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Kitchen Knives Buying Guide

Whatever kind of chef you are, you're going to need some good knives. Whether you order pizza five nights a week, or if you spend your nights making stew, roasts, and salads, you'll want a nice selection.

Or maybe you'll just want a pizza cutter .

Like most products, knives are highly specialized. Every food is unique, and with it comes a unique knife (see: oyster shucker ). Therefore, it is essential to understand the various types of knives in order to know which of them you need, and which of them you are without and can remain without. If you decide this whole guide is too overwhelming, it may be worth looking through some knife sets . Buying sets will help save you money, and since they range in size (from three-piece  sets to thirteen and up ), you may find the perfect set give your kitchen the well-rounded (but not dull!) cutlery it deserves.

Since the success of your knife depends on keeping it as sharp as possible (no matter what knife you buy, it will inevitably go dull), it is important to invest in some kind of sharpening device. They can be found in the form of a stone , a steel rod,  or an electric knife sharpener. 

Essentials

Chef Knives 

  • Purpose: Dicing veggies, herbs, and most anything; a good all-around knife.
  • Serrated?: Never
  • Blade Length: 15-25cm

Utility Knives 

  • Purpose: All purpose knife, similar to the chef knife. Thin body makes for easy wielding and more delicate slicing.
  • Serrated?: Sometimes
  • Blade Length: 15cm
  • Also See: Trimming Knife 

Paring Knives 

  • Purpose: The miniature chef knife. Allows maximum wielding power while slicing (usually soft foods, like fruits)
  • Serrated?: Sometimes
  • Blade Length: 5-10 cm

Carving Knife 

  • Purpose: Carving various types of meat, gourds, and anything else with strong outer layers. Often seen accompanied by a carving fork .
  • Serrated?:  Always
  • Blade Length: 15-25cm
  • Also See: Electric Carving Knife 

Bread Knives 

  • Purpose: Cutting even slices of bread. A narrower blade and large serrated "teeth" makes for a smooth slice.
  • Serrated?: Always
  • Blade Length: 20-30cm

Always Convenient To Have

Santoku Knives 

  • Purpose: This rectangular, hollow-edged chef's knife combines zen-like balance and samurai sharpening to make the ideal complement to any knife set. Dimples along the edge creates air pockets, which provide a smoother cut. Great for slicing fillets of beef or chopping through thick bunches of greens.
  • Serrated?: No, but edges are grooved.
  • Blade Length: 10-22cm

Cleavers  and Choppers 

  • Purpose: Used for heavy-duty chopping, as in dismembering a chicken, or cutting through thick vegetables, like bok choi. Chinese Cleavers are known to be more versatile than European Cleavers.
  • Serrated?: No
  • Blade Length:  15-20cm

Boning  and Fillet Knives 

  • Purpose: A type of utility knife, it is used for calculated cuts, such as removing bones and unwanted skin from meat and fish. 
  • Serrated?: No
  • Blade Length: 15-17cm

Cheese Knives 

  • Purpose: To properly slice from a block of cheese. The empty space in the middle of the knife is essential for achieving a smooth, even cut. The forked end also allows guests to lift pieces of cheese onto a cracker or apple slice without touching it with their hands. Perfect for get-togethers. Sometimes called a skeleton knife .
  • Serrated?: Yes
  • Blade Length: 15m
  • Also see: Cheeseboard 

Fun Extras

Mezza Luna 

The half-moon knife is an excellent tool for a fine chop (veggies and herbs mostly). The rounded, dual-handle blade and concave cutting board  make chopping jobs simply stellar.

Grapefruit Knives 

Thin, tapered knife with a hooked end can pry the grapefruit pockets in seconds. It may only have one function, but it sure excels. 

Salmon Knives 

Long, wafer-thin, and surprisingly sharp, the salmon knife will slice a fillet so quickly, you'll have wished you learned how to de-bone the thing.

Spatula Knives 

Dual-function spatula knives can cut and spread at the same time! Well...almost the same time. 

Pizza Cutters 

Say goodbye to burning your fingers trying to pry away a slice of hot pizza. Now you can roll right through.

Major Manufacturers

Related Products

Cutting Boards 

Kitchen Shears 

Knife Storage

Novelty Knife Storage 

Diamond Sharpeners