• Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True! 1
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True! 2
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True! 3
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True! 4
  • Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True! 5

Top 18 Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives in 2021 - Tried and True!

Santoku means "three uses" in Japanese. This refers to the fact that these knives are versatile tools that deserve a home in every chef's tool kit, both home and professional. If you don't have one, you're missing out on the great craftsmanship of Japanese blades. That's why our editors searched Japanese convenience stores and Amazon for the best santoku knives available online. We then picked out the most popular products and tested them.


We focused on 3 things:


  1. How well does it cut?
  2. Is it easy to manipulate?
  3. Does it rust easily?


We then ranked the products and put what we learned into a buying guide to help you choose the best Japanese santoku knives available online.

  • Last updated: 05-27-2021
  • 1,206 views
Table of Contents

What's Special about a Santoku Knife?

What's Special about a Santoku Knife?

The "three uses" which give the santoku its name are slicing, dicing, and mincing. The shape of this knife makes it useful for cutting meat, fish and vegetables. Blades made of stainless steel are resistant to rust and chipping, very sharp, and easy to clean and care for, making them perfect for home cooks.


Chef's knives (the closest Japanese equivalent is the gyuto knife) are similar and equally popular, but santoku have shorter blades, making them better for small kitchens. The shape of the edge also differs. Santoku have a gentle curve or fairly straight edge, which makes them good for julienne-cutting vegetables.


If you have a santoku knife and a small petty knife (similar to a paring knife) you can probably cover all your kitchen cutting needs.

Top 18 Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives to Buy Online

We picked out some of the most popular products and tested them for sharpness, ease of use, and rust resistance.

Then, based on our tests and with the advice of our expert, we ranked the top 18 Japanese santoku knives available online.

Japanese prices for some of the products are given, but they've been converted into US dollars to make it easy for you.

1
Japanese藤次郎株式会社藤次郎 DPコバルト合金鋼割込 口金付 三徳 170mm F-503
MaterialsCobalt alloy steel blade, 13-chrome stainless steel coating, reinforced laminate handle
Size and weight6.75-inch blade, 11.5-inch overall/6.3 oz.
Other Available Blade Lengths5, 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 9.5 inches
Cutting5.0
Ease of use4.0
Rust resistance3.0
Overall score4.0
2

SumikamaKasumi Titanium-Coated Santoku 18cm

$114.49

Japaneseスミカマ霞KASUMI チタンコーティング 三徳包丁 18cm
MaterialsMolybdenum vanadium steel blade, titanium coating, polypropylene resin handle
Size and weight7-inch blade, 12.5 inches overall/4 oz.
Other available blade lengths3, 4, 4.75, 5, 8 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use3.5
Rust resistance4.0
Overall score4.0
3

ShimomuraVerdun Santoku Knife White 165mm

OVD-11

$21.91

Japanese下村工業ヴェルダン 三徳庖丁 ホワイト 165mm
MaterialsStainless molybdenum steel/18-8 Stainless
Size and weight6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/4.5 oz.
Other available blade lengths5.75 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use3.5
Rust resistance4.0
Overall score4.0
4

Misono CutleryMolybdenum Steel Santoku Knife 16 cm

No. 583

$73.42

Japaneseミソノ刃物モリブデン鋼 三徳庖丁 16cm No.583
MaterialsHigh carbon high grade 13-chrome/stainless steel/molybdenum steel blade, reinforced black wood handle
Size and weight6-inch blade, 10.5 inches overall/5 oz.
Other available blade lengths5.5, 7 inches
Cutting3.5
Ease of use4.0
Rust resistance4.0
Overall score4.0
5

MasahiroHome Stainless Steel Santoku Knife 165 mm

11061

$34.75

Japanese正広家庭用ステンレス包丁 MSC MS-200 三徳型包丁 165mm 11061
MaterialsStainless Masahiro original material MDS (0.8% carbon, 13% chromium, molybdenum, vanadium steel) blade, rosewood handle
Size and weight6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/3.5 oz.
Other available blade lengths6, 7 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use3.5
Rust resistance4.0
Overall score4.0
6
Japanese柳宗理キッチンナイフ
Materials13 chrome stainless 3-layer steel blade, 18-8 stainless handle
Size and weight7-inch blade, 12 inches overall/6 oz.
Other available blade lengthsbread knife, 4, 5.5, 8 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use3.5
Rust resistance4.0
Overall score4.0
7

