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The word santoku loosely translates from Japanese as “three virtues,” referring to three tasks the knife performs well: slicing, dicing, and mincing or chopping; use it on meat, fish and vegetables.

I love this knife—its straight blade and small handle make it easy to use, as well as versatile. (It’s ideal for anyone with small hands.) Made with “full tang” steel, meaning that the steel blade extends through the length of the handle, it has added strength. Available at kitchen stores, or at grohmannknives.com; $66.

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