions and they're among the few knives that I dislike.

There are better examples of course and I've seen a couple pictured here lately that would be welcome at my house.

Regards,

Dave

Brad Gibson
06-24-2013, 01:21 AM
Ladies like the Santoku. That's reason enough to have one.

Haha! Oui, Chef!

scotchef38
06-24-2013, 03:56 AM
I have a Yamawaku one which has a distal taper and takes a great edge and was inexpensive.To my mind it is great for home when i am only cooking for a few people where i just dont need the size of a 240 gyuto.At work it was really only used during service and particularly if i was on larder.I think for the home cook it is a very versatile knife hence why they sell so well.I also have a Zanetsu ZDP189 which i bought to try the steel but I find it a bit too small.

apicius9
06-24-2013, 04:54 AM
I also still use the Watanabe santoku from the set he sold. Clearly, if you need to cut large amounts of stuff, a larger knife is better, but for a person like me who often cooks just for myself, that is a very practical knife. It also is easier for those of us with limited skills: because it is higher, I find it easier to guide it along my knuckles than a narrower gyuto. Maybe that's part of the success. In any case, as. Hobby cook, I use it much more than my 270 Watanabe gyuto - and I understand that the large knife could do everything the santoku does. That said, I had a few other santokus along the way, and the Watanabe is the only one I kept. He is still one of my favorite makers, even if he seems to fall out of favor a bit as other brands pop up.

Stefan

jaybett
06-24-2013, 05:46 AM
If you have space, it will never beat a gyuto.

Statements like this are often made. Or something similar such as: A gyuto will do everything a santoku can do and more.

Okay so how does a gyuto beat a santoku? What can a gyuto do, that is not possible for a santoku?

Usually the response is the gyuto is more versatile because it has a tip. A cleaver and nakiri have a tip, it's just not pointy. The santoku has a tip, but apparently its too stubby. A sujihiki has a pointy tip, but it doesn't have enough height at the heel, to give knuckle clearance. A santoku has plenty of height at the heel, but that darn tip is too stubby. A lot of the arguments for a gyuto have a heads I win, tails you lose, aspect.

If the gyuto can physically do tasks that a santoku is unable, to perform, I would like to know. While tip work might be part of the answer, that sounds more like personal preference.

Jay

mkriggen
06-24-2013, 06:17 AM
I like variety. That's the other thing. Sure, I could use a chinese cleaver or a 240 gyuto for almost everything, but where's the fun in that? :)


:plus1:

mkriggen
06-24-2013, 06:25 AM
I consider my Takeda funayuki a santoku. It's my FAVORITE santoku. ^_^ I just sold the Banno Bunka. Great little performer. It's hard not to like a knife with that kind of name.

And dude can that little sucker take an edge!:pirate1:

Thanks for the great deal BTW:doublethumbsup:

Mikey

3200+++
06-24-2013, 07:32 AM
i have both chef knives, a nakiri, a santoku and a cleaver.

my santoku is my 70% used knife. i like the profile, lets you push/pull cut, okish slice.

but why i prefer it is the shape. it's like a 270-300mm guyto shape grinded to be very nimble and manoeuvrable. i have also more clearance for my big fingers to pinch and hold the blade, not hitting the board when i push cut. i also like in a pro kitchen to have only one knife our of the roll most of the time. Ofc, for large volumes of same product i'll choose the specialized tool, but when you just have to mince a few veggies to flavor a sauté or a meat juice, its the perfect all purpoose tool, like a nakiri but with a tip and more rounded blade profile.

i love it. i look forward to have a custom 22mm one built from watanabe san.

Lefty
06-24-2013, 07:40 AM
I'm doing this backwards, but oh well. I want to read the rest of the posts, but I'll do it afterwards, so I don't get "swayed". Also, this might cause some repetition, and if so, I apologize.

