30 Different Types of Kitchen Knives – Do You Know Them All?


In our ultimate A-to-Z guide we examine the functions and features of each kind of blade.

Quicklist: Types of Kitchen Knives

  1. Boning Knife
  2. Bread Knife
  3. Butter Knife
  4. Carving Knife
  5. Cheese Knife
  6. Chef’s Knife
  7. Clam Knife
  8. Cleaver
  9. Deli Knife
  10. Dessert Knife
  11. Devein Knife
  12. Diner Knife
  13. Fillet Knife
  14. Frozen Food Knife
  15. Granton Edge Knife
  16. Grapefruit Knife
  17. Jamonero Knife
  18. Oyster Knife
  19. Paring Knife
  20. Peeling Knife
  21. Santoku Knife
  22. Steak Knife
  23. Tomato Slicing Knife
  24. Dao Bao Knife
  25. Deba Knife
  26. Mushroom Knife
  27. Mezzaluna Knife
  28. Nakiri Knife
  29. Kitchen Shears
  30. Utility Knife

About 68% of people prefer a plain-edge knife to a serrated-edge knife simply because the former is easier to sharpen. While only 32% prefer the latter, the serration is actually better for tough jobs, such as cutting a rope.

Knives have existed since prehistoric times serving as a hunting tool, weapon or an eating utensil. The first knife-like tool, made of flint, was made by archaic humans millions of years ago, while the first metallic knife was constructed from copper and designed as a symmetrical double-edged dagger. The first single-edged knife was invented 4,000 years ago in the Bronze Age.

Knives were carried in a sheath attached to a belts. The sharp multi-purpose blades also appeared at dining tables and potentially could pose some danger. In 1669, King Louis XIV of France banned pointed, sharp knives from the dining room inaugurating the use of wider and blunter knives as cutlery.

Of all knife blades, obsidian remain the sharpest. Many times sharper than metal they can slice  through cells with precision whereas steel blades can only tear them apart. The Stone Age obsidian blade still finds use as a modern surgical tool.

Related: 10 most expensive knives | What Exactly is a Trapper Knife?What are Obsidian Blades? (Pros and Cons) | What is a Carbon Steel Blade? (What is it good for?) | The Sheepsfoot Blade (What’s it Good For?)Craftstone Knives Review – a great set of custom-designed stainless steel chef’s knives | Joint Knife vs. Putty Knife – What Are the Differences? | Putty Knife vs. Paint Scraper – What to use when?

Different Types of Kitchen Knives

Types of kitchen knives chart

1. Boning Knife

Photo of a boning knife

Design/Purpose

A boning knife has a blade that is short and thin, and is used to remove the main bone in a piece of meat, such as a beef roast or a large ham. The long, narrow blade makes it easier to manipulate around the bones, and the blade is always rigid and proportioned to the size of the bone that is being removed, meaning there are many different designs of boning knives.

Features/Styles

The blade on a boning knife must be rigid and not too flexible because otherwise, the blade can bend too easily and therefore injure someone. Not surprisingly, smaller cuts of meat can be cut with smaller, less rigid blades, while larger cuts can be made with knives that are a little larger in size.

Sizes

Boning knives can be many sizes when you include the entire knife, but the blade is usually five or six inches in length and no longer.

Materials

Many boning knives are made of stainless steel and other strong materials, in large part because they must be rigid and extremely strong in nature. Many online stores, including Hayneedle, have a variety of boning knives in stock.

2. Bread Knife

Bread slicing knife

Bread knives are long and serrated but have a rather thin blade that allows the user to easily slice pieces of bread off of the loaf without squishing the bread. They are incredibly sharp so that they will slice through the bread, rather than smashing it together and squishing it.

By using a sawing motion, the user can easily cut through not only bread but also melons and other soft foods. Due to the serration of the blade, a bread knife will produce far fewer crumbs than a regular knife would cutting through a loaf of bread.

3. Butter Knife

Butter knife

Source: Amazon 

Design/Purpose

Since butter knives are made to apply soft foods (such as cream cheese, peanut butter, jelly, and jams, or butter) on dinner rolls and bread, they are usually small in size and have blades with blunt edges, meaning it is all but impossible to cut anything with a butter knife. Of course, they are made for spreading, not cutting, so this design is never a problem.

Features/Styles

Although butter knives can come in various styles and patterns, most of them come with a complete set of flatware and therefore match the rest of the flatware. Some companies do make individual butter knives, but whether they do or don’t come with other knives, spoons and forks, they are available in a wide range of patterns, designs, colors, and even shapes.

Sizes

Butter knives are usually approximately four inches in length, and even though different brands vary a little, they are all around the same size due to the fact that they essentially serve only one purpose.

Materials

The handle and blade of a butter knife are usually made out of the same material, usually in materials such as stainless steel, which is perfect for the spreading of various food items onto rolls and bread. A good example of a high-quality butter knife can be found online in stores such as Home Depot.

