Product review: Pampered Chef Forged Santoku knife
18 MAY 2009
The Pampered Chef Santoku knife has a well-constructed blade good for a multitude of tasks in the kitchen, although it may be slightly heavy for certain delicate tasks
Santoku are general purpose knives used traditionally in the Japanese kitchen. They differ from chef’s knives in style and are preferred by some, being generally shorter and wider than a chef’s knife.
The Pampered Chef Santoku feels like a weighty knife once out of the box, and a good knife should have some weight behind it for doing serious jobs like cutting dense squashes. However, in periods of long usage, this weight could count against it.
This is a fully-forged knife which means it is sharper and the cutting edge will last longer. It is much less likely to stain and it’s also easier to bring the edge back up to sharpness when it dulls. It is made from high-carbon steel which also adds to the blade’s durability.
The blade runs fully through the handle, the length of the entire knife which again adds durability and strength. The blade is tapered for precise cutting, although in the professional kitchen I found it too wide for some very fine jobs like finely slicing chives – the blade tended to mash rather than cut.
The knife has hollows along the length of the blade to prevent food sticking and to result in cleaner cutting, although the benefit of these was minimal – it was still a case of wiping the knife off every few chops while processing large amounts of ingredients.
It comes with a lifetime guarantee which is a distinct plus - buying a good quality blade will always work out cheaper in the end. A huge positive - one that the chefs who saw the knife couldn’t praise highly enough - was the black plastic blade cover. It protects the knife during transportation if you are going on a self-catering trip and also in kitchen drawers where so many knives end up scratched.
On the down-side, having ‘The Pampered Chef’ written down the edge of the blade isn’t to everyone’s taste and rather takes away from the product's sleek image. But given its reasonable price tag for a knife of this quality this is not too much of an issue.