A perfect all-around kitchen knife, especially for those who prefer a smaller knife but still like the idea of a blade with a larger surface area and without too much curve, making it easy to chop and slice and dice everything from vegetables to common items like boneless chicken breasts. This makes a great alternative to a small chef knife. Many people who try a santoku never go back to their old chef knife. The VG10 cutting core and 33-layer stainless Damascus steel makes for a high performance, durable, affordable and great-looking knife.
These knives really are very sharp, with excellent construction quality and they just look spectacular with the layered steel, hammered finish and beautiful walnut wood traditional Japanese-style handle (octagonal shape, so fine for right or left-hand use).
If you like the damascus layered steel look, this is a truly excellent choice. You get a super sharp and long-lasting VG-10 steel cutting core (this is a very hard steel and high quality knife steel, with a Rockwell hardness of approximately 60), with a 33-layer hammered stainless steel surface and a beautiful Japanese-style wooden handle.
NOTE: Handle colour/finish may vary from the version pictured here. It is natural wood, and so some are lighter or darker than others, and small imperfections are to be expected and are not considered defects. The wood is not sealed and so extra care must be taken to keep it dry and clean... do NOT leave it sitting in a sink or in water!! As with all quality knives, wash, rinse, hand-dry and store immediately after use.
I'd recommend the fine ceramic hone (see below) for regular/daily maintenance of the edge. As with any knife, use the hone regularly and you'll keep the edge in good shape for a LONG time before you need to think about doing any serious "re-sharpening" or real grinding and refinishing of the edge.
NOTE: This knife is sharpened 50/50 (equally on the right and left side), so it's easy to maintain and fine for right or left hand use. If you look carefully at the edge, you'll see a slight right-side bias, this is just because the final edge is so tiny and because of the way they finish the edge; it has NO bearing on right- or left-hand use, sharpening or maintenance and can be ignored, so you should treat the edge just like any standard 50/50 edge.