14 Different Kitchen Knives and Their Best Uses

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You have a knife block in your kitchen with a couple of dull, old knives that you use for just about everything. On top of that there’s a few other knives thrown into your drawer along with some cooking utensils, but do you know what those knives you use to prep dinner with are really for?

Yes there are more than 14 types of knives out there, but we thought this group would help complete all the prep tasks you need. We could also list Steak knives, Butter knives, Tomato knives, or Nakiri knives which are Japanese style vegetable knives, the santoku knife or even kitchen shears!

You may think you have a decent set of knives for your kitchen, but do you have them all and are you aware of their proper use?

Here’s a list of the most widely recognized kinds of kitchen knives and the best use for each.

  1. Chef’s knife
  2. Paring knife
  3. Boning knife
  4. Utility knife
  5. Bread knife
  6. Carving knife
  7. The Cleaver
  8. Mincing knife
  9. Fluting knife
  10. Peeling knife
  11. Cheese knife
  12. Trimming knife
  13. Grapefruit knife
  14. Decorating knife

Chef’s Knife

Raise your hand if you don’t have one! A Chef’s Knife is a multi-purpose blade that typically has a very sharp edge somewhere in the range of 5 and 15 inches in length and about 1½ inches wide. Most have a bend that turns out to be progressively articulated close to the tip. This sort of blade was originally invented to cut meat, yet it’s also used for vegetables and fish, too. It’s is an absolute necessity have this blade in your kitchen.

We recommend the 8-inch Fibrox by Victorinox.

Paring Knife

Frighten your vegetables! A Paring blade has a shorter, sharper edge, in the range of 1½ and 3 inches in length. It’s great for fine detail cutting with vegetables, seafood or a garnish.

We recommend the Mercer Culinary Paring Knife

Boning Knife

It’s a slick-looking little knife isn’t it? A Boning knife is used for separating meat from the bone, making filet fish, and cutting up meat. Some folks use a Boning knife instead of a Pairing knife because they’re quite similar.

Boning knives are about 2 to 7 inches in length, with slightly varying widths. The blades can be flexi, semi-flexi, or stiff depending on the precision of the cut.

We recommend the Mercer Culinary Millennia 6-Inch Boning Knife.

Utility Knife

You probably have a few of these in your drawer next to the butter knives. A Utility Knife is typically between 3 and 8 inches in length with a scalloped edge, and is somewhat like a little Chef’s knife. It can comes in straight or serrated edges and is best used for slicing hard or soft vegetables and meat that require smaller cutting.

We recommend the Mercer Culinary 6-Inch Utility Knife

Bread Knife

Who doesn’t love fresh, homemade bread? A Bread knife is typically a longer version of the serrated utility knife. Like a saw, the grooves allow it to slice through bread easily without messing it up.

We recommend the Mercer Culinary 10-Inch Wide Bread Knife.

Carving Knife

A Carving (or Slicing) knife measures between 7 and 16 inches long and looks like a bread knife without the serrated edge. It’s very long and has a very sharp edge which makes cutting thin slices of meat simple like a roast.

We recommend the Victorinox 12-Inch Granton Edge Carving Knife

The Cleaver

Leave it to Cleaver. The Cleaver (or Butcher knife) is usually the heaviest (and most used in Horror movies) knife compared to the rest.

It has a thick spine and tough blade to cut through meat and bones like butter in one swoop. Bonus: It’s perfect for tough vegetables like squash!

We recommend the Utopian Kitchen 7-Inch Stainless Steel Cleaver

Mincing Knife

A Mincing knife has just one simple use – mincing vegetables and herbs by rocking the blade back and forth. That’s it!

We recommend the Amco 8650 Stainless Steel Mincing Knife.

Fluting Knife

No it’s not a knife you can make music with. A Fluting knife is pretty much a Paring knife, but especially used for a cut known as a tourné in vegetables. It’s handy for rosettes or fluted mushrooms and slicing soft fruits.

We recommend the Wusthof Classic Fluting Knife.

Peeling Knife

Similar to a Fluting knife, the Peeling knife is great for intricate cuts and best used for…you guessed it, peeling fruits and vegetables, only of the smaller kind.

We recommend the Mercer Culinary 2.5-Inch Peeling Knife

Cheese Knife

Yup, it’s a knife just for cheese…ok and fruit if you wish. The Cheese knife is best for medium and hard cheeses and those prongs at the end are for serving said cheese. Those square holes in the side of the blade are to prevent the blade form sticking to the cheese. Pretty cool, huh?

We recommend the Prodyne Cheese Knife

Trimming Knife

A trimming or fillet knife comes in various smaller sizes of 3 to 6 inches in length. It’s useful for removing excess fat and is good for fluting and cutting pockets in meats for stuffing them.

We recommend the Wusthof Classic Trimming knife.

Grapefruit Knife

Grapefruit knives come in various styles but they all serve one purpose. It works by cutting the grapefruit in half. Then start maneuvering the end of the knife in between each cavity, lift the knife up and you’re done!

We recommend the Better Houseware Grapefruit knife.

Decorating Knife

A Decorating knife has a blade designed to make a decorative zig-zag cut in garnishes and presentations on most foods.

We recommend the Wusthof Classic Decorating knife.

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