Kitchen Knives and Their Uses (All You Need To Know!)

Every kitchen will have a stash of knives somewhere. Whether in a perfectly organised knife block or haphazardly thrown into a cutlery draw, knives are a key component of any kitchen. However, most people are unaware of the type of knives that they own and what they should actually use them for.

This can often result in kitchen knives becoming blunt and damaged, and can also make your cooking prep much harder than it needs to be. If you want to find out how to optimize your food prep and use your best brand name kitchen knives in the right way, then keep reading.

The Terrific Trio

First of all, there are 3 knives that every kitchen should have. These are the essential tools that can get you through basically any food/cooking related job.
chefs knife

The Chef’s Knife

The Chef’s knife is the Superman of kitchen knives. No job is too big or too small for this blade.

What does it Look Like?

The best chef knife will often have a thick and sturdy handle with an ergonomic groove for easy gripping. In terms of the blade, it should be between 6 and 14 inches long and around 1 ½ inches in width. There will be a curve along the top of the blade that will be easily identified around the tip.

What Should You Use it for?

The Chef’s knife is really the go to tool. It can be used for big jobs such as slicing cuts of beef and small jobs such as dicing vegetables. The important thing to remember with this knife is to keep it sharp. Use a honing steel to keep the blade clean and avoid using it for jobs such as cutting open packaging.

serrated knife

The Serrated/Bread Knife

The serrated knife is your secret weapon and actually has some surprising uses.

What does it Look Like?

When identifying the serrated knife the clue is in the name. The blade will be on average between 4 and 7 inches in length and the sharp edge will feature serrated pattern. The width of the blade can vary widely depending on the length.

What Should You Use it for?

Traditionally the serrated knife or bread knife is used to cut lovely fresh loaves of bread, however it also has many other uses. For example, a serrated knife is the best knife to cut tomatoes. The reason for this is that the jagged edge is able to snag and break the skin without damaging the soft interior.

paring knife

The Paring Knife

The paring knife is a little fancy and only likes tasks in which it can show off.

What does it Look Like?

The best paring knife will be relatively thin and short with a length ranging between 2 ½ and 4 inches. It will look very similar to the chef’s knife but with a little extra finesse.

What Should You Use it for?

The paring knife should be used for intricate work when the chef’s knife is just too damn big. For example, you can use it for peeling vegetables such as potatoes, or fruit such as apples. You can easy use it for some fancy food work such as creating delicious and classy garnishes.

The Big Guns

bring out the big gins!  The work horse’ of the kitchen and food preparation.
carving knife

The Carving Knife

The carving knife is every meat lover’s dream, and is essential for a great Sunday roast.

What does it Look Like?

The carving knife will appear extremely similar to the standard chef’s knife. The difference is that it will be slightly thinner and considerably longer reaching up to 15 inches long.

What Should You Use it for?

The carving knife is primarily used for slicing very thin cuts of meat. The sharp and thin blade means that is cuts through the meat easily and the length of the blade allows the user a high level of control.


The Cleaver

You might think that the cleaver is more at home in an 80’s horror movie than in your kitchen, but it does have its uses.

What does it Look Like?

The best cleaver has an extremely thick blade that is quite short and incredibly sharp. It does slightly resemble a medieval torture tool, but don’t let that scare you.

What Should You Use it for?

The cleaver isn’t an essential for a home kitchen, but if you fancy giving it a go it’s a great tool to use in order to prepare big cuts of meat.

The Little and the Light

For those intricate food prepping jobs like working with vegetables or delicate pieces of fish or meat.
fluting knife

The Fluting Knife

The fluting knife is a little gem that can help turn your dinner party snacks into triumphs of culinary artistry.

What does it Look Like?

The fluting knife is similar to the much more reserved paring knife. It has a short blade at around 2 to 4 inches in length and is extremely sharp with an angled edge.

What Should You Use it for?

The fluting knife should be used for tasks where delicacy is required. For example it can be used for peeling and also for creating glorious foodie decorations.

mincing knife

The Mincing Knife

We’re heading back into torture territory with the mincing knife. It wouldn’t look out of place in Sweeney Todd’s barber shop.

What does it Look Like?

The mincing knife is designed with a large curved blade and two handles on the top of the blade. The blade itself is extremely thick and very, very sharp.

What Should You Use it for?

The mincing knife should be used for finely dicing vegetables and herbs. The user should grip the handles and move the blade in a rocking motion.

trimming knife

The Trimming Knife

The trimming knife doesn’t like to take on tasks too big and absolutely hates waste.

What does it Look Like?

The trimming knife will be one of the smallest knives in your kitchen at around 3 inches long and with have a thin sharp blade.

What Should You Use it for?

The trimming knife is the perfect tool to use when you’re trying to get the remains of meat off of a joint. It’s perfect for separating flesh from bone easily without wasting anything, and it can also be used to create garnishes.

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