The growing popularity and the never-ending demand for santoku knives have drawn many knife manufacturers to start producing them. More and more, we see people switching from western chef knives to santoku knives. And that happens for a reason.
They are very precise, versatile, and generally easier to use than standard western chef knives, especially for home cooking.
But, they usually come with a hefty price tag. The average price for a mid-range santoku knife is around $100. Not everyone can or wants to pay that amount for a single kitchen utensil. Luckily, there are a few budget santoku knives that are quality-made.
We have scoured the internet to find those kinds of knives, and we ended up with a list of the best santoku knives under $50. We found a total of 8 santoku knives, all under 50 USD, that have all the features of the more expensive models, only with a modest price tag.
Along with the list, we made buyers guide with all the factors to consider that will help you choose the best budget santoku knife for you.
Best Santoku Knives Under $50
In this section, we will review the 8 best santoku knives under $50. All these santoku knives met our strict criteria and are as good as a budget santoku knife can get. You can’t go wrong with any of them!
Mercer Culinary Genesis Santoku Knife
This incredibly sharp, carbon blade santoku knife is in our opinion the best santoku knife under $50 on the market currently. It ticks all the boxes and is overall a very reliable and durable knife.
7 inches long, the blade is long enough for cutting larger foods but is not too short to allow for precision loss. It is made from carbon steel from Germany. It’s rust-free, thin, and incredibly sharp for this price point. You will have no problem cutting tough foods like butternut squash.
The full tang handle is very comfortable and has a great grip. It’s excellently balanced with the blade, and that allows you to have more precision when cutting.
We also like the sturdy bolster on this santoku knife. It further improves the handling and the balance of the whole knife.
The materials used are surprisingly good for a budget knife. The plastic used for the handle is very sturdy and feels great in hand. The steel is of outstanding quality as well, and it should last for a long time.
If you want a santoku knife but don’t want to spend a fortune, this is the knife to go for. We are surprised it’s still priced under $50, considering how wonderful it is.
MOSFiATA 7″ Santoku Knife
Mosfiata Santoku Knife is one of the most beautiful, sleek-looking budget santoku knives we found. Its design is special and will make your kitchen pop.
Apart from its looks, this knife has comes equipped with some high quality steel. The blade and the tip are super sharp. Sharp enough to cut through bones easily.
You also get a few additions with this knife, a finger guard, and a sharpener. The sharpener is very straightforward and a very nice addition. It’s something you will surely need. The finger guard is a nice add-on for inexperienced cooks.
We love the handle of this santoku knife. The grip is comfortable and makes you work with the knife longer without feeling fatigued. This knife has full-tang and has great overall balance.
This is a terrific knife, for both home cooking but as a gift as well. The lovely packaging and the sleek looks of the knife will make it a perfect present.
Overall, this is a high-quality budget santoku knife with some very useful addons.
Cutluxe Santoku Knife
This is another beautiful 7-inch santoku knife that performs exceptionally considering its low price point.
The knife is perfectly balanced and feels great in hand. We love the weight this knife has. It’s not too heavy but is at just the right weight so that you can feel it in your hand. The grip is excellent as well, and the knife comes with full-tang!
Cutluxe gives you a lifetime warranty for this santoku knife! That’s a very rare feature, especially in this price range. They have proven many times that they are a serious, reliable company with wonderful customer support.
That means you can buy this knife with peace of mind, knowing you will get compensated if anything goes wrong.
And last but not least, the blade of this santoku knife is very good. Its edge is sharpened at 14-16 degrees to achieve utmost sharpness.
The Cutluxe Santoku knife is a classic example of how low-cost doesn’t necessarily mean low-quality. They have crafted an authentic budget santoku knife and achieved to do so for under $50. Well done!
TUO Santoku Knife
Do you want a stylish but quality santoku knife for under $30? TUO Santoku Knife is the one for you then.