MujiStainless Steel Santoku Knife 17 cm

$26.40

Japanese無印良品オールステンレス 三徳包丁 刃渡り約17cm
MaterialsStainless steel blade and handle
Size and weight6.75-inch blade/8.5 oz.
Other available blade lengths4.75 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use4.0
Rust resistance3.0
Overall score4.0
8

KaijirushiSeki Magoroku Santoku Knife 165 mm

$41.66

Japanese貝印関孫六 三徳包丁 165mm
MaterialsHigh carbon stainless knife steel blade, 18-8 stainless handle
Size and weight6.5-inch blade, 12 inches overall/4.75 oz.
Other available blade lengths4.75, 5.75, 6, 7, 8, 9.5 inches
Cutting5.0
Ease of use4.0
Rust resistance2.0
Overall score4.0
9

Honma ScientificGlestain M Type Santoku Knife 17 cm

817TMM

$104.94

Japaneseホンマ科学グレステン Mタイプ 三徳庖丁 17cm 817TMM
MaterialsGlestain steel
Size and Weight6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/4.5 oz.
Other available blade lengths7.5 inches
Cutting4.0
Ease of use4.5
Rust resistance2.0
Overall score4.0

Compare the Best Japanese Stainless Santoku Knives

Image
1
Tojiro Cobalt Alloy Santoku 170mm 1

Tojiro

2
Sumikama Kasumi Titanium-Coated Santoku 18cm 1

Sumikama

3
Shimomura Verdun Santoku Knife White 165mm 1

Shimomura

4
Misono Cutlery Molybdenum Steel Santoku Knife 16 cm 1

Misono Cutlery

5
Masahiro Home Stainless Steel Santoku Knife 165 mm 1

Masahiro

6
Yanagi Sori Kitchen Knife 1

Yanagi Sori

7
Muji Stainless Steel Santoku Knife 17 cm 1

Muji

8
Kaijirushi Seki Magoroku Santoku Knife 165 mm 1

Kaijirushi

9
Honma Scientific Glestain M Type Santoku Knife 17 cm 1

Honma Scientific

Name

Cobalt Alloy Santoku 170mm

Kasumi Titanium-Coated Santoku 18cm

Verdun Santoku Knife White 165mm

Molybdenum Steel Santoku Knife 16 cm

Home Stainless Steel Santoku Knife 165 mm

Kitchen Knife

Stainless Steel Santoku Knife 17 cm

Seki Magoroku Santoku Knife 165 mm

Glestain M Type Santoku Knife 17 cm

Features

mybest's Top Choice! Professional Quality That's Easy to Care for at Home

You Can Slice Easily and Comfortably without Rusty Troubles

Beauty and Quality at a Good Price

Beloved by Professionals, and We're Sure You'll Love it, Too!