To me, a santoku is a knife that can do it all, well enough. There's a tip, there's some belly, and there's flat. The heel height is good, the knife is fairly nimble, and they don't look intimidating. Because of the rounded "nose", santokus should also be more durable that a gyuto (in terms of snapping off the tip). Now, with that being said, they don't really excel at anything, other than making food items smaller than they were before. However, they do this without being intimidating, or too big, and to be honest, I don't hate them. I hate them, for me, but if a good home-cook needs a knife, and only wants one knife, there are much worse choices out there, and depending on the user, perhaps none better (other than a well designed 180-190 gyuto).

Lucretia
06-24-2013, 05:29 PM
+1 on profile height and not taking up a lot of space.

One comment I frequently see made by people who hate santokus is "I bought a cheap santoku and it's a piece of junk". I'm sure there are a lot of cheap gyutos, pettys, nakiris, etc that are pieces of junk, too. If you get a nicely made santoku, it's a fun knife to use, especially if you've got limited space. No Rachel Ray required.

As far at tip thickness goes, L->R: Rader gyuto, Shigefusa gyuto, Ryusen Santoku:

16333

easy13
06-24-2013, 05:42 PM
Whos to say what should and shouldn't be used. Some may think its odd for someone to use a 270 suji to do most of their kitchen work or a Chinese Cleaver to do 100% of it. I have two decent but not custom or baller santokus - a Moritaka for home use and a Mizuno white #2 that I keep in a small travel kit with a Misono Swedish 210, Kramer utility and Sab Carbon Slicer, that I pop in my bag to do some side catering jobs or private chef work and it comes in handy in certain situations. As for the girlie thing, I've seen some bruiser ass cooks who use a cruddy wusthof or a chinatown santoku time to time out of lack of interest in blades that would disagree.

jayhay
06-24-2013, 05:42 PM
I have this Kansui santoku (http://www.japanwoodworker.com/product/156801/634-Kansui-Damascus-General-Purpose-Santoku-Knife--Kobayashi.aspx) and love it (full disclosure, purchased many years ago at probably half the price).

I only use it at home, and I reach for it all the time. I have a smaller board at home, so the shorter length works for me. Also the flat-ish profile works well for push cutting, which is generally my preferred method. It's also the first knife my boyfriend reaches for, and just about everyone else that comes over for dinner who gets put to work. The hand just likes to reach for it; it's a nice casual all-purpose blade that works for a wide audience.

FWIW I've seen a ton of Mac santokus in pro kitchens, a bunch of wusthofs too.

Brad Gibson
06-24-2013, 07:28 PM
okay. as far as these statements go as to the effect of, ive seen a ton of santokus used by huge line cooks or ive seen crappy german knives used in kitchens. i mean, its common sense that there is going to be people uneducated about the best tools in their professions. i am looking for something more along the lines of why it is better to use a santoku over any other knife, where the santoku came from, and why do people prefer them.

i do get the fact that they are tall and generally flat profiled. i do like that about them. but just saying some beefy mario batali look alike used one in a pizza shop isnt going to sway my opinion of how girly the knife is. in fact i would probably be the first to tell the guy hes using a girls knife LOL! I know that my mom uses one and she loves it.

i do appreciate everyones feedback though! this has turned out to be a very revealing thread.

as of now my opinion has not changed on the santokus. i dont see any real concrete evidence as to why they are good. as stated in the original title of this thread... it remains a phenomenon!

mkriggen
06-24-2013, 07:57 PM
okay. as far as these statements go as to the effect of, ive seen a ton of santokus used by huge line cooks or ive seen crappy german knives used in kitchens. i mean, its common sense that there is going to be people uneducated about the best tools in their professions. i am looking for something more along the lines of why it is better to use a santoku over any other knife, where the santoku came from, and why do people prefer them.

i do get the fact that they are tall and generally flat profiled. i do like that about them. but just saying some beefy mario batali look alike used one in a pizza shop isnt going to sway my opinion of how girly the knife is. in fact i would probably be the first to tell the guy hes using a girls knife LOL! I know that my mom uses one and she loves it.

i do appreciate everyones feedback though! this has turned out to be a very revealing thread.

as of now my opinion has not changed on the santokus. i dont see any real concrete evidence as to why they are good. as stated in the original title of this thread... it remains a phenomenon!

