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Are Santoku Knives Good for Cutting Meat

Are Santoku Knives Good for Cutting Meat? Complete Guide

When it comes to versatility, santoku knives do quite an outstanding job. As their title translates, these knives are specially crafted for dicing, mincing, and slicing. One might say that their functions almost mimic those of a chef’s knife.

Evolved from a traditional Japanese vegetable knife with a narrow sheep’s foot and a straight rectangular edge, santoku knives are amongst the most effective knife options on the market.

However, even with their versatility, it’s worth asking, are santoku knives good for cutting meat? My brief guide into the workings of santoku knives can help answer this question.

This Is Why Santoku Knives Are Good for Cutting Meat

A santoku knife is good for cutting meat. Specially designed for slicing, mincing, and dicing tasks, you can use a santoku knife to cut meat, slice it, and even mince it. However, santoku knives are not built to execute meat-cutting tasks typically done by knives such as cleavers and butcher knives. 

This is because the delicate santoku knife blade is not equipped to cut through thick cuts of meat, between ligaments and joints, or meat with bones.

What Is a Santoku Knife?

A santoku knife is a general-purpose Japanese kitchen knife, designed with three main functions. As the name translates in Japanese, a santoku knife is built for slicing, mincing, and cutting.

It features an average-sized flat edge blade with a sheepsfoot design, curving down to allow for seamless dicing, mincing, and slicing. You can use a santoku knife on meat, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and herbs.

What Is a Santoku Knife Used For?

Santoku knives are used for general-purpose kitchen tasks that require mincing, dicing, and slicing. Here are some of the tasks you can use a santoku knife for;

  • Cutting meat and poultry
  • Dicing and chopping vegetables, herbs, nuts, and fruits
  • Mincing meat or herbs
  • Finely slicing vegetables or meat
  • Scooping food from the chopping board using its wide cleaver-like blade

Why Do Santoku Knives Have Dimples?

Why Do Santoku Knives Have Dimples
The rows of shallow dimples on the sides of santoku knife blades are added to improve its functionality. When cutting through food, the dimples create air pockets that reduce friction. This, in turn, helps to prevent food from sticking to the blade.

How Popular Are Santoku Knives Among Professional Chefs?

For the most part, professional chefs and home cooks alike do a favor and use santoku knives for every day and general-purpose kitchen cutting tasks. However, most chefs and cooks tend to use santoku knives with chef’s knives together for a variety of cutting tasks.

Can I Use the Same Knife to Cut Different Types of Cooked Meat?

Many home cooks tend to use the same knife, typically a chef’s knife, for different types of cooked meat, whether beef or chicken. However, some types of cooked meat may require separate knives to maintain their structural integrity and appearance. For example, you want to use a steak knife for cooked steak for easier slicing and flavor retention.

The Alternative of Santoku Knives for Cutting Meat

A santoku knife is effective at cutting meat. However, it’s not always the right choice for some meat cuts. So, here are better alternatives to meat cuts that a santoku knife can’t handle;

Boning Knife

A boning knife features a long and narrow blade with a sharp point. This design allows for meat preparation, helping you remove bones from meat and poultry. A boning knife also features an arched blade design which facilitates smoother single-pass cuts as you remove flesh from the bones.

Butcher Knife

Built with a thick and long curved blade, a butcher knife is used to handle large cuts of meat. The knife butchers and breaks down large pieces of meat. It helps break down large cuts of meat and bones into usable pieces.

Meat Cleaver

Built with a thicker and rectangular blade, the meat cleaver is much heavier and heftier than a butcher knife. Due to this construction, it can handle tougher tasks. It is specially built for sectioning large pieces of meat, slicing through bones, cartilage, and joints. These knives handle tougher meat-cutting jobs that would otherwise blunt regular knives.

Top 3 Recommended Santoku Knives

Here are My top 3 picks for santoku knives you should invest in for your kitchen this year.

Wusthof Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

Wusthof Classic 7-inch Hollow Edge Santoku Knife

The Wusthof Classic Hollow Edge Santoku Knife is a great option for those looking for a premium quality knife, without breaking the bank.

The knife combines traditional Japanese knife craftsmanship with cutting-edge modern technology to produce some of the best quality kitchen cutting tools.

You will mostly appreciate the brand’s PEtec Precision Edge technology on the knife blade to give you better performance and longevity.

Thanks to the Precision Edge technology, the knife offers 20% more sharpness on its blade and twice longer edge retention.

Through this technology, the knife undergoes whetstone sharpening using precision robots, giving it extremely high initial cutting results.

To boost its superior cutting abilities, the knife is paired with a full balance and safety bolster and a high grip handle.

Dalstrong 5-inch Santoku Knife

Dalstrong 5-inch Santoku Knife

Featuring a relatively shorter blade design, the Dalstrong 5-inch Santoku Knife gives you great balance and control, allowing you to fully gauge the results of your food.

The knife’s balanced construction makes it an excellent option for any type of cook, whether a kitchen master or beginner. The knife features an award-winning design that combines premium quality and a luxurious feel.

It is fitted with razor-sharp full tang high carbon German steel with a hand-polished edge for both outstanding performance and appearance. The knife is also molded with oval-shaped hollow divots that minimize friction for a cleaner and faster slicing.

On the other end, the knife features an imported triple-riveted and high grip handle that pairs with the tall blade for premium knuckle clearance.

Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife

Mercer Culinary Genesis 7-inch Santoku Knife

The Japanese-style Mercer Genesis Santoku knife is built to slice with power and mince with precision. The santoku knife combines European components and technology put together in Taiwan.

Fitted with a rectangular-shaped blade adorned with a series of Granton edge dimples, the knife guarantees smooth cutting, and effortless food release. The blade is made from high carbon German steel from Solingen, Germany to give you stain-, rust-, and corrosion-resistant performance.

It also features a full tang design that runs the length of its handle for better balance and stability, preventing it from snapping.

Moreover, the 7-inch all-purpose knife integrated a taper-ground blade edge which boosts stability further while boosting cutting efficiency, edge retention, and facilitating easy honing.

On the other end of the knife is a Santoprene /NSF certified handle to enhance comfort and grip during cutting.


Investing in a santoku knife is one way to add convenience to your kitchen. No doubt, you will still need bigger knives for larger and tougher cuts of meat.

However, for everyday cutting needs in your home, a santoku knife is a pretty handy tool. Paired with a chef knife, the duo does a great job complementing one another, helping you prepare the best tasting and looking meals.

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