Recommended if You're Looking for a Lightweight Knife

Want a Longer Blade? This is Your Knife

Recommended for its Quality and Low Price

Buy it if Sharpness is Your Priority

Buy This if You Hate Food Sticking to Your Knife Blade

Price$71.00$114.49$21.91$73.42$34.75$62.15$26.40$41.66$104.94
Japanese藤次郎株式会社藤次郎 DPコバルト合金鋼割込 口金付 三徳 170mm F-503スミカマ霞KASUMI チタンコーティング 三徳包丁 18cm下村工業ヴェルダン 三徳庖丁 ホワイト 165mm ミソノ刃物モリブデン鋼 三徳庖丁 16cm No.583正広家庭用ステンレス包丁 MSC MS-200 三徳型包丁 165mm 11061柳宗理キッチンナイフ無印良品オールステンレス 三徳包丁 刃渡り約17cm貝印関孫六 三徳包丁 165mmホンマ科学グレステン Mタイプ 三徳庖丁 17cm 817TMM
MaterialsCobalt alloy steel blade, 13-chrome stainless steel coating, reinforced laminate handleMolybdenum vanadium steel blade, titanium coating, polypropylene resin handleStainless molybdenum steel/18-8 StainlessHigh carbon high grade 13-chrome/stainless steel/molybdenum steel blade, reinforced black wood handleStainless Masahiro original material MDS (0.8% carbon, 13% chromium, molybdenum, vanadium steel) blade, rosewood handle13 chrome stainless 3-layer steel blade, 18-8 stainless handleStainless steel blade and handleHigh carbon stainless knife steel blade, 18-8 stainless handleGlestain steel
Size and weight6.75-inch blade, 11.5-inch overall/6.3 oz.7-inch blade, 12.5 inches overall/4 oz.6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/4.5 oz.6-inch blade, 10.5 inches overall/5 oz.6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/3.5 oz.7-inch blade, 12 inches overall/6 oz.6.75-inch blade/8.5 oz.6.5-inch blade, 12 inches overall/4.75 oz.6.5-inch blade, 11.5 inches overall/4.5 oz.
Other Available Blade Lengths5, 6, 6.5, 7, 8, 9.5 inches3, 4, 4.75, 5, 8 inches5.75 inches5.5, 7 inches6, 7 inchesbread knife, 4, 5.5, 8 inches4.75 inches4.75, 5.75, 6, 7, 8, 9.5 inches7.5 inches
Cutting5.04.04.03.54.04.04.05.04.0
Ease of use4.03.53.54.03.53.54.04.04.5
Rust resistance3.04.04.04.04.04.03.02.02.0
Overall score4.04.04.04.04.04.04.04.04.0
Link

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

And why they didn't quite make it.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

This 67-Layer Damascus Steel Santoku Knife From Pearl Metals has a thick, moderately heavy blade. Chicken and fish were no problem, but the tomato put up a bit of a fight. It's easy to keep clean, which is good because it showed a little rust on the cutting edge (overall, the rust wasn't too bad). It was a decent knife in general.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Yoshida Metal Industries' Global Santoku Blade is sharp and heavy for its size because it's 100% stainless steel. Some of us liked the stamped pattern on the handle, but others didn't. It cuts very well, and the main reason it didn't place higher in our rank was that it rusted easily in our test. If you buy it, care for it diligently.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

This Super Stone Barrier Santoku Knife from Kyowa has six layers of special stone coating on the side of the blade to prevent rust. It also acts as a slippery surface to allow food to fall away after cutting. 


The drawback is that this coating can't extend to the cutting edge, so that part must be cleaned right away to prevent rust. There's also a slight gap in the wooden handle where water could collect.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Toru Seki V Gold No. 10 Flanged Santoku Knife from Yasuda is sharp and cuts well, although the tomato skin stuck a little. It has a cutting edge which is almost straight with a gentle curve. Rust concentrated near the edge in our test, so it requires care to prevent it from being ruined.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Nitori's Stainless Steel Santoku Knife is average in its sharpness and performance. The handle is not well-designed; it's not ergonomic and is made of cheap-looking plastic. It's a basic knife that could go in the dishwasher.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Eternal King Santoku Knife from Ernest got our highest score for rust resistance, but it's not a smooth-edged blade. It has tiny serrations that are supposed to make it so it never needs sharpening. However, that means you have to use it like a saw or it won't cut. If you care most about something that won't rust or need sharpening, it could be good for you.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

This All-Purpose Kitchen Knife from Seria is a dollar, and it performs like you'd expect for that price. The handle is not super comfortable, the blade is not super sharp, and forget about slicing tomatoes thinly. It could be good to toss in your camping gear.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

Kakusei's Takaaki Nakamura All-Purpose Knife has a thick blade that makes cutting difficult. The handle is plastic even though it looks like wood. The blade has an indentation which adds to the resistance felt when cutting, and also makes cleaning more fussy. It rusted easily in our test. It's very inexpensive, though.

