Santoku vs Chef Knife – Which one is better and Why?

Many homemakers have questions in their mind about which knife to choose either Santoku or Chef knife. Since both of the knives seems similar to them but there is a very huge differences between them. They think both the works the same so in this article you will know about Santoku vs Chef Knife and which one is better or you kitchen. This will clear all the doubts related to both of the knives. Read the complete article and make your own judgement whether to buy Santoku knife, Chef Knife or both.

Santoku vs Chef Knife

What is a Santoku Knife?

Lets talk about the origin of the Santoku knife. The “Santoku” is a Japanese word and this knife is first made in Japan. Now it is worldwide popular knife used by many chef’s and homemakers in their kitchen.

Basically, a Santoku knife is a multipurpose knife which small blade length with no pointed tip unlike a chef knife. The length of the blade varies from 5 inches to 7.9 inches. Double edge spine with no bolster and lighter in weight.

Blade Type

Generally, the blade of a knife is made from two materials i.e. stainless steel and ceramic. Most of the chef and homemakers prefer stainless steel because of its durability and corrosion resistant properties. The most famous steel from which these knives forged are as follows:

  • Damascus or German stainless steel
  • Japanese AUG-10 Stainless Steel

Both the stainless steel knife are the good and the best Santoku knife is those which are forged from the single layer of stainless steel. The more is the number of layer greater will be the toughness, flexibility and incredible long time edge retention.

For example, if you see Dalstrong Shogun Series Santoku Knife  which contains 67 layers of Japanese super stainless steel. This means greater the number of layer more stronger will be the blade. You will see there is no bolster in the knife which makes it lighter. Since a bolster adds weight to the knife.

There are small hole or dimples on the blade edges of the santoku knife which gives air cushion while cutting the food ingredients. It prevents the food from sticking down to the blade.

Uses of Santoku Knife

There are three best uses of the santoku knife in your kitchen or resturant.

  • Slicing: Slicing is the procedure to cut big chunks of meat, fruits and vegetable into even slices. Even you can cut cheese slice through with this knife.
  • Dicing: Dicing is the process to cut fruits, vegetables, meat or poultry products into small uniform cubes and it is good at it.
  • Mincing: Mincing is process in which food ingredients are finely cut into smaller pieces such as meat or herbs. This knife is excellent at mincing.

What is a Chef Knife?

A chef knife is also a multipurpose knife. The origin of a chef knife is in Germany and France. Basically, a chef have a pointed tip at the end of the spine. This helps in rocking motion which many chef and home makers prefer while working in the kitchen.

Blade Type

The blade of a Chef knife ranges from 6 to 12 inches long. In common a blade length of 8 inches is preferred by the chefs and homemakers. But in come cases such as chef’s working in a restaurant uses 10 inches blade as well.

Here are the materials from which the blade of the chef knife are made.

  • Stainless steel
  • Ceramics
  • Carbon steel/Titanium

From all the above blade materials stainless steel blade are the best. The stainless steel blades are durable, corrosion resistant properties, easy washable and greater edge retention. One of the best kitchen chef knife is Dalstrong Gladiator Series which contains Japanese super steel and Military Grade handle. 8-12 degrees knife sharpening angle half bolster.

The uses of the chef knife similars to the Santoku but one thing you can do rocking motion easily which you cannot do in Santoku knife. Also you can cut meat easily with the chef which you can not do with Santoku.

Santoku vs Chef knife

Under this you will be able to distinguish well between the Santoku and Chef knife. First we will talk about the differences and then similarities. This will help you in choosing which one is better for your kitchen.


Santoku KnifeChef Knife
Not good for cutting frozen meat or bonesNot suitable for cutting big frozen meat may damage the knife edges.
Slicing, Dicing and Mincing can be done easilySlicing, Dicing and Mincing can be done easily


Santoku Knife Chef Knife
Length of blade varies from 5 to 7.9 inchesLength of blade varies from 6 to 12 inches
Does not contain any bolster May or may not contain bolster
Light in weight Relatively heavier than Santoku knife
Scalloped blade to prevent the food from sticking There are chances that food ingredients will stick to the blade
No pointed tipPointed tip at the end of the blade.
Holds perfectly for the smaller hands All type of hands whether small or large can work easily with this knife
Many professional chefs use single bevel knife Double bevel knife gives better performance
You can create very thin slices easily with this knifeYou can do this job with this knife
Good for those ingredients which require thin sliced and perfectly uniform ingredientsBetter way to use this knife is to cut through the dense ingredients such as melon squashes & vegetables

How to sharpen Santoku and Chef knife?

This is another aspect for a home maker or a chef to choose the knife. Ease of sharpening is matter an important procedure for ultimate sharpness. There are four methods through which you can sharpen your knife.

  1. Electric Knife Sharpener
  2. Honing Steel
  3. Manual Knife Sharpener
  4. Whetstone

Above the four knife sharpening methods the Whetstone is one of the best process to sharpen your knife. The best part of this method is that you will get optimum knife sharpening angle, better precision and accuracy. Here’s how you can use Whetstone at your home.

  • First, you need to put Whetstone in a bath for 15-30 minutes.
  • Second is leveling the Whetstone use a lower grit stone to level your higher grit stone. Move the grit stone evenly and you the whetstone is ready for sharpening.
  • Here are the recommended stones one is lower grit (between 1000 and 2000) and higher grit (between 7000 and 10,000).
  • There are two ways of sharpening the knife first one is Japanese way and second one is Western way.
  • In Japanese way, the knife is strictly held at 10-15 degrees angle all the time and the movement is back and forth.
  • In western way, the knife is held a 10-15 degrees angle and the movement is starts from back side and bring all over to the front(to the pointed tip).
  • Put some water on the Whetstone before sharpening.
  • Do this process for 3 times in a duration of 10 minutes on 1000 grit stone side.
  • Now use the 8000 grit stone side to give a good touch-up to your knife balde (3 times in a duration of  10 minutes).
  • This is how you can get an ultimate knife with 15 degrees blade angle on both sides.

Which one is better knife for your kitchen?

When it comes down to choosing between Santoku vs Chef knife. It’s a matter of personal preference and chopping style. Smaller-handed people might prefer the way the santoku feels in their hands as it’s light smaller and has a certain ease of handling while people with larger hands may prefer the chef’s knife due to its heft other way. Both knives have their uses in the kitchen making it a bonus when both are included in your kitchen knife set.

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