I was gifted my first and only chef’s knife-a Victorinox with a Fibrox handle many years ago, and while it may have taken some time and many Youtube tutorials to teach me, I learned how to wield it in my humble home kitchen. With its long blade and sharp tip, it was quite a formidable addition at first to our tool drawer, and I shied away from using it obviously, but today I’m nicking open packages, mincing, chopping, and slicing without batting an eyelash.
If you’re serious about cooking, you should definitely invest in a good knife-it’s the best friend a home cook can have. I know how convenient it has been to use the cheap plastic stuff that you buy from the market and sharpen from a dude who rides up your lane on a cycle, but I think you deserve to indulge a little and really experience what it feels like to slice into an onion using the blade of a chef’s knife or a santoku.
In a very wand-chooses-the-wizard scenario, each knife is different in terms of grip, weight, size, brand and blade, and I strongly suggest you get a feel of the knife that you’re about to buy. A santoku is shorter than a chef’s knife and boxier in built, while a chef’s knife is longer, sleeker and with a pointed sword-like end. The knife you select should feel like it’s a natural fit in your hand, but more importantly, it should feel comfortable enough for you to use for long periods of time. It should make prep time or mise en place seem like a breeze, not a chore.
Since I have a medium-sized hand with medium-sized fingers, the santoku feels like a better fit than a chef’s knife. The slightly rounded front edge helps with the rocking motion when chopping, while the blade, slightly resembling a cleaver with a sharp-angled bevel makes it easier to slice through vegetables and boneless meats. What I like about the 7″ Kamikoto Santoku that I recently acquired is that it feels sturdy, has a comfortable grip, and stayed sharp through a good long testing period, as opposed to my Victorinox which almost always needs regular sharpening. When compared with the OXO Good Grips Santoku, the cheapest santoku available, it was not easy to grip or to use for me as the slightly rounded grip became uncomfortable to hold after some time. I preferred Kamikoto’s straight grip instead and rather liked that it was a bit on the heavier side.
Obviously choosing the right brand is very important when buying a knife because the steel of the blade should serve you well for many years, and so think of this as an investment; as something you’re going to use longer than your small pairing and/or serrated knife and must thus be state-of-the-art. Kamikoto’s knives are made with flawless Honshu steel that can withstand long term wear and tear and are made by a fourth-generation knife maker from Japan.The multifunctional blade of the Santoku is not intimidating to the amateur in the kitchen and this is one of the many reasons why I really like it, but it’s the craftsmanship of the blade that is the real sell. You can pick up the Santoku Chef’s Knife as well as some of the brand’s other offerings like the sharpening whetstone as well as the Kanpeki knife set for restaurant chefs by following the link here.