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Santoku knife- What do you use for that you wouldn't use a chef knife?

In-laws want to buy us knives as anniversary gift. Mother in law swears by Wusthof Santoku knife (one with a shorter blade). What do you use this kind of knife for that you wouldn't use a regular chef's knife?

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  1. Santoku knives, merlot wine, Tuscan food, cupcakes, pannini presses etc. fall into the same catagory, FADS. Just a nuevo way to make money. Use your good chef knife and be happy!

    5 Replies
    1. re: mrbigshotno.1

      I bought my husband a Santoku knife two years ago for his birthday and just love it. First off, the blade is just beautiful. The handle is well balanced and designed to fit your hand comfortably. We have gone as far as taking our knife on vacation with us since other knives pale in comparison.

      If your inlaws want to get it for you as an anni gift, I say go for it!

      ps. True Tuscan food is amazing!!!

      1. re: mrbigshotno.1

        Agree on the cupcakes, disagree on everything else.

        1. re: mrbigshotno.1

          This may be about the most useless reply I've ever seen on this site.

          What -- you don't like, so it's just a fad, a "way to make money"?

          I like my Santoku knife. The blade is thinner and I have more control.

          And incidentally, I like merlot, Tuscan food, and my panini press as well.

          1. re: mrbigshotno.1

            Cupcakes ... a fad? I'm confused. They've been around as long as I have and that's a heck of a lot longer than "a few years". Oh yeah ... and they are GOOD. Yum! So there!

            And that's very much but I also prefer using a santoku vs. a chef's knife. I like the flatter edge profile - it's more knife where it does me the most good. But I'm happy that you prefer your chefs knife.

          2. Merlot wine? just a way to make money? have you had duckhorn merlot? Or, for that matter, good tuscan food? sure, you could stay within what you know and never venture far from pot roast and meat loaf and be perfectly content not challenging your palate, but I think most of the people who use this forum are a little more adventurous than just repudiating what they've never tried or had the palate to appreciate. Merlot is not my favorite, for instance, but i will acknowledge there are some good ones. And what's wrong with cupcakes? Santoku knives have a more shallow belly, and I like using it to chop veggies, but you can perform most kitchen tasks with either. you can't use a santoku as a sort of paring knife because it doesn't have the same type of pointy tip, but it's just about as versatile. I have a Wusthof santoku, btw, as well as a Henckels and MAC, and I have chefs knives too. If you like a bit of heft in your knife, you might find santokus a bit light weight. In fact, the shun santoku feels heftier (and keeps its edge better) than the Wusthof. Knifes are pretty personal, so if you can, go to a store where you can hold one, or better yet, try one.

            1. I used a chef's knife (a gift from my dad) for over two decades, from graduate school sharing living quarters through several moves to my own kitchen. Then several years ago I bought the MAC superior santoku that was recommended by Cook's Illustrated, and it became my top knife. I liked its lightness and sharpness. The only things I don't use it for are when I need a cleaver for smashing or chopping through bone, a serrated blade for some breads, and I hardly ever use a paring knife because I feel too clumsy and heavy-handed with it. I bought a Wusthof Santuko a little more that a year back because it had the bevilled blade and was on super sale ($49.95 including shipping) but I still prefer the MAC when both are similarly recently sharpened.

              1. I'm sure it's been discussed before but the primary difference between the two is the profile of the cutting edge. A chef's knife has a little more of a curve that aids 'rocking' the knife to make multiple cuts. A santoku has a straighter cutting edge and requires more of a chopping action. I think this important if you have a lot of experience using one type as you'll have to relearn in order to switch. If you're new to it, then it makes no difference since you can learn to cut food efficiently with either one. Also, for the same size santokus are a little lighter since the blades aren't as thick which some might prefer.

                BTW, the santoku knifes marketed in the US are different from the ones in Asia.

                Hey, if one's free you might as well have both and see which you prefer. At least until your mother-in-law asks which you like. (:-D

                1 Reply
                1. re: RichardM

                  This is a great reply, Richard. Thanks for the info. Your response was the first to actually address the question.

                2. Personally I almost always use the Santoku. My natural inclination when cutting favors the straighter blade.

                  I recently got a square-tipped nakiri and I think I may like it even better than the santoku. The blade has just a little bit of rocker.

                  I use the chef's knife mostly for carving meat anymore.