You probably own at least one knife in your kitchen already. Whether it’s large chef knife or a smaller santoku knife, there’s probably no need for another because you’ll never use the extra one for the same purpose. At the same time, when purchasing a knife, you might want to understand what’s the differences between certain blade shapes and sizes, functionalities, and more. To help you with that, here are the differences between the santoku vs chef knife.
Santoku vs Chef Knife: The Differences
Santoku knife ( 三徳包丁 or “three uses” or 文化包丁) has become popular among cooks and chefs in recent years. Basically, it is a general-purpose knife that is originated from Japan, typically measuring around 13 – 20 cm in length. These knives are known for their versatility and ease of use, making them a perfect choice for those just starting in the kitchen. The Santoku knife is also ideal for professionals looking for an alternative to their standard chef’s knife.
While similar in appearance and function to the chef’s knife, there are a few differences between these two types of knives that set them apart. Here are some of the basic things you need to know about these two blades:
Unlike western knives, which have a curved blade, santoku knives have a straight blade with a flat bottom edge, making it easier to rock the knife while cutting through food items without damaging them. The western-style chef’s knife has an angled blade, making it more suitable for chopping through bones than santoku knives.
Santoku knives are lighter than western-style chef’s knives because they don’t have much heft on their sides compared to western-style chef’s knives, whose blades extend beyond their handles, making them heavier than santokus. However, this doesn’t mean that santokus are not suitable for heavy-duty tasks because their blades are made from high-quality steel, which can withstand heavy use without bending or breaking easily, unlike cheap ones made from low-quality materials like carbon steel.
The Santoku knife can be used to chop, slice and dice just about anything you need it to do. It makes a great kitchen tool if you are looking for something that will do many different tasks at once and provide you with convenience during meal preparation. The chef’s knife can also be used to chop and dice food items, but it is better suited for chopping meat or vegetables than a santoku knife because of the angle at which its blade sits on the cutting board.
The most apparent difference between santoku knives and chef knives is the shape of their blades. A santoku knife has a long and thin blade, while a chef knife has a large thick blade. The blade shapes have been designed for different purposes during cooking activities.
The length of the blade also varies between these two types of knives. A santoku knife has a shorter blade than its counterpart, making it easier to use when cutting vegetables or fruits into small pieces. The longer chef knife provides more leverage when you need to chop large items such as meat or potatoes before cooking them in your kitchen or dining area with friends or family members around you.
Santoku knives are traditionally made with a wooden handle and a stainless steel blade. The handle is usually relatively small to facilitate ease of use and comfort.
On the other hand, a chef’s knife can have either a wooden or plastic handle, depending on the manufacturer. Some manufacturers offer both wooden and plastic handles for their chef knives. The handle material is one of the most important factors when choosing the right chef knife. Chef knives have handles that are made of one or more materials. Some of these materials are:
Wood is a traditional material used in making kitchen tools, such as cutting boards and butcher blocks. Most chefs prefer wooden handles because they are lightweight and comfortable to hold. Wood also helps absorb any impact from cutting hard foods like carrots and potatoes. However, wood has one major drawback: it’s not very durable. If you’re looking for a chef knife with a wood handle, make sure it’s constructed from something other than hardwood (such as oak or maple).
Plastic is another standard kitchen tool used to make chef knife handles. Plastic handles are less expensive than those with other materials, but they are also lighter, making them easier to handle without fatiguing your hands or wrists. You should avoid using plastic for chopping because it can dull your blades quickly if not appropriately maintained. In addition, plastic will warp under extreme heat, so it isn’t ideal for high-heat applications. It’s best suited for slicing through meat and poultry.
Santoku knives are one of the most popular types of kitchen knives. They are versatile, lightweight, and have a curved blade that allows you to use them for chopping, slicing, dicing, and mincing. While there are many different types of santoku knives on the market, they all have three essential characteristics:
- Curved Blade: The curved blade makes it easier to chop food without changing your grip while using the knife. The curve cuts food into thin slices or dice items into small cubes.
- Thin Blade: Santoku knives have thin blades that allow you to cut through food without applying much pressure on the blade. This makes them great for slicing delicate foods like raw fish or tender vegetables like carrots, celery, or bell peppers. The thin blades also help prevent over-cutting when cutting thicker pieces of meat or poultry so that you don’t end up with too thin pieces after cooking them in a pan or an oven.
- Dull Edge: The dull edge means you won’t need to sharpen your knife as often since it won’t get worn down as quickly as other blades with sharper edges.
The main difference between santoku and chef knives is their shape and size. While chefs use these knives to cut meat, fish, and vegetables into different shapes, santoku knives are more miniature than chef knives.
Santoku vs. Chef Knife: The Functionalities
The difference between a Santoku knife and a chef knife is that a santoku has a straight edge while a chef knife has an angle. The most crucial difference between the two knives is their functionality. A santoku knife can be used for chopping vegetables, but it works best on small pieces of food such as celery or carrots. It also works well for slicing meat and fish.
A chef’s knife can be used for chopping vegetables, but it works best on large pieces of food such as potatoes or onions. The sharper angle allows you to cut through tough vegetables like squash and root vegetables without breaking your knuckles on them.
Santokus tend to be lighter than chef’s knives because they don’t have as much steel, making them easier to use when cutting through hard ingredients like squash or root vegetables. They also tend to be shorter and more compact than chef’s knives, making them perfect for smaller hands or smaller kitchens where there isn’t much counter space. Here are functionalities that set these two knives apart:
Chef Knives Are Used for Chopping Vegetables
A chef’s knife chops vegetables, fruits, and other ingredients. It has a straight edge that can slice through most foods with ease. A Santoku knife has a slightly curved blade best suited for chopping vegetables.
Santokus Have a Lower Center of Gravity
A Santoku knife has a lower center of gravity than other knives. This makes it easier to use and safer to handle when compared to chef’s knives or cleavers. A chef’s knife or cleaver may be heavier than a Santoku knife, but they are also longer and have more weight at the blade’s tip. This makes them more challenging to use when trying to slice or chop food items on top of a cutting board or countertop surface.
Santokus Are Good for Mincing
Santoku knives are excellent for mincing because they have wider blades than chef knives. The broader blades allow you to cut through food items more easily without exerting too much effort.
A santoku knife resembles most traditional chef knives. The most significant difference between the two is the blade width. Santoku knives have a wider blade that adds stability while chopping and dicing food. Its edge is more on the dull side, which makes it easier to chop food with it. It also has a straighter edge compared to the curved ones of kitchen knives. A santoku knife is excellent for cutting more minor ingredients like onions, carrots, and tomatoes, just like a chef knife. It’s also handy when slicing and dicing fruits and fish.