Chef knife vs Santoku- Differences You Need to know

The western-style based Chef knife and the Japanese-style based Santoku knife have plenty of major differences. 

However, the main thing that differentiates between these two amazing knives is their blade edges as one is curved, and the other one is pointy.

It might sound strange that both of these knives have the same function. But, this function is based on the blade edges used in these knives. 

The vital responsibility of such blade edges is to chop, slice, cut, and dice the materials.

The purpose of this article is to provide you with information regarding these blade edges. Moreover, the other major differences between Chef knife and Santoku. 

Therefore, please ensure that you read the entire article. Here we go!

Major Differences between the Chief knife & Santoku knife:

Besides the main blade edge difference, there are plenty of other things that can differentiate between these two incredible knives. 

The given feature list contains all the major differences between these knives. So, make sure you read all the articles about these knives to clear up any specific confusions you may have regarding them.

1: Origin of the knives

The most basic difference that you must know about these knives is their origin. Let’s start with the origin of these knives;

Santoku Knives:

Santoku means three virtues, and it refers to cutting in three different ways. These incredible and versatile Santoku knives originated in Japan. 

The blade used in these knives is usually black and curves from the end into the main gripping handle.

Another amazing fact about the blade used for these knives is that it has no tip. This makes them a little thinner compared to the Chef knives. Therefore, they can be used much more efficiently for slicing and cutting items.

Chef Knives:

Meanwhile, chef knives originated in Germany and France. These knives are thick and have a sharp and dominant tip that curves upwards. The blade used in such knives is relatively thick or rigid and can make sharp slices.

This knife blade is generally larger than compared to the Santoku knife blade. Even though it has all the same functions as the original, it has the strength to perform its functions with accuracy as well.

2: Composition

Another major difference between the Chef and Santoku knife is their composition. No doubt, both of them are made from fine-quality metal or ceramics such as steel.

But, the best Santoku knife is made from a special kind of steel originating from Japan known as Honshu steel. Meanwhile, the chef knives include the use of normal and anti-rust steel for accurate cutting and slicing purposes.

3: Efficiency

Both chef’s knife and the Santoku knife are efficient to cut, dicing, and slicing various materials. Therefore, both of them are quick to cut foods and other vegetables.

However, the Santoku knives do not have any tips on the blade. Thus, they are quite sharp. 

Therefore, these knives are much more efficient in the cutting or slicing methods as compared to the chef knives which as relativity thick and less efficient or useful.

4: Size

Size is yet another major factor that has the potential to differentiate these two knives. The strength of a knife depends upon its size. As a result, users can easily use them for cutting and slicing tasks.

The Santoku knives are a little smaller than the Chef knives. As they stand about 8 inches. Meanwhile, the Chef’s knives are about 10 inches long. Therefore, they have perfect grip and movement.

5: Uses of such knives

Santoku knife: What is it used for?

Mostly, the Santoku knives are used for cutting meats, cheese, vegetables, herbs, nuts, and fish. Moreover, these knives also play a vital role in mincing or chopping these food materials.

Due to the thin and sharp blade, such knives play a huge role in slicing nearly every material. In addition, its balanced weight can also scoop the food from any cutting board into a specific tray or a plate. 

Chef’s knife: What is it used for?

Alternatively, Chef knives can also be used to slice or cut multiple materials in a variety of ways. 

But, due to its thick surface, it can not be used to scoop food into a specific plate. A knife of this type is used in a very different manner from a knife of a different type.

6: Strength & Power

As we know that the chef knives are relatively thick compared to the Santoku knives. Therefore, it is essential to apply a large force on them to cut through strong materials like bones and tendons.

However, the Santoku knives are thin and sharp. Therefore, not much force is required to cut through any food or material using these knives. As a result, we can say that the Santoku knives are more powerful than the Chef knives.

How to sharpen a Santoku knife?

Here are some ways you can sharpen your Santoku knives. Please take the time to read all of them. As a result, you will be able to create a highly efficient and versatile knife.

  1. Take a whetstone and soak it in the water.
  2. Tilt the knife at a certain angle.
  3. Rub the whetstone against the knife continuously.
  4. Repeat this process, until your knife, is double-beveled.
  5. Wash the knife and stone with cold water.
  6. Dry them with a cloth.

How to sharpen a Chef’s Knife?

After reading about the ways to sharpen your Santoku knives. It is now time for you to learn about the ways you can sharpen your Chef knife. 

  1. Place the knife and steel rod in a V-shape and rub them together.
  2. Choose a certain angle between 15-20 degrees.
  3. Expert pressure on both the steel rod and the knife.
  4. Repeat the process 10-20 times.
  5. Perform it on the opposite side also.
  6. Wash them with warm tap water.

Advantages and disadvantages of Chef & Santoku knives:

Mainly a big question that people often ask is, Do I need a Chef knife or a Santoku? Well, its answer is yes.

The biggest advantage you can get from this Chef knife is its large size. Meanwhile, a great benefit of the Santoku knife can come from its thin and sharp blade.

Moreover, the major disadvantage of the Chef knife is its thick blade and tip. Meanwhile, the Santoku knives also have a smaller size disadvantage compared to the Chef knives.


1: What is a better chef’s knife or a Santoku?

Santoku knives are better suited for cooking certain types of food, for example, fish, fruit, and vegetables with little meat. Chef’s knives are excellent for carving meat, cutting small bones, and chopping fruit and vegetables. 

For more information, you can see the factors we have given you in this upper Chef knife vs Santoku comparison.

2: How is a Santoku knife different from a chef’s knife?

In Chef knife vs Santoku, the Chef’s knives feature blade tips that cause the chef to rock the blade forward as they cut. 

A Santoku knife does not have a tip, so it can be cut downward. It is faster and more efficient to use the Santoku method instead of rocking.

3: Can a Santoku replace a chef’s knife?

In this comparison between the Chef knife vs Santoku, we have encountered that small-sized ingredients like onions, garlic, and green peppers require precision when cutting, dicing, and chopping with santoku knives. 

The straight edge makes them less versatile than French knives, which have curved edges.

Final Verdict:

In Victorinox Chef knife vs Santoku, we have plenty of reasons and factors that differentiate between these amazing knives. 

The Santoku knives are Japanese-based versatile and thin knives, that are used for cutting materials at a quick pace.

Meanwhile, a Chef knife is a western-based knife that is thick and used to cut through strong materials. 

As a result, of this comparison, we can say that the Santoku knives are much more efficient and durable compared to the Chef knives.

The information we have provided you in this article is intended to assist you in making informed decisions. Stay tuned for more articles and blogs related to this topic.

Read more articles on How to clean a rusted knife


Rafay Malik

Rafay Malik is a knife expert and writer who is very passionate about writing on knives, and also he is always trying to transform his knowledge to other people who love to explore knives. With years of experience in the field, he has developed a deep understanding of knives, and he is still exploring other types of knives.

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