Dude, what in the world made you think anybody was trying to change your opinion? You asked why they were so popular, not why you should like them. The fact that you still can't understand why people like them is due to you insisting on using your preferences as a baseline for what others should like (or dislike). This is called being closed minded and ignorant.

Oh, and that car you drive, it's for pussies:saythat:
no offense :angel2:

easy13
06-24-2013, 08:01 PM
Amen

Brad Gibson
06-24-2013, 08:54 PM
Good one. I never asked anyone to try and change my opinion. But I would believe putting my opinion in my thread would be reasonable. And again I think your santoku was made for a girl. I don't think I've been closed minded and ignorant however. I am searching for the reasons why people but and use these knives. That is being open minded to other people's ideas.

mkriggen
06-25-2013, 04:51 AM
Good one. I never asked anyone to try and change my opinion. But I would believe putting my opinion in my thread would be reasonable. And again I think your santoku was made for a girl. I don't think I've been closed minded and ignorant however. I am searching for the reasons why people but and use these knives. That is being open minded to other people's ideas.

Brad, I think you misunderstand my point. I would never question your right to state your opinion, in this thread or any other. It's yours, you own it, you can do what ever you want with it. My issue is that you requested the forums opinion, received 20 thoughtful responses (only counting the ones that actually try to answer the original question), many from some of our most respected members, then you didn't just disregard them, you mocked them. That sir is close minded, ignorant, and disrespectful.

:soapbox:

Ok, I'm done, be well:peace:

stereo.pete
06-25-2013, 08:14 AM
I usually will avoid wasting time on threads like this, but the idea of a certain shape of knife being a "Girlie" knife is absolutely ridiculous. People use what works for them and what they are comfortable with. There are no knives that have gender specifications...

Go BLACKHAWKS!

tgraypots
06-25-2013, 08:33 AM
I think Rachael Ray, in particular, had an impact on us kitchen cooks, while using a santoku. One of my first knives was a MAC Superior santoku and I loved using it. I kept it blazing sharp and sliced off the side of my index knuckle a few times while trimming up lettuce bunches in my garden. I learned how to sharpen on stones with it, an inexpensive combo stone, and never regretted buying, owning or using it. I've since passed it on to my sister, who uses it daily, while I've moved toward heavier, longer chef's knives, ks profiles, usually of my own making. I think the majority of home cooks are or would be well-served by a santoku of some sort, and would be as happy as a pig in *&^% with it, unlike those long, pointy knives. :-)

bkultra
06-25-2013, 09:19 AM
Go BLACKHAWKS!

This is the best part of this thread, but I'm biased.

zitangy
06-25-2013, 09:54 AM
My santoku.. a Henckels twin series has been heavily used and experimented with when I got into sharpening. .. testing of the various stones and also mirror polishing exercise. Very worn out i terms of blade height and has been tasked to do some serious stuff..

a) opening of durians.. to pry open the durian.. from the bottom where there is a confluence of lines, poke it in and twist it and "spread it apart and what's between them it is passport to paradise"... ( a statement made by AL pacino in Scent of a Woman"

b)To pry open crabs.. removing the top shell.

perhaps the wide nose/tip makes it suitable for this

A preferred knife of ladies maybe.. but it is still highly functional. I still use it from time to time..

rgds
d

Mrmnms
06-25-2013, 09:51 PM
I think you have too much spare time.
Good one. I never asked anyone to try and change my opinion. But I would believe putting my opinion in my thread would be reasonable. And again I think your santoku was made for a girl. I don't think I've been closed minded and ignorant however. I am searching for the reasons why people but and use these knives. That is being open minded to other people's ideas.

Brad Gibson
06-26-2013, 01:25 AM
I think so too

franzb69
06-26-2013, 04:00 AM
aren't santokus marketed by the knife makers in japan towards tourists? since it had such a unique shape it just caught on.

i dunno.

