Santoku Knife Set: The Best Knives for Small-Handed Chefs

May 25, 2022

The struggle of working with standard kitchen knives is real. They're too big and unwieldy to fit comfortably in your small hands. But here comes the solution: the Santoku knife set. This set of knives is a way to your culinary greatness. They're an excellent alternative for chefs who wish to make slicing, chopping, and dicing more efficient.

But before we get into Santoku knives, let's look at some of the most common kitchen injuries and how easy-grip tools like Santoku knives can make cooking a pleasure.

Small Hand Problems: The Usual Kitchen Mishaps

injured hands with knife cutting a tomato

When our grasp isn't strong enough, we suffer from hand injuries. This problem manifests itself in the kitchen, where even the most basic duties may necessitate extra effort. As cooks or chefs, we don't want your overall performance harmed. Thus, extra precautions are a must.

To guide you better, below are some of the most frequent hand injuries that you may encounter.

  • Knuckle scrapes: These sores often happen when your finger skin is rubbed too hard. It may symbolize your dedication to the kitchen, but it is also a source of pain and an impediment when cooking.
  • Cuts: This is the most common form of a kitchen hand injury. When you're chopping or slicing something incredibly tough, the knife slides on your hands or fingers.
  • Callus: Calluses are thick, hard patches of skin that grow when a region of the skin is exposed to repeated friction or pressure. They typically develop on the hands or fingers and can be exceedingly painful if not properly treated.
  • A blister on fingers: Like callus, a blister is often formed on the fingers from too much slicing—except that it forms a small, fluid pocket that is more infectious and annoying to experience.
  • Wrist pain: This pain is likely caused by strongly grasping the knife handle or using a sawing motion with the wrist instead of the arm.
  • Arm pain: Most of the time, a heavy knife and tough meat require a huge amount of slicing power that causes strain on the arms.
  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: It's similar to wrist pain, only that it's more excruciating. This occurs when the tendons in the wrist become inflamed and numbed, caused by repetitive motions such as chopping vegetables or slicing meat.

The Easy-Grip Tool: Why Are Santoku Knives Great for Small Hands?

One of the most interesting parts about Santoku knives is the name itself. In Japanese terms, Santoku means "three uses," referring to the three cutting tasks this knife excels at: slicing, dicing, and mincing.

Santoku knives are distinguished by their size and shape. Its knife blades are typically between five and seven inches long, and they have a flat edge with a slightly curved spine. These Japanese knives are also significantly simpler to hold than typical chef's knives. Therefore, it's less tiring to use for a long time if you have small hands.

Most Santoku knives also have a Granton edge, a series of stops or scallops around the blade that stop the ingredients from attaching to the knife. These divots create air pockets between the blade and the food to control the knife with precision while slicing thick foods.

Santoku blades are an excellent choice for small-handed chefs who desire a knife that isn't bulky or difficult to use.

a santoku knife

5 Things to Keep In Mind When Choosing a Santoku Knife Set

You might assume that Santoku knives have already solved your problem, but the research doesn't stop there. It's important to explore other elements that can subtly contribute to your kitchen lifestyle. Below are some.

Blade Material

Some Santoku knives are often made of high-carbon stainless steel, both sturdy and corrosion-resistant. Some are also made of ceramic or titanium, which can provide distinct advantages in blade sharpness and longevity.

Blade Handle

The most common handle materials are wood, plastic, and stainless steel. Wood handles are usually made from birch or rosewood, and they offer a traditional look and feel. Plastic handles are often ergonomically shaped to provide a comfortable grip, and they're usually dishwasher-safe. 

Although stainless steel handles are long-lasting and easy to clean, they can become slippery when wet. At the end of the day, the perfect handle material for you is the one that appears the most comfortable in your grip.


Most people will prefer a double-beveled edge since it is easier to sharpen and offers greater flexibility in how you can use the knife. A single-bevel knife is also a better option if you're left-handed.

Type of Sharpener

A honing rod effectively keeps a Santoku knife's edge sharp, but a sharpening stone can be used for complete sharpening.


A Santoku knife set with a block provides two functions: security and storage. It protects your blades from getting nicked or damaged when not in use. It also keeps your knives organized and accessible. You can grab the appropriate knife off the block rather than digging through drawers.

The Right Grip Starts With the Santoku Knife Set

A Santoku knife set could answer your prayers if you have small hands and have been struggling in the kitchen with hand injuries. They're not only comfortable to hold, but they're also razor-sharp, making them great for a range of cutting tasks. 

We hope that after reading this article, you will feel confident enough to get one of these wonderful sets and start cooking! If you're still unsure, browse our website and read some of our insightful reviews on kitchen knives and other products.

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