Originally from Japan, this knife is quickly finding a following among American chefs. The curvature of the cutting edge offers great opportunity for rocking the blade while slicing and dicing. It is an excellent choice for cutting vegetables and meats into slices or cubes. This blade can cut paper thin slices, a great benefit to those who adore sushi and sashimi and the hollows within the blade keep food from sticking to it. Tough polypropylene handles with full, visible tangs and the traditional three rivets distinguish Classic knives from Wüsthof's other cutlery lines. Otherwise Classic knives are identical to other Wüsthof knives, embodying all the virtues that have earned the German manufacturer world renown. The principal parts of a Wüsthof knife--blade, bolster, and tang--are forged from a single piece of high-carbon stainless steel, and the blade is precisely tapered from bolster to tip and from back to hand-honed edge. The blades and beautifully formed bolsters are not as thick as on some knives. As a result, despite their heft, strength, and durability, Wüsthof knives are pleasingly delicate and marvelously balanced in action. This 7-inch santoku is a Japanese cook's (or chef's) knife, featuring a low-tip style with a broad blade. The cutting edge is minimally curved, so it provides less rocking action than a European-style cook's knife. For straight-down slicing and precise chopping, however, it's superb. Alternating hollows on each side of the blade create air pockets, allowing slices to fall away cleanly. This knife should be hand washed.