So the physical difference between a santoku and chef knife are fairly obvious. The question I have is application. What exactly is the santoku supposed to do that a chefs knife does not? I assume one could not rock the knife as easily w/ the santoku and it's shorter length would limit the usefulness in terms of size of items being cut. Just looking at the profile it seems it may be easier to sharpen as the blade is straighter and the tip is not as tapered, thereby making it easier to maintain angle near the tip. Not to mention the fact that it is shorter so there is less blade area to be sharpened. This is all pure speculation on my part of course. I have to say the santokus look modern and cool, but it's hard to imagine the movie Psycho being as scary if Norman Bates had traded in the 12" chef for the santoku; because we all know only pointy knives are dangerous.