Santoku Knife Battle #Review

There are few things in cooking as controversial as the choice of cooking knives. The shear variety of knives on the market with different lengths, metals, materials and country of manufacturer make it almost impossible to chose simply on features. There is a knife to fit each person’s style and need. A knife is not only a tool but an extension of the chef’s arm to carry out each cut with precision.

I would like to thank Sandy Doran of Superior Kitchen Supply, 4550 S. Brust Ave. ,Milwaukee, WI 53235 for the use of the two Victorinox knives used in this review.  If you are interested in anything for your kitchen give her a call at (414) 671-1200 she is wonderful to work with.

I have 4 knives that are in this particular review. Because knives are such a personal choice I’m going to try to be as objective as I can while attempting to convey how each knife feels and performs. The best advice that I can give you however is to use as many different brands and types of knives possible before making a purchasing decision.

The 4 knives in this review are all santoku style knives with a 7 inch blade. They are as follows.

Cutco 7 inch santoku, Victorinox 7 inch ceramic santoku, Victorinox 7 inch santoku with a granton edge, and a Misono UX10 7 inch santoku.

I took all of the blades to Borrowed Earth Cafe with me and I had the owners Kathy and Danny Living use each knife and their review is below.

The Victorinox 7 inch santoku with the granton edge

  • weight 109 grams
  • the only knife in this round-up to be NSF certified to be in a commercial kitchen
  • has granton edge or Pits on blade to stop food from sticking to the blade
  • The handle is a molded material called “fibrox”
  • Chef Felisha’s Notes: Knife is very light when chopping and mincing but feels a bit too light when it comes to heavier vegetables like squash and thick carrots. The blade is thin and dicing is very precise with this blade.

The Victorinox 7 inch ceramic santoku

  • Weight 91 grams
  • ceramic is non-metallic and can be used for delicate vegetables like lettuce
  • ceramic stays sharp for a long time but is difficult to sharpen on your own.
  • Dropping a ceramic knife or contacting another hard object with a ceramic knife may chip the blade
  • The handle is a molded material called “fibrox”
  • Chef Felisha’s Notes: Knife feels very light and for some reason when chopping onions it made me cry a lot. When pushing this knife through heavier vegetables the blade seemed too light for the task. Slicing nori for sushi was quick and precice.

Cutco 7 inch santoku

  • Weight 190 grams
  • the heavyweight of the group
  • blade material is thicker with a hollow ground blade
  • only knife in the group with a “forever” warranty in a residential setting
  • handle is triple riveted thermo-resin
  • Chef Felisha’s Notes: After using this knife in a restaurant setting and prepping food all day this knife is very fatiguing. Because the blade metal is thicker, dicing is harder to do and less precise. A great knife for light duty chopping, if you’re doing more than a few hours of prep-work you could do better than this knife.

Misono UX10, 7 inch santoku

  • Weight 170 grams
  • blade is thin and very sturdy
  • handle is triple riveted
  • Chef Felisha’s Notes: This is the knife that I carry with me when I do workshops and prepare food at other locations. My Misono is a wonderful knife that I can prep all day long with and still feel all my fingers. This knife feels like an extension of my arm and feels comfortable chopping heavy items as well as making delicate slices. By far my favorite knife of this group.

Kathy and Danny Living’s review from Borrowed Earth Cafe.

Kathy Living

Our friend Chef Felisha spent the day in the kitchen with us at Borrowed Earth Cafe making some wonderful food and she was kind enough to let us try some of her knives.

All in all, we tried four very different Santoku 7-inch chef knives.

The first knife we tried was a Victorinox ceramic Santoku. As the owner of one of their famous Swiss Army Knives, I discovered that for 43 years I’ve been silently butchering (no pun intended) the pronounciation. Deciding to end the shame, I Googled, “How do you pronounce Victorinox?” and found a helpful website that actually has a man’s voice pronouncing the name. I confess I wasn’t even close. It’s VICK-TOR-I-KNOCKS, for the record. There. Anyway, the knife had a delicate lightness and a comfortable handle and it easily and accurately cut a sushi roll, but was hardy enough to slice vegetables…I probably would save this for jobs like this and use a heavy blade for things like carrots.

Danny Living

We also tried a Victorinox (see, I’m saying it right in my head now) 7-inch Santoku with a composite handle and a granton edge, which, Felisha told me is the name for those little scallopy thingees along the sides that run the length of the blade. I liked the weight of the metal blade over the ceramic for versatility and found it comfortable in my hand. We tried it out on several types of cuts and found it a good utility blade.

Next, Felisha handed us a CUTCO 7-inch Santoku with a molded thermal grip and a hollow grind edge. The handle was a little long to our liking, as we tend to “choke up” a little on the grip and rest a thumb along the blade on the side. The blade was razor sharp and made easy work of anything we put beneath it.

Last, we tried her Misono UX10 7-inch Santoku with a standard wooden handle. We liked the overall weight and ease with which it dispatched dinner-bound vegetation and we agreed it was our favorite of the four.

Thanks, Felisha!

Thanks to Sandy Doran from Superior Kitchen Supply for the knives

And special thanks to Kathy and Danny Living of Borrowed Earth Cafe for helping with the review.