PDA

View Full Version : Santoku choice - need help



Ruso
07-29-2013, 11:14 AM
I know that santokus here are viewed by many as a "wrong/erroneous" choice, so I wanted to point out that I do want a Santoku - Not a gyuto, not a small suji not a large petty - a Santoku. :D I want to add this type of knife to my small set of J knifes.

There are few preferences for the knife
1. Must be rust resistant. Semi-stainless or carbon with SS clad should be okay
2. Good F&F, quite important
3. Wa handle
4. It's not a rush so if I have to wait few month to get one, its okay
6. Light weight is a bonus
5. Budget: $300 can be a little bit more if I get really excited :)

What do you recommend? I put my eyes on Watanabe Pro Santoku lately, but I read that the quality of Watanabe went down. And I would love to hear more opinions on santokus.

schanop
07-29-2013, 11:17 AM
Heiji Semi Stainless Santoku either KU or kasumi finish. 180mm is only 16800 JPY. Mine is KU damascus variant and a bit more expensive:

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

Justin0505
07-29-2013, 11:47 AM
Tanaka r2 ironwood.
http://www.metalmaster-ww.com/data/metalmaster/product/20130419_099d8a.JPG

Justin0505
07-29-2013, 12:06 PM
few months ago somebody posted a really unusual one from a Japanese maker that I'd never heard of before.. I can't find the post though

don
07-29-2013, 12:12 PM
I've always been happy with Maksim's Zensho line. And he has this interesting santoku (http://www.japanesenaturalstones.com/zensho-santoku-180mm/). 180mm (in this case 185mm) is a great length. 160mm santokus are too short.

Edit: That's Tanaka R2 is pretty :)

Timthebeaver
07-29-2013, 12:33 PM
Some nice suggestions already. Sure the Zensho is really good if it's made to Maxim's specs, Heiji is obviously highly regarded and that Tanaka is awesome.

A knife that doesn't get much press is the Mizuno Tanrenjo blue#2 180mm at JCK. Although it has been suggested that it doesn't share the same lineage as the much-loved Hontanren blue#2 gyuto (even though it is sold as Akitada Hontanren - It's certainly a lot cheaper). Still, sure Mizuno wouldn't sell junk.

keithsaltydog
07-29-2013, 03:52 PM
A little less high end but still nice Tojiharu Damascus Hammer finish VG-10 core. 180mm.On sale now at Korin 15% off.

tripleq
07-29-2013, 04:48 PM
Nothing wrong with a santoku. I think they have their place in the kitchen too. Have you considered getting in touch with Shinichi Watanabe? I hadn't had any of his knives for many years and I was reminded of his fantastic craftsmanship last week when I received an order from him last week. I am sure you can get a beautiful knife from him with exceptional materials and F&F within your budget. He doesn't seem exceptionally busy right now. I received my knives about 2 1/2 weeks after ordering.

bkultra
07-29-2013, 05:10 PM
Shigefusa makes a really nice santoku kitaeji (would be slightly over your budget, around $400). KU finish would fall under your budget (around $200). I have not seen a kasumi finished santoku, but it would fall in between those two.

http://img202.imageshack.us/img202/7436/8n3k.jpg

echerub
07-29-2013, 05:24 PM
If you're looking for something pretty non-reactive, stay away from the Shigefusa kitaeji knives. Great knives, but reactive like crazy for the first little while.

Watanabe Pro KU santoku is not stainless or semi-stainless, but pretty darn unreactive if you practice good habits in terms of wiping regularly. It's an excellent little knife if you're not dead-set on stainless/semi-stainless and want something that works well without being flashy.

WiscoNole
07-29-2013, 05:37 PM
Watanabe Pro KU santoku is not stainless or semi-stainless, but pretty darn unreactive if you practice good habits in terms of wiping regularly. It's an excellent little knife if you're not dead-set on stainless/semi-stainless and want something that works well without being flashy.
this is my recommendation

WiscoNole
07-29-2013, 05:38 PM
but I read that the quality of Watanabe went down. And I would love to hear more opinions on santokus.
not sure where that's coming from....my Watanabe gyuto is a beautiful knife

tripleq
07-29-2013, 05:44 PM
I put my eyes on Watanabe Pro Santoku lately, but I read that the quality of Watanabe went down. And I would love to hear more opinions on santokus.

Oh sorry. I hadn't noticed thIs when I made my recommendation for Watanabe. Anyway, absolutely unsubstantiated. I've purchased blades from 6 or 7 makers over the past 6 months and Watanabe has them all beat. They are really great knives.

bkultra
07-29-2013, 06:09 PM
If you're looking for something pretty non-reactive, stay away from the Shigefusa kitaeji knives. Great knives, but reactive like crazy for the first little while.


This is very true they are reactive, but proper care or a forced patina is an easy fix.

UCChemE05
07-29-2013, 07:22 PM
This my favorite cutter in my block IMHO.

http://www.hidatool.com/cutlery-and-kitchen/all-purpose-knives/gihei-santoku-all-purpose-knife-165mm-6-5

No wedging with potatoes and the slices don't stick. Handle isn't the nicest but for your budget you could have someone slap on a very nice custom.

