Who Uses Santoku Skeves and Why?

Santoku literally means “three virtues” and is found in Japan, the country where Santoku knifes are made. In this case, the three virtues represent the three tasks that Santoku knives are meant to do: slicing dicing and mincing, next page.

Santoku knives could be closely compared with western Chefs knives. These knives can also be used in similar situations. While the Santoku knives are generally smaller and lighter than the Chef’s knives, they come in many sizes. The Western Chef’s knives have a thicker blade that is less pointed at their tips. Some people have compared it with a narrow chef’s knife. They like the full use of it.


Santoku knife sizes vary from 5 to 8 inches. The non-cutting blade is flat. The cutting edges, known as Sheep’s feet blades, curve in and produce a sharp 60-degree tip. The handle’s upper edge aligns with that of the blade’s flat top.

The “Sheep’sfoot” tip is more precise than a Chef’s knife and limits “rocking”. Santoku users prefer “chopping” motions. This knife is best used in a downward-cutting motion, from heel to tip.

The Santoku Japanese knife has been praised for being one of Japan’s most balanced. The blade and handle are made to match in width and weight the tang, which allows them to work in perfect harmony.


Western kitchen knives can have a sharpness (or blade angle) of 40 to 45°. Japanese knives differ from western knives in that they can be sharpened to a fine point with a chisel. Also, they have a more sharpening on one end than Western knives that feature bilateral cutting edges. Santoku knives, which are hybrids, incorporate the Western side-cutting edge while keeping the Japanese 12- to 15-degree blade angle.

For Japanese knives, including Santoku, hardened stainless steel is essential to keep the edge sharp. This helps preserve the blade’s sharpness and protects against any potential for rolling. This reduces the risk of chips in hardened or thin steel. Proper storage and care are therefore even more important for fine knives.

Santoku knives last longer and therefore require less care than Western knives. Western knives are generally easier to sharpen, and will have to be sharpened less often.