Types of Kitchen Knives – This is a place in our home which holds an important position among other parts of our dwelling places. We all know how important food is to live a life. Where do you get food from? Obviously, most of it is prepared in the kitchen itself. Therefore, our kitchen holds many tools, like knife sharpners & other equipment, machines etc that not only make our lives simple and also make the cooking procedure interesting and hassle-free.
Those who are fond of cooking and love to spend most of their time in the kitchen also love to have their kitchen packed up with all the tools and equipment required for trying their hands on various kinds of dishes. Among the various tools, a common one is the kitchen knives. Yes! Those knives that use to cut vegetables. Did you know that there are various kinds or types of kitchen knives? If not then, this article is going to be very informative for you as you will get to know the types of kitchen knives available in the market, what they are used for, their advantages, their disadvantages, etc.
You might be thinking about why it is important for you to know about the kinds of kitchen knives available in markets. In a way, you are not wrong to have this thought but just think, if you know about it then how easy can your cooking procedure become. You might not be the one of a chef type but knowing about the kitchen knives and their types will help you decide which one to buy according to your preference and use.
Also, you will be able to use the right knife for the right purpose. For example, using a chef’s knife in place of a santoku knife might not give you the optimum results. So, to know the various types of knives available and their purpose becomes important to get the best results out of your cooking procedure. Also, when you go to the market and purchase a new set of knives, there are a few types that are completely new to you. So, understanding the types of knives can open a whole new world for you. Let us understand the kitchen knife types now.
Types of Kitchen Knives
- Chef’s Knife
- Santoku Knives
- Carving Knife
- Utility Knife
- Kitchen Shears Knife
- Steak Knives
- Honing Steels
- Bread Knife
- Boning Knife
- Tourne Knife
- Butcher Knife
This is the most important tool for a cook because most of the time this type of kitchen knife is the one which is used frequently during the whole of the cooking procedure. Therefore, make sure that you have a good chef’s knife. It is often suggested to purchase the best kitchen knife set that one can afford but it is actually wrong because to know which is the best knife, one has to know that what makes one knife better than the other. For your information, the best knives are those that are forged from a single piece of steel that runs the entire length of the particular knife.
Parts of Chef’s Knife
- Blade – Chef’s knife made up from high-carbon stainless steel is the best one. It’s a hard metal that helps in keeping its edges for a long time and protects it from rusting as well. Chef’s knives are usually 8 inches to 12 inches long. A long blade gives you the room to make longer single-stroke cuts when slicing. The German-style of a chef’s knife is curved at the front section of the blade while the French-style chef’s knife is straighter and triangular.
- Handle – This is the part with which you come in contact mostly. So, it should be comfortable and should also fit your hand well. They are traditionally made up of wood but wood handles can be at times problematic. For instance, in wood handles bacteria can grow because wood is porous, this can cause food-related illness. Although you should not be running your knives in the dishwasher, even if you are then, the ones with wooden handles are a big no! Knives with plastic or rubber handles are better and you can go for them.
- Heel – It is the widest part of a chef’s knife. It is located at the rear of the blade where it meets the handle. It is used for chopping hard items like nuts, carrots, etc.
- Tang – It is the steel extended all the way into the handle and is called a full tang. It offers better balance thus, making it easier to use.
- Rivets – These are the raised cylindrical studs that keep the handle securely attached to the tang. They are generally found in knives with wooden handles. If rivets are there, be careful and make sure they are smooth and are not protruding from the handle at all.
- Bolster – It is made up of heavy steel and is located at the front of the handle. They prevent your fingers from slipping while you are working thus, preventing hand fatigue and blisters. It is not necessary for every chef knife to have a bolster. The thicker the bolster is, the better your knife would work.
One of the best chef knife is Wusthof Classic 8-Piece Deluxe Knife Set with Block and it’s advantages and disadvantages are as follows
- It gives you near-perfect balance.
- It is flexible and has great heft.
- It includes a blade guard.
- It is dishwasher safe.
- It is expensive.
- It is suitable for only those who like heavy efficient knives.
