Santoku Knife – Ultimate Analysis

As Auzzie man reviews would say “Here’s me santoku knife critical analysis” It’s all well and good me sitting here behind my keyboard telling you what great value for money these products are, so in order to do a better level of service to you all, I propose that I just show you.

I collected the data surrounding a few brands of Santoku knives and put them into my a python DataFrame so I could perform some great statistical analysis.

Shut Up Already, Show Me A Graph!

graph cost per inch

You can see from the image above, you can see that Dalstrong has a really long line. Thats due to the cost of the product based on its physical size. As it’s a standard 7 inches, it costs over £100 which makes the line so long. The Economy score is a measure of how much the blades cost per inch.

So technically, Shan Zu is the most cost effective purchase standing in at £1.71 per inch. heres the rest of the knives and their respective values:

  1. Shan Zu – £1.71 per inch
  2. Mercer Culinary – £2.27 per inch
  3. Master Class – £2.34
  4. Sabatier – £2.85 per inch
  5. Joseph Joseph – £2.91 per inch
  6. Rustler – £3 per inch
  7. Mosfiata – £3.50 per inch
  8. Euna – £3.86 per inch
  9. Nanfang Brothers – £4.28 per inch
  10. Sunnecko – £4.28 per inch
  11. Orient – £5.57 per inch
  12. Victorinox – £6.17 per inch
  13. Zelite Infinity – £6.85 per inch
  14. Koi Artisan – £7 per inch
  15. Wusthof – £11.94 per inch
  16. Dalstrong – £17.14 per inch

Deeper Dive Into The Results

Does this mean that Shan Zu is the best knife? If you’re on a shoestring budget and you need something to stand in and do the work then of course it’ll do the job.

Continuing on with the analysis, i decided to take the average star rating into account to see if that affects the order of the santoku knives I’ve listed.

In order to work that out I’ve used this calculation:

(Knife Size * Knife Price) / Average Stars.

The idea behind this calculation is that we already have found the cost per inch of each knife. The lower the star rating, the lower the score will be, it should give a better idea as to which knife the customers really prefer.

Average Star Rating Calculation

affordability chart

There doesn’t seem to be much change at the expensive end of the results.

The cheaper end of the results has changed though. The first graph shows that the order of the best value for money knives went as follows:

  1. Shan Zu
  2. Mercer Culinary
  3. Master Class
  4. Sabatier
  5. Joseph Joseph
  6. Rustler

These 6 are the cheapest and best value for money only based on the physical properties.

Including the average star rating the order changes to:

  1. Master Class
  2. Shan Zu
  3. Joseph Joseph
  4. Mercer Culinary
  5. Sabatier
  6. Mosfiata

Why has the order changed? What does it mean in terms of affordability?

The order has changed because the trust level of the product, as rated by in average of 5 stars, changes the value. The higher the cost per inch, the lower down the table it moves.

Having something that is slightly more expensive but is trusted better means that you get a better purchase. It seems counter intuitive to buy something cheap for the sake of being cheap.

Maybe if you were to spend and extra £5 then the life span of the santoku knife would expand by more than double.

The Best Value For Money Santoku Knife As It Stands

Using the latest table of 6 santoku knives, I’ll take a break from the analysis and introduce the top 3 santoku knives to show you why you should buy them.

Masterclass Santoku Knife

Sitting in on at the top spot for value for money santoku knives is the Masterclass 4.7 inch santoku.

masterclass santoku knife

Masterclass is a brand serving in all things culinary. They provide a huge range of equipment for cutting, slicing, dicing, grating. The list goes on.

I’m here to talk to you today about the santoku knife in particular though so onwards we go…

At 4.7 inches and its cheap price tag, it’s the blade that topped the ranking when I made the calculation for price per inch. Being a relatively short kitchen knife and the shortest on the list, it’s one of the deciding factors in it coming out on top.

Interestingly enough it also comes with an edge keeper sheath so you can store it in your drawers without the edge of the blade getting nicked or damaged. Some of the relatively more expensive ones don’t have this option as standard.

The blade itself is a hollow-edged, which is usually popular in busy kitchens so that food does not stick to the side when slicing.

As standard it comes with a 25 year guarantee, so if there are any problems you run into construction wise you’re covered!

Also comes in Paring and Chefs knife too.

Shan Zu Santoku Knife

Next up at number 2 is Shan Zu.

shan zu santoku knife

With a name like Shan Zu it might sound odd that these are actually a German manufacturer. To be fair, this should only lend itself even further to your trust levels given the Germanic nature of engineering and making sure that everything they do is perfect.

The handle is triple riveted for maximum balance and precision. Another Santoku knife to feature a hollow wedged blade, not like the one before it though, this one comes in at 7 inches long at 48% more knife.

This knife came in at the top of the affordability before the star rating was added and even came in second place afterwards so this knife itself is going to be one of my top picks.

