Santoku Knives vs Chefs Knives: Choosing the best for your food prepar - HandCraft Damascus Art

Many professional chefs consider Santoku knives and chef’s knives as the ‘go-to’ knives due to their versatile features and ability to perform varied cutting and chopping tasks in the kitchen. Technically speaking, Santoku knives are a typical kind of chef’s knife but they differ from conventional German and French style chef knives in terms of style and shape.

In this blog, we will look into the main difference between these two types of knives in terms of their material, performance, blade length, style and handles.

Santoku knives

Santoku knives or Santoku bocho knives as their full name have a literal meaning of ‘three uses’. These knives are considered the best to dice, slice, and mince food. The shape of these knives features a straight edge as well as a narrow sheep’s foot blade. These knives have been originated from the traditional Japanese vegetable knives, which usually contain a rectangular blade.

Some Santoku knives have a one sided sharpened blade only. This is the traditional Eastern style knife that helps the chef to maintain a better greater control over the knife and on its direction of cutting. Most Santoku knives are a mixture of West meets East, which means that the shape of their blade is curved and it has a flat cutting edge. The  sharpening remains 50/50 on both sides leading to maintaining an easier sharpening and maintenance with the use of a traditional steel or pull through sharpener.

Due to their light-weight and having a narrow blade, a Santoku knife cuts with greater precision to make thinner cuts. A chef may experience less food pushing out of the way as he prepares to make slice with the blade. Japanese knives work with different chopping methods as compared to Western knives when they slice through food in a back and forth movement. Western knives need a rocking motion, creating thicker slices and it also takes longer to cut with them as compared to the quicker Santoku blade.

Due to their flexible, thin blade and unique tip, the Santoku knives don’t work well with tougher, for example, deboning meat. The same goes for cutting through tough vegetables like butternut squash and turnips. In addition, the Santoku blades are more prone to chipping due to their hard steel.

Chef knives

The Chef knives or French or German style chef’s knives possess a curvy edge due to which these knives chop against a board in a rocking motion. Their long blade is also capable of slicing through meat smoothly. Chef’s knives regarded universal kitchen tools that are required by the chefs for a variety of chopping tasks.

It’s important to note that there are indirect differences between German and French style chef knives. French knives comparatively possess a flatter shape starting from the heel of the blade and steadily reaching towards the point. On the other hand, the profile of a German style knife’s edge contains a curvier blade.

Greater Precision with Santoku Knives

The major difference between a Santoku knife and an ordinary chef's knife comes in terms of cutting features. Santoku knives are highly revered for better suited to precision cutting. If a Chef needs really thin cuts Santoku knives are the best between the two types. A chef knife would not give the same level of precision as does the Santoku knife.

Different Technique of Slicing with Santoku Knives

Santoku knives generally need a different technique of moving in forward and backward direction to slice food. On the other side, a standard chef's knife only needs a rocking back and forth motion. While comparing between the two types, please note that chef knives are available in varying styles.

Style and Performance

Style refers to the design and shape of the knife and performance is its sharpness while chopping or cutting food.

Chef knives have robust blades as compared to the Santoku knives. The chef knives carve through meat as well as fish, fruit and vegetables with great comfort. For many professionals and home cooks, a chef knife is best for entire range of food preparation.

Blade Length

Santoku knives have a shorter blade as compared to chef knives. Many Santoku blades are 6 inches in length and provide better control for less experienced chefs. The  chef knives have an average blade length of 8 inches and in some cases, 14 inches.

Blade Material

Santoku knives’ blades are corrosion resistant. Western style chef knives contain soft but tough steel and have thicker blades.

Handle

The traditional Santoku knives don’t usually contain a bolster, which is a typical feature of a German or French chef knife’s handle. A bolster protects chef’s hand fom slipping down the blade. It provides more grip too.

Which is the best Knife?

Both the knives are extremely good in terms of features. However, the best between the two types is the one that suits a chef’s grip and cookery style

The choice also depends upon personal preferences.