4. Carving Knife

TUO Cutlery Meat Slicing Carving Knife - High Carbon German 1.4116 (X50CrMoV15) Stainless Steel - Kitchen Ham Knife 12’’- With Hollow Ground Edge - B&W Series

Source: Amazon

Carving knives are ideal anytime you are going to be serving a large piece of meat and want to make a show of cutting it at the table. These knives are available as either electrical or mechanical knives, depending on your personal preference and how easily you want to cut through the meat.

They are very long and serrated, which helps the knife-edge grab the fibers of the meat to make clean cuts. By using a sawing motion, it’s easy to quickly cut through turkeys, roasts and hams without accidentally shredding the meat.

5. Cheese Knife

Set of cheese knivesDesign/Purpose

Cheese knives have thin blades so that they can easily cut through both hard and soft kinds of cheese. The blades are typically either short and wide or very narrow.

Many of them come with a forked tip, which is perfect for lifting pieces of cheese, as well as cutting through citrus fruits or spearing onions or cherries if you are a bartender making drinks with these ingredients. In other words, the main purpose of a cheese knife is to make it more convenient to cut and slice cheese.

Features/Styles

Since cheese starts to harden as soon as the air hits it, it is usually left uncut when it’s on a cheese plate, and therefore cheese knives with heavier or wider blades are usually included because these are easier to cut and slice hard cheese.

Cheese knives come in a wide variety of sizes and lengths, but the shorter ones allow people to cut through cheese that is extra-hard or firmly textured, which is why they are ideal for cheese boards.

Sizes

Although cheese knives vary in size, most of them are between five and six inches long, making them perfect for the use for which they are intended, regardless of what type of cheese you need to slice or cut.

Materials

Cheese knife handles can be made of everything from different types of wood to fancy ceramic, and almost everything in between, and online stores such as Etsy carry numerous types of cheese knives.

6. Chef’s or Cook’s Knife

Victorinox Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife, 8-Inch Chef's FFP

Design/Purpose

An all-purpose knife used by chefs to do everything from mince to slice and chop to dice, these knives come in a wide variety of sizes and lengths, and the longer ones are the ones that most people associate with this type of knife. They cut meats and vegetables and dozens of other foods, and for various reasons, most chefs prefer the ones with longer blades.

Features/Styles

Chef’s knives come in a basic style, and the smaller ones are usually known as mini chef’s knives, while the longer ones are associated with the traditional cook’s knife.

Depending on the knife’s balance, heft and weight, they can be used for heavy-duty work associated with thicker cuts of meats, or lighter duty, such as with fruits and vegetables.

The length of the knife is also important, because the longer the knife, the more difficult it is to handle and the heavier it is, which is why usually only cooks with large hands prefer the larger chef’s knives.

Sizes

Most chef’s knives are six, eight, 10 or 12 inches in length, with each one being preferred by certain chefs for various reasons. The length preferred by chefs usually depends on what they are cutting and the mass and type of the food they wish to ultimately produce, which is one of the many reasons why they come in so many sizes.

Materials

Online research can help you find the perfect chef’s knife, and you can start with sites such as Hayneedle.

7. Clam Knife

Dexter-Russell (S127PCP) - 3

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

A clam shucking knife has one main purpose, and that is to open a clam or oyster’s hard shell so that you can get to the meat inside of the shell. Blades with beveled edges are common because they are easier to insert into the shell, which is usually closed very tightly, not to mention easier for the blade to be twisted so that the shell is pried apart easily.

Features/Styles

Clam knives usually have short blades and short handles, although the handles also come in longer versions. The knife usually has a sharp edge to make cutting the mussels out a lot easier, while other clam knives have notched blades to keep the shell open while you’re removing the meat.

Sizes

Although the handles of clam knives can vary in length, most are short so that the work that needs to be done is simplified. The blade itself is always short — usually no more than four inches in length. The knives’ small size makes the process of both prying the shells open and cutting out the meat more efficient. 

Materials

Because it is the blade on a clam knife that is its most important feature, the handles on these knives can be made out of almost any type of material, from wood to ceramic and even items such as tortoise shell or metal.

Stores such as Etsy offer clam knives that are both standard and fancy.

8. Cleaver (a.k.a. Butcher Knife)

Cleaver knife on cutting board

Design/Purpose

There are many different purposes for a cleaver, including shredding, pounding, chopping, or crushing various ingredients and materials. It is designed with a blunt, flat side, which pulverizes meat, as well as a beveled blade to chop through bones, hard materials or vegetables.

Features/Styles

Cleavers have rigid and wide blades that taper to an edge that is sharp and made for cutting. The blade is thick and well-balanced, and there is sometimes a flat end that is used for crushing garlic, seeds or other items. It typically includes a hole at the top end of the blade to hang up the knife when it’s not in use.

