Santoku Vs Gyuto Knives – What Is The Difference And Which Is Better?

Many cultures have a personal connection with food and that’s especially true for Japanese culture where everything has a ritual and a routine that must be followed even when carrying out simple tasks.

For example sushi will be carved with the best knives Japan has to offer and brewing a traditional pot of Japanese tea will be completed in your best cast iron teapot.

So, when it comes to Santoku and Gyuto knives the discussion on the differences vary due to the following factors: shape of the knife, the type of steel used and handle quality.

More so, these factors will range from one maker to the next or the knife series within the same maker.

What is a Santoku knife?

It is a general purpose kitchen knife which has its origins in Japan.

The knife is widely known as the three virtue knife in the uses of cutting slicing and chopping.

What is a Gyuto knife?

Commonly known as the chef’s knife or the cook’s knife, with the general Japanese meaning meat knife.

It is used for chopping vegetables at a considerably large cut.

Factors that differentiate between Santoku and Gyuto knives

If you have had some experience with these knives you get to know that they have distinct features that differentiate the two.

These features occasionally will determine your purchase considering the amount if work to be done. Check out some of the listed factors below.

1. Shape

It would not be easy to distinguish the shape of these knives as it needs someone who has had some experience to notice the distinct difference.

From this difference, you will notice that Gyuto knives have a curved edge.

Rather on the pointing part, it first gets a little bit larger before extending to the tip. However the spin is less turned down compared to Santoku.

On the other hand, the Santoku turned down spine is commonly known as sheep’s foot blade.

It is less sharp on the tip side and a flat edge. The shape in differences between the two can be distinct between makers but yet again less considered by others.

2. Length of the blade

Considerably, knives can be made in any length but for this case, there is a particular length specification for the Gyuto and Santoku knife.

There is no Santoku knife exceeding 180mm also known to be 7 inches.

The santoku blade is wider which comes in handy when you scoop food ingredients on the chopping board.

For the Gyuto knives, the blade has a more western feel in which they are much thinner with a blade range of 300 mm considered to be 11.8 inches. These blades are slightly tall and not as wide as the Santoku.

3. Cutting techniques

Many chefs enjoy cutting food in specific ways. One thing to keep in mind is that some of these cutting techniques influence the food taste.

There are methods used when using these plates to cut. For the Gyuto knife, the blade gets more stable with the back and forth hand motion.

The back and forth movement is for cutting food slowly.

As for the rapid hand motion, the Santoku knife will serve the purpose as it is for chopping down. It is always exceptional when cutting vegetables.

The two knives have a small difference on the technique used and it can barely be realised.

4. Weight

The weight of a knife is determined by the material used in manufacturing. However, in other cases if the blade length is the same then the weight can be comparable.

Due to the length difference then the Gyuto blade is much heavier than Santoku.

The originality of the steel type will be a determinant on the weight.

However the thicker the blade the heavier it gets. it has left many people with the impression of the Gyuto knife being heavier.

5. Handles

Gyuto knives which consider their originality from France and Germany have the western feel in which the hands have distinct features in which it has three rivets.

These blades have more metal on them compared to the other counterparts.

The Santoku knives have a more Japanese traditional feel in which the handle is just a fitted piece of wood giving out a D- shape.

More so, the wood handle is preferred by many as it gives the smooth feel.

My kitchen experience using Santoku and Gyuto knives

It does not matter if you are cooking a homemade dish or you are a chef at a restaurant, the kitchen experience will boost the meal flavour and work efficiency.

With the Santoku knives, i realised that work gets done faster and the food maintains the original flavour even after chopping.

However, the opposite goes for Gyuto knives, they are a bit slower to use.

Here are some of the pros and cons of the Gyuto knife:


  • Double bravel and sharp cutting edge
  • Multipurpose cutter
  • Affordable price


  • The only con is that it is heavier

On the other hand here are pros and cons of the Santoku knife:


  • All-purpose blade
  • Flat blade good for vegetable cutting
  • Lighter in weight


  • For the con is that the blade is a little bit expensive

So Gyuto or Santoku knife, which is better?

Santoku and Gyuto knife have distinct differences that need little of kitchen experience to make the distinction.

However from the above listed differences and my kitchen experience I prefer Santoku knife as it is easier and faster to use.