Henckels 34584-180 Miyabi 7000MC 180mm(7") Santoku
Japanese Kitchen Knife Review

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Santesu ZDp-189 gyuto

Comparing Miyabi Santoku with 270mm Sanetsu Gyuto

- I've mentioned in other reviews, I am not really fond of "knife of the three virtues" a.k.a. Santoku. Once I got more or less efficient with a Gyuto, I figured out it was less effort and more versatile compared to Santoku. And for vegetables, I prefer more specialized blades like Nakiri or Usuba. Not that I am so good with Usuba, but I am learning :) And I like it. Anyway, as far as the usability of the Henckels Miyabi santoku goes, it was really good for a santoku. I definitely liked the feel of the knife, balance was ok, although I am never too fussy about that(balance). D shape handle works pretty good and as far as the grip comfort goes, even during those 1.5 hours of non stop chopping, dicing and mincing I never got my fingers or palm sore.
Slicing - worked fine, except for the large items, well, 180mm(7") blade does have its limitations :) Otherwise, 0.25µm finished edge zipped through everything with no visible effects of degradation.
Rocking Motion - For small items I could definitely use rocking motion, but again, given the length, those items had to be about 2, may be 2.5 inches high, before I had to raise my elbow and/or shoulder too uncomfortably. That is where the extra 90mm length of the Sanetsu gyuto really shines.
Push Cutting - Just about perfect. Strictly speaking, I wasn't cutting by pushing down vertically, but with slight forward motion, that's called utsu in Japanese cutting terms. And I wouldn't advise to use any knife, especially with a thin edge in other manner, I mean using just downward pressure and motion. Slight forward motion makes a great difference in cutting performance, thus reducing the force needed to make a cut, which in turn reduces the pressure on the delicate edge, which in turn reduces the deformation and finally in simple words, you get longer lasting sharp edge ;) Given the design and designation of the Santoku knives in general it is not surprising Miyabi santoku did well with this style of cutting, almost straight edge, not too long. The only drawback to me was that, because I am used to using nakiris and usubas, I tend to use the whole length of the blade when cutting in utsu style, and with santoku I had to remind myself that the tip was actually curved upwards, and above the cutting board. On the other hand, that upward curve is what allows for rocking motion cuts, albeit rudimentary :)
Delicate/Precision cutting - Not so good. Well, blame that on my skills. I am not that good with medium/large knives to perform well with fine cutting. So, if you're good with that, then it does have somewhat pointy tip and obviously the blade heel. Use either one for your delicate cuts.
Translucent Slices - Not too good. I'd give it probably 7 out of 10. Obviously single grind edge usuba will outperform this and any other santuko any time. Besides single grind, there is the edge angle issue, and for the reasons stated above I had to thicken the edge, which wasn't all that thin(for a Japanese knife) to begin with. So, if you sharpen your Miyabi santoku to let's say 10°-12° per side, then it'll perform much better for translucent slicing.
Hard vegetables - It did ok, but compared to Sanetsu gyuto, obviously it was at a disadvantage, again blade length comes into play. Specifically, I was working with carrots and broccoli stems. In certain cases it's much faster and easier to slice through those with one smooth long slice in rocking motion then perform utsu style cut. And that's where Miyabi santoku lost to its longer competitor.