Sizes

Sizes of cleavers can vary, but most are approximately seven inches in length.

Materials

Stainless steel blades are the main material in a cleaver, and its handles are usually made of either solid wood or even stainless steel.

All types of cleavers can be found in reputable stores such as Home Depot.

9. Deli Knife

Wusthof Classic 8-Inch Offset Deli Knife

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

A deli knife is designed to cut through various types of sandwiches. It features an offset blade which will be kept up and away from countertops or cutting boards while you push downwards as you cut the sandwich. The positioning allows you to utilize the entire length of the blade while cutting.

Features/Styles

Deli knives usually contain serration that is rounded, allowing it to release resistance while you cut through foods. This results in less food being pulled out of the sandwich so that you can produce the thick, deli-style sandwiches that everyone loves.

Sizes

Although there are various sizes of deli knives, most of them are approximately eight inches long, which makes working with them very simple and convenient.

Materials

The materials used in deli knives usually include high-tech stainless steel for the blades and some type of hard timber for the handle. 

10. Dessert Knife

Oneida Foodservice T023KDEF Mascagni Dessert Knives, Stainless Steel

Source: Amazon

Dessert knives are generally eight inches long and have a narrow blade with either a point in or a rounded tip. Cutlery that has a pointed tip can be used to slice through hard desserts, while those with rounded tips section off pieces of soft desserts. These knives are not usually included in flatware sets as they are intended for more formal occasions.

11. Devein Knife

Victorinox 4-Inch Swiss Classic Paring Knife with Straight Blade, Spear Point, Red

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

Shrimp always have veins that run down the length of the food item, and devein knives are designed to remove them. You can cut a slit through the shrimp’s length first, or you can push the knife up through the entire body of the shrimp and remove both the shell and the vein simultaneously.

Features/Styles

There are various ways to devein shrimp, but regardless of the method you choose, the style and shape of a devein knife is there to make the process faster and simpler, which is extremely important when you’re running a busy restaurant or you are used to cooking regularly for large groups of people.

Sizes

Devein knives come in various sizes, but their blades are typically limited to around three inches long.

Materials

Devein knives are usually made with wooden handles, although the wood doesn’t necessarily have to be super strong because the action involved in deveining shrimp doesn’t require much strength. Online stores such as Wayfair have great selections of devein knives made in various designs and sizes.

12. Dinner Knife

Dinner knife

The longest knife that you’ll find in your set of flatware, the dinner knife is incredibly versatile, and it is used during both informal and formal meals. It is perfect for not only cutting your food but also for pushing it onto your fork.

When used in informal dinner settings, it is normal for families to use a dinner knife in place of a butter knife in order not to dirty as much flatware during a meal.

13. Fillet Knife

Fillet knife

Design/Purpose

Used mostly for filleting fish, a fillet knife has a blade that is both flexible and thin. This allows the knife to be moved along the fish’s backbone more cleanly and easily, not to mention move around the areas that are adjacent to the bones. 

Features/Styles

The main reason fillet knives are built the way they are is to make it simple to slide the knife through even the toughest types of fish, and if you’d like to compare various fillet knives, there are websites that can help you do this so that you can make the best decision for your particular needs.

Sizes

For obvious reasons, fillet knives need to have blades that are quite large, which is why most of them are between six and 11 inches in length. This helps you fillet fish of all sizes and types with ease, making this once-dreadful task a lot simpler and quicker in the end.

Materials

You can find more information and tips on fillet knives by visiting well-known, helpful sites such as Houzz.com.

14. Frozen Food Knife

Kanetsune Frozen Food Knife KC-015

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

Because frozen food is always very hard and rigid, these knives are designed to cut right through them with ease. A coarse, saw-toothed blade is usually part of a frozen food knife, which can be small but will always cut through a variety of hard materials, including metal surfaces.

It is specifically designed with this purpose in mind, whether you are cutting open a box of frozen peas or a larger block of frozen bread or vegetables.

Features/Styles

Many frozen food knives have blades that offer a different type of serration on each edge, making them more personalized and able to handle a wide variety of frozen foods. Having extra-long blades, these knives can have handles made of a variety of materials, including wood, hard plastic, and others, although most of them are made out of some type of timber.

Sizes

Since frozen foods come in a variety of sizes, the knives have blades that are very long, often from 13 to 15 inches in length.

Materials

Like most kitchen knives, frozen food knives are made of stainless steel and have handles that can be made of wood or other materials. There are many types of frozen food knives, some of which are quite unique.

15. Granton Edge Knife

Granton edge knivesMercer Culinary Millennia Granton-Edge Slicer Knife, 14 Inch

Source: Amazon

The Granton edge knife is recognized for it’s identical dimples along the blade. It’s designed for slicing meats including turkey, salmon etc.

