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  1. #1
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    Santoku choice - need help

    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. 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.

  2. #2
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    Heiji Semi Stainless Santoku either KU or kasumi finish. 180mm is only 16800 JPY. Mine is KU damascus variant and a bit more expensive:


  3. #3
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    Tanaka r2 ironwood.
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  4. #4
    Senior Member Justin0505's Avatar
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    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
    "I gotta tell ya, this is pretty terrific. Ha hahaha, YEAH!" - Moe (w/ 2 knives). http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YVt4U...layer_embedded

  5. #5
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    I've always been happy with Maksim's Zensho line. And he has this interesting santoku. 180mm (in this case 185mm) is a great length. 160mm santokus are too short.

    Edit: That's Tanaka R2 is pretty

  6. #6
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    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.

  7. #7
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    A little less high end but still nice Tojiharu Damascus Hammer finish VG-10 core. 180mm.On sale now at Korin 15% off.

  8. #8
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    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.

  9. #9
    Senior Member bkultra's Avatar
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    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.


  10. #10

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    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.
    Len

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