Santoku Knife or Santuko Knife?

santoku knife

The Santoku Knife

If you’re going to splurge on kitchen utensils, a top-quality knife should be your main priority. Good quality knives are light, balanced, and sharp. They don’t just make every cooking easy; they also limit the chances of accidents in the kitchen.

Today, santoku knives are getting just as much attention as chef knives, even if many mistakenly call it the “santuko knife”. Both are general-purpose knives, but more and more people are beginning to prefer the santoku knife over the more commonly used chef’s knife.

What are Santoku Knives Best For?

This all-around knife is popular in Japan and is best used for cutting, slicing, and chopping. The word itself translates to “three virtues”, which refers to its three main uses. It’s made from carbon steel and can be used for different materials like meats, fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and more.

A notable characteristic of a santoku knife is its length. Generally, it’s shorter than a chef’s knife, which can limit your ability to cut large chunks of meat. A santoku knife is generally 16  – 18cm (6 – 7 inches), while a chef’s knife can be as long as 30cm (12 inches). Santoku knives are also thinner in comparison, so they’re best used for slicing extra-thin portions. They are different from sushi knives, but they can definitely be used as an alternative.

Are Santoku Knives Good for Cutting Meat?

A santoku knife is especially good for cutting meat because of its non-pointed tip. Users can slice through the meat in one deliberate cut without having to move the knife back and forth. Since the blades are thinner, you can also do smaller, more precise cuts. However, you may encounter some problems when it comes to chicken meat. Since there’s no sharp tip, it can be hard for the santoku blade to separate chicken parts.

Which Are Best: Santoku Knives or Chef Knives?

The “better” choice really depends on how you use knives in the kitchen. Generally, the santoku is the better option if you want something small and accurate because it has no pointed tip. The end curves down into the blade instead of having a pointed end like a chef’s knife. As a result, you can cut through meat with a single downward motion. In contrast, a chef’s knife usually needs to be moved back and forth like a pendulum to ease the cut.

Santoku knives are also easier to sharpen. Most models only have one bevel or a single sharp edge. This lets you sharpen the edge at a smaller angle and get a more refined blade. Because of the double edge, you can’t do this with a chef’s knife.

Can Santoku Knives Replace Chef Knives?

As a rule, the chef’s knife and the santoku knife are supposed to complement each other. Most chefs or seasoned cooks have both tools in their kitchen. However, if you’re only using the knife for basic cuts, a santoku knife should be enough for your kitchen. It can do everything a chef’s knife can do and will serve you well with proper care.

Final Words

We recommend adding a santoku knife to your collection of kitchen tools. If used together with a chef’s knife, these two versatile blades can help you create more complicated dishes with added confidence. 

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