Products That Didn't Make the Cut

This Perforated Knife from Daiso has holes to supposedly prevent food from sticking, but it didn't work at all. It's hard to grip and isn't sharp enough to cut a tomato. But it's a dollar, so maybe it could be good as a prop for your low-budget slasher movie.

How We Tested the Santoku Knives

How We Tested the Santoku Knives

We put each product through a series of tests to check for the following:


  1. How well does it cut?
  2. How easy is it to use?
  3. Does it rust easily?

Then we gave them a score from 0.5 to 5 and ranked them.

Test ① How Well Does it Cut?

Test ① How Well Does it Cut?
We used three foods for this test: tomatoes, skin-on chicken, and raw tuna. We checked to see how easily we could slice them, and how clean the slices were. Could we get paper-thin tomatoes?

Serrated Blades Didn't Perform as Well as Expected

Serrated Blades Didn't Perform as Well as Expected

We found that serrated blades did not slice well. The one we used broke our tomato, and the chicken skin required some sawing to get the job done. Some manufacturers market serrated blades as never needing sharpening, but they don't work for all tasks.


Most of the non-serrated blades performed admirably, so save the serrations for slicing French bread.

Test ② Was it Easy to Use?

Test ② Was it Easy to Use?

For this test we evaluated things like ergonomics, whether the food got stuck on the blade or not, the heft of the knife, and so on.

Coated Blades are Great for Cutting Veggies

Coated Blades are Great for Cutting Veggies

We found that coated blades were very good for slicing tomatoes and just slid through like butter! The one with a titanium coating and the one with a stone coating both were wonderful to work with. 

Our number 2 choice in particular, Sumikama's Kasumi knife, could produce wafer-thin slices of our watery tomato, and sticky foods like cucumbers would slide right off the blade.

Test ③ Was it Resistant to Rusting?

Test ③ Was it Resistant to Rusting?

Finally, we wanted to see how easily the tools would rust.

Test ③ Was it Resistant to Rusting?

We performed a test that would make any chef who loves their kitchen tools cringe. We sprayed salt water on each knife and checked it after 3 hours and then again after 24 hours


The highest score was given to the blade that rusted the least. We focused our attention on the knife edge, since the coatings on some would help to prevent rust on the rest of the blade.

Only 1 Knife Stood up to the Test

Only 1 Knife Stood up to the Test

We discovered that knives which were only stainless steel with no alloys or coatings were especially prone to rusting. After just an hour, blades labeled "stainless" or "stainless knife steel" showed light rust. It didn't matter if they were also labeled as "strong against rust."


If you buy a knife that is not 100% rust proof, it will have instructions that say to wipe off dirt and moisture immediately after use. You'd be wise to heed those directions.

How to Choose a Stainless Santoku Knife - Buying Guide

We recommend considering the following points before buying a stainless santoku knife.

Choose the Type Of Stainless Steel

Look for a knife that suits how you will use it as well as your budget. The products in this article are primarily for home use, and prices range from one dollar to more than one hundred.

Stainless Steel Only: Cheap and Light, Yet Not Very Sharp

Stainless Steel Only: Cheap and Light, Yet Not Very Sharp

Stainless steel is lightweight and inexpensive. They tend to lose their edge and need sharpening more often than other types. Even if you sharpen them, they won't last as long, but because they're cheaper, replacement won't require a bank loan. 


They range from a dollar to 30 or 40 bucks. These are good knives for beginner cooks; they're easy to handle and can take some abuse (but watch out for rust.)

Molybdenum Vanadium Steel: Stays Sharp for a Long Time

Molybdenum Vanadium Steel: Stays Sharp for a Long Time

Molybdenum and vanadium are added to steel to make it harder and stronger, which means they can hold a sharper edge, and for longer. 


This material is suitable for home kitchen knives, but is also used for medical scalpels, so you know it's capable of fine cuts. It's resistant to rust and longer-lasting than plain stainless steel. These knives cost more, starting at about $50 to $100.

High-Carbon Stainless Steel: Super Sharp and Versatile, but a Dent in Your Wallet

High-Carbon Stainless Steel: Super Sharp and Versatile, but a Dent in Your Wallet

More carbon added during the manufacturing process makes a durable blade which is hard and can be extremely sharp. These knives are popular with professional chefs because they're highly resistant to rust, easy to sharpen, and can withstand repeated use. 


