Santoku Vs Gyuto – Which Japanese Knife Is Right For You?

When it comes to high-quality Japanese knives, Santoku and Gyuto are two popular knives that top the list. When choosing between both, which is the most appropriate knife for you? Santoku knives are designed to be versatile and can be used in many different ways.

They’re perfect for slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, and more. Gyuto knives are the Japanese version of a chef’s knife typically used to cut meat or vegetables. It has a curved blade with an angled edge, making it ideal for rocking motions when cutting through food.

Want to explore more key differences between both knives? Let’s dive deeper.

Santoku vs. Gyuto- A side by side comparison Between The Both

Background- Santoku vs. Gyuto

The name “Santoku” comes from the three qualities it was designed to possess: sharpness, durability, and lightweight. Santoku Knife traces its origin to Japan and was manufactured in the mid-’40s, i.e., after the culmination of World War 2.

During that time, the Japanese were involved in introducing changes to their Nakiri tool shaped like a cleaver. Gradually, they came out with a lighter, shorter, and comfortable knife that came to be known as Santoku Knife.

The word “Gyuto” is Japanese for “cow sword.” Historically, the cow was a symbol of wealth and prosperity in Japan. As such, it became customary to give a cow as a wedding gift to newlyweds.

This tradition has carried on into modern times, where many couples will still receive one or more cows from their families as gifts at their wedding ceremony. To show appreciation for these gifts, some people choose to use them in cooking by using them as an ingredient in dishes like sukiyaki and shabu-shabu.

nakiri vs santoku vs gyuto

The shape of the blade- Santoku vs. Gyuto

Santoku knives have an angled and thinner blade that’s great for chopping vegetables and fruits with its sharp pointy end, which can easily cut through soft foods like tomatoes without crushing them in the process.

Its flatter cutting edge is straight from heel to tip, thus making it easier to release the food. The top of the blade starts sloping down and is sharpened at 12-15 degrees. With a single bevel, its cutting edge is sharpened on one side. However, its tip is slightly blunt.

Whereas, Gyuto knives have a straight edge on one side while the other side curves inward to form an angle of about 30 degrees. This makes it perfect for slicing meat and vegetables. It also features a pointed tip that can be used for precision work, such as cutting sushi rolls or trimming fat off meats.

Length of the knife- Santoku vs. Gyuto

Talking about the length of the Santoku knife, it is a short knife with a blade length of just 5-8 inches and the handle length of 4-5 inches. Such a length makes it lighter, compact, and easier to hold. You can carry out the chopping task without feeling tired.

On the other hand, the Gyuto knife features a long blade of length 8-10 inches. However, some professional range of Gyuto knives may have a blade of 14 inches in length. This length makes the knife heavier and suited for experts who work on large counters.

santoku vs gyuto shape


Santoku’s blade is typically shorter than other knives and is easy to control when cutting food; therefore, it is an excellent knife for slicing meat and fish because of its sharpness. Dicing and mincing errands can also be carried out effectively using this knife. Therefore, you can say that this knife is an all-purpose knife helping the user combat hand fatigue.

A Gyuto has a curved blade that can be used for many different tasks in the kitchen, including mincing garlic or dicing onions. Mainly, it is suitable for rock chopping. Its pointed tip can reach the deep areas.


Santoku knife is a budget-friendly option for those who are looking for a lightweight, comfortable, and versatile knife. At such a cost-effective price, it ensures durability. Since Gyuto is a long and heavier knife with a sharper and pointed blade, it tends to be priced higher than Santoku knives.

The Bottom Line- Which Should I Choose? 

Santoku and Gyuto are two popular Japanese knives. A Santoku knife is typically smaller with a curved blade that makes it easier to slice through food like fish or chicken breasts. A Gyuto knife is a larger knife with a straight blade and is better suited for cutting through tougher foods like squash or bone-in meats.

If you’re not sure which type of knife you need, we recommend starting with the Santoku because it’s more versatile, lighter, and easy to use than the Gyuto and will be able to handle most tasks in your kitchen without any problems at all. But if you want something bigger, then go ahead and get a Gyuto knife. Though high priced, it is a perfect option for commercial uses.

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