When it comes to producing high-quality kitchen knives, the Japanese do not disappoint. Whether a vegetable knife or a filet knife, you will always get something that fits your bill, and sometimes, choosing between the knives could be difficult.

This challenge is more so if the blades have the same functionalities, such as the Santoku and the Gyuto. These two knives are high-quality multipurpose knives that perform well. This guide will look at the features and applications of the Santoku and the Gyuto. 

Santoku Knife 

A Santoku means “three virtues” in Japanese. The knife derives its name from its three tasks: slicing, dicing, and mincing. You can use the knife to prepare both the meat and vegetable dishes. 

santoku knife

Unlike Western-style knives, Santoku blades are shorter, thinner, and lighter. The standard Chef’s knives have an 8-inch blade, while Santoku features a 6- 7 inches blade. The Santoku knife is generally single-beveled

The blade has a flat cutting edge, with the handle in line with the knife’s top edge. Also, Gyuto has a straight spine that helps increase the knife’s stability. Instead of a sharp tip, the blade’s end features a rounded curvature known as a sheep’s foot. 

You can sharpen the Santoku at angles of 12 to 15 degrees. Thus, the knife has razor-sharp edges that come in handy while performing its tasks.

Gyuto knife 

Also known as the cow blade, the Gyuto is the Japanese version of the Western Chef’s knife. The Japanese exposure to western food inspired the first Gyuto in the early 20th century. 

Since then, the blade has found its place in the worldwide market. You can use it to cut a wide variety of meat, vegetables, fruits, and herbs.

fujimoto nashiji Gyuto Knife

Gyuto knife features a 7-10 inch blade with a slight curve from the mid-section to the end of the blade. The relatively flat heel of the blade allows you to use it for various chopping styles. These styles include pull-cutting, tap chopping, and push cutting.

The slight curve towards the end of the blade makes the knife rock on the surface. The pointed tip also adds to the precision of cuts. The sharp point also helps in meat preparation, especially in creating pockets. 

The blade of a Gyuto knife is sharper, thinner, and lighter than your ideal western-style knife. The style makes it versatile for all types of cuts. But the steel blade is not suitable for extra heavy-duty work. To keep the edge from damage, you may want to refrain from using it to cut through bones or smash garlic. 

Santoku Vs Gyuto Knife 


Both the Santoku and Gyuto are multipurpose knives that excel in kitchen tasks like chopping, push and pull cutting. They both exhibit a similar flat heel type hence you can use the heel of both knives for ease in up down cutting especially for small ingredients.

Gyuto vs Santoku
source ( syosaku-japan.com)


The significant difference between a Santoku and a Gyuto is in the shape. The blade profile of a santoku is distinctively  a sheep’s foot while a Gyuto is less turned down to create a tip, thus a gyuto has a tip while the Santoku lacks a sharp tip. A gyuto also tends to have a longer blade than a Santoku. 


Straight cuts

The Santoku knife has an edge when it comes to straight cuts. The down-turned spine ensures that you use less effort when using the knife in precision cuts. Also, some Santoku knives feature a Granton edge. Thus, slicing the meat without the food sticking to the blade is easier. 

Also, the Santoku is ideal for mincing since the straight blade cuts. Moreover, the shorter blade gives you the control you need to perform the tasks. 

The Gyuto also makes good straight cuts. But due to the nature of the rounded belly, you will need to use the central part of the knife. 

Rock chopping

If you are looking for the ideal knife for the chopping board, the Gyuto is the blade of choice. The curved blade provides you the grip you need to ensure that your movements are stable on the task. The Santoku has a flatter profile and is thus not ideal for these tasks. 

Tip work 

The Santoku has a fairly flat tip; thus, it may not be able to cut through the food by stabbing them. The sharp point of the Gyuto gives you an advantage when it comes to piercing food through the tip.


Both the Gyuto and the Santoku are multipurpose knives. But the Santoku is a single bevel knife, thus only supporting one-hand use. Nowadays, you’ll find some double-beveled Santoku knives in the market. The Gyuto is double beveled, making it friendlier to various users. Also, it is easy to handle, even for nonprofessional users. 

The short Santoku is agile and light. You may want to use it if you want to achieve fast results at no time. Whereas the blade is sharp, it may not be ideal for cutting through extra hard food.

The Gyuto blade is more robust and ideal for handling tough food such as wild herbs. Thus, you can use it in more challenging situations without the fear of chipping edges. 

Which one should you buy?

Both Santoku and Gyuto knives are great multipurpose knives. But like we have seen, the Gyuto performs well in most tasks. The Santoku will limit you when it comes to rocking, and the tip works.

But if you already have an all-purpose knife in the kitchen, a Santoku add-in simplifies your tasks. The short and agile blade works well in mincing and slicing. Also, the knife is lighter and thus easier to wield.

Another consideration that you may want to make is the pricing. The Santoku is cheaper than the Gyuto and ideal if you are on a budget.


When comparing the two knives, the edge tilts in favor of the Gyuto knife. Be it user-friendliness or the ability to handle many functions; the Gyuto has it. But then again, it depends on why you want to buy the knife in the first place. 

The Santoku is the ideal knife if you are in a busy kitchen that prepares lots of initial ingredients. Thus, it is an excellent complement to the Gyuto. You could also look for a Santoku if you want a cheaper blade with good functionalities.

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