Santoku vs Chef Knife – Which is best used for?

Santoku vs Chef Knife: The people who have at least worked once in a kitchen know that chef knives and santoku knives are the most famous knives throughout the world. People often search for Santoku vs Chef Knife to get a comparative study between these two knives.

Because their performance in particular areas is a major concern among the people. Both the knives are extremely helpful in almost all kitchen tasks. They have many similarities and in some cases, they work differently but that does not make them any less. You may have used different types of knives but not all the knives perform as good as these two.

In this article, I have discussed in-depth the usage of a santoku knife and chef knife. You will get a detailed study of their origins, types, differences in between, and some other related issues. I hope this will let you have a better understanding of both the knives. So, let’s get started.

Santoku vs Chef Knife

When you go to study the types of knives and their uses you will notice that the most popular kitchen knives are the Santoku knives and the chef knives. The comparison may be renamed as Santoku vs Gyuto as well. But the purpose is to find out the similarities and dissimilarities between these two and come to a conclusion about which one is a better option.

Santoku Knife

You might have already guessed the origin of this knife. Yes, this handy and in most cases pragmatic knife originates from Japan. Like most other Japanese knives or blades, the Santoku Japanese Knife is also lighter. We don’t see the western knives to be as lightweight as this. Santoku knife uses are cutting fish, soft vegetables, etc.

Manufacturers put more emphasis on finesse than the power of the knife. So, the knife has a thin blade and a sharp cutting edge. Moreover, there are knives with hollow edges. Granton edge knives help lower the friction. As a result, the vegetable doesn’t stick to the knife while slicing or dicing.

The Chef Knife

On the other hand, Chef Knives are the western knives that originated in European countries. But most knives are made in Germany. The American chefs mostly prefer chef knives to use for common tasks in the kitchen. A regular chef knife has heavy blades traditionally. Unlike Japanese Santoku knives, the purpose here is to cut tough meat and bones.

Similarities and Differences

As I said earlier, there are some similarities and dissimilarities between professional chef knives and Santoku knives. To comprehend the matter easily I have separated these below.

The Cut Types

Well, you can perform all sorts of cutting tasks with both of these knives. If you read a Santoku knife review you will find the different Santoku knife uses and the chef knives. The similarities are clear here. You can comfortably cut fish, meat, fruits, and vegetables with both the knives. You can perform Slicing, dicing, mincing, and chopping using these two types of knives. As far as these matters are concerned, these two knives are pretty similar in use.

Blade Thickness/Weight

The discussion of Nakiri vs Santoku vs Chef knife is incomplete without mentioning their thickness or weight. Chef knives, or in other words western knives have thick blades and weigh heavier. As there is an additional weight of metal usually western knives are bulky. Because of the heavyweight, you can force cut the foods, fruits, or any kind of vegetables. On the other hand, any knife on the Santoku Knife Set is thinner and lighter. However, you can have a delicate cut with these knives.


The Santoku knife is known for its sharp edge. On average Santoku knives have 15 degrees sharp edges. In contrast, most of the best chef knives have 20 degrees of edges.

Blade length

The difference between these two knives stretches to the length of the blade as well. The average length of a chef knife is usually longer than a santoku knife. The length is 8-10” for a chef knife or it may be even longer. Whereas a standard Japanese Santoku knife is of 7” or smaller in size.


The Santoku knives come up with super steel. The ultra-hard steel protects the knife from getting a fracture. On the other side, thick blades on chef knives make it a bit softer.


Though the size of the knives is different the way you grip the knife handle is quite similar. Because of the size and shape, your motion may change. You have to keep up-down or down-forward motion while using a Santoku knife. However, you have to apply rocking motion while using a chef knife.

Difference in Features

Santoku knives

  • Japanese origin
  • No tip on the blade
  • Thinner blades
  • A standard weight
  • Lighter
  • Comes up with different sizes

Chef Knives

  • German and French origin
  • Broad blades
  • Heavier in weight
  • Comes with a Granton edge
  • Comes up with different sizes from 6” to 12”

The Best Uses of the Santoku Knife And Chef Knife

As I said earlier, you can use both knives for almost every cutting purpose in the kitchen. However, the best chef knives are those that will make your cutting job comfortable and easy. Utility knife uses vary in many ways. No matter what kind of knives you are using whether a fancy chef knife or Victorinox chef knife the purpose is to cut or chop meat, vegetables, etc.

Here you will get a list of tasks that these two knives are best at. You can have a firm idea from this list about the uses of Santoku knife and chef knife and the discussion Santoku vs vegetable knife or Rocking Santoku vs chef knife will come to an end.

Santoku Knife Uses

  • Slicing Cheese
  • Dicing, cutting, and chopping fruits and vegetables.
  • Cutting meat
  • Mincing meat
  • Slicing kinds of seafood

Chef Knife Uses

  • Cutting meat with bones
  • Slicing and disjointing beef or chicken meat.
  • Complex cutting
  • Slicing fruits
  • Slicing cheese

Final Words on Santoku vs. Chef Knife

To wrap up the discussion we have to agree that none of the knives is superior to any other. In most cases, the cooks or chefs use both knives as their comfort. You can say both complements each other in different situations. However, people will still make arguments like Santoku vs Chef Knife. The discussion may go on and on. But one thing is clear that the users of these two knives are satisfied with both of them. Because both knives are handy.