Ever came across those knives with indentations on the edge of the blade? Yes! They are the Santoku knives. It’s edges add air between the knife blade and the material being cut. This makes it easier to remove the material from the blade. If you want to slice something finely then, you can definitely go for Santoku knives. The word Santoku is a Japanese term that means “three virtues” and thus, the meaning applies to it because of it’s triad of abilities that are- chopping, mincing, and dicing. It is also known as an all-purpose knife. It provides a comfortable and balanced grip. If you have small hands then, the design and weight of the Santoku knife are just right for you.
Parts of Santoku Knives
- Blade – They have a straight edge and a downward-curved spine. To prevent the food from sticking, they have a hollow edge.
- Size – They range from three inches to nine inches while the most popular size is seven inches.
- Sharpness – They are sharper than a chef’s knives. They are sharpened to a 10-degree angle per side.
- Uses – They are good for slicing thin and delicate foods.
- Price – It depends on brand and size but as compared to the chef’s knives these are inexpensive.
It is also known as slicing knife. They are used for slicing cooked poultry like turkey or chicken. Also, they can be used to slice large roasts of meat and for filleting very large fish. They have narrow, thin blades, and pointy tips. Their sizes range between eight and fourteen inches. The longest carving knife is the best. In the modern carving knives, you might also see shallow dimples along the sides of the knife, often known as Granton.
Some of the Best Carving knives are as follows
- Berti White-Handled Italian Carving Knife
- Victorinox Fibrox Pro 12” Hollow-Ground Slicing
- Dansk Classic Fjord Teak Carving Set
- Mercer Culinary 10-inch Genesis Forged Carving Knife
- Wusthof Classic 10-inch Carving Knife
It is also known as a petty knife and is a general-purpose knife in your kitchen knife set. It is extremely versatile and can be used for various purposes. These kinds of knives have a thin and agile blade. Since they are compact in size, therefore, it becomes easy to handle them. Utility knives can be used for mincing, carving, peeling, and slicing fruits, herbs, etc. They can also be used for creating garnishing stuff.
The traditional utility blades generally have a single-grind cutting edge but today, you can find the ones with V-grind also. While if you buy the one with double bevel edge, it will be better because it can be used by both left and right hand. The blade length of a utility knife varies between 3.5 inches to 8 inches while the height at the heel is about 1 inch to 1.5 inches.
Below are a few Best utility knives you can try for your cooking purposes
- Enso HD Hammered Damascus: It has a western-style handle with a little bit of Japanese influence. It is not flat rather rounded and is fitted with black canvas micarta scales that give you a comfortable grip and makes it durable also. It has a blade 4.75 inches long and weighs 2.6 ounces.
- Yoshihiro AUS-10 Steel: As you know the traditional Japanese kitchen knives come with an octagonal handle, this Yoshihiro utility knife also comes with an octagonal handle. It’s WA handle is made up of rosewood and gives you a perfect grip. It has a blade length of 6 inches and weighs around 3.2 inches.
- Tojiro DP: This is the most economical choice that you can make when shopping for a utility or petty knife. Not only these petty knives are known for being inexpensive but also they are popular among chefs for the quality they offer. Its blade does it all so, you need to do nothing extra. Its handle is made up of black reinforced laminated wood material.
Kitchen Shears Knife
For sure you can get those fancy pairs of scissors from the market but kitchen shears are above all of them. They are made up of plastic or rubber-coated handles making it easier for you to do the cutting task. The blades have a notch and parts of the handle can have teeth that are to be used for opening jars and bottles. Before buying kitchen shears, make sure that the blades are opening wide enough to perform the task you are buying it for. Here, are a few reasons
Why you Should have this Tool in your kitchen knives Set
- You can cut raw bacon very easily with kitchen shears.
- They can be used for removing thyme leaves from fresh sprigs.
- They can work on pieces of bread too.
- They can be used for cutting dried fruit.
- They can cut your food into tiny pieces thus, reducing the time you spend in roasting the chicken.
- Cutting food with the help of kitchen shears makes the process simple and mess-free.
These are knives used for cutting steak and mostly come in wooden handles along with serrated blades. These are very sharp knives that you may find in a kitchen knife set. These knives come in two forms:
- With Straight Blade – It is obvious from their name that they are straight. You will find no ridges rather there will only be a sharp, thin edge that is used to cut food. With the help of these knives, you can get a cleaner cut. The problem with these knives is that they require a lot of maintenance i.e. they need to be sharpened more often. It is suggested to sharpen steak knives with straight blades at least once in two weeks. Doing this, you can extend the shelf life with the best steak knives with straight blade. So, it will be helpful for you if know how to sharpen steak knives.
