The santoku is a general-purpose kitchen knife originating in Japan. Its unshouldered blade, which is typically between five and eight inches long, has a flat edge and a sheepsfoot blade that curves in an angle approaching 60 degrees at the point. The top of the santoku's handle is in line with the top of the blade, giving the chef's fingers plenty of room underneath. The word santoku loosely translates as 'three virtues' or 'three uses', a reference to the three cutting tasks the knife performs so well: slicing, dicing, and mincing. The santoku's blade and handle are carefully designed to work in harmony by matching the blade's width/weight to the weight of blade tang and handle, and the original Japanese santoku is an especially well-balanced knife.