Just imagine, one knife can perform all tasks, from chopping to slicing to dicing. In addition, it can be used not only in Japanese kitchens, but in any kitchen. It is indeed the mighty Santoku that we are discussing.

There is no denying the popularity of the Santoku. The purpose of this article is to introduce you to santoku and allow you to decide if it is something you would be interested in. Let’s get started.

Santoku knife

Historical perspective

The Santoku knife (Japanese: 三徳包丁; “three virtues” or “three uses”) is a multi-purpose kitchen knife that originated in Japan. The first santoku knives appeared after World War II as an alternative to traditional vegetable cleavers, called “nakiris.” A friendly “sheep’s foot” tip curved down toward the edge to form a gentle point to complement the height and straight edge of nakiri knives. According to some, santoku means three virtues – meat, fish, and vegetables, while others interpret it to mean chopping, slicing, and dicing. It is a wise choice to purchase a santoku knife if you are looking for a knife that will serve all purposes.


There is a distinct difference between the Japanese santoku knife and its Western counterpart in size. The Japanese santoku knife is shorter, averaging five to eight inches in length, and it has a more balanced weight distribution. An average santoku knife blade measures approximately the length of the hand. This makes it more convenient for chefs with smaller hands, as it is lighter than a chef’s knife.

Weight and shape

The boxy build of santoku knives adds the weight necessary to make a good kitchen knife, because they were inspired by chunky cleavers, which adds weight to a shorter knife. This knife’s nice, hefty hand feel comes from Japanese steel, which is heavier than Western steel. This knife has a less pronounced point and almost 100% straight cutting edge which allow pointy tip not to interfere with a clean slice, and you have less risk of accident. As a result of its shape, it is also ideal for a swift downward chop as well as most other cutting tasks. This is not a very good choice for repetitive slicing since it does not provide a fluid rocking motion.


A traditional Japanese knife, such as a santoku, is sharpened to 12 to 15 degrees and has a single bevel. On the other hand, Western knives typically have a double-bevel and are usually cut at a 20 to 30-degree total angle. Ultimately, it’s all about slicing your ingredients into the right sizes. Santoku knives are designed to cut thin slices of meat, seafood, cheese, fruit, and vegetables, which is fundamental for most Japanese dishes.

Steel for Santoku

Stainless steel is the most common material used for Santoku knives, however ceramic or high carbon steel are also available. Due to its numerous long-term benefits, high-carbon steel is our preferred material: it is stronger, more durable, and maintains its sharpness longer than other materials. As a kitchen tool that is frequently used as frequently as a santoku, knives made from high-carbon steel already have a upper hand for having a sharper blade.


Finally, we must consider the price factor. Despite the fact that the Santoku is an all-purpose knife, you should not have to break the bank to obtain one. In recent years, many new companies have created incredible, high-quality kitchen tools at reasonable prices, and you can easily find a great santoku knife for less than $200.


It is important
to remember that a Santoku knife was originally designed for home cooks,
despite the fact that it might seem like it is more appropriate for a
professional chef. A Santoku knife is no different from any other knife in that
it will need to be sharpened from time to time, but the process is relatively
straightforward. Furthermore, it is lighter, which means you have to exert very
little effort while using it.

 With that in
mind, we conclude our presentation today. I hope that you have gained a better
understanding of Santoku from this article.