Henckels Five Star Twin Series Santoku Chef’s Knife

Full Tang 7 Inch Blade

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Henckels Five Star Twin Series SantokuWell known as a maker of fine forged steel blades, Henckels draws closer to standards set by new competition with the Five Star Santoku. Nearly the only concession to the heavy build of its older European model chef's knives is the forged steel bolster. In the new Henckels process, a flat bar of high carbon stainless is compressed in length, not in thickness--forming a bulge of metal from which the bolster is drop forged. The rest of the knife shape is laser cut from the steel blank with virtually no forging, shaping of the blade and tang accomplished by grinding instead.

This results in a modern and thin blade which still has some of the structural strength of the older drop forged designs. A row of hollow ground depressions near the cutting edge reduces friction and prevents slices of food from sticking to the blade. Handle design has also yielded to change--this is a full length tang with wrap around ergonomically shaped grip designed to fit any size of hand.

Although this is a genuinely good knife, it's a hybrid with only some of the best of both worlds. In practice, although I can certainly appreciate the way a santoku cuts, I haven't consistently seen the magical zero friction cut that some people claim. A small number of carrot slices still bound away to the floor. It's an improvement over a flat grind blade but it isn't perfect. The real advantage of a Santoku is in the thinness of the steel and the shallower sharpening angle. Advanced modern alloys make that practical, but I do miss the strong forged construction of the old styles--the forged bolster is a great feature for Henckels to keep.

Here's another Henckels santoku to consider.

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