16. Grapefruit Knife

Norpro 1271 Nonstick Squirtless Grapefruit Knife

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

The main purpose of a grapefruit knife is to cut away the meat from the fruit’s skin if you need to serve just half of the grapefruit.

Features/Styles

They can be either double- or single-bladed knives but have at least one serrated edge. There is also a curved blade on one end that is used for cutting away the meat from the outer skin, and the dual-bladed products have serrated blades at the end of every handle.

When double-bladed, the second blade often contains two parallel blades that are closely aligned or one blade that has a slit in the center. Each of the blades is used to cut between the linings that separate the meat on the inside of the grapefruit.

Sizes

Most grapefruit knives are approximately eight inches long.

Materials

With stainless-steel blades, the handles of a grapefruit knife can be made of hard plastic, celluloid, wood or even stainless steel. Websites such as Etsy offer some unique options for grapefruit knives.

17. Jamonero Knife (Ham Carving Knife)

Chef carving jamon with jamonero knife

Arcos Regia 12-Inch Slicing Spanish Flexible Ham Knife

Source: Amazon

A jamonero knife has a long, sharp, flexible blade used for carving ham. The ham-slicing blade, known as the ‘cuchillo jamonero,’ cuts paper-thin slices of ‘jamon serrano‘ (cured meat), traditionally prepared with a ‘jamonera’ (wooden base) holding the meat section.

18. Oyster Knife

Oyster knife

Oyster knives are short, pointed symmetric bladed knives with bent tip used for extracting oysters out of the shell. They are very strong so they can withstand twisting tension to crack open the shells.

19. Paring Knife

Paring knifeMercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife, 3.5 Inch

Source: Amazon

Design/Purpose

Paring knives are used to peel, cut, core, and mince a variety of foods, much of which is small, which is why they are usually very small and designed with a sharp, straight blade.

Features/Styles

Paring knives have narrow, thin blades which come to a point at their tip. It is easy to handle and maneuver and works especially well with small ingredients or foods, including fresh herbs, garlic and shallots. The blades are extra sharp, making it simple and fast to handle these types of foods.

Sizes

Since paring knives are mostly used for small items, they tend to be only three to five inches in size; however, this makes the size perfect for their intended use.

Materials

Paring knives are always made of high-quality stainless steel, and their handles can be made of hard plastic, stainless steel, wood, polypropylene, or numerous other materials. If you’re interested in viewing the many different types and designs of paring knives, visiting stores such as Home Depot can get you started on your research.

20. Peeling Knife

Peeling Knife

The hallmark of a peeling knife is the thin, curved blade with sharp, strong point used for peeling fruits and vegetables.

21. Santoku Knife

Santoku Knives

This is a general purpose kitchen knife that is ideal for mincing, slicing, and dicing. Considered a very well-balanced knife, they are traditionally thinner, shorter and lighter than a chef’s knife.

They have scalloped edges up along the blade which allow air to pass between the knife and the item that is being cut. This makes it significantly easier to remove your food from the blade itself, especially if you are slicing something incredibly thin that may become stuck to the blade.

22. Steak Knife

Set of 4 steak knivesMercer Culinary Genesis 7-Piece Forged Steak Knife Set

Source: Amazon

Steak knives are sharp knives that are used at the table to cut steak and other types of meat. They have durable and serrated blades that can easily cut through even tougher meat without being damaged.

They often have wooden handles, although some steak knives are available with bone handles for those who are interested in something of a little bit higher quality or more attractive.

While advances in the 1950s resulted in steak knives that can stay sharp without being serrated, serrated steak knives were already very popular and well established, and they continue to be used to this day.

23. Tomato Slicing Knife

Rada Cutlery Tomato Slicing Knife – Stainless Steel Blade With Aluminum Handle Made in USA, 8-7/8 Inches

Source: Amazon

It’s not easy slicing tomatoes if you use the wrong knife. They quickly squish as you try to slice through the tomato skin. The solution is getting a knife designed specifically for working with tomatoes. The knife has a thin, serrated blade with a sharp point. 

24. Dao Bao Knife

TJ-Store Set of 3 Peeler Knife large peeler, medium peeler, small peeler, Dao bao Viet Nam made by sharp carbon steel

The Dao Bao Knife is a carbon-steel peeler used in Viet Nam. The knife is available in different sizes and styles for peeling, shredding or slicing vegetables and fruit.

Use the Dao Bao Knife with caution as its incredibly sharp blade slices everything, including fingers, with ease.

25. Deba Knife

KEEMAKE Deba Knife 6 inch, Double Bevel Japanese 440C Stainless Steel Fish/Fillet Knife with G10 Bolster Octagonal Wood Handle

The Japanese translation of the Deba Knife – pointed carving knife – helps to illustrate it’s primary function – to filet and cut fish. The knife is designed with a thick, asymmetric blade for ease of use.