This knife is available in 9 different designs! Our favorites are Fiery and the Legacy design. The knife is also available in 5.5 and 7 inches versions.
The hardness of this knife’s steel is HRC 56±2. This means that the knife is hard enough for all the kitchen work but is also very easy to sharpen!
The handle is full-tang and feels very sturdy. The Fiery model has a beautiful wooden handle that has a great grip and feels super comfortable in hand.
This knife is very modestly priced for all the features you get. We can’t figure out how it’s still priced under 30 USD. It makes for a great inexpensive gift or a handy kitchen utensil that will last a long time!
Kai Inspire Santoku Knife
This Kai Inspire Santoku knife is the budget of the budget santoku knives. It is currently priced under $15! That’s an insane price for a santoku knife! And guess what, it works too!
We didn’t expect much from a santoku knife at this price point. Honestly, we couldn’t even find that many santoku knives in this price range. But this one surprisingly turned out to be a great knife.
It has a full tang handle that isn’t slippery and has a good grip. It has an interesting shape that provides pretty comfortable handling.
We like that it comes with a sheet. That’s something quite a few over $50 santoku knives don’t come with.
Kai didn’t cheap out on the blade. It is made from solid high-carbon steel and is sharp enough for most home kitchen use.
This is the king of the budget santoku knives, you can’t go cheaper than this! It’s well under $50 and is without a doubt the best santoku knife in this price range!
KBK Santoku Knife
With a hammered blade finish and a stylish dark red handle, this santoku knife will make any kitchen look more contemporary. It comes with a 7-inch blade that is extra sharp. It will go through bone like butter.
The blade’s good looks aren’t only for the show. The spine and the bolster are smartly designed to help with reducing fatigue and providing a better balance.
Apart from being attractive, the handle also feels very comfortable in hand. It doesn’t slip, and the grip is strong.
Many users have commended the durability of this knife. They said that the blade holds its edge great and that other parts feel sturdy as well.
You also get a high-quality case with this knife. It looks very sleek and has a cool magnetic closure system. This will come in handy since you don’t want to leave knives this sharp out in the open.
All in all, this is a terrific knife for the money. It is definitely in the top 5 best santoku knives under $50 that we reviewed.
Zelite Infinity Santoku Knife
Quality is the first word that comes to mind when we think of this Zelite Santoku knife. It’s heavy-duty and sturdy through and through.
We’ll start with the handle. It’s full tang and feels very robust. It’s rounded and very comfortable in hand. The handle is 5½ long, very well balanced in respect to the blade. The bolster allows for a seamless pinch grip cutting that works best with santoku knives.
The blade is 7 inches long. It has a 15-18 degree angle that gives it extra sharpness. It’s very sharp indeed. You’ll cut fish, meat, and any vegetables easily with this knife.
The materials used for this santoku knife are high-grade. The German stainless steel is rust and stain-resistant. The whole knife weighs 0.58 lbs and is flawlessly balanced in that respect.
We can’t find anything wrong with this knife. Zelite has thought of every single aspect of the knife and left no room for error.
Ytuomzi 7″ Santoku Knife
This hollow blade Ytuomzi santoku knife has a lot to offer for under $30.
First off, the above-mentioned hollow blade design helps from food sticking to the blade while cutting. The blade is impressively sharp for an under $50 santoku knife. We are certain it will give you no trouble slicing and dicing all the foods in your kitchen.
The handle is ergonomically designed and feels enjoyable to hold in hand. Slicing feels effortless since the blade and the handle are very well balanced.
This company gives a money-back guarantee if you’re not satisfied with this knife. We have not seen any cases where this warranty was used, so the customer service is yet to be tested.
We feel that this knife is a worthy purchase. The low price point and the solid features make it a great choice for a santoku knife under $50.
What To Look For When Choosing Santoku Knife For Under $50
In the following section, we will list the most important aspects you should look at before choosing your next budget santoku knife. What we would like to mention is to be realistic about the knife. There are better knives out there for $100 and even $200 that have better features and superior materials.
