How to Choose a Kitchen Knife

Modern life is so busy that we are all trying to save time where we can. We spend a fair amount of time preparing meals, so this is where we can easily save some time. One of the best ways we can do this is to have and use great tools and utensils. The knives we use are probably the most important utensil we will use in the kitchen.

Improve your culinary skills and save time in the kitchen by investing in some decent quality knives. Moreimportantly, use the right knife for the right task.

There are many knives available that the choice is quite bewildering. If you are looking for reviews of the best knives around check out Cut it Fine for their top picks and buying guides.

Many people buy knife sets, then end up never using some of the knives in the set. But they are not sure which knives they should buy if they select them individually. Here are some knives that you probably want to have in your kitchen.

Bread Knife

Most people recognise this knife in their kitchen! It has a long blade and is always serrated. It enables you to cut your bread without tearing it to pieces.

Paring Knife

This is a small knife and is probably one that you use quite often, without knowing what the knife is. It normally has a blade of about 7 to 10 cm long. It is great for intricate work like peeling or deseeding fruit and vegetables. Therefore, it is sometimes called a vegetable knife.

You will quite often use this for peeling and cutting fruit in your hand, as opposed to cutting on a board. The fact that it is so small allows for some manual dexterity.

Utility Knife

This is longer than a paring knife and is used for general cutting.

Chef’s Knife

You may hear this referred to as a cook’s knife too. This is an all-purpose knife and you can use it to chop up hard vegetables or to cut raw meat. The blade size can vary quite considerably from 15cm to around 36cm.

Because the size can vary so much with this knife, you need to ensure you are comfortable holding and using this. You should be able to hold it easily without it feeling unsafe because it is not correctly balanced. You will use this knife a lot so it is probably worth spending some money to get the right one for you.

Boning Knife

This is a specialised knife that is used for de-boning raw meat.

Carving Knife

This is used to carve cooked joints of meat. If you use this, you probably want to buy a carving fork too. My carving knife and fork are used every Sunday. Good ones can last a long time.

Santoku Knife

I use this all the time, without knowing what it was called. This knife has sort of dimples on the blade so the food that you are cutting doesn’t stick to the blade. It is great for slicing, dicing and chopping just about most foods.

Blade Material

Years ago, this wasn’t really a choice, but now you can buy a knife made from a wide variety of material. There is no real right or wrong, or good or bad, so choose the type of knife you like to use. Just remember that there are pros and cons to most types.

  • Stainless steel. This is the most common metal for your knife blade. They are normally the cheapest and work well, however, they do require regular sharpening. If you don’t think you would be great at regularly sharpening your knives, choose another type.
  • Carbon steel. Very expensive but easier to keep sharp as the steel is so hard.
  • The newish material for knives. These are very hard but very light. They are ten times harder than carbon steel and don’t need to be sharpened as they keep their sharp edge. They are easy to chip.

When buying knives, you may not like all the knives in a brand. Buy the knife that you like and don’t worry if it is a different brand from your other knives. Make sure you check if it is dishwasher safe because if you buy a good knife you are going to need to look after it properly.