Damascus Santoku knife - knifever

What is a Santoku knife?

The Damascus Santoku knife is the legendary Japanese kitchen knife. It is often called the Japanese version of the chef's knife. High-quality Damascus steel santoku knife with sharp blade and unique design.

Santoku means "three virtues" in Japanese.

According to some sources, the name refers to three cutting techniques that can be done with a knife. Others say this is because it is used to cut meat, fish and vegetables. But one thing is certain: with this knife, you can work brilliantly in the kitchen!

What is special about Santoku?

Anyone who owns such a good brocade knife also owns a piece of cultural property. In addition, a good original knife is a comprehensive kitchen tool that allows professional chefs or home chefs to easily cut vegetables, fish, and meat into strips or other shapes. In addition, when preparing sushi, chefs like to take the santoku.

Since this kind of knife is very suitable for hand-held, it is also suitable for beginners.

Types of Santoku Knives

Santoku originated in Japan and is considered an Oriental or Asian type of knife.

In addition to the Far East Santoku knife, there are also Western manufacturers' brands on the market. Unlike relatives from the Far East, some of them are still forged and handmade by masters, and these knives are also available at affordable prices.

  1.  It is particularly worth mentioning that Santoku kitchen tools from Far Asia have different blade shapes from European models. The santoku in Japan is usually a Damascus steel knife with a V-shaped blade. 
  2. Western models are also made of high-quality steel. However, expensive Damascus steel is usually not used. In addition, European-priced knives usually have U-shaped blades. This makes them stronger and less sensitive than the classic Santoku blades from Japan.

Properties and Characteristics

Regardless of the model, Santoku knives have specific characteristics that are different from other types of kitchen knives.

  1.  Santoku can be identified by a wide blade that only tilts shortly before the tip of the knife.
  2. One advantage of Santoku is that it is lighter than most European kitchen knives and therefore easier to handle.
  3. The blade length of Santokus is approximately 18 cm. The blade length of a European chef's knife is usually around 20 cm. Some Santokus have Granton edges, so food does not stick to the blade easily.
  4.  The grip of Santoku is usually at the same height as the back of the knife. Therefore, your cutting hand has enough space.

What is the purpose of the Santoku knife and how to use it?

The santoku knife is a versatile multi-purpose knife that can be used to cut different types of food equally well. The use of Santoku knives is not limited to preparing Asian dishes. Santoku knives are used to process fish, meat, and vegetables.

When cutting food, the Santoku knife tilts forward, with the tip slightly lower than the root of the knife. This leverage makes it easier to cut harder, more elastic foods. The special-shaped blade and perfect weight distribution of the Santoku knife make it an ideal kitchen tool, even for people with small hands.

Because Santoku is a highly adaptable versatile knife, it is a fashionable and popular product. This traditional Japanese knife is indispensable in many kitchens around the world.

5 simple tips and tricks for home cooks

There are many ways to use the Santoku knife. It all depends on the type of ingredients you are processing and the technology you use. Every feature of Santoku has a specific purpose in your kitchen:

  • If you use a knife to cut special dishes such as tuna, salmon, and pufferfish, you can use it to cut precise thin slices without destroying the delicate structure of the cut food. Santoku is also a traditional knife used to prepare sushi.
  •  The length of the Santoku knife and the stable forging style determine its use as a meat knife. The long blade is also suitable for dividing larger pieces of roast meat and cutting cleanly
  • The handle of the Santoku knife is consistent with the top of the blade. This provides enough space for pinching and safe holding, and you can break harder foods with a little effort.
  • The shape of the blade with the tip of the blade bent downward can not only be cut. Herbs, garlic, onions, etc. can be crushed and chopped by weighing. The wide blade will enable you to guide the knife along the curved knuckle.
  • The traditional straight blade allows you to push the cut pieces into the pot.

Santoku vs Chef Knife-Comparison of two popular knives

Many people may wonder what is the difference between Santoku and a chef's knife? Both knives can be used for similar tasks. Knowing this, choosing Santoku over a chef's knife may be purely an aesthetic preference.
Nevertheless, when comparing Santoku and Chef's Knives, the following are the most significant differences:

Santoku knife attributes Chef Knife Attributes
Blade length: 6-7 inches Blade length: 8-9 inches
 Uses: meat, fish, vegetables  Usage: meat, vegetables
Blade tip: curved end Blade tip: there is a tip at the end
 Weight: lighter  Weight: heavier

When to choose Santoku and chef's knife?

The first factor in deciding whether you use Santoku or a chef's knife should be your personal preference. Do you think it is more comfortable to use a shorter and lighter knife or a longer and heavier knife? First, you should use work that feels more enjoyable.

You should use the knife to process meat, fish or vegetables based on your next decision. Since the tip is very sharp, the chef's knife may be more useful when cutting the meat around the bone, that is, if you don't have a deboning knife on hand. On the other hand, the santoku is more convenient for fish and vegetables.

Do you need to scoop up the pieces you are cutting? When cutting onions or garlic, you can easily use a knife to scoop processed food from the plate to the pot. In this case, you should use Santoku.

These are just some basic guidelines. However, if you have two knives, you will learn to instinctively choose the one you think is more convenient before you start cutting the cooking ingredients.

