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Old 05-29-2006, 11:05 PM   #1
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Santoku vs. Chef Knife

I was looking at purchasing a knife set today. Bed Bath & Beyond has the following:

Shun: 8" chef, 3" paring, 6" Utility, Shears, sharpening steel and block for $300.

Henckel S Series: 8" Chef, 3.5" Paring, 6" utility, 8" Carving, sharpening steel and block for approximately $260

Wusthof Classic: 6" Sandwich, 5" Utility, 8" Chef, 3" Paring, sharpening steel, shears and block.

My first actual question is whether these blocks are a good deal. The savings on the stuff they DO include are enormous, but each set has something I don't really want. The knives I want are a 8" chef, 3" paring, a cheaper bread knife (I don't think expensive is necessary here), maybe a boning knife and maybe a santoku. Any thoughts here?

I've also observed a sudden popularity in santoku knives. But they seem very similiar to traditional chef's knives. Are they a replacement? And if so, which is superior: the chef's knife or the santoku?

Any comments are welcome.


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Old 05-30-2006, 07:24 AM   #2
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Have you tried out any of these knives? That's key to making a good choice. The knife must feel comfortable in your hand.

Check out earlier threads in the knife forum. There's a load of really good info there.

As far as savings for a set is concerned, you have to decide if you want to pay for a knife you don't want to get a discount on knives you do want. Do the math. If you buy just the knives you want from open stock at full price, is it cheaper than the set discounted?

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Old 05-30-2006, 07:54 AM   #3
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Because a chefs knife has more of a curve to it, it is better at rocking back and forth when chopping then the Santoku will be. The Santoku is thinner than a chefs knife so it will be a little better at slicing.

These differences are not very big though. You can still slice very well with a good chefs knife and you can still use a rocking motion with a Santoku.

I have a 10" chefs and a 7" Santoku. I primarily use the chefs and could do without the Santoku, but I do enjoy using it for some things like cutting veggies.

You could use one or the other and be fine. You don't NEED both, but if you are like me then you will want them both anyway.

If you are on a budget then I would just pick one over the other. For me, I would pick the chefs knife as I like the rocking motion and I also like the thickness of a chefs knife.
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Old 05-30-2006, 08:09 AM   #4
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It took me a while to come around, but I've really become a convert to the santoku style knife. I rarely even use my chef's knives anymore unless it's when I'm going through bone--and that's just more because my santoku is ceramic and isn't meant for that than anything.

Two things, though: On your Henckel set for 260...for about 90 dollars more, you can go to Macy's and get a...I believe it's 9 piece...Twin Cuisine set, which are better than the Henckel type you listed from BB&B as far as I'm concerned...and you get extra gear (I think it's shears, a bread knife and a fileted santoku). Or you can find that same 9 piece set on Ebay for about 200 bucks. The TC series has a solid tang as opposed to the rivets the S series uses.

If you're shooting for bang for the buck, you might want to consider finding a local knife shop. If you find one where the owner is behind the counter and he has a few knives you want, you can usually negotiate yourself a better price, as they're more eager to move product than a big box store.
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:18 PM   #5
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A good prep knife is just that

There is a general class of knives call prep or vegetable knives. This group includes Chef (French, Cooks), Usuba, Santoku, Gyoto, Chinese cleaver. They are all for the same purpose. Each of these is typical of a country or region. If you put a santoku up to a chef knife you won't find much difference in rock. The santoku is standard 7.5" long. They are very popular now.
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Old 06-28-2006, 01:34 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Poppinfresh
...The TC series has a solid tang as opposed to the rivets the S series uses...
The Henckels Professional S series is a full tang forged knife with a riveted handle. The handle is riveted to the full tang.

The Twin cuisine is also a full tang forged knife. The difference is in the style of the handles. No rivets with this model.

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