The santoku (Japanese for "three virtues" or "three uses") is Japan's original all-purpose knife. It slices. It dices. It minces. But the Tojiro Shirogami santoku's virtues don't stop there. Santokus, as with most Japanese cutlery, are thin, lightweight, and usually have a 12 to 15 degree shoulder, making for effortless slices through almost anything. These angles also mean that it is critical for blade makers to increase the hardness of their steel so edge retention is maintained and "rolling" of the thin cutting edge is mitigated.
The Tojiro Shirogami santoku blade is made from a traditional reactive carbon steel called Shirogami (White #2), which means that it takes a great sharp edge, and keeps it too. It's called "reactive" because it changes colors if you cut acidic food--a characteristic many enthusiasts exploit for aesthetic appeal. Often carbon steel knives are clad with another steel to make them less reactive. This knife is clad in Shirogami as well, making for a rustic "kurouchi" finish, but which is just as reactive as its core.
This particular knife is a classic example of the santoku form, with a flat edge and a sheepsfoot blade design that essentially draws the spine ("backstrap") down to the front, curving in an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. This knife slices, dices, and minces very well, but beware that santokus have limited rocking action.
This line is constructed with a D-shaped ho wood handle and a plastic ferrule, which only partly explains how such a great knife comes at such a great price!
At the time of qualifying these knives we can not leave aside the price! Obvious if we compare it with others more expensive they will lose but for the price the steel you recives is incredible! with a couple of adjustments more than nothing in the handle and a polished to the edge is a beautiful and very useful knife!
Tojiro Shirogami ITK Santoku 165mm, November 15, 2018
Posted By: Steve Sedgwick - verified customer
This has become my go-to knife for chopping and slicing large quantities of vegetables. Not only has it maintained a nice sharp edge but the balance and handling are perfect for me. It also has enough heft to easily manage dense items like carrots, although I would probably use a larger chef's knife for something like winter squash. I have made two purchases from Chefs Knives to Go and their selection, prices, and service are excellent.
I've had it for 7 years, and it's my favorite knife., December 21, 2017
Posted By: Steve - verified customer
I own knives costing 5 times the price of this guy, yet this is the knife I reach for when I'm working in the kitchen. I just love it. It gets stupid sharp, the fit for my hand is perfect, the only complaint I have is the edge retention could be a little better, though I am a pretty heavy user, too. I need to sharpen it every 2-3 months.
Sharpens fast, not great edge retention, November 9, 2017
Posted By: Yutaka - verified customer
I'm coming from using a 10 Dexter and Shun chef knives, so this Santoku is such a world apart. It is so much lighter in the hand and shorter, making it feel more nimble with veg. I initially thought it would be annoying to have to wipe the knife all the time, but I've gotten used to it, so much so that I've even ended up doing it with my stainless knives. The blade is thin in comparison, so it sharpens to a crazy sharp edge even on my King stones and with my limited experience. It is so easy to get it to a point that it can cut waves in paper. The edge retention is not great. I end up having to sharpen every day in order to maintain the sharpness. But again it's very easy to sharpen, and I sort of expected as much having done a little research, so all in all I've enjoyed this $40 buy immensely. I guess my next knife will be something similar with better edge retention.
This is my first knife from CKTG. I ordered the sharpening service as well. This makes me question how I've been cutting anything before, my old knife feels like a rock taped to a stick in comparison! The knife arrived quickly, was well packaged, and just as described. I wanted something inexpensive, and while the handle could be better, it's great overall for the price in my opinion.
Like all Tojiro knives this santoku is a great value. These knives have a decent grind, distal taper and great steel at a low price. They are, however, not without flaw. The spine and choil are a little sharp, there is a step between the handle and ferrule, the KU finish does not last long. All of these things are forgivable at the price point. Most of them only take a few minutes of work to sort out with sandpaper. The cladding is fairly reactive but not to the extent that I hear from others. Maybe I have different expectations when it comes to reactivity or maybe it is something new to others. I do not consider this a flaw but part of owning an iron clad knife. None of my comments are intended to be negative as I knew what I was buying and will buy more Tojiro knives in the future. I just wanted to point them out for those who may be unaware when considering this knife. These knives in general, this one included, are great knives and an even better value. They will make a good first J-knife, a great project or practice knife or even a great long time companion if you are willing to put a small amount of work into them with some sandpaper. The steel takes a good edge easily and holds it fairly well. The knife does not have noticeable wedging on product that I use in my kitchen but I have not tried them on everything under the sun. Food release is top notch as well. The all around performance is surprisingly good. I recommend giving this knife and other knives in the line a try. You will enjoy it if you have realistic expectations.
