Goofing around with knife shape

I was sharpening a couple of chef’s knives for a friend and learned that she never used her santoku because she didn’t like the shape – the blade profile was too tall at the nose and didn’t provide a pointy enough tip, and the cutting edge was too flat. I asked if I could play around with reshaping it, to see if she liked using it more.

As is typical in commercial santokus, the spine is slightly “swayback” and the nose has a reasonably steep drop, creating a very obtuse point.

I flattened the spine and gave the nose a more gentle slope down to the tip. I also created a slight amount of belly to the cutting edge by adding some curve to the sections at both the heel and the tip.

Now it’s more like a hybrid “chef-toku” knife. :smile: I won’t find out for a few days if she likes it any better or not.


uhmmm, being blissfully ignorant of how “names” are supposed to dictate “value” . . . .

I have a santoku - it’s my #1 favorite knife because . . . it has the “flat” cutting edge of a ten inch knife in a seven inch format.

for chop/dice/mince - it’s a dream. the hugomontrous “nose” is of no import - it is basically a ten inch “chef’s knife” with a seven inch blade.

long stroke slicing . . . not my pick.
whacking acorn squash . . . not my pick.

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I know you used quote marks, but both have some rocker, and necessarily so. And virtually everyone uses the rocker, whether or not they think think they just plunge a “flat” edge through food.

Slicing attack angles are why perpendicular mandolines don’t work as well as Vs and angled.

Good work.

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Nice. For most Santoku, their pointers are never quite enough like a paring knife. I believe pointer is at least to provide “something” compared to the more traditional Nakiri knives which usually have no pointer at all.

Let us know if she ends up using it more.

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(If you like your santoku, wait until hear about the gyuto!) :grin:
Seriously though, it’s not the name but rather the usefulness of the design that matters. The flat edge that you like of a santoku is one that my friend dislikes, and the tall nose that you don’t care about is something that she finds annoying because it reduces the pointiness she wants.

I’ll say that my santoku designs are my most popular knives, but they’re more svelte than the typical commercial santoku design. (No swayback, and a less obtuse nose angle.) If transmogrifying her santoku turns it into something she prefers to use, then that’s a good thing IMO. Also, sharing the results here lets people consider possibilities for their own knives that they might not use for one reason or another. :slightly_smiling_face:


methinking the love/hate relationship could depend on how many knives in one’s “collection”

for folks with a stable of 2 knives-that-must-do-everything . . . the inability to poke a hole in the stretch wrap of a trayed supermarket product is possibly very important.

also depends on ‘things you do regular’
fine chopping garlic/onion/celery/mushrooms/et. al. - you have to first dice it, then mince it. the broad width of the santoku along it’s (near) entire length is a big plus for me.

if one buy’s one’s garlic pre-minced in a jar . . . there’s no need . . .

Does anyone only have 2 knives?
Certainly not anyone here on HO.



(Do) I GOT to get me one of those!?

If a knife would make you a better chef, I’d have 45 Michelin stars and a 25 year old supermodel wife and a bunch of kids with blonde hair. I’ve been given more knives than I can count.

I wish the equipment mattered.

Owning the best oil paints and brushes won’t make you Van Gogh.

my knives are tools.
some tools are better suited to some tasks than others.


wouldn’t count on that . . .

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I have many more than two knives, but I probably could get along pretty well with just an 8" chef’s and a paring knife. I think the only knife I’d miss would be the bread knife, but I don’t cut bread that often.

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LOL, only if you really want to! You have 3 santokus (including you new Kramer!) and your American-style Shun Premier chef’s knife, correct? I’d say that if you’re interested in trying out a gyuto, start with something a little less expensive than the site you linked. Japanese Chef’s Knife has a good selection, starting at very reasonable prices. (I think @Chemicalkinetics might have one of their CarboNext knives?) To fit what I know about your preferences, I’d recommend either a 180mm (7.1") or 210mm (8.3") length.

But I gave one of my Santokus to my daughter!


I GOT to get me one of those !?

…was supposed to have been delivered a la Will Smith.

But I don’t think so. Somehow I find pointy tips off-putting in a long knife. Maybe I need to have my hand closer to the tip when I’m doing something that needs one.


Oh, please. Woodworking tools don’t make anyone a better woodworker, Charlie? If not, better use the crappiest tools you can find.

Who but you knows why you don’t have stars?

I do have a CarboNext, but it is a Santoku. I do have a Tojiro gyuto and a Glestain gyuto.
@shrinkrap Do yo like Gyuto - which is essentially Japanese interpretation of Western chef’s knife.


Not really. I don’t really like a chef’s knife either, but I have been noticing I will sometimes reach for my smallest one.
I’ve noticed I don’t often use a sharp tip, and when I do, maybe to bone a chicken thigh, I want it in a short knife.

I am sure he is more famous for another quote now.

Do you have an utility knife or petty knife? (basically a pointy knife a bit longer than a paring knife)

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Do you have an utility knife or petty knife?

I do, and I use it before I use a chef’s knife.

I’m pretty sure you helped me explore several petty knives last summer!