Henckels Miyabi 7000MC And Tojiro Flash Santoku Knives

Comparing Miyabi And Tojiro Santokus

- Like I said, comparing 180mm santoku in cutting performance to much longer, 270mm long gyuto wasn't exactly fair, the only common factor was the ZDP-189 steel. Later on, I've reevaluated that decision and decided to compare with Tojiro flash santoku knife, once or when I got the Miyabi santoku back for resharpening. To be precise, I've told the owner I'd resharpen it again, once it was dull. I got it back about 7 months later, and it was in a pretty good shape. One dent on the edge, no chipping. Next cutting session was the usual ~10lbs vegetables cutting workout. Since I already knew the edge holding ability of both knives individually, the only part left, besides mincing and shredding those 10 pounds of vegetables was to compare those two knives. Simply put, I cut everything with those two knives, trying to figure out which knife worked better, or felt better. Considering that the blade geometries are pretty much identical, save for the granton edge on the Tojiro santoku, and the thinner edge on it - ~12° per side. I'll got through ingredient types, since the cutting techniques do not make the difference.
Overall - Miyabi 7000MC and Tojiro Flash santokus have pretty much the same weight, 235.00g(7.95oz) for the former and 240.00g(8.12oz) for the later. Obviously, you can't feel the difference in weight, human beings are not that precise in general, in case you are, congratz ;) Anyway, despite of pretty much identical weight the knives feel very different in hand. Miyabi 7000MC is much more blade heavy, or forward balanced than the Tojiro. Considering that the blade on the Tojiro is thicker than on Miyabi, the obvious explanation is the handle. Tojiro Flash series have quite heavy handles and while I do like their ergonomics, I think they're too heavy. The balance and importance of it is a very personal thing, so I can't really give you much of an advise. Personally, I prefer Miyabi santoku balance, but I can't say I have ever had trouble working with Tojiro santoku either.
Soft leaves - Pretty much no difference cutting small bunches of various vegetable leaves. Both blades being equally sharp, i.e. finished on 0.25µm leather strop, and cuts being shallow, the edge thickness didn't play much role. However, when cutting larger portions, I had to make deeper cuts obviously, and then thinner edge on the Tojiro showed advantage. Although, that doesn't mean Tojiro is better, simply I had to make the edge thicker on the Miyabi because of its owner, if it was my own Miyabi santoku, I'd have a thinner edge than on Tojiro on it and then Miyabi would've won. Other than that, the more forward heavy Miyabi felt better suited for that type of cutting.
Hard Vegetables - Theoretically, granton edge should help getting through harder and more sticky stuff. At least in my menu, one of the worst, or the worst in terms of stickyness is the radish. I mince it into 1mm thick matchsticks and the first step in that is cutting thin round slices which next will be cut perpendicularly to make those matchstick pieces. Unfortunately radish sticks to every type of knife and blade surface I've tested with, that's well over 100 different kitchen knives by now. Tojiro santoku granton edge does help a little, but when the radish is larger, it still sticks to the blade. Same for the Miyabi santoku. Main difference was that the edge on Miyabi 7000MC santoku held up much better to the cutting than Tojiro. Thicker edge and considerably harder steel would explain that. Other than there wasn't much differences to speak of.

Comparing Miyabi And Shun Classic Santokus

- I didn't have Shun in my possession at the time I had Miyabi 7000MC at home, but I've had Shun santoku few times for resharpening and accumulated quite a bit of the date testing it. Overall, Miyabi was much better performer in terms of the edge holding. Thickness and weight are very close, and the edges were very similar too. I myself prefer the handle on Miyabi 7000MC line, and I stated in other reviews as well, I don't like the handles on Shun Classic Kitchen Knives.

Santoku comparison wrap up

- Design preferences and looks aside, Miyabi santoku can be much better performer, if the edge angle limitations are not applied, as in my case. I am referring to the ~16° per side edge angle I had to grind on the Miyabi. Because the ZDP-189 steel can be hardened to 65-67HRC without becoming too brittle, at least for the kitchen use, the edge that can be used on Miyabi santoku can be safely(depends on your use and skills) lowered to 10° or even 8° per side. Tojiro and Shun santokus can't really afford that, because the Takefu VG-10 steel is 61-62HRC at most and compared to 65-67HRC the edge has lower strength. So, to summarize, you can make Miyabi santoku perform magnitude levels better than Shun or Tojiro, granted you are good with sharpening, or someone can sharpen it for you and you use it in non abusive manner. However, if you grind the same 16° per side edge as let's say on Shun santoku, you will end up with the same cutting performance, but much more durable edge. Your pick :)


- Overall, as far as Santokus go Henckels Miyabi Santoku is perhaps one of the best Santokus I've ever used. Still, it is no match for a good gyuto. Well, don't be too upset if you are a santoku fan, after all Gyutos are more serious and efficient tools, and longer too :) For what it is, Miyabi santoku did really good. Just in comparison to Sanetsu gyuto, which is a very good gyuto I might add, santoku was lesser performer, but if you don't feel comfy swinging 270 or even 240mm long blade in your kitchen, then this might be your ticket, that is if the price is ok, ~200$ isn't exactly a budget blade, but good things do cost more in this life. Well, that's it for now, and if I ever get that knife again for sharpening/maintenance I'll update this review. I'm curious myself how the edge I put on it will hold up in commercial kitchen.


  • Blade - 180.00mm(7.09")
  • Thickness - 2.10mm
  • Width - 48.54mm
  • OAL - 320.00mm(12.6")
  • Steel - ZDP-189 steel at 65-65HRC
  • Handle - Pakkawood
  • Weight - 235.00g(7.95oz)
  • Acquired - 10/2009 Price - 200.00$

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Last updated - 05/19/19