This is one of the most asked questions of the MetroKitchen.com customer service team. “What is the difference between a chef’s knife and a santoku knife?” Here’s a quick summary of some basic differences between the shapes of a chef’s knife and a santoku knife so you can more easily choose the right one for your kitchen cutting and slicing tasks.
Personally, I prefer chef’s knives over santoku knives. I used to do a lot of prep work at a restaurant, including chopping vegetables for hours every day. Because of that, I am very comfortable with the classic rocking motion that most professional chefs use when they’re using a chef’s knife. The curved blade of a chef’s knife is perfect for rocking back and forth across a cutting board to chop a lot of vegetables. Its long, sharp edge is also good for slicing or chopping meats and for separating chicken parts. It’s a versatile knife design and it’s ideal for speed and efficiency in a professional cooking environment. I use a chef’s knife for everything I do in the kitchen other than peeling potatoes and slicing bread. If you’re already comfortable with using the rocking motion with chef’s knives, then I would recommend sticking with them.
The santoku knife, has an edge that’s almost completely straight and it does not have a pointed tip. This makes it great for chopping small bunches of vegetables and mincing herbs easily and quickly. Most santoku knives do not have a bolster, which is the mound of metal between the blade and the handle. As a result, you can sharpen and slice with the entire blade of the knife, which you can’t do with most chef’s knives. The wide, flat blade is also useful for scooping up ingredients so that you can put them into a bowl or a pan. If you’re looking for a “one-size fits all” kind of knife that you can use to cut a lot of different foods, I’d select the santoku. It’s a good workhorse-type knife design that’s great for cutting boneless meat, cheese, vegetables, herbs, fruit, and all kinds of other foods.