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Santoku Knives

Santoku knives are essentially Asian chef’s knives - the most commonly used in the kitchen. The word ‘Santoku’ means ‘three virtues’ or ‘three uses’ – traditionally chopping, dicing and mincing. A Santoku knife will typically feature a Granton edge, where the blade has small indents throughout its length to help prevent food from sticking to it during preparation. 

Santoku knives are usually between 11 and 20cm long, and have thinner blades than everyday chef’s knives to allow for increased precision when slicing and cutting. Most Santoku knives are made from harder steel than ordinary chef’s knives – either stainless steel or high-carbon steel – allowing them to be sharpened to a very fine angle of approximately 10 to 15 degrees. 

Santoku Knives


What are Japanese Santoku knives best for?

Santoku knives are great all-rounders, and can chop, dice and mince effortlessly when kept sharp. They’re perfect for precision cutting tasks, so if you’re looking to slice things into fine, wafer-thin pieces, a Santoku is the knife for you. 

How do you sharpen a Santoku knife?

We recommend using a whetstone to sharpen your Santoku knives. Whetstone sharpening creates a sharper knife edge than other methods, whereas using a sharpening steel can damage the thin steel of a Santoku. To find out more about how to use different types of knife sharpener, read our blog post on how to sharpen your knives.

What’s the difference between a Santoku and a European chef’s knife?

The edge of a Santoku is straight, compared to a European chef’s knife, as Asian chefs tend to use an up and down chopping motion, lifting the entire knife off the chopping board, compared to the rocking motion favoured by European chefs. Santoku knives also usually have ‘flutes’ (indents) above the edge. This is to create an air pocket between the blade and whatever is being cut, meaning moist foods (such as sushi) fall away from the blade easier instead of sticking.

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