It’s manufactured with carbon steel and is ranked among the top three preferred knives in Japan. The Deba Knife slices through fish bones easily, making deboning, slicing, and filleting simple kitchen tasks.

26. Mushroom Knife

Esschert Design Mushroom Knife with Brush

The Mushroom Knife is meant to be used when foraging for delectable members of the fungus family. Depending on the exact design, the knife can be either folding or non-folding. Most include a small brush to clean the mushrooms before putting them in a bag and heading home. Mushroom knives, which are designed with curved blades that help slice through delicate mushrooms, are available in a variety of styles and sizes.

27. Mezzaluna Knife

Checkered Chef Mezzaluna Knife - Rocker Knife, Mincing Knife, and Mezzaluna Chopper w/Single Blade and Cover/Sheath - Vegetable Cutter & Salad Chopper

The Mezzaluna Knife, which means “half-moon” in Italian, has a uniquely large, curved blade (sometimes multi-blades) with a handle attached to the side of the blade. Cooks use a rocking motion to chop ingredients. The beauty of the curved blade allows you to multitask and chop several items simultaneously. 

28. Nakiri Knife

MOSFiATA 7” Nakiri Chef's Knife with Finger Guard and Blade Guard in Gift Box, German High Carbon Stainless Steel EN1.4116 Nakiri Vegetable Knife, Multipurpose Kitchen Knife with Micarta Handle

The Japanese Nakiri Knife, with its flat edge and rectangular shape, is often compared to a Chinese Cleaver — only much lighter in weight. The double-beveled blade is longer than most other traditional prep knives.

29. Kitchen Shears

Kitchen Shears, iBayam Kitchen Scissors Heavy Duty Meat Scissors Poultry Shears, Dishwasher Safe Food Cooking Scissors All Purpose Stainless Steel Utility Scissors, 2-Pack (Black Red, Black Gray)

Kitchen Shears are a versatile, lightweight kitchen tool available in a variety of sizes, colors and styles. The sharp scissor blades, made of stainless steel, can be used to cut through food and snip fine herbs. Even twine and packaging can be easily tackled with this helpful kitchen utensil. The shears are dishwasher safe, however most manufacturers recommend hand washing, instead.

30. Utility Knife

WORKPRO Folding Utility Knife with Belt Clip and Extra 10-piece Blades, Wood Handle Heavy Duty Cutter, Quick-change & Back Lock

A Utility Knife refers to any type of knife that can be used for general work or manual purposes. There are Utility Knives explicitly made for the kitchen with a size that falls between a paring and a chef’s knife, which generally means the sharp blade is four to seven inches.

Some knives have replaceable blades and are available as folding knives. Depending on the location, a Utility Knife may also be called a Stanley Knife and come with a straight or serrated edge.

Parts of a Knife

Kitchen Knife Anatomy

homestratosphere.com

 

Top Brands

1. Ginsu

GINSU KIS-KB-DS-014-2 Kiso Dishwasher Safe Black 14 Piece Knife Set With Natural Block, 9

Source: Amazon

Touted as having incredibly sharp blades that last, Ginsu entered the market in 1978 under the Scott Fetzer Company, manufactured first in Fremont, Ohio and later in Walnut Ridge, Arkansas. Though the United States is their primary market, the brand’s name was inspired by the inimitable sharpness of a Japanese Samurai sword.

Like many kitchen appliances and specialties, the product line took advantage of the growing popularity of infomercials around that time, offering gifts with purchase and other exciting discounts. Commercials were also used to give the audience a live demonstration of the product as the ultimate testimonial and reportedly sold up to three million Ginsu knife sets between 1978 and 1984.

The Ginsu Chikara, an eight-piece set, “forged of premium Japanese stainless steel from tip to tang,” sells for $120 and delivers “excellent cutting performance,” according to Consumer Reports testing.

2. Chicago Cutlery

Chicago Cutlery 1134513 Precision Cut Kitchen Knife Set

Source: Amazon

Founded in 1930 by Alfred Paulson, Chicago Cutlery joins sister companies CorningWare, Pyrex, and Snapware in providing quality kitchen tools to restaurants and personal kitchens alike.

Chicago Cutlery’s knife sets are sold at many national outlets, including Bed Bath and Beyond, Kohl’s, QVC and Home Depot.

3. Wusthof

WÜSTHOF Gourmet 2-Piece Chef's Knife Set

Source: Amazon

Begun as a family business in Solingen, Germany in 1814, the Wusthof brand’s products are still manufactured there  today. Consistency in craftmanship informs this decision to keep production centralized, where it can be watched over with care.

During a time when many European nations were embroiled in war, founder Johann Wusthof spent endless hours forging steel and iron products with a focus on shears and scissors. His small business enjoyed success with its high-quality blades and by the time his sons had taken an active part in the company the product line included more than 1,200 different kitchen and pocket knives.

