What Separates A Chef’s Knife From A Santoku Knife

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What separates a chef's knife from a Santoku knife

What separates a chef’s knife from a Santoku knife is a question we get asked quite a bit. The blade’s shape mostly distinguishes them. The main difference is the shape of the blade.

Although the end of the blade of a chef’s knife is pointed, with a Santoku you can see that it protrudes from the back to the edge and comes off at an angle. Both knives therefore require different cutting techniques. But actually, both knives cut the same ingredients. 

Therefore, which of the two options you choose relies on your personal preferences. But these are different. What exactly is cutting technology? IC Knives explains it to you!

At first glance, a Santoku knife and a chef’s knife look similar. That’s because European (and American) chef’s knives are designed for heavier foods like red meat, poultry, and fibrous vegetables, while Japanese Santoku knives are mainly used for cutting seafood and less fibrous vegetables.

Both the chef’s knife and the Santoku knife are multipurpose tools appropriate for a range of cutting operations including chopping, dicing, and cutting. Both are frequently used in commercial and residential kitchens.

The chef’s knife and the Santoku knife both have a two-sided blade. However, Japanese inserts are generally thinner (~0.25 mm thick, 15–17° chamfer) (~0.5 mm thick, 17–20° chamfer) than their European counterparts.

Chef’s Knife

Chef’s knives are distinguished by the way their blade tips are shaped. Due to this form, the cutting edge of chef’s knives frequently has a “convex” shape. compared to the three virtues’ direct approach.

Chef’s knives come from Solingen, Germany, and Santoku knives from Japan. Today, the two cities are widely regarded as the two “knife capitals of the world”. While the European chef’s knife has its origins in Germany, there is a second chef’s knife in the French style.

In Europe, chef’s knives form the basis of every set due to their different blade shapes. Cutting vegetables with a chef’s knife doesn’t require much practice, and almost everyone grows up with it.


Chef’s knives are true all-rounders. Ideal for cutting vegetables, meat and fish. But even precise cutting tasks can be carried out perfectly with the sharp tip of a chef’s knife.A typical Santoku’s blade is 15 to 18 cm (6″ to 7″) long. The Damascus Santoku has a flat cutting edge and a sheep’s foot blade. 

Convex cutting edges are ideal for one of the most popular cutting techniques: the cradle. Ideal for chopping herbs. When weighing, place the knife tip on the cutting board so that the knife tip is directed at the object to be cut. The tip always stays in place (approximately) and does not detach from the cutting board. This creates a rocking movement.

Chef’s knife blade is 20 cm (8″) long and have a deeper and continuous curvature over the entire cutting edge. Chef’s knives typically have a blade length between 16 and 24 cm and with blade lengths under 16 cm are also available in smaller sizes. But anything that is smaller quickly resembles a paring knife.


Santoku is the Japanese equivalent of the chef’s knife and has its roots in Asian cuisine. Characteristic of the Santoku sword is that the blade is straight. In general, Santoku knives made in Japan are smaller, sharper and lighter than European and American chef’s knives.

The blade is beveled at the tip and is almost the same height along its whole length, unlike chef’s knives. Since the cutting edge is straight, the Santoku knife does not wobble on the cutting surface. This also applies to “convex” cutting edges. This makes it easier to use the entire cutting length when cutting.


The straight edge of Santoku is perfect for gliding techniques. To do this, use a “pinch handle”. With this method, your thumb and index finger are used to grasp the blade’s tip. You have a lot of control over what you cut if you hold the blade near the handle.

They made a diagonal incision from the bottom to the front and from the rear to the top. After each cut, raise the knife and put it back in its original position. With this method, repetition is the key to success! It is one of the best cutting techniques once it is learned.

Compared to chef’s knives, santoku knives have an average blade length that is shorter. Typically, sizes range from 16 to 20 cm. Santoku is therefore particularly well-liked by professional and home cooks who favor shorter kitchen knives.


Friends and readers are often surprised to learn that this seemingly traditional knife is actually a modern blend of Japanese and European and American knives.

That’s why I love Santoku knives. They represent the genuineness and practicality of Japanese origin as well as the accuracy and functionality of German engineering in a knife.

If you are used to heavier chef’s knives (especially German ones), the Santoku is a surprisingly light but very comfortable knife. It is smaller than a typical chef’s knife and takes some getting used to.

But you know what people in the knife world are saying. You won’t turn back once you make the leap to a Mac.



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Tuesday, 09th August 2022
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