- With Serrated Blade: If you see multiple ridges or teeth at the bottom of the blade of a steak knife, immediately get to know that it is the one with serrated blade. While cutting with the help of this type of a blade, you will see that it tears through the meat not giving you a cleaner cut as in the case of a steak knife with straight blade. Therefore, it is advisable to use a knife if serrated blade for cutting bread and roasts. These knives have less exposed ridges and therefore, they remain sharper for long unlike the steak knives with straight blade.
These are also known as steels. When you buy a kitchen knife set, you might come across a metal rod with a handle, this is what honing steel is. Many of us have it in our knife set but do not know its purpose. People often get confused between honing and sharpening. These are two different things, let us understand how:-
- Honing: If you have a honing steel, you can use it to push the edge of a knife back to the center and straighten it. It does not sharpen your knife but if you have done the honing properly, your knife will definitely look sharper than before. This is because honing brings back the knife to its proper position. You can do it frequently, it does not harm the knife blade.
- Sharpening: In the process of sharpening, some bits of your kitchen knife’s blade is shaved off. This is to bring a new and sharper look to the knife. You can use a water stone, whetstone, or electric knife sharpener for this purpose. Sharpening should not be done as frequently as honing as your knife gets thinner after every sharpening.
It usually has a sharp edge that has saw-like notches. Its blade is about 8-10 inches long. It is best for slicing food that is hard on the outside and soft on the inside. With the help of a bread knife, you can slice bread without squishing it but it does not guarantee that the slices would be even. The longer it is, the more versatile it will be for all shapes of bread. They do not need sharpening and can also be used for cutting tomatoes, watermelon, pineapple, etc. It depends on the handle of a bread knife whether it will be dishwasher safe or not. For instance, the ones with wooden handles need to be washed by hands.
It is basically used to remove raw meat from the bone. This it does by cutting through connecting tissues. Boning knives are usually 5-6 inches long but boning knives of length around 9 inches are also available in the market. They are narrow and pointed but the shape can differ depending on the purpose you are buying a boning knife for. They are extremely flexible and are most useful for separating meat from smaller bones. They can perform the task of cutting soft tissues and trimming the fat in a way none other kitchen knives can do. Where you need to apply more pressure, the stiff blades of boning knives help you a lot. The blades are curvy making it easier to remove the skin or flesh in a single swipe. If you want to have this piece of the knife in your kitchen knives set then, you can go for Tojiro Pro Flash 63 Layer Damascus Boning Knife – 15 cm that has a narrow and curved blade allowing you to debone the meat, fish, and poultry within minutes. People often get confused between a boning knife and a fillet knife.
So let us understand the Differences Between the Two
- Fillet knives are more flexible as compared to boning knives.
- Fillet knives are thinner than boning knives and thus, fillet knives are better for delicate meats such as fish.
This is a French term that means a knife for turning. It is also known as a peeling knife and a bird’s beak. Its blade is very short about 7 cm. These knives are generally used for cutting and peeling fruits as well as vegetables. It has a blade curved towards the inside. So, if you are planning to buy one then go for Ergo Chef Bird’s Beak Tourne Knife, Pro Series, 2.5 inches. This shall be your best tourney knife pick.
As the name suggests, this tool is used for breaking down meat. You may also chop large melons, tough-skinned squash, etc. with a butcher knife. A few of the best meat cleavers or butcher knives available in the market are mentioned below, you can definitely consider these when going to buy a meat cleaver.
- WUSTHOF CLASSIC: It is 7 ½ inches long and pretty much heavy, giving you all the force and strength in chopping off that flesh. It has a thick 3/16 inch spine and is made up of stainless steel. This ensures that the blade stays sharp. Its weight is 1 pound 11 ounces.
- ZELITE INFINITY: It is made up of high carbon X50 Cr MoV5 stainless steel. It has got a flatter blade as compared to other meat cleavers. Also, it has a curve at the tip of the blade. The length of the blade is 7 inches and the weight is around 14 ounces.
- ZWILLING PRO: It is a German-made product and can be used by you for light chores like quartering chickens. It has a sharp and thinner blade. It has a 6 inches long blade and weighs 1.1 pound.