Help picking a santoku

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Sparhawk

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Hi everyone, still new to knives but my brothers birthday is coming up and wanted to get him a nicer knife. I know he's been considering santoku knives so wanted to look at those. Hoping to find something good in the price range I have.

LOCATION
USA, Idaho

KNIFE TYPE
What type of knife are you interested in? Santoku

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Either

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 150mm to 240mm

Do you require a stainless knife? Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? 250

KNIFE USE
Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

What knife, if any, are you replacing? It will be a gift for my brother

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? No grip preference

What improvements do you want from your current knife? Would prefer a laser for cutting vegetables

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? Really just want to find the best possible fit and finish in the office range

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)? Rounded spine

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)? Out of the box use would be good

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)? He does have some sharpening stones so edge retention isn't as important



KNIFE MAINTENANCE
Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? Synthetic

Do you sharpen your own knives? Yes

Also open to used if there's a great deal.
 

Infrared

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Best stainless knife I've used for under $150.
If you want something fancier:


Slightly better performance than the Masutani.
The damascus looks amazing in person.
Both are lasers.

Not your typical VG-10 (for both). Very easy to sharpen and very good edge retention.
 

Sparhawk

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The Katayama looks very nice

I was looking around and I saw this


How would they compare? I had heard good things about the powdered steels but have read that the maker means more.
 

blokey

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Just bought the VG10 version of this knife, Takamura Santoku punches way above their price range, you can ask Rich to add a micro-bevel for you so it won't chip.
Alternatively for better Fit finsh JKI En and Hotaru are good, Kobayashi Kei is also excellent.
 

Delat

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The Kurosaki is an excellent knife, very thin and cuts effortlessly and should be quite sharp OOTB. Fit and finish should be very good.

My only comment is that 165mm is pretty small for a primary chef’s knife. Unless he has a very small apartment kitchen, something in the 180mm or greater range would be more useful.
 

Infrared

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The Katayama looks very nice

I was looking around and I saw this


How would they compare? I had heard good things about the powdered steels but have read that the maker means more.

Katayamas are better cutters than Kurosakis, in my experience.
The Kurosaki is about equal in edge retention. Maybe slightly better.
 

Sparhawk

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The Kobayashi looks very nice and would have been my choice but I ended up with a used Miyabi Birchwood SG2 7" Santoku Knife just because it was such a good deal. I got a used one for around $100 so will see how that goes as I can then pick up a few other things for my brother.
 
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