Many professional chefs consider Santoku knives and chef’s knives as the ‘go-to’ knives due to their versatile features and ability to perform varied cutting and chopping tasks in the kitchen. Technically speaking, Santoku knives are a typical kind of chef’s knife but they differ from conventional German and French style chef knives in terms of style and shape.

In this blog, we will look into the main difference between these two types of knives in terms of their material, performance, blade length, style and handles.

Santoku knives

Santoku knives or Santoku bocho knives as their full name have a literal meaning of ‘three uses’. These knives are considered the best to dice, slice, and mince food. The shape of these knives features a straight edge as well as a narrow sheep’s foot blade. These knives have been originated from the traditional Japanese vegetable knives, which usually contain a rectangular blade.

Some Santoku knives have a one sided sharpened blade only. This is the traditional Eastern style knife that helps the chef to maintain a better greater control over the knife and on its direction of cutting. Most Santoku knives are a mixture of West meets East, which means that the shape of their blade is curved and it has a flat cutting edge. The  sharpening remains 50/50 on both sides leading to maintaining an easier sharpening and maintenance with the use of a traditional steel or pull through sharpener.

Due to their light-weight and having a narrow blade, a Santoku knife cuts with greater precision to make thinner cuts. A chef may experience less food pushing out of the way as he prepares to make slice with the blade. Japanese knives work with different chopping methods as compared to Western knives when they slice through food in a back and forth movement. Western knives need a rocking motion, creating thicker slices and it also takes longer to cut with them as compared to the quicker Santoku blade.

Due to their flexible, thin blade and unique tip, the Santoku knives don’t work well with tougher, for example, deboning meat. The same goes for cutting through tough vegetables like butternut squash and turnips. In addition, the Santoku blades are more prone to chipping due to their hard steel.

Chef knives

The Chef knives or French or German style chef’s knives possess a curvy edge due to which these knives chop against a board in a rocking motion. Their long blade is also capable of slicing through meat smoothly. Chef’s knives regarded universal kitchen tools that are required by the chefs for a variety of chopping tasks.

It’s important to note that there are indirect differences between German and French style chef knives. French knives comparatively possess a flatter shape starting from the heel of the blade and steadily reaching towards the point. On the other hand, the profile of a German style knife’s edge contains a curvier blade.

Greater Precision with Santoku Knives

The major difference between a Santoku knife and an ordinary chef's knife comes in terms of cutting features. Santoku knives are highly revered for better suited to precision cutting. If a Chef needs really thin cuts Santoku knives are the best between the two types. A chef knife would not give the same level of precision as does the Santoku knife.

Different Technique of Slicing with Santoku Knives

Santoku knives generally need a different technique of moving in forward and backward direction to slice food. On the other side, a standard chef's knife only needs a rocking back and forth motion. While comparing between the two types, please note that chef knives are available in varying styles.

Style and Performance

Style refers to the design and shape of the knife and performance is its sharpness while chopping or cutting food.

Chef knives have robust blades as compared to the Santoku knives. The chef knives carve through meat as well as fish, fruit and vegetables with great comfort. For many professionals and home cooks, a chef knife is best for entire range of food preparation.

Blade Length

Santoku knives have a shorter blade as compared to chef knives. Many Santoku blades are 6 inches in length and provide better control for less experienced chefs. The  chef knives have an average blade length of 8 inches and in some cases, 14 inches.

Blade Material

Santoku knives’ blades are corrosion resistant. Western style chef knives contain soft but tough steel and have thicker blades.

Handle

The traditional Santoku knives don’t usually contain a bolster, which is a typical feature of a German or French chef knife’s handle. A bolster protects chef’s hand fom slipping down the blade. It provides more grip too.

Which is the best Knife?

Both the knives are extremely good in terms of features. However, the best between the two types is the one that suits a chef’s grip and cookery style

The choice also depends upon personal preferences.

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