Mrmnms
07-29-2013, 07:43 PM
Fit and finish on Kasumi knives are very good. They do a good job with VG 10. I've had their Santoku almost 20 years. With all the knives I have at my disposal , it still sees use.

Ruso
07-29-2013, 08:09 PM
Thanks all for the options.
Right now I am between Shigefusa and Watanabe pro, especially since watanabe pro santoku comes with SS clad. Also Tanka with Ironwood looks beautiful but I looked at the price and it's little bit to much and the handle style wont feet :-/
Heji looks like an option as well, would be my third choice.
Zensho does not convience me for some reason as well as Gihie. Gihie santoku looks like have hollow ground secondary bevel, I am not a big fan of it.

As for Watanabe quality, I read it somewhere that their quality went down. I am really glad that it is not the case.

Amon-Rukh
07-29-2013, 08:39 PM
I have very little experience with santokus but the Zensho at JNS was the first thing that came to mind for me. I have a Zensho nakiri and love it. If I remember right, that maker exclusively makes "home" knives (santoku, nakiri) so his dedication and experience are all funneled into a pretty specific goal.

bkultra
07-29-2013, 09:25 PM
Thanks all for the options.
Right now I am between Shigefusa and Watanabe pro, especially since watanabe pro santoku comes with SS clad.

As Echerub has pointed out they are very different in terms of reactivity. If the SS clad is a plus to you then I would get the Watanabe. Shigefusa is very highly regarded, but it is reactive.

Seb
07-29-2013, 11:49 PM
I really love my Yamawaku 165mm. It feels like and cuts like a bigger knife. And cheap. The A-Frames Tokyo online store offers a semi-stainless Aritsugu Wa that I've had my eye on for a while.

Ruso
07-30-2013, 02:12 AM
The A-Frames Tokyo online store offers a semi-stainless Aritsugu Wa that I've had my eye on for a while.
Artisugu sounds interesting but I could not find semi-stainles santoku... The one I found is Blue #2 Damascus, which I assume is iron clad of some sort.

Seb
07-30-2013, 03:32 AM
Oops. My bad. Could be my memory was faulty.

Seb
07-30-2013, 03:38 AM
Suisin Inox Honyaki Wa santoku: $360 from Korin.

keithsaltydog
07-30-2013, 04:28 PM
Some nice high end reccoms.already on this thread. Looking for 250.00+ Santokus I noticed alot are sold out. Epicurean Edge has Asai Damascus Macassar Ebony Wa Handle.

New Arrival Japanese Chef Knife Mr. Masui 180mm,very nice Damascus pattern.It's not a Wa Handle,but California Buckeye Burl The greys in the handle tie in wt. the mat grey of the Damascus,I imagine these after a while will be sold out too.

bkdc
07-31-2013, 08:37 PM
I have one Santoku left on my rack. It's a 180mm Ashi Hamono Ginga. And I don't think I'll ever sell it. Ashi calls it a "home style". It weighs in at a hefty 100 grams. Highly recommended. I doubt the performance is much different from a Suisin IH or other thin Sakai knives made of AEB-L. And the price is well below your target.

daddy yo yo
08-01-2013, 08:55 AM
maybe that harner (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/13729-FS-Harner-Custom-Santoku) in the B/S/T section is worth a look?

jigert
08-01-2013, 08:59 AM
Beat me to it :) Definitely worth a look.

maybe that harner (http://www.kitchenknifeforums.com/showthread.php/13729-FS-Harner-Custom-Santoku) in the B/S/T section is worth a look?

Ruso
08-01-2013, 12:21 PM
That one was sold fast :)

Does anybody knows where can I see/buy Heiji Semi-Stainless Santoku? I've read good things about his Semi-Stainless knives.

chinacats
08-01-2013, 02:01 PM
That one was sold fast :)

Does anybody knows where can I see/buy Heiji Semi-Stainless Santoku? I've read good things about his Semi-Stainless knives.

Call Jon @ JKI!

Justin0505
08-01-2013, 02:06 PM
Talk to JKI Jon (he has a vendor sub-forum here). He carries Heji and could probably get you what you want. His "Gesshin" Heiji knives are made to his specs and based on everything else I've seen done to his specs, I'd go with one of those over "standard".

FWIW, here's the other maker that I was trying to think of earlier:
Machida Isshi
http://www.geocities.com/soatoz/hamono/Machida/Machida.html

no idea if they're any good, and the core is carbon, not stainless.... but you should ignore that and buy one... and then sell it to me when you decide that you don't like it :)

schanop
08-01-2013, 06:25 PM
That one was sold fast :)

Does anybody knows where can I see/buy Heiji Semi-Stainless Santoku? I've read good things about his Semi-Stainless knives.

Either through Jon @ JKI if you are in North Ameria, or go direct to Nakayaheiji : http://www.nakayaheiji.co.jp/Index-English.html

Robert
08-14-2013, 10:41 AM
just got the watanabe pro santoku last week;
very goog fit and finisch,not mutch reactivitie only the first 2mm of the cuutingedge gets a light brown-bleu color
very fine knife