Notaskinnychef
06-26-2013, 04:58 AM
I have a crap santoku that i still use often when i dont feel like cleaning my good knives. It is fine for my needs (when its a smaller job) and i can just wash it and let it air dry in the rack, but when I am actually doing prep work for a meal, something reasonably large, then i always grab my 240 gyuto, likely because it is a better knife and cuts better too, but also I am lazy and therefore i can justify taking the extra few mins time to clean it lol

3200+++
06-26-2013, 05:31 AM
[...]
Its all about personal preference, if they are comfortable with what they have, then who am I to question their choice of cutlery. Cause at the end of the day knives are just tools that enable us to make/cook great food. [...]

absolute truth here!

mikemac
06-26-2013, 09:36 AM
I think Rachael Ray, in particular, had an impact on us kitchen cooks, while using a santoku...

Had an impact? No doubt!
But the timeline is interesting. The first santuko I used - a Cutco - and the first one I bought - a Wusthof without kullens -both around 1996, preceded RR's Food Network debut by 5 years.
Point being if Cutco & Wusthof had santukos in the late 90's, they were mainstream before RR.

Brad Gibson
06-27-2013, 11:41 PM
Well, I have recieved a carter funayuki (santoku) in the mail from Kaleab. I'm gonna give this thing a whirl and see what all the fuss is about! It's the first carter I've ever used so I'm pretty excited with that as well. It's super light and thin. I think it's gonna be amazing for veggie prep. It might help me change my mind on the santokus.

mikemac
06-28-2013, 09:26 AM
...a carter funayuki (santoku)...

Usually, a Carter Funy is shaped like, well, a funy. Which is very similar to a gyuto. His wabocho is usually shaped like a santoku. Usually, anyway...
Either way, his knives are pretty nice, especially as 'users', so have fun

panda
04-02-2014, 03:21 AM
i think very highly of santokus for the same reasons as stated numerous times before, flat profile and tall. just wish they made longer ones. would absolutely LOVE to have a 10" santoku.

ecchef
04-02-2014, 05:03 AM
Some 'vintage' Takeda gyutos have a santoku-like profile.

jackslimpson
04-02-2014, 05:19 PM
I was thinking about this recently....and wondering if it was a double-bevel version of the kamagata usuba.

Just tell people it's a Kamagata Nakiri, which is better than their Santoku.

The first J-knife I bought, I think, was a Tojiro Shirogami Santoku. I still love the thing. It takes a great edge.


Cheers,

Jack

loves2cook
04-02-2014, 07:42 PM
The way I see it is whatever floats your boat and works for you then by all means use it and enjoy it whether its a santoku, cleaver, nakiri,gyuto,petty or any other knife that you enjoy using. There is no right or wrong when it comes to how you enjoy using your knife. I have a couple a few Santoku knives and I use them when I feel like it. I have a Shun Premier, a Mac and a cheap Sabatier that I picked up for 9.99. The funny thing is I've been practicing my sharpening skills on this knife with a 1000/6000 stone and a couple of strops with fine and extra fine compound and its now my sharpest knife I own. I'm sure I can put a sharper edge on my Shun and Mac but until I've perfected my technique I'm not touching any of my nice Japanese knives with the stones.

hope this helps !!!

The Anti-Chrysler
04-02-2014, 07:46 PM
Last year I bought a Yaxell 165mm santoku in aogami #2, and so far I love it. It's nice and thin, easy to sharpen to a wicked edge, and holds it's edge very well. It is considerably thinner and has more distal taper than the Rader, Shig, or Ryusen shown in post #35. I only use it for vegetables, so the the whole 'three virtues' thing has no meaning for me.
A santoku is much better for cutting on a board than a petty, IMO. Now that I think about it, it's my petty that I can't seem to find a use for. Too big for in hand work, too small and not enough heel for board work.

labor of love
04-02-2014, 08:02 PM
im currently in discussion with one well regarded jmaker about possibly making a 255mm custom santoku. its a shame a knife like this isnt already in production somewhere as i think there could be a decent market for them. my only knock on santoku knives is that theyre wayyyy too short for my work needs. also, theres alot of profile variation with santokus just like with gyutos.

schanop
04-02-2014, 08:05 PM
My non-production, custom order, Heiji 225mm Santoku :viking:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7GU84Oysybw/UJIu-R7KvLI/AAAAAAAAAsA/6X7miIk0jE4/w640-h480-no/P1070728.JPG

loves2cook
04-02-2014, 08:07 PM
That is a beauty !

