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Old 12-15-2006, 01:19 PM   #1
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Why use a Santoku?

I'm in the market for a new knife. I've always used 2 8" chef's knives and virtually nothing else. I've got a 8" chef's that's servicable (it still sharpens for now), and a skinny that I use for thin slicing--mostly just onions & ginger. This one's ready for the trash heap!

I'm a creature of habit. I've used 1-2 knives for nearly everything and always have. When I set out to look at knives, though, I started looking at Santuko, although I've never used one.

For those of you that use santuko knives, why do you like them and what do you use with them? What size do you like?

Also, have any of you ever brough a platter of veggies into a knife shop and asked to test a knife?

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Old 12-15-2006, 01:27 PM   #2
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The santoku's strong suit is slicing. It should be able to handle almost everything a chef's knife can with the except the heavier duty uses such as chopping through bones.

It would feel different in your hand from a chef's knife so you will have to determine if the feel is acceptable.
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Old 12-15-2006, 01:51 PM   #3
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I have a 12 inch Chef, 8 inch chef and an 8 inch Santuka. I use the 8 inch chef of most things and the 12 inch for larger items. I prefer the chef knife when slicing a dicing veggies over the Santuka because of the curved bottom which gives a smooth rocking motion. The Sanuka works fine but I prefer the chef.

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Old 12-15-2006, 03:59 PM   #4
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The Santoku knives are very nice. I have a 8 inch which I use a lot and it is great for slicing.
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Old 12-17-2006, 08:21 AM   #5
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I agree with Andy.

I have both an 8" chef's and a 7" Santoku. I tend to use the Santoku when I want to make thin slices of something; for my hands the Santoku is easier to use for these kinds of cuts. I can do them with the chef's, but since I have both, I tend to use what's easiest.

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Old 12-17-2006, 08:26 AM   #6
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I use the santoku for chopping now. I think it does a better easier job than a chef's knife because there is more blade in contact with the board (flatter profile). I absolutely love them and if only could have one larger knife (other than paring), I would choose the santoku.
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Old 12-19-2006, 12:09 AM   #7
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For general slicing purposes, unless it's just too short I think the santoku wins hands down.

Chef's knife better for minces better, but santokus are super nice for slicing.

I recently got a chinese cleaver to, and I think it slices and chops well and it's convenient because you can use it like a spatula to move the stuff you just cust, but santokus are just great for slicing. I really like mine.

It's a Wustof Classic, but doesn't have a very long blade. Not sure what length it is.

And whichever above poster said, different knives have a different feel and you might like that. I like how it feels in the hand, I think they are worth checking out.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:14 AM   #8
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Personally, I find Santoku's to be a combination Chef's Knife/Cleaver, and unfortunately (for me), I tend to find the worst characterists in both to shine over any attempt to capture the benefits of the two.

To me, a Chef knife slices better than a Santoku/Cleaver because of it's curved cutting edge which enables you to develop a rocking motion. The tip is also pointed enough to carve things from objects (eg., the core from a cabbage head). Having only a small portion of it's blade in contact with the board at once also enables you to apply more pressure with the same striking force.

Cleavers having no curve are amazing choppers, and split bones well with their weight.

To me, Santoku's lack the lightning fast slicing of a rocking Chef's knife, and the heft to do serious chopping/hacking that a Cleaver accels at.

Really comes down to each person though.
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Old 12-19-2006, 09:47 AM   #9
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[quote=Nicholas Mosher]Personally, I find Santoku's to be a combination Chef's Knife/Cleaver, and unfortunately (for me), I tend to find the worst characterists in both to shine over any attempt to capture the benefits of the two.


Very well put Nick. I have tried to strike up a relationship with my santuka but I always run back to the one I love...my chef knife.

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Old 12-25-2006, 12:47 PM   #10
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Yeap, me too. I do take my Santoku knife every so often and would use some times for days or weeks in the row, but then i sleep back into habit and use mu 8 or 10" chef knife. And Actually since I bought the new 12" one i fell completely in love with it. I wish I had money to buy another one.
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Old 12-26-2006, 01:05 AM   #11
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Thanks, all.

I bought a Wustof 8" Chef Knife. I went completely the opposite direction from a Santuko and bought a knife with a nicely curved belly. I spent 2 hours this morning chopping for a multi-family meal. I love it!
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Old 12-26-2006, 05:04 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vyapti
Thanks, all.

I bought a Wustof 8" Chef Knife. I went completely the opposite direction from a Santuko and bought a knife with a nicely curved belly. I spent 2 hours this morning chopping for a multi-family meal. I love it!
The important thing to remember is that it doesn't need to be the last knife you buy!! ;o) I use all mine at one time or another.
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Old 12-26-2006, 07:51 AM   #13
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8" santoku here...i just prefer the feel over a chefs knife.
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Old 01-29-2007, 11:19 AM   #14
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santoku knives seem to be good for slicing (the fat/blood grooves in the blade make them great for that) and fine cutting like chiffanod cutting.. I like using mine for cutting fresh herbs and more delicate cutting that needs something bigger than a paring/utility knife but smaller than a chef knife.
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Old 01-29-2007, 01:17 PM   #15
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It's all a matter of what you're accustomed to working with. I've used almost nothing but Chinese chef's knives for the last 40 years or so. In comparison, French chef's knives feel awkward and santoku knives feel flimsy to me. But the last time a friend who loves her French chef's knives and her santoku knives was cooking in my kitchen she asked, "Don't you have any REAL knives?"
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Old 02-03-2007, 03:40 PM   #16
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I've "mastered" the chef's knife in Culinary classes and I must say, I did seem to find it lacking (or having too much) from time to time. I've played with the Santoku a few times and like the feel. Almost everyone I know uses one and they love them as well (just not the prices, since they all bought either the Emeril or Rachael Ray ones!). I have one on order and once I get it and use it a bit, I'll be able to give a better review.
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Old 02-03-2007, 04:53 PM   #17
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I got a set of four Santoku's for Christmas and I love them!!
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Old 02-03-2007, 05:57 PM   #18
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Mine is 10 inches long and about three inches wide. I like it for vegetables or anything that is 'wet', with the exception of cheese.
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Old 02-04-2007, 01:06 PM   #19
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My santoku is the first real knife I bought, and I use it for everything and love it. By everything, I really just mean cutting and chopping chicken and all the veggies I eat. Not having tried another kind of knife, I still not going to put this one away.
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Old 02-18-2007, 11:15 PM   #20
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It is what you are used to. In my opinion a santuko is a weak imitation of an Usuba, a Japanese vegetable knife. It has a square shape, but lacks the straight blade essential for vegetables. I have a Wustoff santuko and I like it for occasional use. But day to day I use a 10” Wustoff. It can do just about anything. From vegetables with the straight portion, to breaking fish, to fine garnish work with the tip.
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