A Santoku knife is an all-purpose knife.
This was invented in Japan around 1940.
The word santoku means 3 uses.
Meat, fish, and veggies.
One santoku knife can deal with a variety of ingredients.
1. Santoku knife is the R2D2 in the knife world
He is capable of a lot of stuff. LIke flying a spaceship, extinguishing fire, spying etc..
The shape of a santoku knife even looks like him. Right?
When I was a student, I had a small santoku knife.
I used to use it for everything.
I remember the time, after I went fishing at a lake in the spring, and I brought back the fish.
And then I cleaned them using this santoku knife.
It was my first time cleaning a fish. At the time, I didn’t have a lot of knives.
I made tempura at the time.
If you think one knife is enough for your kitchen…
2. A santoku will be the one
This is because a santoku knife can do so many kinds of work.
You can use it for cutting meat, fish, veggies, and you can also peel the skin of fruits and veggies.
It is a relatively small size for a knife, but the edge that actually cuts is pretty long,
So you can cut large veggies like cabbage comfortably.
If you have never owned any knives,
I recommend getting a santoku knife for your first knife.
3. The blade of a santoku knife is short and wide
Like the picture above.
The tip is not that sharp compared to gyuto or sujihiki knives.
The blade has a double bevel.
And the blade edge has a more straight line towards the cutting board.
4. The length of the blade a Santoku knives is 6.5 to 7 inches(16.5 to 18 cm)
This 6.5 to 7 inch length is exquisitely good.
Do you know why?
This is because this length is not too long and not too short for home cooking.
You can deal with a lot of tasks on your cutting board without stress.
5. The ideal weight of a santoku knife is 0.5 to 0.7oz (130 to 200 grams)
If your knife is too light, you need extra strength to push your knife in order to cut food.
Having a weight on the blade makes cutting easier.
If your knife is too heavy, your hand gets tired while you are cooking.
So it is ideal for the knife to have some nice weight.
And I recommend picking a knife that has 0.5 to 0.7oz.
6. A Santoku knife is a mixture of a gyuto knife and a nakiri knife.
The tip side blade has the characteristic of gyuto, and the heel side of the blade has the characteristic of a nakiri knife.
A nakiri knife is a knife that was widely used for cutting leaves.
Before meat-eating diet was introduced by the West,
Japanese people mainly used this nakiri knife and deba knife for fish.
But you can’t use them for cutting meat.
Instead, a gyuto knife was introduced to cut meat.
Therefore they needed to have multiple kitchen knives.
Switching multiple knives depending on the ingredients was too much effort for a homecook.
This is the reason why santoku knives were invented.
7. Santoku vs Gyuto
While gyuto has a larger curve on its edge, Santoku has a smaller curve on its edge.
The edge of a santoku knife looks straight compared to a gyuto knife.
In addition, a santoku knife has a wider blade.
These characteristics of a santoku knife make slicing vegetables a lot easier.
This is because a santoku knife is designed to use by pushing straight down.
And the edge of the santoku can cover a longer length to cut.
When you use a gyuto knife, you push or pull back and forth in order to cut ingredients.
It makes a gyuto knife the best option when cutting meat.
8. A santoku is smaller than a gyuto knife
Usually, the length of a gyuto knife is 6.5 to 9.5 inches(18 to 24 cm), and…
The length of a santoku knife is 6.5 to 7 inches(16.5 to 18 cm).
9. Santoku vs Nakiri
These knives have the same way of cutting.
You push straight down when you cut some ingredients.
A nakiri knife is heavier than a santoku knife.
This is because the blade of a nakiri knife has the same width from the tip to the heel.
You can use this weight to cut veggies. But…
A santoku knife is better at precise jobs.
This is simply because a nakiri knife doesn’t have a sharp point.
10. Here is the comparison table of santoku, gyuto, and nakiri knives…
Seeing this table, a santoku knife cherry-picked these pros of gyuto and nakiri knives.
Santoku knives are well balanced.
And if you want to have one knife in your kitchen,
A santoku knife will be the ideal option.
Santoku knives are good at…
This is because it has a longer straight edge.
This is also because of the straight edge.
It prevents these cucumber slices from being connected on the bottom.
You don’t need strength to cut:
This is because a santoku knife has a wider and heavier blade.
11. Santoku is good at cutting soft ingredients:
Like tofu, cake, jelly, mousse, or puddings.
This is also because a santoku knife has a wide blade and straight shaped edge.
If you use a thin knife,
The spine of the blade ruins the shape of jelly like ingredients when you pull up the knife..
12. But there are some weak spots of santoku knives
A santoku knife is an all-purpose knife, so if you have this in your kitchen, you can cook without problems.
13. A santoku knife can’t beat specialized knives
Santoku knives do all jobs well.
The score of this knife will be…
7 out of 10 for cutting meat,
6 out of 10 for cutting fish,
And 9 out of 10 for cutting veggies.
14. Do you know the reason why?
This is because…
For meat and fish, having pointier tips on the blade makes the cooking process easier.
So sujihiki or gyuto knives do a better job for dealing with meat,
Deba and yanagiba knives do a better job for dealing with fish,
15. However: Santoku knife is actually enough for your kitchen
This is because…
You usually purchase packed fish or meat from a supermarket.
You don’t need to filet fish.
And you don’t need to get rid of bone from a big block of meat.
So those cons that you’ve read about can’t be problems.
16. Santoku knives are easier to sharpen
When you sharpen this knife on a whetstone, you have more space to hold the blade.
Because a santoku knife has a wide blade.
If the blade is not wide enough, there is more possibility that your finger touches the stone.
And whetstone scratches your finger, and it hurts.
But you don’t have to worry about scratching your fingers on a santoku knife.
17. Santoku knife is easier to keep the shape
Compared to other kinds of knives, a santoku knife has a well balanced shape.
It has a longer width on the blade,
So the length of the knife edge won’t be easily shortened by sharpening.
While other kinds of knives can be shortened in a few years.