The 5 Common Types of Kitchen Knives

No kitchen is complete without a knife. It would be near impossible to prepare a full meal without a knife. Whether you are a chef working in a busy restaurant, or someone simply looking to prepare something small for dinner, there’s no doubt that knives are one of the tools, you’ll be reaching for first. Everything, from cutting beef with steak knives, chopping onions, slicing bread, or cracking oysters, no one can dare undermine the role of a knife.

types of knives
Image Credits: GearMoose

But do you know why all those knives are shaped differently? Here’s more on the five common types of knives and their uses.

1. Chef’s Knife

See that broad-bladed knife in the set? That’s what is called a chef’s knife. Its length and unusually larger size are designed to mince, chop, and slice faster. Assuming you have the average-sized hands of an adult, it’s easier to control a larger knife than it is with a much smaller knife. Most chef’s knives measure anywhere between six inches and twelve inches long.

Use a chef’s knife to cut tofu, dice tomatoes, chop radish, slice steaks, Julien carrots, and so on. Generally, a chef’s knife is designed with a curved pointed end, which conveniently makes chopping or cutting hard vegetables a breeze.

Also known as a cook’s knife, this tool can stand up to pressure, making it the best knife to pull out whenever you want to do some heavy-duty cutting tasks in the kitchen. This is without consuming too much time or using too much effort.

2. Santoku Knives

Quite an intriguing name for a knife, it doesn’t take too long to get the hint that the Santoku knife originates from Japanese culture/tradition. The Santoku knife is pretty much like the chef’s knife only this time; there are small structural differences that make it unique.

The term santoku in Japanese stands for three values, dicing, slicing, and mincing. Generally, it features a large blade with a hollow edge. It, however, appears slightly shorter and thinner compared to a chef’s knife. If you are a master chef who’s only used a chef’s knife before, it will take you a while to master how to use the Santoku knife properly. But eventually, you’ll get the hang of it.

It’s a versatile, all-around knife that chefs in Japanese restaurants use to make the most precise cuts or fine chops. With the best Santoku knife, it would be far easier to slice vegetables and cut fish. A great all-around versatile Santoku knife is one of the best knives in the kitchen, perfect for everyday dicing and mincing tasks.

3. Paring Knife

A paring knife is much smaller in size and has a sharp pointed tip. Most paring knives have blades that measure a paltry three to four inches long. It’s perfect for peeling vegetables and fruits and also comes in handy when you want to prepare garnishes for your meal presentations.

The amount of accuracy and precision you get is amazing, considering how small it is. Feel free to use this knife to remove seeds from fruits and trim excess fat from your steak or other meat/flesh pieces.

There are three types of paring knives. There are the sheep’s foot, the spear point, and the bird’s beak paring knives. The sheep’s foot knife is ideal for chopping and julienning vegetables, whereas the spear point knife is best for smaller cutting and chopping tasks. The bird’s beak knife, on the other hand, is the most preferred and makes a great peeling and garnishing tool.

4. Carving Knife

Almost resembling a small sword, a carving knife has a long yet much thinner blade compared to a chef’s knife. When you want to serve cooked meats, a carving knife is what you use. It’s perfect for slicing deep-fried turkey, smoked ham, roasted chicken, turkey, and so on. It can curve out and cut the thinnest, most neat, and uniform pieces of meat.

Also known as a slicing knife, a carving knife is the right tool to serve meats like pork, lamb, or beef. It’s designed to yield minimal drag during cutting and hence the best for producing even-sized pieces of meat, fruits, and vegetables.

Feel free to use this knife to cut melons and slice courgettes. Surprisingly, if you don’t have a cake knife, a carving knife is a great alternative.

5. Utility Knife

The utility knife is where the slicing knife meets the paring knife. With borrowed features from both knives, a utility knife has a significantly longer edge than a normal paring knife. Ideal for cutting vegetables, slicing fruits, and prepping food, a utility knife is sort of your go-to knife for most cutting needs inside the kitchen.

It is sharp enough to slice shallots and do most of what you can do using a chef’s knife. If you find it hard to use a chef’s knife because you have smaller hands, then a utility knife is your next best option. It can make clean cuts and work just as fast.

Imagine a life without knives? How would cooking even be possible? With a long list of knife varieties in the market, above is a list of five knives and a vivid description of their uses. No more guesswork, now you know what knives to choose whenever you’re out shopping for new ones.

This article was contributed by one of the writers from Higher Writers. A company that does content writing for clients.