Take Your Pick: Chef’s Knife vs. Santoku Knife

If there's one knife you ought to have in your kitchen, it's either a chef's knife or a Santoku knife. We can help you decide which knife is right for you.

If there’s one knife you ought to have in your kitchen, it’s either a chef’s knife or a Santoku knife. Regardless of which one you choose, it can accomplish nearly any cutting task. (Though of course specialty knives may do the job better or faster, depending on the task.)

But should you get a chef’s knife or a Santoku knife? We’ll examine the features of each one to help shed some light on which knife could be right for you.

Chef’s Knife vs. Santoku Knife: Knife Design

You can easily see the difference between a chef’s knife and a Santoku knife, even without measuring the angle of the edge. Most notably, a chef’s knife has a rounded blade, while a Santoku knife has a straight blade.

Likewise, a chef’s knife typically has a longer blade than that of a Santoku knife. Chef’s knives range in size from six inches to over a foot, though the most common sizes are eight and ten inches. Santoku knives range in size from five to seven inches.

Chef's Knife vs. Santoku Knife: Key differences between these two types of knives.

While both types come to a point at the tip, the spine of a Santoku knife curves sharply downward to the tip. This is known as a sheep’s foot tip. The spine of a chef’s knife curves only slightly.

Chef’s Knife vs. Santoku Knife: Knife Function

Because a chef’s knife has a longer, more rounded blade than a Santoku knife, it cuts with a rolling motion. Conversely, the shorter and straighter blade of a Santoku knife gives it a “chop chop” feel when cutting.

This video clip illustrates the difference:

Some Santoku knives have more curve than others, which can give you that rolling motion of a chef’s knife along with other attractive Santoku features.

For example, in a study by Cooks Illustrated, testers preferred Santoku knives for more detail-oriented tasks. The thinner, shorter blade of a Santoku knife gave testers more control over the knife and allowed them to make more precise cuts.

On the other hand, those same testers leaned toward chef’s knives for mincing and chopping. The smooth rolling motion of that curved blade makes these tasks easier.

Chef’s Knife vs. Santoku Knife: Knife Price

The good news here is there’s not a price point difference between chef’s knives and Santoku knives of comparable quality. Choose the style that suits you better, and then shop within your budget.

We carry chef’s knives and Santoku knives from a variety of brands to fit any budget. From Victorinox on the economical end to Kikuichi on the lavish end, we’re sure to have a knife that meets your needs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *