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SANTOKU OR CHEF - Santoku for what, how to choose a Japanese kitchen knife, reviews

Santoku translated from Japanese means "three virtues". Suitable for cutting, chopping greens and shredding. Damascus or stainless steel blade. The knife is reliable at first glance. Its "trump card" is a sharp cutting edge. But he is afraid of bones, porcelain, glass and hitting the same knife. Chips and breaks even if the blade is 6 mm wide.

The cutting edge of the "Japanese" is without bending. Therefore, the way to work with it is vertical movements. Basically, hack. Cuts like a razor and does not dull for 5 years. But when it becomes dull, it is useless to edit such a knife even on ceramic musat. Better to sharpen right away.

Which is better to choose: chef Santoku or Chef

By the chef, they cut, divide the joints and chop thin bones. The main criteria for it are a thin butt and a sharp blade.

Unlike Santoku, the chef's blade is made of medium-hard steel. Often stainless chrome-molybdenum vanadium, carbon steel, or zirconium ceramics. It does not rust, but requires frequent tweaking. Such a knife is less likely to chip. Would rather bend than break. The blade length of a typical European Chef is 15-30 cm.

According to the shape of the blade, it is customary to distinguish two subspecies of European Chefs - German and French.

  • For the "Germans" the blade bends evenly.
  • For the "French" it is straight, bending only closer to the edge.

One is not better than the other. They are sharpened for different cutting techniques.

Santoku is a mix of a Chef's knife and a hatchet for chopping vegetables and herbs - Nakiri. He has a short blade of 15-20 cm - hardened to a ringing and reduced to zero. The butt has a pronounced descent at the tip. The cutting part is straight. This gives Santoku close contact with the cutting board and with the food.

See the table which is better Santoku or Chef.



  • Blade 15-30 cm stainless steel
  • Convenient to cut, split joints and chop thin bones
  • Does not chip
  • Blade 15-20 cm from Damascus steel or stainless steel
  • Ideal for slicing, chopping herbs and shredding
  • Razor sharp
  • They sharpen every 5 years
"Minuses" Needs frequent editing
  • Edit is useless, worth re-sharpening
  • Breaks from bone, porcelain, glass and blow
  • Expensive sharpening from the master

See an overview of Victorinox knives

How to choose a Japanese kitchen knife

Choose one that is comfortable to hold. There is no point in chasing a long one. A large knife is more difficult to handle. Consider three parameters.

  • Handle

    It should fit the size of your palm. A small handle in a large hand or a bulky one in a small one creates discomfort. You will get tired quickly.

  • "Heel"

    Place the knife with the cutting edge on the board. Ideally, it should fit snugly. If the factory sharpening is not done neatly, the heel protrudes beyond the blade and forms a gap, like on a sirloin knife. When shredding, the knife blade will not cut the food completely.

  • Butt edge processing

    Edges that are not smoothed will quickly fill a bloody callus on your finger.

Japanese kitchen knives: reviews

vadel: «Santoku, no matter how much I tried, it is convenient for me only to chop vegetables».

Maxim, "177 mm (MR1466)": "It looks like a convenient hatchet. But the handle broke at the junction of metal with wood. Chopped up the chicken».

Vera, Maestro - zirconium ceramics: "Best kept separate from other knives and kitchen utensils. And not only so as not to spoil the knife, but also for the sake of the safety of the fingers».

Dmitriy, review Maestro - zirconium ceramics "127 mm (MR1475)": "Spicy, it is a pleasure to cut vegetables».

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