Are you the inquisitive home cook trying to learn about the most common types of kitchen knives? Then this guide is for you. We have here curated the commonly used types of knives along with their uses. Or did you purchase a knife and don’t know its intended use? Read on to find knives are used for what purpose. Here’s the list of all the types of knives that we are about to read:
- Chef’s knife
- Carving knife
- Santoku knife
- Utility knife
- Bread knife
- Paring knife
- Boning knife
- Kitchen shears
- Steak knife
- Honing steel
- Meat cleaver
- Tournè knife
Let's Get to the Details of Different Types of types of kitchen knives!
1. Chef's knife
A chef’s knife is a versatile type of knife in the kitchen. All professional chefs will tell you that it’s a must-have and that it must be an extension of your arm in the kitchen. It is the go-to chopping knife as well as the quickest dicer of herbs, fruits, and vegetables. It can also be used for cutting other kinds of foods such as fish, poultry, and meat.
A chef’s knife is eight to ten inches long with the blade rounding at its tip. Do not use it to peel small products as they are too large to do the job precisely. Also, avoid using it to carve cooked meat.
2. Santoku knife
A santoku knife is a type of kitchen knife that has a straight blade with small indentations that makes it easier for food to slide off the blade. It is also versatile like the chef’s knife, great for mincing, dicing, and chopping ingredients or for slicing cheese. You may also use it for just about everything that you would use a chef’s knife for.
3. Carving knife
A carving knife is the type of knife used to cut large chunks of cooked meat like roasted turkey, pork, or beef. They are perfectly narrow to meet the precision required and are longer so as to make long slices cut perfectly. They also have indentations on the side of their blades to release each slice easily.
4. Bread knife
Bread knives are a type of knife that has serrated edges to easily carve crusty or soft bread without squeezing the bread’s edges. When you use a bread knife, move it like a saw rather than how you would use a chef’s knife. Apart from slicing bread, they can be used to cut baked goods too like a cake. Also, it is quite handy in cutting large melons where a regular knife would get stuck, or for slicing tomatoes and breaking chocolate bars into bite sizes.
5. Utility knife
Utility knives are smaller in size than chef’s knives but not as petite as paring knives. These are great for chopping and slicing midsize to small vegetables and meat chunks. You can use a serrated utility knife to slice sandwiches. You may also use a straight blade utility knife to peel produce but it’s best left to paring knives.
6. Boning knife
A boning knife has an extremely flexible and narrow blade with a tapering tip. It is used to debone chunks of meat more effectively and to reduce waste in the process. A boning knife can cut through tough joints and connective tissues which other knives will struggle to do. Remember that it is used to cut around bones and through them. You can also use it to remove the skin from fish as it helps to remove the flesh from the sin very seamlessly.
7. Paring knife
Paring knives are tiny in size but are the perfect cutlery for peeling, chopping, slicing, mincing, and removing seeds. Its thin super sharp blade is the go-to aid to slice fruits and hot peppers. Avoid using it to cut large produce or large meat but for everything else, this is the perfect type of kitchen knife to use. It comes in either with a serrated edge or a straight blade.
8. Steak knife
Steak knives are usually used for eating rather than for cooking. They are set with the table with a good steak serving. Steak knives are sturdy and sharp and those steaks will cut like butter under your knife. These knives are often sold in sets and come with either a straight or serrated edge.
9. Kitchen shears
Kitchen shears are more like knives than kitchen knives and are used to chop salad greens, cut herbs off their vines, or open up the packing of processed food. You may also use it to cut bacon into bite-sized pieces if you are adding it to cobb salad or pasta. Cutting jarred or canned goods using these shears is a feasible idea. You can also cut meat into bite-sized chunks while stir-frying them.
Every sufficient kitchen has a type of knife sharpener but choosing one from a lot of options is a task. You may also get sharpening stones that are like small metal bricks with fine to coarse grit. The edge of the blade is held to the stone at an angle and then drawn into the stone which sharpens its edge.
A popular type of knife sharpener is a whetstone but it takes more practice with time to get skilled at one. You can also get different kinds of manual sharpeners at an affordable range. These come with slits through which you can draw your knife and get it sharpened. Electric knife sharpeners are also a good option though manual ones do it just fine.
11. Honing steel
Honing steels are long metal rods that correct the edge of the blade before and after each use. They do not technically sharpen the knives or remove any metal but reposition and align the edge of the knife to make it more efficient. Do not confuse it with sharpening steel rods that actually sharpen knives.
12. Tournè knife
Tournè knives are a kind of paring knife that has a curved blade resembling a bird’s beak. This shape is advantageous to create round shapes or to cut through round ingredients. You can make small football-shaped potatoes that you can boil and saute to a brown, crisp chip. Also, you may use it to peel citrus for drinks and desserts. You may also use it for skinning purposes such as peeling an onion or ginger root.
13. Meat cleaver
A meat cleaver is a type of large kitchen knife with a rectangular blade that is primarily used to chop through bones. The flat side of the blade is used to crush garlic to peel them easily before mincing. There is yet another way to use a meat cleaver which is as a chef’s knife to slice meat for stir-fries or chop vegetables. They are available in different weights and sizes and remember that the huge blade can be dangerous if not used properly.
The Bottom Line: Different Types of Kitchen Knives
Here we come to the end of an exhaustive list of different types of knives for your kitchen. Some knives mentioned here serve multiple purposes such as a chef’s knife and a meat cleaver while others are single-purpose only such as a steak knife. Hopefully, now you know which type of knives go for what purpose!