Posted on May 30 2022


How to choose between these two stalwarts of the kitchen.


Here at Katto we know that choosing the perfect kitchen knife can be a slightly bewildering experience. With so many different blade sizes, shapes, handles and steels to pick from even the most experienced aficionado could be forgiven for being a bit confused.

In our opinion, two of the most versatile and useful knives are the Chef and Santoku. And whilst both of these blades are capable of performing a variety of tasks, there are key differences between them. 

So in this article, we’ll be taking a look at the differences between these stalwarts of the knife roll. What are they? What are the best suited for? And, most importantly, which do you need in your life?


A classic chef knife

After much fierce debate among the team here at Katto we decided that, if you were to only order one knife, you should make it a Chef. 

There are a number of reasons why; but primarily it’s a versatility thing. These robust knives have broad, tack-sharp blades which are ideal for a variety of tasks in the kitchen. From light butchery to carving, vegetable chopping to breaking down shellfish - this knife is capable of it all. 

Little wonder then that they’re also the most popular knife we sell. Ours feature an 8.5 inch Japanese steel blade made using AUS-10 steel - a very popular option for kitchen blades. They have a perfectly straight blade which tapers down to a finely pointed tip; whilst the robust heel of the Chef knife can be used for cracking through crab or lobster claws. The blade is also double beveled meaning that it’s suitable for both left and right handed cooks.

Every one of our Chef knives is made by hand; and we have three handle types available - Beech, Black walnut and Rosewood.


A classic walnut santoku

Santoku knives are deeply rooted in Japanese history and culture; but have now become a staple in kitchens worldwide. The term ‘santoku’ means three virtues’ or ‘three uses’ which refers to their ability to perform three key kitchen functions - cutting, dicing, and mincing.

Santoku knives are characterized by their straight-edged “sheep foot” blade, and many have dimples and engravings on the side of the blade in order to prevent delicate morsels of food from getting stuck on the side. Toward the end of the blade, the edge begins to taper to a drop point for more precise and delicate cutting.

The straight-edged drop points make Katto’s Santoku knives particularly well-suited for cutting fish and meat, as well as the preventative measures to avoid pieces of meat and fish getting stuck to the knife. 

As with our Chef knives, all our santoku knives are made using AUS-10 Japanese steel which we sharpen to an extremely high level. The blades are also double beveled making them a great choice for both left and right handed cooks. 


The two most important considerations when choosing your knife are function, weight and aesthetics. Of the two, the Chef knife is definitely the heavier option. So if you’re planning to break down large pieces of meat or are likely to prepare tough root vegetables (such as pumpkins or squashes), then we’d recommend choosing this. 

Alternatively, if you’re looking for something a little lighter and more agile then we’d suggest the santoku. You can still perform a wide variety of tasks with this knife; it’s just not so adept at the big cutting or chopping tasks. 

Ultimately, though, the choice is yours. And with free 100 day returns you can shop at Katto with peace of mind knowing that - if you want to - you can return or exchange your knife easily.

We hope that this article has been helpful. And if you'd like to find your perfect knife, why not take our knife quiz?

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