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Santoku Knives

JAPANESE SANTOKU KNIVES ‚ÄĒ CHOP, SLICE, AND DICE

The Santoku is an all purpose Japanese kitchen knife ideal for kitchen tasks, including precision mincing, dicing, slicing, and more. Santoku means ‚Äúthree uses‚ÄĚ. This describes what the knife is popularly used with ‚Äď meat, vegetables, or fish. The Kengata Santoku is also commonly known as a Bunka or Bunka BŇćchŇć.

If you are looking for a multi-purpose addition to your knife collection, Santoku knives are your best bet. With little maintenance, this knife can last a lifetime in your kitchen.

JAPANESE SANTOKU KNIVES ‚ÄĒ CHOP, SLICE, AND DICE

The Santoku is an all purpose Japanese kitchen knife ideal for kitchen tasks, including precision mincing, dicing, slicing, and more. Santoku means ‚Äúthree uses‚ÄĚ. This describes what the knife is popularly used with ‚Äď meat, vegetables, or fish. The Kengata Santoku is also commonly known as a Bunka or Bunka BŇćchŇć.

If you are looking for a multi-purpose addition to your knife collection, Santoku knives are your best bet. With little maintenance, this knife can last a lifetime in your kitchen.

WHAT ARE SANTOKU KNIVES USED FOR?

Slicing

These knives are flatter than the typical Japanese kitchen knives and have a small upward curve near the tip, which makes slicing smoother. As Japanese knives tend to be more slender than German knives, they make slicing through items extremely easy. When using the Santoku knife effectively for slicing, you use a pulling or pushing motion which should be more of a backward or forward motion, than a downward one. This uses the design of the blade to do the hard work. This technique allows you to create thin, crisp slices.

Dicing

The Santoku chef knife excels at precision cuts like dicing, thanks to their small, easily controllable blade size. The blade length is typically between 160mm to 180mm (or 6-7‚ÄĚ) with an edge angle of 20-30 degrees which gives them the ability to dice more precisely than other knives.

When looking for the right dicing and mincing tool, you can never go wrong with a Japanese Santoku knife.

Chopping

The sharpness of the Santoku blade enables it to cut through foods quickly while its flatness allows for uniform dicing.

When you’re chopping with the Santoku, cut through ingredients with quick, intentional pushes rather than a back-and-forth roll. Since you don’t need to focus too much on precision and uniformity with this knife, you can work faster.

FEATURES OF SANTOKU KNIVES

Steel Blade

Santoku knives are made of stainless steel or high-carbon steel, making for a sharper, stronger, and more durable blade. They’re also sleek enough to complement the rest of the utensils in your kitchen.

Taller and Thinner Blade

The length and thinness of this knife allows more space for your knuckles so that you can cut directly above the cutting board. It also provides a good surface for the knuckles of your free hand to guide the blade during cutting and chopping.

Dimples on Blade

Often, a Santoku knife has a row of shallow dimples on the side of the blade. Also known as Kullenschliff or a Granton edge, these depressions reduce friction and prevent food from sticking to the blade.

Handle

As with many Japanese knives, with the Santoku, there is the option of a Western-style handle with a full tang as well as a more traditional Japanese handle with a partial tang. The Western handles are more ergonomic with the tang going the full length of the handle, while the Japanese style handle is either oval or octagonal with a tang that goes about two-thirds of the length of the handle. Either option makes for comfortable use for various hand sizes and cutting styles.

BUY JAPANESE SANTOKU KNIVES ONLINE WITH HASU-SEIZO

Santoku knives have a fine cutting form, making repetitive chopping, dicing, and slicing easier and less tiring. If you’re looking for a sharp, strong, and functional knife to add to your knife collection, you’ll be hard-pressed to do better than the Santoku.

At Hasu-Seizo, we stock an extensive range of Santoku knives, as well as other Japanese blades, including Gyuto, Shobu, Takohiki, Yanagiba, Sujihiki and more. Find quality craftsmanship at reasonable prices on Hasu-Seizo.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Santoku knife is an all-purpose kitchen knife, ideal for chopping, dicing, mincing and slicing whatever is placed in front of it. Additionally, due to its relatively thin blade, this knife is also great for precision cutting. With the Santoku, you can finely slice your meat or vegetables without worrying about inadvertently crushing or damaging the produce, as can happen with thicker blades.

Bunka BŇćchŇć is typically synonymous with Santoku in Japan which can be confusing as some knife manufacturers in recent decades have produced "Bunka" knives and "Santoku" knives though historically there hasn't been a distinction.

In the U.S., Bunka often refers to a Kengata Santoku, which is the angular, triangle tip rather than the standard hoof tip of most Santoku blades.

At face value, the difference between the two would appear to be quite superficial; after all, both are all-purpose knives for use in a professional setting. However, a closer inspection reveals there are a number of important distinctions. A Japanese Santoku knife is typically shorter and lighter, while also curving downwards at the tip making for a slightly straighter edge profile. This enables a faster cutting technique, while still having the same durability as a chef’s knife.

While both offer positives and are excellent choices in their own right, practicing and developing your skill with a Santoku will help you to bring greater finesse and speed to your cutting.

While the Santoku knife is a multipurpose kitchen knife, useful for meat and vegetables, the Nakiri knife is specifically a vegetable knife. A Santoku can be used to slice chicken, pork, beef as easily as a cabbage due to the depth of the blade but also the slight curvature of the edge to allow for push and pull slicing.

The Nakiri vegetable knife has a blunt tip and is often mistaken for a cleaver. This vegetable knife is specifically designed with a greater depth of blade and handle with additional clearance so that chopping anything from a cabbage to a carrot is equally easy.

Santoku knives are a more recent addition to the Japanese kitchen. They were developed during the mid-20th century, just after World War II. It blends Japanese and Western design, since at the time of its creation the Japanese had discovered the new Western-style cooking, and needed the right knife to use. Santoku knives are typically double bevel knives in the traditional Western style.

In Japan, Santoku means ‚Äúthree uses‚ÄĚ. This describes what the knife is popularly used for ‚Äď meat, vegetables, or fish.

Properly caring for a Santoku knife is crucial to guaranteeing its performance for many years. Hand wash your blade with warm water and then dry with a soft cloth such as a tea towel. Avoid placing it in a dishwasher. It should be stored in a dry environment, away from moisture. We recommend periodic applications of Tsubaki Camellia Oil to help prevent rust and corrosion. 

If your knife is made of high-carbon steel, then we recommend wiping off excess moisture immediately after use as they are more prone to corrosion. High-carbon knives tend to form a patina over time; this is not bad and can actually help protect the blade from rust.

Your blade should also be periodically sharpened with a whetstone; this will provide a better quality edge that lasts longer than one achieved with an electric sharpener or honing rod.