You should overlook the false claims some companies make when advertising their knives. For example, you can’t expect to get a super thin, hand-made in Japan knife for under $50. That’s impossible.
So, pay attention and be realistic about the promises from the manufacturers, and hopefully, you will get yourself a reliable, long-lasting knife.
The materials used for the knife are of utmost importance, especially in budget santoku knives. They tell you about the longevity and ability of the knife.
The standard for the blade of santoku knives is stainless and rust-free steel. You would want German or Japanese steel. Those are considered high-grade, but you will mostly find German steel in this price range.
The material used for the handle is very much a personal preference. Most are made from wood and plastic. What you should pay attention to are the ergonomics and the grip of the handle.
Make sure that the handle isn’t slippery when your hands are wet. Pay attention to how much fatigue you feel while handling the knife for long. The handle should be comfortable and steady in the hand.
Go for the handle that you’re most familiar with. If you mostly used wooden handles, go for those and if you are accustomed to the plastic handles, stay with them. If you’re ok with both, you might want to choose the one that looks better.
Size and Length
You should always look at the measurements of the knife before ordering it. That way, you will know that you’re getting a knife that is just the right size for your hands and preference.
Let’s start with the blade. Basically, the ideal length for the santoku blade is from 6 to 7 inches. Anything above that will make the santoku blade be not santoku.
What we mean by that is that the santoku knives were tailored for the Japanese, and they preferred the smaller length of the blade compared to the western chef blades.
The shorter blade allows for precision and super-easy handling. That’s what draws most people to santoku knives, so if you elongate the blade that makes it more western and not santoku.
If you, however, go shorter than 6 inches, then the knife becomes pretty much unusable for the most part. You’ll have trouble cutting through meat, bones, or stubborn butternut squash.
Our advice is to stay between the 6 and 7-inch range. The 7 inch is our favorite but if you feel more comfortable with a 6 inch, go for it. Santoku is about ease of use, and that’s why it’s important to pick just the right blade length for you.
The Handle length, in comparison to the blade length, is very much a personal preference. Everybody’s hands are different, and somebody grips more at the handle area while others grip more towards the spine. That’s why you should pick a handle length that has worked for you so far.
Don’t be scared if you are not entirely sure about your preferred length. You won’t ruin your knife experience you will only likely have to adapt a little, and you will be more certain what kind of handle should you pick for your next knife.
There is no argument that the blade is the most important part of the knife. What’s the point of the knife that can’t cut, right?
That’s why you should give it special attention when choosing your next budget santoku knife.
We mentioned earlier the “ideal” length of the santoku knife blade. Apart from the length, you should also look at the edge of the blade. If you look at some pictures of santoku knives, you will notice that the blade is much straighter than in western chef’s knives.
That was made with a purpose. To assist with the technique that Japanese cooks use for cutting. The Japanese mostly use the forward chopping motion when they work with the knife as opposed to the western rocking chopping motion.
The rocking motion is considered a harder technique to master, and that’s why many novice cooks use forward chopping. If you prefer the forward chopping motion and find it easier, go for the straighter profile santoku.
If you’re not sure what the rocking motion is, here is a video to clear any confusion.
A good handle is the foundation of a solid santoku knife. It’s important for safety, comfort, and durability.
One of the first things you should look at when examining the handle is whether it’s full-tang. This is a very important feature that makes the knife sturdier and more reliable. Knives that don’t have a full tang handle tend to last shorter and break more easily. Something you definitely don’t want.
We previously mentioned that materials and length are very much a personal preference. But what about weight?
You want to choose a knife that has a perfect blade-to-handle weight ratio. This will provide you with a much more enjoyable experience and will make all the work with the knife more precise. A well-balanced knife should be centered around the bolster, and when you hold it with your finger at that spot, it should stand still and straight.
