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  • In Japanese cuisine, the variety of knives used is tailored to specific tasks, reflecting a refined culinary tradition. Here's an overview of the differences between various types of Japanese knives:

    1. Chef Knife (Gyuto): Similar to Western chef's knives, the gyuto is a versatile kitchen knife that can perform a wide range of tasks. It typically has a longer blade ranging from 210mm to 360mm, allowing for efficient slicing, dicing, and chopping. The blade is thinner and sharper than many Western chef’s knives, designed for precise cuts.

    2. Santoku: This knife’s name means "three virtues" or "three uses," highlighting its proficiency in slicing, dicing, and mincing. Santoku knives usually have a blade length of 130mm to 180mm. The blade has a flatter edge and a sheepsfoot blade that curves in an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point, which is suited for a downward chopping motion rather than rocking.

    3. Petty Knife: This is a smaller utility knife typically used for precise tasks like peeling, shaping, and slicing small fruits and vegetables. Blade lengths range from 120mm to 180mm. It's akin to a smaller version of the chef knife and is perfect for tasks that require more control.

    4. Utility Knife: In Japanese knife terms, this often refers to a knife larger than a petty but smaller than a chef’s knife. It is versatile for medium-sized tasks and can handle jobs too small for a chef's knife and too big for a petty knife.

    5. Nakiri: This knife is designed specifically for cutting vegetables. It features a straight blade perfect for cutting all the way to the cutting board without the need for pulling or pushing. The nakiri has a double bevel edge and is usually about 165mm in length, making it excellent for precise vegetable work with its straight, thin blade.

    6. Sashimi Knife (Yanagiba): This is a long, slender knife designed specifically for slicing raw fish and seafood for sashimi and sushi. The blade typically ranges from 210mm to 360mm, allowing for a pull-cutting motion which helps in getting clean, precise cuts without applying pressure on the fish, ensuring perfect texture and presentation.