Wusthof knives are sold worldwide and carried by such prestigious brands as Williams-Sonoma and Crate and Barrel. Its Classic series of kitchen knives is a favorite, offering a well-rounded selection of models..

4. J. A. Henckels

ZWILLING J.A. Henckels Zwilling gourmet 7-pc knife block set, 3.15 Pound

Source: Amazon

In 1731, Peter Henckels of Solingen, Germany registered for a trademark for his small business that made kitchen knives and shears. Henckels’ knives have won awards at World Fairs in 1851, 1855, 1893 and 1909.

In 1939, the company developed an ice-hardened method for creating blades, which boosts flexibility and blade retention and resists wear and tear. 

The most popular of their knife collections is the four-star line, created with chefs in mind and utilizing a design that has remained unchanged for 40 years. 

5. Cuisinart

Cuisinart C55-12PCER1 Advantage Color Collection 12-Piece Knife Set with Blade Guards, Multicolored

Source: Amazon

With lively colors and comfortable grips, Cuisinart knives aim to bring durable and convenient cooking implements into kitchens.

First founded around their famed food processor in 1971 by Carl Sontheimer, the company’s name speaks to its intention of inspiring home chefs to elevate everyday cooking to an art form.

Knives by Cuisinart offer a wide range of choices, whether you’d like one workhorse knife that fits nearly any purpose or one of a variety of knife sets ergonomically styled for special functions.

6. Shun

Shun Cutlery Sora Chef's Knife 8”, Gyuto-Style Kitchen Knife, Ideal for All-Around Food Preparation, Authentic, Handcrafted Japanese Knife, Professional Chef Knife

Source: Amazon

The earliest iteration of Shun Cutlery originated in Seki City, Japan, in 1908, developing products such as razors and folding knives in addition to kitchen sets. Kai Corporation’s Shun knives have been distributed in the United States since 2002 and are now sold in more than 30 countries worldwide.

All company products are still manufactured in Seki City in Gifu Prefecture, historicaly known for its samurai swordsmiths and a centuries-old tradition of blade craftsmanship,

The knife’s one-syllable name, sounding like the very motion of a knife through the air, defines a time of perfect ripeness for harvest and calls to mind the precision of the process.

Shun Cutlery can be found in retail stores such as as Williams-Sonoma and Bed Bath and Beyond.

Knife Features

Personalized Knife

Personalized Knife | Groomsmen Gift | Custom or Monogram …

Source: Amazon

If you are giving somebody a gift to commemorate a special occasion, such as getting married or graduating from college, then a personalized knife is a wonderful idea.

These knives will ensure that your recipient always remembers the special time in their life that you are commemorating, and the recipient will think of you whenever he or she uses it. 

Kitchen Knife Set

J.A. Henckels International Fine Edge Pro 3-Piece Knife Set

Source: Amazon

To ensure that your knives all match when you are setting your table, it is a smart idea to buy them in a set. This makes it very easy to make a beautiful table and not have to worry about whether or not your place settings all look the same. Your flatware and knives will all match.

Retractable Knife

Heavy Duty Utility Knife, Retractable, Adjustable, with Wire Stripper, Klein-Kurve Handle Klein Tools 44133

Source: Amazon

Retractable blades are generally found on utility knives, which allow the user to either slide the blade out in order to cut something or pull it back into the handle to keep the blade from accidentally injuring a person. They often have blades that can be broken off as they dull, making it cost-effective to buy one of these knives as they will last for a long period of time.

Folding Knife

Columbia River Knife and Tool (CRKT) 7430 Fulcrum 2 Compact Folding Knife

Source: Amazon

Folding knives are ideal if you want to carry your knife with you in your pocket. The blade of the knife folds into the handle for protection when the knife is no longer in use.

While some blades will fold down at the slightest touch of pressure, there are other knives that have a locking mechanism that will hold the blade in place unless the user presses the knife handle in a certain way to release the mechanism.

Know all about the 8 Different Types of Pocket Knives here. Also, click here for your guide to the vintage pocket knife.

Fixed-Blade Knife

Smith & Wesson SWHRT9B 9in Stainless Steel Fixed Blade Knife with 4.7in Dagger Point Blade and TPE Handle for Outdoor Tactical Survival and Everyday Carry

Source: Amazon

A knife with a fixed blade is simply a knife without a retractable or folding blade, and the blade will always be extended. This is the case with kitchen knives as well as some hunting knives.

Of course, if you buy a knife that has a fixed blade, then it is important that you are very careful when handling and storing this knife so that you do not become injured.

Hunting knives are more of a concern than kitchen knives are, as they are designed to be carried with the user out in the woods. It’s important to make sure that you buy a sheath for your knife that will help to prevent injury from the blade.

Electric Kitchen Knife

BLACK+DECKER 9-Inch Electric Carving Knife, Black, EK500B

Source: Amazon

When they were first released, electric knives were popular with many users due to the ease with which they can cut through items such as meat and bread.

