A Japanese chef's knife is known as a gyuto (牛刀 ぎゅうとう） gyūtō?), literally meaning 'beef knife'. Its blade resembles a flatter version of a French chef's knife. Japanese cutlery is known for sharpness due to its acute blade geometry, and the hardness of the steel used, sometimes exceeding 60 HRC on the Rockwell Scale A typical western chef's knife may be sharpened to an edge angle of 20-22°, while a Japanese gyuto generally has a sharper edge angle of 15-18° (or even lower), which requires a harder, more brittle grade of steel. In recent years Japanese gyuto have gained in popularity with western chefs.
A modern chef's knife is a multi-purpose knife designed to perform well at many differing kitchen tasks, rather than excelling at any one in particular. It can be used for mincing, slicing, and chopping vegetables, slicing meat, and disjointing large cuts.