It’s often been said that everything old is new again and the sentiment certainly applies to kitchen cutlery. Fans of santoku knives may or may not know the storied history of this particular style of knife – Asian and exotic knives are quite popular today but they have a long legacy and are the result of much history. Many knives are even based on the tradition of samurai sword making which is quite logical when you think about it.
The santoku style knife is a general purpose kitchen knife which originated in Japan; it is considered ideal for slicing, dicing and mincing. The actual name of the knife means “three virtues” or “three uses” and the santoku blade and handle are designed to work in harmony by matching the blade’s width and weight to the weight of the blade tang and handle. The original Japanese santoku is considered an exceptionally well balanced knife. There are many contemporary makers of santoku style knives and you often see them used by celebrity chefs on television cooking shows.
Another popular style of knife is the stainless steel one-piece knife which is similar in concept to a surgeon’s scalpel. It is extraordinarily precise and especially hygienic as it is easy to clean as the one-piece construction leaves little opportunity for germs or bacteria to lodge. The actual manufacturing process of such knives is a direct result of centuries of Japanese samurai sword craftsmanship and many of the techniques are used today are the same as those which were employed centuries ago.