While they are not nearly as favored now as they were in the past, they still have a number of benefits for some users, especially those who do not have a lot of upper body strength and struggle to cut through tougher items.

There are a few problems with this type of knife, including that they tend to be rather noisy. The other issue with an electric knife is that if you lose power or are in a location where you cannot plug in your knife, then you will not be able to use it.

Full Tang Knife

ikasu 8 inch Chef Knife with Forged German High Carbon Stainless Steel | Ultra-Sharp Edge Professional Multipurpose Kitchen Knife, Strong & Durable Full Tang Blade | Luxury Pakka Wood Riveted Handle

Source: Amazon

A knife that has a full tang is one where the blade of the knife extends all the way to the end of the handle. The handle is then riveted or attached via epoxy to the sides of the blade. These types of knives are generally thought of as being better quality construction and more durable.

They often have a wider blade which means that the knife will not bend as easily, making them ideal for cutting through harder materials. Additionally, knives that are full tang are usually weighted, with a heavier handle than the ones that are only half tang.

Half Tang Knife

Rachael Ray Cutlery 7-Inch Japanese Stainless Steel Santoku Knife with Orange Handle and Sheath

Source: Amazon

Half or partial tang knives have a thinner tang, and it is only inserted into the handle a short way. While there are some knives that have a three-quarter tang or stub tang, half is very popular.

These knives do not have as much leverage when they are used to cut through tougher material. For this reason, the user has to be careful about how much force he or she applies to the handle.

While this is not a major concern for most home chefs, people who are serious about cooking or work in busy restaurants will generally want the strength and reliability that comes from a knife with a full tang.

Disposable Knife

Disposable Knives 150 Pc Set by Rustic Earthware | Wooden Eco-Friendly Biodegradable Tableware | Parties, Weddings, and Showers | Bonus Party, Wedding or Sustainable Ebook

Source: Amazon

Most knives are not disposable, but if you are hosting a large event or a party and want to decrease the amount of time that you have to spend on cleanup, then buying disposable knives is a good idea.

One problem that many people have with this type of knife is that they are generally not biodegradable and will harm the environment. If you do choose to use disposable knives, it is a good idea to opt for ones that are made of a natural material that will biodegrade.

Knife Blade Materials

Steel Knife

8 inch Damascus Chef Knife - Japanese Steel 67 Layer - Gift Box & Locking Blade Guard - Stain Free Corrosion Resistance

Source: Amazon

Steel is a great choice for both amateur home cooks as well as professional chefs because the blade is strong enough to cut through almost anything, including bone and frozen meat. They are easy to store, and, due to the material of the blade, they can be held on a knife magnet for storage

Stainless Steel Knife

Kitchen Knife, Maodeen 8 inch German Stainless Steel with High Carbon Professional Chef's Knife for Home and Restaurant

Source: Amazon

Stainless steel is a popular choice for knife blades because it is easy to maintain and does a wonderful job of resisting any corrosion. However, it’s important to remember that stainless steel can be affected by rust or corrosion, especially if it has a lower chromium content.

High Carbon Stainless Steel Knife

Chef Knife Bluesim Chef's Knife 7.5 inches Kitchen knife High Carbon, Stainless Steel Knives

Source: Amazon

Knives made of this material generally hold a razor sharp edge for long periods of time and are resistant to staining due to the chromium in the steel.

The quality of blades made from high carbon steel can vary widely, depending on the location of its production, so it is important to consider how thin and hard the blade is and whether or not you have the time necessary for its maintenance.

Ceramic Knife

WACOOL Ceramic Knife Set 3-Piece ( Includes 6-inch Chef's Knife, 5-inch Utility Knife and 4-inch Fruit Paring Knife ), with 3 Knife Sheaths for Each Blade (Black Handle)

Source: Amazon

Ceramic blades are generally less expensive than ones made from high-quality steel, but they are not a perfect replacement for other knives in the kitchen.

While they are great for chopping and cutting vegetables and fruit, they are not strong enough to cut through frozen items or bones without the blade breaking or chipping.

Because ceramic is not porous, you will not ever have to worry about bacteria growing in the blade of your knife. They are lightweight, making them ideal for users who struggle with heavier knives.

Titanium Knife

New England Cutlery NE8807 7 Piece Titanium-Coated Knife Set with Invisible Wood Block, Bronze

Source: Amazon

Titanium is incredibly strong and virtually unbreakable, making it a great choice in the kitchen for those who worry about damaging the blades of your knives.

While other materials, when left uncared for, can easily rust, become damaged, and lose the knife’s sharp edge, titanium does not suffer from the same issues.

Because this knife does such a great job holding a sharp edge and will remain in great condition even if you do not take the best care of it, it’s a great choice for busy chefs who are not interested in spending a lot of time on knife care.

