Santoku/Home Chef

Santoku/Home Chef

The Santoku is the other main multi-purpose knife in Japan, alongside the Gyuto. This is typically someone's first Japanese knife purchase unless they prefer slightly larger knives like the Gyuto/Chef.

Santoku typically range from ~165mm - ~180mm (6.5"-7"). Professionals tend to gravitate towards the longer lengths, and home users, those with smaller hands, or cramped kitchens tend to prefer the shorter lengths.

Santoku can have quite flat profiles (more edge contact with the board starting at the heel), with less belly, and a less pronounced tip vs. Gyuto/Chef knives, and are also generally taller for more of their length, giving them extended height. This profile shape allows Santoku to be slightly better geared toward chopping and push/pull cutting motions vs. the more forward rocking motion of a western Chef. The Santoku is sometimes colloquially called the Home Chef because its reduced length and less brittle tip vs. the Gyuto/Chef make it easier to use for the everyday user.

There is a variation on the Santoku profile with a clipped tip, called a Kiritsuke Santoku, although some people use the term Bunka (we use whichever term is used by the brand or craftsperson(s) when we label the knives). The tip is also known as a "K-tip", "diamond tip", "reverse tanto tip", and "kiritsuke tip," none of which should be confused with the Kiritsuke knife which is single bevel and a different knife entirely. This pointed tip allows for more adeptness and precision at the tip when needed, but is more brittle.

If this is a gift for someone it is a safer bet to choose a standard profile of shorter length, in stainless steel.


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