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Cutlery 101: A Guide to Everything Knives

Cutlery 101


In the kitchen some pieces of equipment are essential and a set of good knives is one of them. Using the proper tool for the job will help achieve the best results, allowing you to quickly and efficiently accomplish everything from peeling and slicing to chopping and mincing. Learn more with our Cutlery Buying Guide!

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Chefs KnivesChef’s Knives
Also known as a French knife or Cook’s knife is used in food preparation. Originally designed to slice large cuts of meat today a chef’s knife is used for general utility food prep.
Bread KnivesBread Knives
Bread knives feature a serrated blade with a wavy, scalloped or saw-like edge. Serrations help when cutting things that are hard on the outside and soft on the inside; the saw-like action breaks the surface more easily.
Boning KnivesBoning Knives
A type of kitchen knife with a very sharp point. Bonging knives are used in food preparation for removing bones in poultry, meat and fish.
Butchering KnivesButchering Knives
A butcher knife is a knife designed and used primarily for the butchering and/or dressing of animals. A butcher knife is used throughout the world in the meat processing trade. The heftier blade works well for splitting, stripping and cutting meat.
A cleaver is a large knife that varies in size and shape but resembles a rectangle-bladed hatchet. Cleavers are used for cutting through bones and/or crushing food items like garlic with the side of the cleaver.
Paring KnivesParing Knives
A paring knife is a small knife with a plain edge blade that is ideal for peeling, de-veining or removing seeds from food. A Paring Knife is designed to be an all-purpose knife, similar to a Chef’s Knife but smaller.
Santoku KnivesSantoku Knives
A Santoku knife is a general-purpose kitchen knife originating in Japan. Its blade is typically 5 and 8 inches long and has a flat edge. A Santoku is ideal for slicing, dicing and mincing food.
Slicing KnivesSlicing Knives
A slicing knife serves a similar function to a carving knife, although it is generally longer and narrower. Many chefs and cooks find Slicing Knives better suited to slicing ham, roasts, fish, or beef and pork and venison.
Fillet KnivesFillet Knives
Fillet knives are like very flexible boning knives that are used to fillet and prepare fish. They have blades about 6 to 11 inches long, allowing them to move easily along the backbone and under the skin of fish.
Mezzaluna KnivesMezzaluna Knives
A Mezzaluna is a knife consisting of a single or double curved blade with a handle on each end. It is often used for chopping herbs or very large single blade versions are sometimes used for pizza or pesto.
Steak KnivesSteak Knives
A Steak Knife is a sharp table knife, used for cutting steak and other cuts of meat. These often feature serrated blades and wooden handles, and are the only sharp knife commonly found at the modern table.
Cheese KnivesCheese Knives
A Cheese Knife is a type of kitchen knife specialized for the cutting of cheese. Different cheeses require different knives, according primarily to hardness; most often “cheese knife” refers to a knife designed for soft cheese. Soft cheeses require a sharp knife.
Oyster KnivesOyster Knives
An Oyster Knife has a short, thick blade that is used to pry open oysters and separate their meat from the shell. Some models have a shield built into the handle that prevents the knife (and hand) from slipping and going too far into the shell.
Fruit & Veggie KnivesFruit & Vegetable Knives
Fruit & vegetable knives include lettuce knives, tomato knives, fruit decorating knives and more that are used to prepare a variety of fruits and vegetables.

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