They aren't cheap - from $100 to $200 each, but they will last decades if properly cared for.

Choose a Blade Length That's Easy to Handle

Choose a Blade Length That's Easy to Handle

A large knife is more difficult to work with, but if it's too small, your food prep time will increase. For a santoku knife, we recommend a blade length of 6 to 7 inches. It's also a good idea to not exceed the size of your cutting board, so that you don't cut up your counter accidentally or chip the blade on a plate.

Consider the Weight of the Knife

Consider the Weight of the Knife

You may think a lighter knife is easier to hold and manipulate, but in fact a good knife should have some heft to it. Most santoku knives are in the range of 3.5 to 10 ounces.


We recommend something between 5 and 7 ounces. Having a little weight helps you cut more easily. If it's too light, you have to supply more force. Of course, if it's really heavy, you'll get tired just from holding it.

Choose One That's Easy to Care for

Choose One That's Easy to Care for

Some knives are stainless steel all the way into the handle, while others have plastic or wood handles. If there are gaps where the materials join, water, dish soap, and bacteria can get in. Obviously the solid steel types are the easiest to wash in this sense. 


If it has a wooden handle, look for a steel cap where the handle and blade meet. This is called a bolster, and helps prevent water from getting into the handle. We also recommend choosing wood with antibacterial properties.

Search for a Reputable Manufacturer

Search for a Reputable Manufacturer

Japan has a lot of famous knife manufacturers. Many of them are based in Seki City in Gifu prefecture, such as Tojiro, Misono, and Masahiro. In fact, it's known as the City of Blades, and the craftsmen there have been making cutlery and swords for over 700 years.


By the way, we also tested a home-use Henkels santoku knife, but didn't include it in this article because it's not Japanese. Actually, it didn't do so well anyway, but their professional-grade knives are much better.

Love Food and Cooking? Check out These Other Great Items!

Love Food and Cooking? Check out These Other Great Items!

You've got your fancy knife; what are you going to make with it? Here are some suggestions.

Summary

A knife is an essential cooking tool, and there are so many to choose from. mybest looked at 18 of the most popular Japanese santoku knives available online and tested them all. 


We found that almost all need care to prevent rust, but some are clearly more susceptible than others. We also learned that the materials and presence of a coating can make a big difference in performance.


Author: Kano Ichiyama/Translation:Susan Lucier-Ogawa/Photos: Koichi Miura, Yuuki Inagaki, Saya Iwagami

