In Japanese santoku means three virtues, or uses, which for knife users are slicing, dicing and mincing. Santoku’s are typically between 5” and 7” long, with a “sheepsfoot” tip and a relatively flat cutting edge that makes a lot of board contact. While this limits “rocking” motion when cutting, it’s extremely popular with home cooks who typically rock chop. Go figure! Maybe its popularity is because the blade length is just right for so many people and there’s a really nice balance between blade and handle. The santoku was arguably the first Japanese style knife used in the United States and Europe, as an alternative to German and French kitchen knives. Popular santukos have regular and hammered finishes and hollow-ground. Many professional cooks use santoku’s for food preparation and on the cooking line.