A santoku just might be the most user-friendly knife in the block. With its slightly shorter blade and downturned tip, a santoku is extremely easy and comfortable to use. The santoku originated in Japan; its name means "three virtues." Some say the three virtues are three types of food that it is perfect for: meat, vegetables, and fish. Others say the name refers to cutting, slicing, and dicing. Either way, this all-purpose knife is an all-time favorite.