Shibamasa Santoku VG-5 170mm is a great price-performer. It has every characteristic a Japanese knife should have. Stainless steel, kasumi finish, multi-purpose blade shape and a fine sharpness that will make quick work of any chopping task you throw at it. With it's very thin spine (around 1.4mm) this knife will slide through food with ease.
Overall, a knife with impressive specifications for the price and a perfect “gateway knife” to introduce you to the world of Japanese knives.
The Japanese word Santoku roughly translates to “knife of three virtues” and may refer to the wide variety of ingredients that the knife can handle: meat, fish and vegetables, or to the tasks it can perform: slicing, chopping and dicing - the emphasis being on the number 3 (San).
VG-5 is a stainless steel, similar to VG-10. Its high Chromium content (15%) makes it extremely corrosion resistant, while still maintaining a hardness of 59-60 HRC, due to a Carbon content of ~1%. It is slightly more durable than VG-10 steel.
The core layer consisting of the harder VG-5 steel was sandwiched between two layers of softer steel. This technique is called san-mai and is used to protect the hard (but delicate) core from outside factors and physical impacts, which could lead to breakage.
It has a double bevel (50/50 symmetrical) blade.
The blade features a kasumi finish on the bottom and was polished on the upper part. Kanji signature is the only distinguishing element on this otherwise clean, minimalistic blade.
▻ Kasumi is a matte surface above the transition between the harder and softer steel
Western (Yo) handle is simple and ergonomic, without any bolster. The knife tang ends halfway through the handle, further reducing the weight of the knife and pushing the balance more towards the tip of the blade, like with wa-style, traditional Japanese handles. The handle will fit well in your hands for both the hammer and pinch grip. It is made from dark walnut wood with silver rivets, resulting in a classic, but timeless look.
Blade shape: Santoku
Steel type: VG-5
Blade construction: San-mai
Hardness (HRC scale): 59-60
Overall length: 294mm (11.6")
Blade length: 170mm (6.7")
Blade height: 47mm (1.9")
Spine thickness: 1.4mm (0.06")
Weight: 105g (3.7 oz)
Handle length: 119mm (4.7")
Handle type / wood: Western / Walnut
Kanji on the blade:
Location of the smithy: SEKI / Gifu Prefecture / Japan
☝️ Japanese kitchen knives in our store are handmade from natural materials. Slight variations in color, texture, weight and other dimensions are possible. We try to give a good photographic representation of our products, however computer screen resolution and colors do vary, so products might not look exactly as they are seen on screen.
Blade wear depends on the quality of steel, usage and maintenance of the blade. Japanese knives are made of high-quality steels. Follow these tips to keep your Japanese knife in top-notch shape:
✔ Use a wooden, plastic or rubber cutting board.
✔ After use, wash the knives and wipe them dry.
✔ Use a magnetic rack, knife blocks, or use protective knife sheath (saya).
✔ A good cutting technique is your best bet to prolong sharpness.
✔ Use sharpening stones to sharpen the knife.
❗️Don’t leave the knife in the sink. Wash it by hand.
❗️Don’t wash the knife in the dishwasher.
❗️Don’t use the knife on glass, ceramics, marble or steel surfaces.
❗️Don’t scrape the food off the cutting board with the edge of the blade. Use the spine of the knife instead.
❗️Knife is a tool intended for specific use - cutting food. It is not a can opener, screwdriver, trowel, wire cutter, hammer etc.
→ For more details, read our guide
on Maintenance of Kitchen Knives.
🤙 Contact us if you need some help. We reply within 1 business day.
- €10 - flat worldwide rate with DHL Express (express delivery, 2-5 business days).
- FREE - all orders over €300 (DHL Express).
- United Kingdom - shipping to UK costs €15. All orders are shipped with UPS Express (2-3 business days). Free shipping on orders over €300.
- Russia (currently not available) - shipping to Russia costs €40. All orders are shipped with EMS postal service.
DUTIES AND IMPORT TAXES:
We ship all orders DDP (duties & taxes paid). This means you will not be charged for any import fees and taxes (including VAT). All our prices are final. The price you see at checkout is the final price, no hidden costs.
- Europe: 1-2 business days
- US & Canada: 2-4 business days
- Rest of the World: 3-5 business days
Our return policy lasts 30 days. If more than 30 days have gone by since the day you received your order, unfortunately we can’t offer you a refund or exchange.
Each knife comes with:
✔️ Instructions and knife care leaflet.
✔️ A preventive Band-Aid – the knives are very sharp! 😉
✔️ Original box from the blacksmith, which we wrap in an old Japanese newspaper sheet – so every knife is ready to be passed on as a gift as soon as it hits your doorstep!
✔️ We also offer a special gift wrapping option with the traditional Japanese washi paper.
Still doubting which type of Japanese knife should best fit your needs?
We created a 5-steps quiz to help you find the perfect knife based on your cooking skills and the type of food you prepare.