Your Cart

Which knife to choose between a Santoku and a Gyuto?

Santoku or Gyuto; which one to choose?

Choosing the right equipment for your kitchen is a crucial step in combining performance and pleasure on a daily basis. Regarding knives, there are many options! You will need to take several factors into account to find THE perfect knife for your needs. Among the most popular choices are the Gyuto - also known as the chef's knife - and the Santoku.

Although the Santoku and Gyuto have some similarities, they are particularly distinct from each other. We will explore in detail each knife's characteristics in this article, to help you enhance your culinary experience by choosing the best knife for you.

KOTAI Santoku and Gyuto Chefs Knives in the bamboo boxes

What are the similarities between a Santoku and a Gyuto?

Unlike a paring knife, filet knife or bread knife designed for a specific use, the Santoku and Gyuto are multi-purpose knives that can be used for almost any purpose! 

Whether chopping, slicing or dicing, these knives are both qualified to perform these cutting tasks efficiently and precisely.

Santoku and Gyuto kept next to each other in their respective bamboo boxes.

Santoku and Gyuto, what are the differences?

One of the first notable differences between a Santoku and a Gyuto is the length of the blade. Indeed, the blade of a Santoku, measuring between 13 and 20 cm, is shorter than that of a Gyuto, measuring between 18 and 30 cm.

Another important difference between these knives is their blade profile. Whereas a Santoku has a rather straight edge - making it ideal for chopping - a Gyuto has a curvature from the middle of the blade to the tip - making it more suitable for tilting.

The blades of Santoku and Gyuto facing each other showing their profiles.

Introduction and characteristics of a Santoku.

The Santoku is a Japanese knife very popular in kitchens worldwide. The name: "San" - "Toku" meaning "Three Virtues" in Japanese, is due to its multi-purpose blade, which is ideal for chopping vegetables and fruit, slicing meat, and preparing fish.

The Santoku is distinguished by its straight cutting edge, wide, sheep's foot-shaped blade and downward-curving spine leading to its tip. Its flat profile makes it ideal for cutting techniques such as tap-chopping or push-cutting. But the lack of curvature on the blade prevents it from being used in a rocking motion.

One of the advantages of a Santoku is its much lighter weight than a Gyuto, thanks in particular to its smaller size. It is therefore easier to handle and control when making delicate cuts such as preparing fish and sushi.

KOTAI's Santoku knife blade 18 cm kept on bamboo cutting board next to its bamboo box.

The Santoku KOTAI PAKKA Collection…

Details of our Santoku PAKKA Collection:

  • Handcrafted in ultra-sharp, high-carbon 440C Japanese stainless steel
  • Double bevel, suitable for right or left-hand cutting
  • Partial bolster for full-length blade sharpening
  • Full hidden tang for ideal balance and durability
  • Blade length: 18 cm
  • Back thickness: 1.8 mm 
  • Knife weight: 189 g 

+ Discover our Santoku BUNKA Collection !

Introduction and characteristics of a Gyuto.

The Gyuto is a Japanese alternative to the classic Western chef's knife. By its very meaning, the "GYUTO" (or "cow saber") was originally frequently used to slice beef. Today, it is renowned for its versatility and universal use, even if it remains an expert in meat slicing.

Typically, the Gyuto is a long knife with a slight curve between the middle of the blade and the tip, making it ideal for a wide range of cutting techniques: push-and-pull cutting, mincing, or even a rocking motion.

The balance of a Gyuto is one of its greatest advantages. Proper weight distribution of the blade and handle is essential, as it makes the knife easier to handle when cutting.

KOTAI's gyuto knife kept next to its bamboo box on bamboo cutting board.

The Gyuto KOTAI PAKKA Collection…

Details of our Gyuto PAKKA Collection:

  • Handcrafted in ultra-sharp, high-carbon 440C Japanese stainless steel
  • Double bevel, suitable for right or left-hand use
  • Partial bolster for full-length blade sharpening
  • Full hidden tang for ideal balance and durability
  • Blade length: 20 cm
  • Back thickness: 1.8 mm 
  • Knife weight: 198 g

To sum up…

Choosing between a Gyuto and a Santoku will depend on your personal preferences, your comfort of use and the cutting tasks you intend to perform. 

  • The versatile Gyuto is ideal for a wide variety of cutting tasks, thanks to its curved blade and balanced weight. 
  • The Santoku, on the other hand, excels in precision, and is suitable for smaller cuts thanks to its straight blade and size.

And if you're still hesitating? Honestly, there is no reason not to add both knives to your magnetic knife holder or leather knife roll-up bag... ;)

Remember, proper care of your knives is essential; check out our best maintenance tips now!