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  • Knifewear's Top 6 Santokus 2024

    March 04, 2024 1 min read

    Knifewear's Top 6 Santokus 2024

    The santoku is easily the most popular kitchen knife shape and size, and what most folks choose as their first Japanese kitchen knife. These are my top 6 santokus for 2024!

    Haruyuki Nishiki Santoku 165mm - 188.00

    This is one of the newest lines at Knifewear, first arriving in February 2024. This knife from Haruyuki packs a punch for a killer deal. It’s made with a Shirogami #2 carbon steel core with stainless steel cladding, and I love this combo because it’s perfect for someone who wants a super sharp edge that re-sharpens easily. Plus, the stainless cladding makes it easier to take care of compared to a full carbon steel knife; only the edge of the Nishiki needs to be kept dry to prevent rust. Despite being high carbon steel, it has a more robust edge that makes it a great workhorse. I also love the cherrywood and blonde pakkawood combo on the handle. For some reason, it makes me think about fresh spring air!

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    Masashi KOKUEN Bunka 165mm - 351.00

    This super sexy, slick knife has been gaining popularity since Masashi-san first launched it and visited Knifewear in summer of 2022. The Kokuen, meaning ‘black smoke’, has quickly become a staff favourite; made with SLD semi-stainless steel, it’s super easy to care for and takes an awesomely sharp edge. I love the Kokuen because they are so thin that they glide through dense carrots and potatoes like nothing. They also have a nice tall profile for my people who like to chop without catching their knuckles on the counter. The dark, smoky finish makes you drool when you look at it, not to mention the reddish-brown ebony handle with a gorgeous water buffalo collar. Make cutting your dense veggies an easy-breezy dream with the Kokuen!

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    Fujimoto Nashiji Santoku 165mm - 184.00

    Want a smokin’ deal on a Santoku that looks rustic as heck and is made from excellent steel? You need to check on the Fujimoto Nashiji; it’s another staff favourite and beloved by folks looking for their first knife while sticking to a budget. Fujimoto knives are hand-made by a group of artisans that roll-forge their knives, giving many of the benefits of a forged knife in a super consistent, cost-effective package. This knife kicks ass in both professional and home settings, and is great if you want to dip your toes into using carbon steel knives. The core steel, Aogami #2, is less quick to rust than Shirogami (white) carbon steel. Much like the Nishiki, a layer of protective stainless on either side of the blade help keep maintenance down to the very edge of the knife.

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    Moritaka Ishime Santoku 185mm - 296.00

    Want a knife that has 700 years' worth of history? This is it. The Moritakas have been making knives since 1293 AD, almost 30 generations of knife/sword making. They used to make knives, swords, farm tools and all other kinds of tools for a feudal lord in Japan. That is just so cool. The Ishime line screams badass with the rock-like finish. This ‘Ishime’ look is normally reserved for their hunting knives, but they do it just for Knifewear because we asked nicely. This knife is perfect for someone looking for that extra dose of cool, sexy carbon steel that you can tell your friends about. Just ask Sam in the Calgary store, and he’ll convince you that you need to collect all the Moritaka knives. 

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    Nigara VG10 Tsuchime Damascus Santoku 180mm - 235.00

    Fresh from our 2023 Fall Garage sale, the Nigara VG10 Damascus has been the beauty on the block as of late. With this super sexy damascus and hammered ‘tsuchime’ finish on the blade, you’re gonna be obsessed every time you take it out to cut something. The tried and true VG10 stainless steel makes for one awesome entry-level knife that feels like a steal of a deal at a very reasonable price. This santoku will be on your list for wedding season for that jaw-dropping present that makes you the best relative at the party.  

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    Ryusen Oukokuryu Santoku 170mm - 911.00

    Now I know this is the second knife on this list that is technically a Bunka (although they’re basically the same as a santoku), but it’s too cool not to include on the list. First of all, it’s so stunning with that damascus finish, and stabilized Poplar wood handle. Those two elements give the Oukokuryu the edge above the rest, not to mention it’s made of a super hard high-tech stainless steel called SG2. Amazing for someone looking for that black pearl to add to their collection. Did I mention that Oukokuryu means Shining Black Dragon? Now that's way to cool. Get ready to drop your jaw for this badass in the kitchen!

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    TOJIRO Child's Santoku - 36.00

    Honourable Mention: Looking to find that perfect knife for your little ones to start using in the kitchen with you? The Tojiro Child’s Santoku will give them (and you) the confidence they need to get started. This knife has a sharp edge that will make cutting cheese, veggies and fruit super easy with a rounded tip for safety. The handle is even rubberized for an easier grip! It’s also a great blade for adults, I love it for folks who are curious but kind of nervous to get a full-size knife. I gave it to my older sister, who loves it since that is all she needs to make some awesome meals.

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    Hopefully this article made it easier, not harder, to pick a Santoku for your collection. I know that with so many great options, choosing can be challenging. If you ever need more help choosing, don’t hesitate tocontact us or visit our shops in person. For our full line of santokus, you can check out the full selection here.

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       Mike Wrinch
    Mike Wrinch

    Mike was a chef for 15 years and and has been a knife aficionado for most of them. His love of Japanese knives began, coincidentally, when Knifewear began. Mike decided that it was time to get out from behind the stoves and hanging out at Knifewear wasn’t paying the bills so he hired himself. We rehabilitated him into a life of knives and shaving in 2012. He loves to talk about food and cooking as well as knives. Mike is the General Manager of all our shops.