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Lifestyle and WellbeingWhich is Better, a Santoku or a Chef Knife?

Which is Better, a Santoku or a Chef Knife?

One of the important decisions that any form of cook, may it be a fine dining restaurant, a fast-food chain, or just a simple home cook, should pay much attention to is choosing the right kind of knife. Out of all the knives that exist in the market, two highly prized and valued in any kitchen are the Santoku knife and the chef knife. However, as Ken Onion’s kitchen knives have been illustrated above, the nature of the knives are rather similar, though their features depict the difference that would allow one to be used for one function in the kitchen and the other to be used for the other function as well. Here, we will compare the two types of knives with one another and look at the features of each and what kind of advantages and disadvantages it can offer you and your cooking, so you can decide which one can be used to better effect. The presented santoku knife vs chef knife comparison will assist in selecting the required item for buying and will definitely enhance the results of your culinary experiments.

Santoku Knife


Design and Features

Blade Shape

The Santoku knife is normally from medium to long with broad blades that are thinning at the cutting edge and has a curved end. The design whereby the ridges are sharp and very close to each other enables easy slicing, dicing or chopping without having to apply much force.


Santoku knives typically come in sizes between 150-200mm whilst the size of the contemporary chef knives are between 200-270mm. It is especially suitable for those who wish to wield a blade of a more moderate size and a manageable nature.


In most cases, a santoku knife is lighter than a chef knife and thus provides better and more comfortable control when being used, especially in cases where they are being used for long stretches of time. Due to this, it is very essential in reproduction activities, and it is Lo, among the most demanded across the globe by home cookery and professional chefs.


In many cases, santoku knives are anodized so that they have a granton edge, which is when there are dimples or scallops on the blade. This feature cuts down on the accumulation of food on the blades, enabling easy cutting and in the process is faster.

Cutting Style


Since Santoku is designed for a up and down chopping motion it is a perfect for precise straight cuts because of the flat of the blade. This style of knives is good fit for cutting operations such as slicing vegetables, cutting herbs as well as boning meats.

Considering the fundamental definition and characteristics of the Santoku knife, one can state that it is an efficient and necessary utensil in most cutting and chopping processes in the kitchen, especially for people who focus on the sharpness and maneuverability of the knife.

Pros of the Santoku Knife


The most outstanding benefits associated with the use of Santoku knife are as follows:


This is because with a flat edge, it is best suited for making precise straight cuts for detail and other sensitive work best suited to this knife. Of these, it is rather useful when used with such foods that need to be cut into uniform thickness or small dices like vegetables and herbs.


There is no doubt that Santoku knife is very useful and very handy when it comes to several knifing activities. Light work: It is particularly suitable for slicing, dicing, chopping or crushing vegetables, fruits and any kind of boneless meat. Another advantage of this knife is that its flat and broad blade can also be used to lift the chopped materials and move them from the chopping board to the cook-pot or pan, thus pointing more to its versatility.

Ease of Use

Unlike the chef knife who has a larger, heavier blade, the Santoku knife has certain advantages such as being lighter and easier to handle due to its shorter size. This makes it a good helmet for steady use, minimizing the crusher of the hands, especially when holding it for long. Another plus that needs mentioning is its compact size: it fits the hands well and wouldn’t be ideal for large hands, which is perfect for amateurs or cooks who have small kitchens or counters.

Drawbacks of the Santoku Knife

That said, there are also some drawbacks as pertain to the Santoku knife namely:

Rocking Motion

The kitchen knife, or the ‘Santoku,’ is not as ideal for the rocking motion typical of many Western culinary practices. Another drawback of its shallow blade profile is that it does not roll to and fro as well as a traditionally curved knife would, meaning that tasks such as mincing garlic or herbs are not as well-executed with this knife as they are with a chef knife.

Bone Cutting

Santoku knife is not very suitable for cutting through bones or extremely hard foods like vegetables. It has a sleeker look for those tight and streamlined cuts with an easier glide while it can lack the stamina to handle heavier food items that need a strong chop like chicken or butternut.

Chef Knife

Design and Features

Blade Shape

The chef knife is characterized by a curved shaped blade that narrows towards a sharp end. It has a cinch grip handle design that enables a diversity of cutting methods such as slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing.


There are commercially available knives intended for chefs and these range from 8-12 inches in length. A longer blade can handle large food particles and cutting tasks that require more preparation time, as it has more area on which to accomplish the cutting task on the food.


What makes it different from a Santoku knife is that it reads heavier, thus helpful in slicing through meatier foods. Extra weight enables one to cut through hard foods without applying much force and with a lot more precision as compared to when using a non-heavy knife.


Some Santoku knives are characterized by dimples on the edge, but a chef knife edge is polished and does not have such notches. This is a sharp edge that has smooth cutting edge thus perfectly suitable for cutting through various food items.

Cutting Style

As shown below, the curved blade of a chef knife grantees convenience for a rocking movement. There is a wide versatility of its use in the kitchen and this tool is used for activities like mashing of herbs, chopping of vegetables and slicing of the meats. It also prevents the knife from lifting from the cutting board surface during slicing, chopping or any form of cutting making it easier to control and increase the rate of slicing or cutting.

Due to its unique design and functionality, the chef knife can be seen as one of the most important tools in a kitchen as it is useful in many diverse scenarios at the same time.

Advantages of Chef Knives


Remarkably, both the food preparers and the cooks can easily rely on this tool since it is effective in slicing, dicing, chopping, as well as mincing foods to be used in most of the culinary jobs in the kitchen.


For example, the unique curved shape of the blade enables the rocking motion, and with time prepares several items would be faster.

Durability: The blade is much heavier and thicker than the previous cutting edge and is capable of being used to chop bones as well as hard vegetables.

Disadvantages of Chef Knife


The feature of heavier weight may sometimes be a challenge for thee users.


Since it is longer in length, it can be somewhat cumbersome when used by those who possess small hands or the amount of counter space they have is limited.


Both the Santoku knife and the chef knife have these and many more attributes that qualifies them to be of great essential and use to anyone who prepares his or her meals. Thus, the Santoku knife would be more appropriate for having better control where straight cuts are important and in areas where a lot of vegetables, fruits and boneless meats are prepared. On the other hand, due to the firmness of the chef knife, the knife is an all-purpose knife that can be used in almost all tasks with ease and efficiency especially with the rocking motion and is even capable of accomplishing the task of boning.

All in all, you are left with deciding what fits your needs, your hands, and your desire to deal with pots and pans the most. In conclusion, while some people believe that only one of the handles is better, in fact, for most people, it is desirable to have both such knives in their arsenal, using the strengths of each of the handles to improve the gastronomic experience. Through use of both knives, you can be able to compare the two and establish which best fits your operations as it offers the most comfort and velocity while in the kitchen preparing your meals.

Sam Allcock
Sam Allcock
With over 20 years of experience in the field SEO and digital marketing, Sam Allcock is a highly regarded entrepreneur. He is based in Cheshire but has an interest in all things going on in the North West and enjoys contributing local news to the site.
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