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Nakano Knives Review: Mito Santoku Knife

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If you’re looking for a new knife that can easily carve up even the toughest of fruits, then a Japanese knife is often a great solution. I’ve taken a look at the Mito Santoku knife in this Nakano Knives review from an established Japanese brand.

First Impression of the Mito Santoku Knife

The Mito Santoku knife has a nice hefty feeling to it without it being too heavy. The handle, made out of olive wood that is naturally resistant to bacteria, is classic looking. It also has a nice shape that makes it easy to hold and guide while slicing fruits, veggies, and fruit (as you’ll see in my videos). The high-carbon stainless steel blade is razor-sharp. The razor-sharpness comes from the fact that it is made by artisans in Japan, who have a long history of knife making that started with Samurai swords. The razor-sharpness allows it to cut through many foods effortlessly and efficiently. I like that the Mito Santoku Knife is an all-purpose knife that can be used for a variety of tasks, including slicing, chopping, and dicing.

Packaging of the Mito Cooking Knife

The knife arrives in a slim, long box and is well-protected. It has a card sleeve to keep the blade safe, with a thicker cardboard insert to hold it in place during shipping.

Image of the Mito Chef Knife

Nakano Knives Mito Santoku Knife Review

Box Contents

The box comes with the knife (protected by a card sleeve) and a small insert with some tips for using the knife and keeping it at its best, including the best way to clean it and the preferred materials for your chopping board.

Size of the Mito Kitchen Knife

The Mito Santoku knife is 6.7 inches long, putting it at the lower end of what you’d typically see for a chef’s knife (which averages between 6 inches and 12 inches). However, it’s still an OK length for chopping and slicing large fruits and vegetables, though it does better with more minor produce.

Best Benefit of the Mito Santoku Knife

Nakano knives – including the Mito Santoku – are used in some of the most famous restaurants around the world. And that’s because they are of such a high quality. They’re made in Seki, Japan – a city known for its blades (it has a long history of making katanas, the swords that samurai would use).

All of the blacksmithing and blade-sharpening techniques adapted through generations of sword-smith experience now go into making the best quality knives, and the Mito Santoku knife reflects that.

Pros of the Mito Santoku Knife

The reasons to buy a Mito Santoku knife are:

  • A sharp blade that cuts thinly
  • Well-balanced between the blade and handle and easy to use
  • Made from durable stainless steel, for a knife that will last

Cons of the Mito Santoku Knife

  • Best suited to smaller fruits and veggies – it can cut larger items, but a bigger knife would be useful for the largest fruits
  • Needs to be appropriately looked after if you want to keep it at its best.
Nakano Knives Mito Santoku Knife Review (3)

Unique Features Compared to Other Knives

The reason to buy a Mito Santoku knife rather than a chef’s knife from another brand is the quality of the blade, thanks to the ancient Japanese techniques used to perfect the crafting of the edge.

The result is a knife that is effortlessly sharp and really durable, so it makes light work of fruits with thick skin and is really comfortable to use.

Troubleshooting for the Mito Santoku Cutlery Knife

The Mito Santoku knife should be carefully looked after if you want to keep it at its best. The easiest way to do this is to avoid using it with a hard chopping board made from glass or marble, as these are more likely to dull the blade.

The best chopping board you can use would be made from bamboo. However, any other wooden chopping boards will also be acceptable as they are more likely to be damaged by the knife instead of damaging the blade.

Video of the Mito Santoku Blade

Ease of Cleaning

The Mito Santoku knife is easy to clean, but you must do it manually. It’s unsuitable for the dishwasher – the high-pressure jets can impact the blade, while water can get trapped in the handle.

Manually wash the blade, then dry it thoroughly before storing it in a dry location to best keep the knife safe.


Knives are at their safest when they are sharp. Injuries tend to happen when you have a dull blade and have to force the cutting, as the knife will slip. So the Mito Santoku knife is, therefore, an excellent knife to use since it stays sharp and won’t slip around when you’re trying to cut through fruits and vegetables.

Keep it safe by storing it in a dry place and looking after the blade with manual cleaning. Otherwise, the knife is as safe as your own technique for chopping and slicing.

Jenny’s Personal TakeAway

It’s clear that the Mito Santoku chef’s knife is a good knife. The olive wood handle makes for a comfortable grip, and thanks to the very sharp edge, it’s great for precise slicing of fruits, dicing garlic, or cutting through chicken and other meats.

If you look after the knife well, it will likely last you for many years and become a staple of your kitchen when you’re preparing a meal or a snack.


The Mito Santoku chef’s knife is around $85, which means it is not the most expensive Japanese knife you’ll ever see aimed at a broader market, but it’s not a cheap knife either.

Where to buy the Mito Santoku Knife

The Mito Santoku knife is available direct from the Nakano Knives website, with shipping available in many major countries, including across the US, the UK, Europe, and of course, in Japan and neighboring countries.

Discount on the Mito Santoku Knife

It’s worth checking the Nakano Knives website as a discount is often available on the Mito Santoku knife, usually taking $10 off the price. You can also save by buying a set of knives together, some of which come with a knife storage platform and a sharpening whetstone to keep the blades in mint condition. Use Nakano Knives Coupon Code ANTIOXIDANTFRUITS to get 10% off.


What Knives Do Michelin Chefs Use?

Michelin-starred chefs use knives from Seki, Japan, just like Nakano Knives, and many restaurant kitchens have chosen Nakano as their primary knife brand. Chefs will have their own preferences, but Nakano Knives share the same qualities as many others from the city.

What are the Advantages of Japanese Knives?

Japanese knives made in Seki are renowned for their durability and sharpness. This comes from the long history of Japanese katana crafting in the city, where samurai swords were made to be precise and deadly. That same knowledge now helps to make kitchen knives that are of exceptional quality.

Are Nakano Knives Good?

Nakano Knives are very good quality knives – they are well made and designed to last a long time. The knife I tested was fantastic, and the company is very well reviewed on independent sites (both for their knives and their customer service, with very few complaints.

Are Japanese Chef’s Knives Worth It?

Japanese chef’s knives are worth paying more for – they aren’t just excellent quality when you first get them, but they last a long time too. You don’t have to deal with a poor-quality knife or keep replacing them – they are strong, sharp, and highly durable.

Where Are Nakano Knives Made?

Nakano knives are made in the city of Seki Japan, which has a long tradition of Japanese knife and blade making and is the city where many of the best Japanese knives are made for use in top kitchens worldwide.

What is the Best Beginner Japanese Chef’s Knife?

The Mito Santoku knife is an excellent Japanese chef’s knife for beginners. While it is not cheap, it’s not extremely expensive by knife standards either, and it is comfortable and easy to use without being unwieldy in length.

What Should Be My First Japanese Knife?

The Mito Santoku is an excellent choice for your first Japanese knife. As it’s a chef’s knife, it’s versatile for many different jobs in the kitchen, and it’s a knife that will be usable for many years as you expand your collection – potentially for your lifetime.


Nakano Knives have a reputation for durable kitchen knives with carbon steel blades designed to last, and based on my Nakano Knives review, looking at the Mito Santoku knife, it’s a reputation that is well earned.

I found the knife very easy to use, and it feels like a quality blade that will stand the test of time.

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