All About Santoku Knives

published Dec 5, 2008
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(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

Perhaps you’ve seen these ubiquitous all-purpose knives with hollowed-out indentations on the edge of the blade. What is a santoku knife, and why should you have one? When should you use one, and what’s the deal with those scalloped edges? Read on …

Those scalloped granton edges add air between the knife blade and the material being cut, making it easier to remove the material from the blade. So, if you were slicing something thinly, you’d want to use this knife. Also, the word “santoku” means “three virtues” and applies to this knife due to its triad of abilities – chopping, dicing, and mincing. This is a very good general all-purpose knife to use for many jobs.

The santoku knife is designed to provide a comfortable, well-balanced grip. The design of the handle and the weight distribution of this knife make it popular with people who have small hands. It’s especially popular with female chefs, and Giada de Laurentiis uses one religiously. People who feel intimidated by cleavers should try a santoku knife.