We often get questions about which knives are essential and which knife does what. Following is a basic guide to knife blades (sources: Wusthof.com and Shun.com)
- Chef's/Cook's Knife: The work knife. The iconic shape is recognized worldwide. The rounded “belly” of this knife allows for rocking the blade for effortless chopping, mincing and dicing. If you’re only going to have one knife, this is the one. The most important tool in the kitchen.
- Paring Knife: The Paring Knife’s small, narrow blade tapers to a point at the tip which makes it perfect to trim, slice, and peel small produce such as garlic and herbs.
- Utility Knife: The versatile Utility Knife, a larger version of a paring knife, is perfect for mincing shallots, onions, and herbs, as well as cutting vegetables or small meats
- Bread Knife: The serrated edge of the Bread Knife guides the blade through tough crust without compressing the soft inside and leaves minimal crumbs.
From personal experience, we would add:
- Santoku Knife: The Hollow Edge Santoku is designed with a thinner blade than the traditional Chef’s Knife, at a 10° cutting edge. This Eastern-style knife is designed for balance and agility and features a hollow edge which brings extra efficiency and speed to chopping, slicing, and dicing.
- Carving/Slicing Knife: The Carving Knife has a long, narrow blade and pointed tip which allows the knife to cleanly cut through meats and guide it away from the bone.
- Boning Knife: The Boning Knife’s narrow, curved blade enables the knife to move cleanly along bones for precise cuts, making it easier to trim fat and separate the meat from the bone.
- Fillet Knife: Ideal for deboning and filleting fish, the Fillet Knife’s long, narrow blade enables the knife to move smoothly along the backbone of the fish and easily remove the skin.
- Nakiri Knife: With its straight blade, edge, and spine, the nakiri isn’t rocked like a chef’s knife. Instead, it should be used with a simple push cut—down and forward—to enjoy the clean, swift work it makes of your produce.
- Brisket Knife: The brisket knife is long and narrow with hollow grounds, enabling you to trim and slice larger cuts of meat. A rounded tip makes this knife safer and easier to use.