Mute-on
04-02-2014, 09:01 PM
My non-production, custom order, Heiji 225mm Santoku :viking:

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-7GU84Oysybw/UJIu-R7KvLI/AAAAAAAAAsA/6X7miIk0jE4/w640-h480-no/P1070728.JPG

Errr :jawdrop:

Very nice!

Almost as nice as my Shig Ku Santoku ;)

:justkidding: I am jealous

Pensacola Tiger
04-02-2014, 09:07 PM
L.R. Harner 22 cm CPM 154 santoku

http://s26.postimg.org/jsf9bm8jp/L_R_Harner_22_cm_CPM154_santoku.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/jsf9bm8jp/)

Lefty
04-02-2014, 09:17 PM
And that Harner has a gorgeous handle and liner combo. You HAVE TO show it, Rick. :)

Santokus are aight. :)

Pensacola Tiger
04-02-2014, 09:59 PM
And that Harner has a gorgeous handle and liner combo. You HAVE TO show it, Rick. :)

Santokus are aight. :)

Okay, Tom, as requested:

http://s26.postimg.org/kkmiok24l/IMG_4354.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/kkmiok24l/)

http://s26.postimg.org/487vl2yf9/IMG_4356.jpg (http://postimg.org/image/487vl2yf9/)

jared08
04-02-2014, 10:08 PM
Wouldn't having a 240mm santoku make it uber blade heavy considering how tall the blade remains close to the tip? Just seems like a lot of steel in my mind, and the reason they stay relatively short.

labor of love
04-02-2014, 10:13 PM
Wouldn't having a 240mm santoku make it uber blade heavy considering how tall the blade remains close to the tip? Just seems like a lot of steel in my mind, and the reason they stay relatively short.

not necessarily. also, theres functional reasons for wanting alot of steel above the tip. the reason santokus usually are only 160-190mm long is because theyre used by home cooks mostly.

Pensacola Tiger
04-02-2014, 11:01 PM
Wouldn't having a 240mm santoku make it uber blade heavy considering how tall the blade remains close to the tip? Just seems like a lot of steel in my mind, and the reason they stay relatively short.

Nope.

Plenty of tall gyutos out there. Takeda for instance.

schanop
04-02-2014, 11:35 PM
Errr :jawdrop:

Very nice!

Almost as nice as my Shig Ku Santoku ;)

:justkidding: I am jealous

My Shig KU santoku is a shorty and left hand side is a little weird :detective:

https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-0zT8BOo1c4Q/UOuNRnubuLI/AAAAAAAAAvw/TV2KXPKcyh0/s640/shig_ku_santoku_0.jpg
https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/-h0L-jE0E-qE/UOuNSE5g7TI/AAAAAAAAAvo/RFsNwtgZ0uI/s640/shig_ku_santoku_1.jpg

Mute-on
04-03-2014, 06:16 PM
Wha.. Single bevel?

My Shig Santoku is a 165. It's like having a sharp index finger that cuts food like a laser :)

Nice one, Schanop :thumbsup:

jared08
04-03-2014, 06:20 PM
Thanks for the info. I have never used a takeda, have lusted after them tho..

dfurry
04-03-2014, 09:29 PM
To me, granted I'm a noob, Nakiri's and Santoku's are both pervasive primarily for the same reason 240 and 270 Gyuto's are pervasive, personal preference. There's zero doubt that other valid reasons exist such as space constraints, etc but personal preference seems like it would be a prime mover.

keithsaltydog
04-04-2014, 02:44 AM
We get NHK world and Japanology on our PBS station here.Was just watching a program on organic farming & cooking with fresh vegitables in Japan.All this home cooking using drop nose Santoku & Gyuto cutting up all kinds of food.

I have a 247mm,223mm,182mm,& 174mm all forged carbon steel flatter profile drop nose knives.Also bought a older Takeda 270mm more gradual drop as is the 182mm

All these blades have a tip diff. in each because they are hand forged.Excellent cutters thick & thin.:viking:

kungpao
04-06-2014, 10:24 PM
Interesting thread, good read!

