Let’s face it. There are many different types of kitchen knives. Most household kitchens do not have a full set of knives. And you know what? Even if they did have a full set, most cooks only use a few choice knives on a daily basis.
True Story: When I first started in the kitchen I owned 3 steak knives, a paring knife and a cheap chef’s knife. All of them were purchased at the “Dollar Store”. Total value was $12.00.
Most Popular Types of Kitchen Knives
The Chef Knife is by far the most popular knife in the kitchen. This is the “do all” knife. The tip is designed to make smaller precision cuts. The blade near the handle is for chopping vegetables. A good Chef Knife is well balanced and feels comfortable in your hand. It also serves to fend off zombie attacks.
The Santoku Knife is very popular among cooks. It serves the same purpose as the Chef Knife but has a distinctive Japanese style. The fluted blade makes clean up easy. I prefer the Santoku style over the Chef Knife. Unless you are Jackie Chan, the Santoku Knife is less effective against zombies.
The Paring Knife is designed for small cuts. Cutting fruit and soft vegetables like mushrooms & green beans are typical uses of this knife. Due to its smaller design the paring knife is safer around children and people who are “knife challenged”. (i.e. Drunk people cutting limes or lemons)
An Edge in the Kitchen: The Ultimate Guide to Kitchen Knives
Veteran cook Chad Ward provides an in-depth guide to the most important tool in the kitchen, including how to choose the best kitchen knives in your price range, practical tutorials on knife skills, a step-by-step section on sharpening, and more. Available on Amazon Today!
Special Purpose Types of Kitchen Knives
The Filet Knife is designed for meat especially fish. It is very sharp so the knife can make exact cuts. Use it for slicing the fish from the boney part or trimming fat from chicken or beef. Even though it has a long thin blade this knife causes more injuries and bloody fingers.
The Bread Knife features a long serrated blade for cutting through bread products. A gentle sawing motion is used. The Bread Knife is larger than most kitchen knives but its blade is designed to be flexible. This knife is not suited for other cutting chores in the kitchen.
The Tomato Slicer is made for soft vegetables such as tomatoes and bell peppers. The blade is thin allowing you to make small petite cuts. I love putting bell peppers in many recipes. This knife makes the job easy.
Miscellaneous Types of Kitchen Knives
The Meat Cleaver is used for large heavy duty chopping chores. Cubing steaks or chicken and cutting pineapple or eggplant are typical uses. The Meat Cleaver is a favorite with Hollywood directors also. Cue the eerie music.
The Pizza Cutter is a staple in any kitchen. The Pizza Cutter is not always considered part of a kitchen knife set. However, no self respecting college student, bachelor or man-caver would be caught dead without one. While it does not function well with other cutting tasks, it does slice a pizza well.
The Potato Peeler is very functional. Many recipes call for peeled carrots or cucumbers. This is another kitchen item not regularly considered a knife but do not under estimate the value of a good peeler.
Judging the Quality of Knives – Good versus Cheap
Many people do not pay attention to the quality of their knives. They focus on price. However, you can judge the quality of a knife by its blade, bolster and tang.
The Bolster is a metal band where the blade meets the handle.
The Tang is the part of the knife inserted into the handle.
Knife Reviews – Our Favorites
Chicago Cutlery Fusion 18 piece set is a great mix of style, functionality, quality and price. The soft grip handles are great for people with smaller hands. Buyers on Amazon consistently rate this set 4 stars or better. At $4.50 per knife, the Fusion set is a perfect addition to any kitchen.
Read the Reviews on Amazon
Rada Cutlery Ultimate 15 piece collection is made for serious cooks. The brushed aluminum handles are stylish and comfortable producing a lighter knife. The blades are high carbon forged stainless steel. The knives are made in the USA. Surprisingly, these knives only cost $6.00 per knife.