What’s the Difference Between Santoku Knives and Traditional Chef’s Knives?


Many people think that the only difference between a Santoku knife and a regular chef’s knife is that one is western and one is eastern – you can guess which one is which. However, there are so many more differences to take into account and not that simple fact.
We’re going to go through the main differences between the two knives in the following article. If you’re wondering which one you should use in your kitchen or restaurant, then read on to learn more and get to know what sets them apart from each other!

What’s A Chef’s Knife?

Basically, you can think of this one as the traditional knife that’s used in many places across Europe and North America. It has its origins back in Germany or France, depending on who you ask. It can be created from many materials including carbon steel or ceramic. However, when you look at most chef’s knives, they’re going to be made of stainless steel.

Most home cooks have chef’s knives that are around 8 inches long, but they can range anywhere from 6 to 14 inches, depending on who is using them. The tip of the chef’s knife is pointed, while the rest of the body is curved.

What’s A Santoku Knife?

The literal translation into English of “Santoku” is “three virtues”. This comes from its unique ability to slice, dice and mince pretty much anything that you need to be cut. As you could probably tell from the name, the origin of this knife is Japan. Like the chef’s knife, a Santoku knife is usually made of stainless steel because of its durability and strength.
When you look at the blade size, it’s usually pretty light and only around 5 to 7 inches’ length-wise, so it’s a bit different from the blade of the chef’s knife. When looking at what it looks like, the Santoku knife has a spine that bends down to the tip and the edge that cuts is much straighter than that of the chef’s knife.

What’s the Difference Between the Two?

So, you want to learn to master these two knives? Well, first we have to take a look at the big differences between the two. As you can tell from the above descriptions, there are plenty of little details that add up to pretty major differences between a chef’s knife and a Santoku knife. However, even with all of those differences, these incredible knives have a lot in common. For example, they are both extremely versatile when it comes to what they can be used for.

There’s one big difference when it comes to the two that we haven’t talked about yet. And that’s how they feel when you are handling them and actually cutting things. Many chefs will explain that the chef’s knife and the Santoku knife hit the board differently whenever you use them. When you use a chef’s knife, it’s easier to roll it back and forth when cutting. However, when you use a Santoku knife, it’s going to be more of an abrupt chopping motion. This is because the chef’s knife has more of a curved edge than the Santoku knife.

The little details that we explained earlier and how they are handled are the main differences between the two knives. However, there are plenty of similarities, making them great choice for whatever you need to cut.

Which one do you think you will choose? The Santoku knife is a great option if you want to try a new style of knife that you may have never tried before. And the chef’s knife is a good, all-around knife that you will have no trouble getting used to. They both have their advantages and disadvantages, but you will have no trouble with either of these.

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