Carbon Steel Knife

Chef Knife-8 Inch Kitchen Knife-Best Quality Japanese Damascus 73 Layers High Carbon Steel with Non-Slip Ergonomic G10 Handle-Ultra Sharp -Wear Resistant-Best Choice for Kitchen and Home by Sunnecko.

Source: Amazon

This is a very popular choice for some knives due to how durable and hard carbon steel tends to be. It is also significantly easier to sharpen than stainless steel is, making it a great choice for somebody who loves to have their knives kept as sharp as possible.

One problem with carbon steel knives is that they are much more susceptible to corrosion because they lack the high chromium content that is found in stainless steel. While they will dull quickly due to abrasion, they will sharpen quickly as well.

However, high carbon steel blades will discolor when exposed to acidic foods and can turn black over time, although this change in color does not negatively affect the blade’s use.

Frequently Asked Questions

When were knives invented? How are knives made?

Knives are one of the oldest tools. It is believed that they were first used over two million years ago and have been a part of civilization in all parts of the world. Knives are made by sharpening a piece of metal to a point and then creating a sharp edge. 

How are knives measured?

When you measure the length of a knife, you only count the blade and not the handle. 

What knives do chefs’ use?

In many cases, chefs choose a particular knife brand and order sets. Some leading brands include Wusthof, Messermeiseter, Global and Henckels. 

What knives does Gordon Ramsay use?

Gordon Ramsay uses  uses both Wüsthof and Henckels branded knives.

How many knives does a chef need?

Every chef should have eight knives in their kitchen when cooking. They include the following:

  • Chef knife
  • Paring knife
  • Santoku knife
  • Utility knife
  • Steak knife
  • Boning knife
  • Bread knife
  • Clever knife

Each of these knives serves a different function in the kitchen, some for vegetables, others for meat, while some have multiple purposes, like the utility knife. 

Where can I get my knives sharpened?

You can either visit a specialty chef store if they offer that service, or you can order a knife sharpening kit. Some businesses, such as Knife Aid, Seisuke Knife and Precision Knife Sharpening, offer mail-in sharpening services.

Can you sharpen serrated knives?

Serrated knives are meant to stay sharp and last for years. If they do stop cutting and appear dull, there are tools and kits that can be used as each individual serration needs to be sharpened separately.

Can you sharpen ceramic knives?

Ceramic knives can be sharpened, but the average sharpening kit for other knives will not be suitable. You need a kit that will accommodate the zirconia in the ceramic and keep it from chipping the blade. 

Do ceramic knives stay sharp?

Like serrated knives, your ceramic knives will stay sharp and maintain that for many years. This is why you do not have to worry about sharpening them as much as your standard stainless steel knives. 

Do ceramic knives break easily?

There is one drawback to ceramic knives, and that is how fast they break. They do tend to break much faster than stainless steel. It is essential to use ceramic knives for their intended use to prolong their lifespan.

Can you take knives on a plane?

Under no circumstances can you take knives on a plane in the carry-on luggage. If it is essential that you carry knives while traveling, they must be placed in checked luggage.

Can you put knives in the dishwasher?

Oddly enough, you are not advised to put your knives in the dishwasher. This is because it can harm you when removing them, damage other dishes or damage the dishwasher during the cycle.  Another concern is that the blades will blunt and dull from the cycle, 

What to do with old knives?

If you have old knives that you want to trash and replace, then you can put them in the trash pick-up. Make sure you secure them in an old newspaper or old cloth before putting them in the trash bin. You can also take them to the recycling center and dispose of them in the scrap metal bin. 

Does Goodwill take kitchen knives?

Yes, Goodwill does accept kitchen knives only for resale inside their store. Anything that can be considered a weapon will not be allowed. 

Can knives be recycled?

Yes, you can put them in a recycled scrap metal bin at your recycling center or take them to the scrap metal yard to be melted down. 

Why do stainless steel knives rust?

Over time, your stainless steel knives will be exposed to different elements which cause corrosion. With this exposure and improperly washing them in the dishwasher, the chances of rust grow significantly. 

Are knife blocks bad for knives?

As long as you are placing your knives in the appropriate slots and keeping them clean, a knife block can be beneficial. 

Do electric knife sharpeners ruin knives?

Like any tool, the electric knife sharpener is only as effective as the user. If you are using it properly, there shouldn’t be a problem. When you use a sharpener, watch your blade and monitor it to keep it from damaging the blade. 

Which knives for which cheese?

There is not a one-size-fits-all cheese knife. A softer cheese requires a long blade knife with exposed holes to keep from smearing the cheese; a cleaver is great for cheese blocks and making cubes; a thicker cheese, like goat cheese, needs a mini spatula for serving.  

Why do butter knives have a notch?

The notch, found just after the handle at the bottom of the blade, keeps the butter from sliding when it is cut and then spread. 


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