All types of knife and their uses


Once upon a time, a long time ago, people used only 1 type of knife – a knife. It was made of bone, by the way. Then the knife evolved from a stone knife to an iron knife. Now knives are made of high carbon steel. And the types are countless. I wrote an article that talks about the general types of knives in the year 2021.

All types of knife and their uses

Chef’s knife: General workhorse; You can do nearly everything with this knife if you know how to use a knife. The rounded blade is to “roll” the knife on a board for more uniform cuts when dicing/chopping etc.

Utility: also called a “petty,” use this for anything you would use a chef’s knife for, but if it’s small.

Paring: literally “paring:” taking the peel off of something.

Bread: Self-explanatory.

Carving: the knife shown here isn’t a carving knife. The knife shown under “salmon” looks more like a carving knife. Used to shave meat slices off of a roast or larger piece of meat.

Cleaver: Used mostly for butchering where a large, heavy blade is required: chopping through small bones, cracking joints, etc.

Boning: to remove the bones from a piece of meat with precision. the curved tip cuts into and around joints easier and the heel is to catch tendons and skin.

Filleting: this knife looks like a boning knife but is usually thinner and more flexible. used elusively to cut the meat off of fish bones.

Salmon: this doesn’t look like any salmon knife I’ve seen. I have seen some Japanese-style fish knives that are long like this, but they usually have a wicked angle to them.

Santoku: the santoku is a hybrid of Japanese and western-style knives, designed to have the usage and versatility of a chef’s knife. Can be used for just about everything.

Nakiri: the nakiri IS a Japanese-style knife that is designed for vegetable use. Mostly used for quick straight-down chopping or fancier kinds of Asian knife work like sheet cutting. the blade is almost always a perfect rectangle with a flat single-edge bevel, but many western knife makers do different things with it.

Tomato: This is a serrated knife with a hooky thing on the end. The serrations are to make it easier to slice tomatoes, and the hook is for coring. Never seen one of these in a pro kitchen, but you do you if you need one. A good, sharp chef’s knife and a little practice works just as well.

Peeling: This isn’t a peeling knife. a paring knife is a peeling knife. This is a “turning Knife,” which is made for a very specific old french vegetable cut called turning. A turned vegetable looks like a football with 7 sides and is a massive, wasteful pain in the ass that no one really cares about anymore.

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