Santoku knives: Who and why?

Santoku can be translated as “three virtues” in Japanese. This is the place where Santoku knives were made. These three virtues are what the homepage Santoku Knives were made for: slicing/dicing and mending.

Santoku knives can be closely compared with western Chefs knives. They are also available in many sizes. The Western Chef knife’s blades have a shorter blade and a more pointed tip. People like the narrow cleaver design of the Western Chef’s knife, and they use it for all blade needs.


Santoku knife are available in various sizes. Most commonly, they come in between five to eight inches. The non-cutting edges of the Santoku knives are flat. The Sheep’s feet blade, also known as the cutting edges, curves in creating an almost 60-degree tip. The handle’s upper is aligned to the blade’s flat edge.

The tip of the sheep’s feet provides a more straight cutting edge that a chef’s knife. It also restricts rocking motion. Santoku knives can be more efficient at “chopping”. The knife must be trimmed from the tip to the heel. This is not a common practice for Chef’s knives.

The Santoku Japanese knives are balanced. The handle has been designed to match both the blade’s weight and width. This allows them to co-exist in perfect harmony.


Western kitchen knives should be sharpened to an angle between 40-45 degrees. Japanese knives are sharpened to a point that resembles a chisel tip. This means they can be sharpened one-side to a tip like a Chinese chisel, while Western knives only have two cutting edges. Santoku knives come in a mix of both the Western and Japanese traditional styles. They have a Western bi-lateral edge with the Japanese traditional 12-15° blade angle.

To maintain sharp edges, all Japanese knives including the Santoku are made out of hardened iron. It keeps the blade from rolling and helps keep it sharp. For hardened and thin metals, the risk of chipping increases. Fine knives need to be stored properly and taken care of.

Santoku knives need less maintenance and can last for a longer time than Western knives. It will be easier to sharpen Western knives than for average users, but they will need more frequent sharpening.

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