This is a great knife for a first time buyer erring on the side of caution when it comes to stocking up on the proper utensils you’d need when it comes to making up some pretty tasty grun.

With it’s relatively cheap price tag it means it’s also pretty good as a present too so you’ve got options. Especially if you’ve got a twin.

Shan Zu also sells a few different variations, check these out below.

Joseph Joseph Santoku Knife

At £2.91 the Joseph Joseph elevate santoku knife sits in third place. Not a bad choice for a bronze medal winner.

joseph joseph santoku knife

The elevate technology Joseph Joseph has implemented means that the handle is weighted so the blade wont touch the surface when rested. A nice design in this day and age of health and safety.

Hollow edged blade adds an extra factor to the overall design of the knife so your food doesn’t stick to the edge surface of the blade when cutting.

The handle is ergonomically designed for maximum comfort, providing an extra layer of comfort around the index finger grip so you can apply precise amounts of pressure for whatever you’re knocking up.

Joseph Joseph is a household name in the UK, they are another company that doesn’t just specifically make knives but have a huge array of products that work very well in a kitchen.

This knife also comes with a plastic sheath to keep the edge safe during storage.

User Ratings – Why Are They Important?

If we step back into the analysis, we can start to take a look at real life reviews. The last step of the affordability calculation did include the average ratings. I did this to include a level of trust that other people have put in place. Let’s take a look at how the table would look if we went off the ratings alone.

voting graph for all the knives

From the graph above you can see a clear winner based on votes alone.

The Mercer Culinary knife is miles ahead by a factor of over 20. To have an average of 4.5 stars for something that has been rated so many times is actually quite impressive.

User rating are important when considering which product to purchase. If it came down to two things you liked priced the same and one product had a one star rating while the other had a five star rating, i think everyone would be opting to buy the five star rating product.

Thats because real people have taken the time to show their joy/dismay at it.

In this instance the Mercer Culinary Santoku knife is the most voted knife in the list.

Mercer Culinary Santoku Knife

At the time of writing this santoku knife has more than 38,000 votes achieving an average 4.5 star rating. 83% of purchasers have left a full on 5 star rating, considering the scale of people that have been involved in this products history, its an extremely impressive feat.

mercer culinary santoku chef knife

Coming in at under £20 this knife is more than likely considered to be a bargain already. I mean if it lasts for 4 years, its essentially £5 a year to use a pretty good type of knife for that long.

A little less flashy than most of the others on the list, the handle is where the cost savings can be seen.

That doesn’t mean by any margin it’s a terrible knife. On the contrary, with so many 5 star reviews its actually considered an excellent knife. Check out some of things people had to say about it.

That said this is a fantastic knife with a useful handle, good edge and sturdy build. With the money you save buying this knife versus an expensive one, you could buy a honing steel or a whetstone and keep this workhorse razor sharp.

SamG – Verified Purchase Review

I’d recommend getting a honing steel or whetstone to maintain sharpness. Overall a fantastic purchase overall

Tips For Buying A Santoku Knife

Choosing a knife might be easy for some people. I’m a big, big fan of Dalstrong so I’d be more than happy to pay the extra money to get one.

But if you’re a more discerning customer, you’d be better off looking at the finer details. I’ll go over the reasons that make a Santoku knife a santoku knife so you can sleep tightly knowing you’ve made the best purchase possible.

What Does Santoku Mean?

the word santoku directly translated means “three primary virtues”.

Theres two different camps when it comes to what it actually means. Some say it’s meat, vegetables and fish. Others say it means chopping slicing and dicing.

I don’t think either is wrong, the true meaning has been lost tot he sands of time so whichever one you adopt will be right for you.


Santoku knives are generally shorter than chefs knives or nakiri knives, generally speaking they’re in-between 5 and 8 inches long.

When it comes to size, smaller means lighter. A santoku knifes lighter weight means more control and makes it easier to handle.

Japanese Vs Western

The original santoku is Japanese and due to its popularity has been adopted by chefs and home cooks the world over. The west has taken the design and tweaked it slightly to make it their own.

Saying that, the designs can change some minimal details that really alter the way the knife can be used.

Japanese is usually heavier than western steel so they tend to be more favoured in a professional capacity.

Materials Used In Construction

Santoku knives are normally constructed using stainless steel. They do also come in ceramics or high carbon.

Some of the most attractive knives are made from layered steel known as Damascus steel. When buffed down the ripple effect the layers of steel make is pretty impressive.

Not quite what you were looking for? Try my page dedicated to Dalstrong Knives

I’m also open to doing analysis for other bloggers without the required skill. I recently made an image for Lara at Survivalwithnolimits. Suggesting how confident people are when it comes to unarmed combat with different types of animal.

Get in touch if you’d like me to create something unique for you too.