When I reach for a blade to slice, dice, or trim, it’s usually my 8-inch chef’s knife. I love how versatile and durable it is as I rock and chop everything from soft tomatoes to dense butternut squash. But while a chef’s knife is a popular go-to, there’s another well-rounded tool that I’ve been meaning to try.
Japanese santoku knives are slightly shorter than their Western-style counterparts, ranging from 5- to 8-inches long, and often have thinner blades for more precise cuts. They’re lighter and have a slightly more balanced weight distribution, too, making them a favorite of both chefs and avid home cooks for chopping, dicing, and mincing.
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When Made In, the direct-to-consumer cookware brand that’s gained the devotion of professional chefs, announced it was launching its own santoku knife, it felt like the perfect opportunity to give it a try.
Just like the brand’s other top-rated knives, the santoku model is full tang and fully forged in Thiers, France, where it’s crafted from one solid piece of metal for extra strength. The 7-inch blade is made from stainless steel that’s especially rust resistant and processed with a NITRO+ hardening treatment to ensure it will stay sharp for thousands of cuts. The knife is also designed with small dimples, or scallops, on each side of the blade to prevent food from sticking and has a 25-degree cutting angle for surgical-like accuracy.
And one of the best parts? Because of the brand’s direct-to-consumer model, Made In is able to cut prices down to literally half the cost of similar products from more traditional brands without sacrificing quality. Its new santoku blade is less than $100.
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I tested the knife in the normal course of my daily cooking: slicing apples for snacks, mincing garlic for a stir fry, and chopping cabbage for slaw. The blade was extremely sharp, smoothly cutting through my ingredients without a hitch (yes, even that cabbage), while the dimples kept foods from sticking and slowing me down. I also found the handle extremely comfortable and easy to grasp, although my (bigger-handed) partner described it as slightly delicate. Of course, I’ll continue to use my handy chef’s knife, but I discovered the Made In santoku excelled in produce prep and makes an excellent addition to my knife collection.
Made In chose to roll out the santoku blade in phases due to popular demand, beginning with a limited-edition color that drew 6,000 to its waitlist last week. That launch sold out in six hours—but don’t sweat if you didn’t get your hands on one. Starting today, you can order the Made In santoku knife in one of the brand’s other distinct colors: pomme red, beaune gray, and truffle. Just shop the link below and you’ll have a new favorite in the kitchen, too.
To buy: $89 (originally $99), madeincookware.com
This story originally appeared on Food & Wine.
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