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Which Santoku to pick
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Thread: Which Santoku to pick

  1. #1

    Which Santoku to pick

    I have decided to purchase a Santoku knife, but am having a tough decision on picking which one. The price range I have to spend is somewhere around $100.

    I'll probably buy from Chef's Knives to go http://www.**************.com/santokuknives.html unless someone has another good store to recommend that ships internationally.

    My question though, is there much of a quality difference between the various brands of $90-$130 knives?
    Is a Sakai or Shun better than a Watanabe or Tanaka?

    I think I have decided on a Japanese style handle. Mostly because of looks and if I am going to be buying a Japanese style knife the handle may as well be Japanese as well. I have read a fair bit on forums and it seems people prefer either type, which perhaps brings it mostly down to preference.

    Any help on picking a knife??
    hmm.. my 'helpful' links are apparently being edited.. I guess you can still understand my question...

  2. #2

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    You will overpay for a Shun.

    In that price range, I suggest the Sakai Takayuki for western handle(vg-10 steel, good F&F) from CKTG, and Yoshihiro SKD for wa handle(D2 steel, classic design) from Japanese Knife Imports.

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  3. #3
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    Whereabouts are you if you need international shipping?
    Have you looked at JCK, the carbonext gets good write ups and their international shipping is a bargain (to the UK at least)

  4. #4

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    The best cutter I own is a Gihei santoku from hidatool.com. It's stainless-clad SLD steel, wa handle, extremely thin behind the edge. It cuts as well as or (in most cases) better than knives from Shigefusa, Devin Thomas, Watanabe, Takeda, Konosuke, and others. It's my current reference point for how a stock factory edge should work. Price is around $120.

  5. #5

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    Quote Originally Posted by wsfarrell View Post
    It cuts as well as or (in most cases) better than knives from Shigefusa, Devin Thomas, Watanabe, Takeda, Konosuke, and others. It's my current reference point for how a stock factory edge should work. Price is around $120.
    Quite a statement

  6. #6
    Senior Member ThEoRy's Avatar
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    Am I the guy who gets to say "don't buy a santoku!!" Though seriously, can you give us a little insight as to why you chose a santoku?
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  7. #7

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    I have a Global G-48 Santoku which is awesome. Great general purpose knife that I let all visitors use when they want to cook. Everybody who uses it loves it. Takes a ton of abuse, was dropped multiple times on the stone tile floor, but just keeps cutting great.

    The Global my primary knife for a while, now I have a very santoku-like Takeda gyuto (flat profile with low nose) that I use alot. Now I use the Global for quick jobs when I am rushed and dont feel like taking care of the carbon steel.

  8. #8
    The alleles created by mutation may be beneficial

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    Quote Originally Posted by wsfarrell View Post
    The best cutter I own is a Gihei santoku from hidatool.com. It's stainless-clad SLD steel, wa handle, extremely thin behind the edge. It cuts as well as or (in most cases) better than knives from Shigefusa, Devin Thomas, Watanabe, Takeda, Konosuke, and others. It's my current reference point for how a stock factory edge should work. Price is around $120.
    Interesting. Mind posting a review of it in the review section?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andrew H View Post
    Interesting. Mind posting a review of it in the review section?
    Sorry, (a) I didn't see a review section, and (b) I'm a home cook who's ill-equipped to do a serious review. Here's what I can say:

    I bought it a couple months ago when I was visiting Hida Tool in Berkeley (link to website here; you'll have to navigate a little to find the Gihei santoku). As with most of my knives, I just power-stropped it on leather/CrO to get an idea of what the untouched factory edge was like. The only dimensions I can give you are: weight = 118g; edge length = 162mm; edge height at base = 48mm; edge width 1" in front of ferrule = ~2mm (sorry, no calipers). One thing I have noticed is that the transition from cladding to core is almost perfectly smooth, as opposed to my Takeda funayukibocho (for example), which has a noticeable "step" or "shoulder."

    I was slicing an apple with it and was impressed with how effortlessly it went through, so over the next few weeks I've compared it to several other knives on potatoes, carrots, apples, onions and such. Comparison knives have included 240 gyutos by Devin Thomas, Hiromoto, Watanabe, Konosuke HD, Shigefusa, Takeda; the aforementioned Takeda funayukibocho; and a ~5.5 sun Carter stainless fukugozai funayuki. I actually kind of wanted something to beat the Gihei, given how much some of these other knives cost, but nothing did. The one that came closest was the Konosuke HD. DT's knives also fared well.

    Edge retention was perfect, but again I'm a low-volume home cook, so I can't really speak to that.

    Gihei makes a couple of gyutos (stock removal and forged), but Hida doesn't carry them and apparently doesn't plan to. I've contacted another dealer, and he is enthusiastically looking into bringing the line on board. I'll update the thread if/when that happens.

    Sorry, but that's about all the review I've got. I'd love to hear from others who have one of these----maybe I'm just crazy......

  10. #10
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    You should buy from ebay rather than Chef Knife. You'll find a cooler, better deal.

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