Von blewitt
04-08-2014, 09:59 AM
I couldn't resist this one I just saw on Japan Tool, Heiji 230mm Santoku, great price too. hopefully it runs a touch long
http://www.japan-tool.com/zc/index.php?main_page=product_info&cPath=30_34&products_id=327y

Mucho Bocho
04-08-2014, 11:26 AM
Huw, that knife looks like a gyuto to me? just cause one calls an elephant a dog doesn't make him an elephant Right? Not that you knife is a dog ;-)

panda
04-09-2014, 03:11 AM
lost in translation? :D

icanhaschzbrgr
04-09-2014, 04:40 AM
Huw, that knife looks like a gyuto to me? just cause one calls an elephant a dog doesn't make him an elephant Right? Not that you knife is a dog ;-)
Exactly what I've though after looking at pictures. Great knife anyway and price is right. Congrats on this purchase :)

icanhaschzbrgr
04-09-2014, 05:07 AM
Speaking of good prices I've just pulled the trigger and got a new toy:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3809/13734382483_a2cf361b12_o.jpg

Yamawaku 165mm Santoku in V2.
For a 55$ delivered it was hard to resist.
Not that I need another knife, just something else to play and rehandle :)

XooMG
04-09-2014, 06:03 AM
Speaking of good prices I've just pulled the trigger and got a new toy:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3809/13734382483_a2cf361b12_o.jpg

Yamawaku 165mm Santoku in V2.
For a 55$ delivered it was hard to resist.
Not that I need another knife, just something else to play and rehandle :)

Haha, I just went for the nakiri, since I liked the look of the kurouchi. Big gamble since I'm actually hunting for something else, but the price means I won't be too scared of tweaking the bevel for my own needs. That's yielded some excellent results with my Zakuri knives, so maybe I'll be lucky again.

panda
04-12-2014, 01:38 AM
ordered a hiromoto AS santoku. 1) it's the only 190mm i can find? 2) it's stainless clad to survive usage from room mates. 3) it's cheap

Benuser
04-12-2014, 03:49 PM
The Hiromoto 190 is a great performer. Keep it away from your roommates, and make sure to warn them. They will cut themselves.

mark76
04-12-2014, 04:10 PM
Speaking of good prices I've just pulled the trigger and got a new toy:

https://farm4.staticflickr.com/3809/13734382483_a2cf361b12_o.jpg

Yamawaku 165mm Santoku in V2.
For a 55$ delivered it was hard to resist.
Not that I need another knife, just something else to play and rehandle :)

Nice! Where did you get it? Can't find it with Google.

schanop
04-12-2014, 05:33 PM
330mate via ebay perhaps, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-YAMAWAKU-water-proof-burnt-chestnut-handle-chef-knife-Santoku-houchou-/390787169665

icanhaschzbrgr
04-13-2014, 01:42 AM
330mate via ebay perhaps, http://www.ebay.com/itm/Japanese-YAMAWAKU-water-proof-burnt-chestnut-handle-chef-knife-Santoku-houchou-/390787169665

Yep, 330mate.
When I ordered mine, they were already sold out. Just send 330mate the length and type of profile that you are interested in, and he'll take your order and tell you final price. There's a waiting time of about 1-2 month for custom orders.

labor of love
04-13-2014, 02:00 AM
Yep, 330mate.
When I ordered mine, they were already sold out. Just send 330mate the length and type of profile that you are interested in, and he'll take your order and tell you final price. There's a waiting time of about 1-2 month for custom orders.

how "custom" are these custom orders?

icanhaschzbrgr
04-13-2014, 02:14 AM
how "custom" are these custom orders?
I have no idea how far you can go. In the description of Yamawaku knives on his ebay listings, if you look carefully, there's always an option for different sizes. For example, Santoku is possible in 120,150,165,180mm lengths. Similar options are available for his gyutos.

I'd guess the whole customization ends with knife length. Well, maybe custom engraving if you want it.