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    There’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter night than sitting around a table with your friends and family eating food that you all cooked together. And there’s no better way to do that than hot pot! From broths filled with mouth-numbing Chinese Szechuan peppers to mild Japanese shabu shabu, hot pot is fun, instant, and easy to do at home—if you have the right materials.As the popularity of this traditional Asian cooking style continues to rise in the West, so does the availability of electric and stovetop cookers in small and large sizes. But choosing is difficult, so that’s why we’ve put together this quick guide to picking out the right hot pot cooker. We’ve also included a list of our 10 favorite hot pots—split into electric and non-electric categories—to start your search. We personally loved Zojirushi's Gourmet d’Expert Electric Skillet for its versatility and portability, but read on to see more choices!
    Kitchen supplies
    61,781 views
  • Top 10 Best Cookie Presses in 2021 (OXO, Wilton, and More)
    Top 10 Best Cookie Presses in 2021 (OXO, Wilton, and More)
    Cookie presses are a great alternative to cookie cutters. They help to make a large batch of professional-looking cookies in less time. Choosing cookie presses can be tricky and time-consuming because there are many things to consider. But if you keep our tips and suggestions in mind, you'll easily find the right one for you! In our buying guide, you'll find a lot of good advice on how to choose a good cookie press. We also did our research and went through reviews to pick the 10 best cookie presses that can be purchased online. OXO's Good Grips Cookie Press is our top pick because it's easy to use, comes with a non-slip base, and offers a lifetime warranty.
    Kitchen supplies
    516 views
  • Top 19 Best Japanese Frying Pans in 2021 - Tried and True!
    Top 19 Best Japanese Frying Pans in 2021 - Tried and True!
    Today, we're investigating one of the most indispensable items found in any kitchen: the frying pan. With a multitude of uses, everything from making stir-fries and pasta to pancakes and omelets, you can use it to make just about anything. Yet there are so many different brands and materials to choose from, just how are you supposed to know which one to buy? Luckily, our editors searched Japanese e-commerce sites like Amazon and Yahoo! Shopping for the best frying pans. Then we put them to the test! We examined each one for the following three criteria.How strong the coating is against wear and tearHow evenly the frying pan distributes heatHow easy it is to useSo just which frying pans will stand out above the rest? Use this guide as a reference to help you make your decision before purchasing. 
    Kitchen supplies
    7,852 views
  • Top 10 Best Matcha Tea Sets in 2021 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed)
    Top 10 Best Matcha Tea Sets in 2021 (Tea Sommelier-Reviewed)
    Matcha has long been appreciated for its multiple health benefits, including promoting brain activity, weight loss, and improving alertness. Making the beverage can be difficult, though, when the powder is so fine and doesn't dissolve well in water. A matcha tea set with specially designed tools for making the perfect drink comes in handy here.Maybe you're just looking to make your daily cup of green tea nice and smooth, or maybe you're curious about the Japanese Tea Ceremony - we've got you covered with all the information you need when choosing your set. Our top pick was the Matcha Whisk Set by BambooMN for its simplicity, reliability, and its attention to detail used to craft its tea ladle. Read on for more information about what else made the cut! 
    Kitchen supplies
    10,196 views
  • 9 Best Reusable Ice Cubes in 2021 (Balls of Steel, Urban Essentials, and More)
    9 Best Reusable Ice Cubes in 2021 (Balls of Steel, Urban Essentials, and More)
    It’s summer, it’s hot, and you just want a cold drink. But it’s hard to ignore the fact that your ice cubes will water down your drink as they melt. Reusable ice cubes are a great solution to this issue, as they're made of frozen synthetics like silicon gel and won't melt at all. You can also use them as many times as you want! We've done the research for you and created this list of the nine best reusable ice cubes on the market this year. Our favorite reusable ice cubes are Urban Essentials' Reusable Freezable Ice Cubes. They're safe and easy to use, and those who have purchased them love their design. Read on to learn more about our other picks and a buying guide at the end.
    Kitchen supplies
    28,379 views
  • Top 10 Best Cake Decorating Kits in 2021 (Wilton, Kootek, and More)
    Top 10 Best Cake Decorating Kits in 2021 (Wilton, Kootek, and More)
    With so many baking shows on television and social media feeds full of delicious-looking sweets, there has never been a better time to consider decorating your own cakes! If you're aiming for that professional look, with neat designs and pretty flowers made from frosting, then a cake decorating kit is essential. These kits will provide you with all of the tools you need to make beautiful cakes at home.We looked online to find the best cake decorating kits on the market. We found that the 210-Piece Cake Decorating Supplies Kit by AJ Gear has the best variety of high-quality tools while still being easy to use and perfect for beginners. Keep reading for more of our favorite products, and check out our buying guide to learn more about choosing the right cake decorating kit for you!
    Kitchen supplies
    5,732 views
  • Top 9 Best Portable Dishwashers in 2021 (Farberware, GE, and More)
    Top 9 Best Portable Dishwashers in 2021 (Farberware, GE, and More)
    Tired of handwashing dishes? Are you looking for a way to save on water consumption but don't have a lot of space to install a dishwasher? A portable version could address all those issues.We've searched for some of the best portable dishwashers to help you get started and compiled them into a top 9 list. Farberware's fully portable version - our top choice - doesn't need to be hooked up to the faucet to work, so you can use it anywhere as long as you have water! We have eight other great options for you below, plus a buying guide to help you choose the right dishwasher based on your existing space and wash requirements.
    Kitchen supplies
    271 views
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