What steel is used to produce Damascus Santoku?

The name Santoku only describes the shape of the knife. Therefore, this knife can be made of different types of steel.

The simple Santoku kitchen knife is made of stainless steel. The more elegant one is made of Damascus steel.

Santoku knives can provide smooth-shaped blades or small oval-shaped dimples called Granton blades. These dips are more than just

decorations. They speed up the cutting of sticky foods such as fruits, vegetables or raw meat and fish. Small dents ensure smoother release of adhesive components.

Knife manufacturing companies usually use traditional stainless steel. This steel is easy to clean because it is not rusty and rust-proof. However, blades made of stainless steel are not as sharp as those made of inlaid steel.

Damascus steel is fire-welded and forged from several pieces of steel with different hardness and alloys. The resulting composite steel is both strong and flexible. However, a little extra attention and maintenance is required so that in the long run you can benefit from Santoku forged in Damascus.

Original knives made of Damascus steel are usually not rust-proof, which is why you should never clean them in the dishwasher. Due to temperature and washing chemicals, steel can withstand deterioration. Therefore, the cleaning and maintenance of such knives should always be done manually.

History-rapid expansion from Japan to the U.S.

The Santoku sword was invented in Japan about 100 to 150 years ago. The sword is closely related to the social transformation of the Japanese nation.

In Japan, Santoku knife is a local product in almost every kitchen. However, in the past decade, it has also begun to triumph in Europe. Many professional and amateur chefs already possess the three virtues of exquisite and sharp blades.

Taken from the words "three" and "special", it can roughly be translated as "three virtues", which means fish, meat, and vegetables. These and other foods can be easily cut and processed with Santoku.

Japanese eating habits have changed, especially after the Second World War. The country’s economic prosperity has enabled people to buy and consume more meat. In the past, they usually only ate fish.

Santoku knives serve chefs of different purposes. As the economic strength of many families continues to increase, luxury food can be purchased, and the Santoku knife is popular because of its wide range of uses.

In the past few decades, this Japanese multi-purpose knife has rapidly expanded worldwide. It is now particularly popular in the United States and Europe, where it has become a competitor to chef's knife for tableware.

Cutting characteristics-suitable for fish, meat, and vegetables

Santoku knives delight professionals and amateurs with their outstanding sharpness.

When using Santoku, you can get a flawless cut so that the juices in the vegetables will be retained and the food will be more flavorful. Due to the high sharpness of this kitchen tool, it can finely cut meat and fish to make sushi and cut tomatoes into thin slices.

High-end Santoku knives are usually made of Damascus steel. Several layers of metal are folded many times and then hammered and heat-treated through a unique process. This ensures that the blade stays sharp for a long time.

The classic Eastern Three Germans usually have a higher hardness (around HCR 60) than European ones. Santoku knives made of Damascus steel have been in high demand. Tough but easy to bend metal is perfect for making Santoku knife blades.

In the production of Damascus steel, the soft and hard steel layers are welded and fused. This kind of santoku knife needs more care as a stainless steel knife. These kitchen tools from the East are favored by chefs all over the world.

Maintenance Tips-How to maintain the Santoku knife?

Your Damascus knives should be kept properly after each use. After using a dirty knife, never put it on the counter. Proper maintenance will ensure that you make the most of your tools in the next few years.

Damascus knives need to be more careful. If you follow these simple tips, your knife will stay sharp and beautiful for a long time:

  1. After use, the Santoku knife should be rinsed thoroughly. Since most chef knives are not suitable for dishwashers, it is recommended to use warm water and mild detergents. Use a soft cloth for rinsing, and be sure not to use rough sponges.
  2. The blade of the Santoku knife can be wiped with some camellia oil. Even Santoku with stainless steel blades should not be washed in the dishwasher-the beautiful wooden handle may be affected.
  3.  It is no secret that the sharper the knife, the more sensitive the blade. Santoku knives should be stored in a box or knife roll bag separate from other blades.
  4.  For high-carbon steel blades, these products are not stainless steel and should always be cleaned and rinsed by hand. After that, they need to be dried immediately or wiped with paper towels.
  5. In order to prevent the Santoku knife from rusting during long-term storage, you can wrap it in an oil-soaked cloth and store it.
    How to sharpen the Santoku knife?
    Of course, you need to keep the tool sharp at all times. It is easy to grind the santoku using ordinary sharpening techniques, including grinding on a whetstone and honing on a belt. Sharpening the knife with an ordinary kitchen knife sharpener will produce better results.

Santoku sharpening technology:

  • First, soak the stone in water for about ten minutes.
    When sharpening the knife, it should be done on the workbench, so it is easiest to find and maintain the grinding angle (15-20 degrees). You can put a wet towel under the grindstone to ensure its safety.
  • If you use a sharpening stone and hold the blade at the correct angle, the Santoku blade will not be damaged.
  • The next step you can take is honing. You can sharpen the knife on a simple belt. If you are proficient, you can use an old belt. Unless you want to be fancy, there is no need to buy a sharpening tool.
  • Please note that if you sharpen the knife after each use, there is almost no need to re-sharp the knife with a sharpening stone.

If you follow these simple rules, your Damascus Santoku knife will stay sharp and shiny for a long time.

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