To sum it up, make sure to get a full-tang handle with a good balance of blade-to-handle weight ratio. Go for the preferable length and material that’s most comfortable.
Santoku Knife Care & Safety Tips
Once you’ve chosen and got the santoku knife you’re satisfied with, it’s important to take good care of it to make sure it lasts long and to make sure you don’t get hurt.
We will give you a few tips on how to get the best out of your knife and not get yourself or someone else hurt in the process.
Avoid Leaving The Knife In The Sink
When you’re busy or in a hurry, you will usually leave the utensils in the sink and run away to handle the next task on your list. And that’s understandable, but as you know, there are a few utensils you shouldn’t leave in your sink. One of them is your santoku knife.
While the quality santoku knives are rust-free, prolonged exposure to water in the sink can lead to corrosion and rust. Apart from destroying your blade, you can also seriously injure yourself or others by leaving it in the sink.
Store You Santoku Knife In A Special Container
You never want your super sharp santoku knife out in the open with all the other utensils. This type of negligence has led to quite a few hospital visits.
Try to pick a santoku knife that comes with a box for storage. It not only looks nice but is also a great safety precaution.
Use Cutting Boards
It might sound obvious, but many people are guilty of not using a cutting board. We know it might be a hassle to take your cutting board out every time you work with your santoku knife, but it is common sense.
You can end up destroying your table or kitchen top so we recommend always using it. Even when cutting tiny, easy-to-cut pieces.
Avoid The Dishwasher And Wash By Hand
The Dishwashers are known to destroy chef knives, and the same goes for your santoku knife. Not only that, leaving it in the dishwasher can expose you and others to danger when taking out the dishes from the machine.
Since hand washing is recommended, be careful while handling the knife. Turn the blade away from you and keep it in the lower area of your sink.
It is also wise to clean the knife with a wiping cloth since air drying can ruin the blade of your santoku knife.
Use Only Sharp Knives
You may have heard that a dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one. And that is correct.
When you have to use too much force to cut anything, something is wrong, and you should stop using that knife.
Excessive pressure can lead to slippage and unexpected rapid movements of the knife that can significantly hurt you.
It’s best to take another knife that is sharp enough and cut the food into small sections.
Make sure to regularly test the sharpness of your knives. Here is an informative video on how to test sharpness.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is a Santoku Knife best used for?
The word santoku bocho means three uses or three virtues. Those three virtues are chopping, dicing, and slicing. Another interpretation of that name is that the knife can be used to cut meat, fish, or vegetables.
Either way, what that name really means is that the santoku knife is supposed to be a versatile knife, that can do whatever you need.
Do you really need a Santoku knife?
It very much depends on your skill level and the chopping motion you prefer. If you use a lot of the forward chopping motion when in the kitchen then it makes sense to go for a santoku knife. If you prefer the rocking chopping technique, then the western chef’s knife would be a better choice.
Santoku knife is preferred by a lot of novice cooks, so you can consider it if you don’t have a lot of experience in the kitchen.
Can you use a Santoku knife to cut meat?
Absolutely! The beauty of the santoku knife is its versatility. You can not only cut meat but vegetables, fish, and much more.
Are Japanese knives better?
All the knives have their pros and cons. The same goes for the Japanese knives. When compared to the western knives the Japanese tend to have a thinner edge and are made of harder steel. They are super sharp but are less durable.
On the other hand, the western chef knives are made of softer steel that is a bit less sharp but is more durable.
It’s all a matter of preference.
That about wraps it up for all you need to know about the best santoku knives under $50.
It isn’t easy to find high-grade budget santoku knives. Fortunately, there are a number of choices due to the popularity of Japanese cutlery.
And we presented you with the very best options you can get under $50. All the budget santoku knives we reviewed are excellent choices.
Now that you have the necessary knowledge to pick one go for it and start enjoying all the benefits of a santoku knife.