Santoku knife vs Chef knife | Differences | KNR

In this article, we will be explaining the differences between a Santoku and a Chef’s knife. Both the Santoku and the chef’s knife are good knives the real question is which one is better for you. Here is a brief summary, the Santoku is an adaption of the Western Chef’s knife but then catered to the Japanese cutting style. Let’s jump to know about Santoku knife vs chef knife.

Difference Between a Chef’s Knife and Santoku Knife


sharpest chef knife




The chef’s knife has a sharper point but the santoku is more rounded at the spine. Therefore the Chef’s knife is a better solution if you pierce through food like lobsters which have a hard shell.


If you look at the spine the chef’s knife has a thicker spine than the santoku, this also indicates the differences between the chef’s knife and the Santoku usage.

The Chef’s knife is a sturdier knife, than the santoku and a great workhorse for thought food like melons or going through smaller bones. The Santoku is a lot thinner and better for less though food which requires less force. The weight is also noticeable different the Chef’s knife is a lot heavier which helps to go through tougher food.

Curvier blade

Since the santoku primary cutting style is an up and forward motion, you want it to be lighter. In order to make the chef’s knife, less tiring for your hand they have a curvier blade profile with a back heavy balance point. This accommodates the rocking motion of the chef’s knife and since the knife. The Santoku on the other hand is lighter and has a straighter profile. Since it is lighter thinner and sharpened at a lower angle it will have a sharper performance than the chef’s knife.

Which knife is lighter or heavy between the Santoku knife vs Chef’s knife?

what is lighter and heavier knife





However, a thinner and lighter blade results in a less sturdy knife and not ideal for a heavy workload. Since the primary cutting style is the up and forwards motion you need a straighter profile to make more contact with the cutting board. You also want the balance point to be in the middle at the point where you grip the knife this will help in reducing fatigue on your arm. In short, if you are preparing tougher food like melons, lobsters and need to go through smaller bones then the Chef’s knife is the better option.

Note: But keep in mind that the primary cutting style is a rocking motion which not everyone likes and requires more practice.

What is the Best knife for home cooks?

Nowadays we can buy a lot more pre-sliced food in the supermarket and your local butcher sells boneless meat and more. Therefore reducing the need for a sturdier knife for the majority of the home cooks. And that is why a sharper performing knife like the Santoku is more suitable for home cooks. The limitation of the Santoku is the length which is usually 7 inches or lower which is not ideal for most professional cooks. And because of the straighter and thinner knife, there is less splitting effect so food will stick more on a Santoku than a Chef’s knife.

Lower angle knife and Higher angle knife

Therefore you will see a lot of Santoku’s that offer Grantons which will result in less sticking of food. Because of the lighter knife and straighter profile on the Santoku they can get away with a lower factory angle that won’t have a high impact on the edge retention. So a lower angle does not mean it is a better knife since the Santoku is used on softer less though food and therefore a sharper performance is better.

The Chef’s knife has a higher angle because it has more impact on the cutting core due to its weight and curved profile. So a lower sharpening angle will result in a knife that will lose its edge faster. And since you use it on tougher food a higher angle is recommended. In other words, a lower angle does not mean that the knife is better in the case of the Chef’s knife the lower factory angle is not a benefit. I will cover more about the sharpening angle in my sharpening guide.

That’s it for this article “Santoku knife vs Chef knife ” if you have any questions if I helped you in making a decision or other opinions leave them in the comment section below. Thank you for reading attentively and I see you in the next article.


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By Lincoln

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