Santoku Vs. Chef Knife; The Good The Bad And The Best Cut

Santoku Vs. Chef Knife; The Good The Bad And The Best Cut

With such a large knife market, readily available, it can be hard to choose the best knife to meet as many of your cooking needs as possible. Each and every knife on the market has a purpose and a market that would argue it is the best. Let’s look at the Santoku Vs. Chef knife and see which one should be at the top of your kitchen shopping list and if you can easily live without the other one. Firstly, let’s look at each knife separately and then we will compare the pros and cons of each!


The Santoku Knife

The Santoku Knife is a general kitchen knife that originated in Japan. The blade is most often between 13 and 20 centimeters and has a flat edge, as well as, a blade that curves gradually to 60 degrees at the point. The name Santoku refers to the three-cutting task it is designed for; slicing, dicing, and mincing. Both the blade and handle are designed to work harmoniously together with matching weight, creating a perfectly balanced knife.

The blade on the Santoku knife has extremely sharp edges, as well as a beveled ground blade that enhances the knifes performance and helps food easily release from the blade for thin slicing. For the most part, a Santoku knife can be used for nearly any kitchen cutting that is needed. It is the preferred knife when you are looking for precision on very small cuts due to its much thinner blade. The Santoku is also preferred by those who experience hand fatigue or have arthritis due to its smaller size and weight.

The Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife is likely the most commonly used knife in western cooking. Even those who are not foodies can typically point out a chef’s knife and likely own one. The original design of a chef’s knife was primarily focused on its ability to slice and disjoint bone in meets. However, today it is the most commonly used knife and is used for nearly every kitchen cutting task. The blade on a chef’s knife is typically 20 centimeters in length and 1 ½ inches wide.

Chefs knifes generally have two different blade shapes available, French and German. The German style blade is more curved and the curve continues along the entire cutting edge. The French style blade has a much straighter edge that then curves up to the tip of the knife.

Santoku Vs. Chef’s Knife​

Santoku Knife​

Pros of a Santoku Knife

  • The thin blade allows for precision cutting to the thinnest and smallest of cuts. The santoku is great for fruits and vegetables, especially when you are seeking top chef quality. The very thin blade allows you to slice most fruits and vegetables to a mandolin comparable slice.
  • The santoku knife has a bevel ground edge that prevents even sticky, sticky, and wet items from adhering to the blade the way they would to other knives. When slicing very thin items, this can be a huge plus. Otherwise, you will have to stop after each cut to remove the previous slice from the blade before you can move on
  • The santoku knife is very versatile and can be used for several different cutting methods. In many cases, it can easily be considered an all-purpose kitchen knife.
  • The Santoku knife is extremely light weight. For many users, this allows them to have more control over the knife, apply less pressure, and can be a huge plus for those who experience frequent hand fatigue or Arthritis.

Cons of a Santoku Knife

  • The thin blade on the Santoku knife may allow for more precise cutting but it also may lead to easier damage. Since the blade is so thin, it will certainly chip and dent much easier than its thicker counterpart
  • The Santoku knife is less than desirable for certain task, such as cutting through bone or other extremely hard items. It should also not be used for prying into items as you could bend or damage the tip much easier than a thicker knife blade.
  • For some Santoku knifes, depending on the exact material, you may find that you lose blade much quicker do to its thin construction. This could be an issue over time as you continue to use and sharpen the knife on a regular basis.
Chef’s Knife

Pros of a Chef’s Knife

  • A Chef’s knife can very well cut most any type of food that choose to lend it to. It works great for meats, vegetables, fruits, and breaking bone joints on meats during preparation.
  • A Chef’s knife is heavier in weight for those who feel like a bit more weight can lend better control to their cutting and chopping methods.
  • A Chef’s knife is less likely to damage during simple task, as it is constructed with a much thicker blade.
  • The blade on a chef’s knife won’t wear down as quickly and will require less frequent sharpening, as well as standing up better to sharpening.

Cons of a Chef’s Knife

  • A chef’s knife rarely has a bevel edge to prevent food from sticking to it. The smoothness can cause thin sliced items, wet, or sticky items to cling to the blade during cutting and slicing.
  • A chef’s knife can’t give you as thin of a slice as its counterpart. This is simply due to the blade thickness, you can only go so thin.


Both the Chef’s knife and the Santoku knife are great options and for the most part they are quite equal. So much so that they are interchangeable for most cutting task. The preference mostly comes down to what you are cutting and personal preference. I prefer both on hand in my kitchen. The Santoku’s light weight style is great for a great deal of prepping, while a Chef’s knife proves to be more durable in certain situations.

The Santoku Vs. Chef’s knife battle is one that can only be decided by the individual consumer; the chances of finding an entire group of cooks who can agree to one preference over the other will likely prove more complicated than finding a needle in a haystack.

Do you have a preference over the Santoku Vs. the Chef’s knife? Tell us which one you prefer and why in the comment section bellow!

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I’m Kanisha, my love and passion is writing about everything food related! I am a food enthusiast who loves so much more than just the basics; I’m always looking at new ways to look at the ins and outs of everything in the kitchen!

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