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New Santoku

Sun Dec 01, 2013 11:11 pm

Looking for a new knife. (Hoping to order 3 but two I am pretty much decided on.

One of my go to knives for slicing and dicing veg is The Mac Professional Santoku 6.5". I want to replace this knife with something similar. I like the thinness and lightness but the handle I find a little small and I prefer the edge I get on a Blazen knife I have. Right handed, prefer western handle, I sharpen with Edge Pro. Looking at;


How would you go about sharpening an 80/20 blade?


http://www.chefknivestogo.com/masamoto- ... knife.html

Either of these two going to fit the bill or can you recommend something else?

I use the big Blazen (carbon core with stainless outer?) for harder and larger veg. I have a MAC professional 8" chef that I use mostly for slicing meat etc.

Plan on getting the Misono boning knife and the Richmond Artifex fillet knife so set would look like;

Blazen - squash and harder veg etc.
Mac 8" chef - slicing meat etc
Misono - boning
Richmong Artifex - filleting
???? to replace the MAC Santoku (which my wife loves and will continue to use)

Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 8:21 am

DJ_m - what about the Hiromoto AS Santoku 190mm: http://www.chefknivestogo.com/hisakn19.html? It's a killer knife with Aogami Super carbon steel for the core and stainless cladding. You can get a wicked edge on this knife.

You also have a lot of options in Wa handled Santoku's - if you ever want to go that route.

Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 10:20 am

I don't think either is going to impress much in the edge taking department over the existing Mac to be quite honest. Perhaps a bit, but not a night and day difference.

I like Steve's recommendation for the Hiromoto AS.

Another solid, western handled option would be the Misono Swedish, but it's straight carbon:


Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:11 pm

Thank you for the replies. A little more information. I'm no expert so some of the terminology/technical decription may not be quite correct.

So I am trying to get something closer in cutting and edge feel to the Blazen knife I have.

- Correction to earlier post, the Blazen I have has a core made of SG-2 Powdered High Speed Tool Steel.
- The Blazen knife seems to be a little toothier, retains the edge longer and is just a bit sharper than the MAC.
- I sharpen both knives to a 4k Shapton stone, both at 15° each side.
- This is home use and I wipe/clean and dry my knives immediately after use so I don;t think carbon would be a problem.

The MAC often will crunch on the chopping board and I think I have rolled or crushed the edge a little. If I then strop I can see clear lines (scratches) in the balsa where the edge has collapsed (?), a few strokes soon straightens it again but it is never quite as sharp as the Blazen until it goes back to the stones, it is sharp enough for most things but introduce it to an overripe tomato and they won't be the best of friends - unlike the Blazen and Ms Tomato who get along just fine.

Maybe I am too aggressive or 15° is too steep for the MAC? Given the Santoku is more of a chopper for me then I expect a steel that will hold up to some decent chopping!

So what steel on what knife will give me a similar feel to the Blazen but in a Santoku?

I can see there are more options with the Wa handles but I tend to often hold well forward on the handle with forefinger and thumb on the blade and I like the bolster on the western style as it gives a nice transition between handle and blade. Additionally I have never quite liked the feel of the Wa on the few I have picked up but that is very few. Perhaps I should give a Wa handle a try? If I did what would you recommend, say up to $200-250?

Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:41 pm

I think typically the powdered steels are harder than non-powdered steels, and I'm thinking the Mac's blade isn't as hard if the thinner edge is rolling like that. So yeah, a thicker edge bevel and maybe even a micro bevel (couple of swipes at a higher angle) might help strengthen it a little. You're probably wanting a harder steel that can take a thin edge but not roll. The only issue with that is because it is so hard, it can chip instead of roll.

My guess is that if you want carbon steel, maybe a good choice would be something in Aogami Super, or Blue Super, steel. I've seen blades hardened to around 63-64 Rockwell with it which is pretty hard and seems comparable to the SG-2 offerings on the site. I think tool steels are usually pretty wear resistant, so even at the same hardness maybe the Aogami Super would be easier to sharpen. It might not hold an edge quite as long, but at that hardness I don't know that it will be a huge issue. Keep in mind I don't know anything about SG-2 steel, just going on what I have seen with other powdered tool steels. lol

If you use a pinch grip where you hold the blade between thumb and forefinger (three fingers around the handle) and don't like the abrupt feel of a wa handle, chances are you won't like any wa handle unless it is something similar to Shun's seemingly hybrid/westernized "wa" handles that have a bolster. I have my thumb and first two fingers on the blade and wrap the last two around the handle with my pinch (might be weird, but it is what I do lol) so the transition doesn't bother me as I am a little further out. I'd say stick with a bolstered knife/western handle if that is what you like. There is no shame in that. ;) Of course there is also the option to get a ferrule-less wa handle and sand the transition down a bit until it is comfortable so there won't be a 90 degree angle between the handle and blade. That might help as there do seem to be way more wa handles to look at than western handles in that range. If nothing else, ask one of the "handle masters" here on the forums to come up with something and re-handle the knife. lol It would truly be one of a kind then. :)

Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 4:55 pm

If you're scratching the balsa it's probably a remaining burr, or a rolled over wire edge. Review your sharpening procedure.
The Hiromotos are a tad harder -- without excess, 61-62HRc or so. The deburring is much easier than with any stainless.

Re: New Santoku

Mon Dec 02, 2013 5:39 pm

If you enjoy thin and light maybe try the Kohetsu. It's stainless clad in Aogami super. The lightness and thin profile is there. It might be worthwhile to consider a light weight 210 Gyuto instead of the Santoku. A little extra blade length can feel substantially easier.

If you want a light weight blade the Kohetsu santoku at a under 130 grams will probably rock yer socks off :)
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