I just got this knife an its killer. super sharp at a great price. I am a chef and this is now my work horse knife. I striped the lacker finish off and put a mustared patina on it and it looks mint. thanks cktg i love my new knife....
For the price, this is a very nice knife. The fit and finish are not great, but I didn't expect them to be. The knife is sharp and resharpens easily. I wish it were a little lighter in weight, but that is just my preference. A great purchase for the price.
About chefknivestogo:Shipping and Delivery were outstanding. I had the confirmation that it had shipped only one hour after I bought it.Now to the knife: This is my first Japanese and first Carbon Knife, so keep that in mind.I have just used it to make fried rice (chicken, bamboo, carrots) and it is the sharpest knife I've ever used. Sliced right through everything without any pressure.The knife itself has a three layered blade. Initially I forced a patina on it with mustard/water. Be careful: I left it on the first side for 12 minutes and already had a tiny red rust spot on it. The second side was perfect after 10 minutes. After that I sliced a steak in half and left the knife in it for about 5 minutes. It looks amazing! The mustard left a golden pattern on the outer iron layers and a grey pattern on the carbon steel. The steak gave the entire blade a blueish tint. It looks unreal!Furthermore the patina has almost completely removed the carbon steel smell!The handle is practical, but feels and looks rather cheap. Since I was planning on rehandling it myself that's ok. The balance is at about 1cm into the blade.Conclusion:Great first Japanese/Carbon knife for me. I was a little worried that I might not like the feel of Japanese knives, but at this price I thought I couldn't go wrong, and that belief is confirmed now.
If your looking to play with white steel it's a decent knife, if what you seek is a tool for everyday professional kitchen production by the DP series or the Fujiwara carbons if your so inclined. Below averagr FF but you get what you pay for.
I'm a fan of carbon steel and the edge it will take and hold, so a carbon blade at this price had to go in my picnic/tailgate kit. After a month of use I bought another for home. Run it over your waterstones to even the edge, then keep it sharp on a pair of ceramic and glass sticks for an amazing edge. You'll never fool anyone into thinking this is a $300 knife, but when you use it, you won't believe how little it really cost, either. Treat it like your good cast iron fryer, and it will last as long and age as gracefully.
The knife is light and super sharp right out of the box. I love the blade design a bit thicker close to the handle and slimmer towards the tip of the blade. The cutting performance is nothing I have ever seen before, fantastic. The only drawback is that this steel rusts very quickly and I have to clean and wipe dry the knife right away.
I give this one 4 stars, the grind could be a touch more even side to side. But for the price point of this knife it's hard to beat. I've used it on the line for a month now and with care it have remained like new. I also just rebuilt one from a fellow cook that didn't take care of it... The repairs I made where eazy enough and getting it back on the line was not time consuming. Easy to sharpen and the edge lasts a reasonable amount of time. Again for the price this is a great entry level knife to get used to Japanese knives.
I just feel compelled to tell you that yours is the most ridiculously informative site of this nature I have ever come across.
Mark is great at answering questions for knife nuts of all levels. His service is second to none. Really appreciate the time he puts into every email as well as the free forum he hosts.
Great experience working with Chef Knives to Go. Quick delivery, and they are great about returning emails. I'm actually waiting on my second knife from them. I'm sure there will be more to come.
Very grateful such a dedicated and informative group of people provide excellent steel at competitive prices with superior customer service! A million thank yous!
Great service and quick shipping. Best selection of Japanese knives around. I recommend this site to all of my fellow culinary professionals!
Always the best. Quick shipping, description matches what is delivered and the price, you can't beat them. I always come here to order anything I might need for the kitchen and I am never disappointed.
My go to company for kitchen gear. Awesome selection of knives and tools. Super fast shipping. Never had a problem and questions about all products are answered quickly. Great customer service.