When it comes to knowing your way around the kitchen, one of the first places to start is by learning the many different types of kitchen knives and their uses. Whether you’re just starting out in the culinary industry or you’re simply curious to learn more, here Messermeister has collected every type of kitchen knife you should know about.

Different Types of Knives

  • Chef’s Knives:One of the most-used knives in the kitchen are chef’s knives, which have a broad, sharp blade designed for many different food preparation tasks. They can range from anywhere between 6 inches to 14 inches and are ideal for cutting meat, chopping nuts, dicing vegetables, slicing herbs, and disjointing some cuts of meat.
  • Utility Knives:Another standard knife you’ll find in every chef’s kitchen is the utility knife, which also has a variety of different uses. It’s a bit shorter than a chef’s knife and available in both serrated and non-serrated blade types. Often also referred to as sandwich knives, utility knives range from 4 inches to 7 inches and are perfect for general kitchen tasks, slicing herbs, chopping veggies, slicing meat, cutting sandwiches, and slicing bagels and buns.
  • Paring Knives:Used for more intricate cutting, dicing, mincing, and peeling, paring knives are simple blades ranging from 3.5 inches to 4 inches, although some can be even smaller. For cutting veggies and herbs like garlic, deveining prawns and shrimps, deseeding fruits, and peeling and cutting fruits, paring knives are essential.
  • Slicing Knives:Slicing knives are similar to carving knives and boast a round or pointed tip, as well as a long, thin blade. They’re made for cutting very fine slices of meat, fruits, and vegetables and are often between 8 inches to 14 inches. For thin cuts of chicken, pork, beef, fish, venison, and other meats, slicing knives are perfect. They’re also great for preparing veggies and fruit for salads.

 Specialty Knives

In addition to the knives mentioned above, there are several different specialty knives designed for specific purposes, such as:

  • Cleavers:Also, often referred to as a butcher knife, cleavers are generally set aside for cutting and preparing meat. Their length ranges from 6 inches to12 inches but the thickness can vary depending upon the need and use they’re intended for. Cleavers are made for splitting meat from the bone, as well as cutting and dicing larger, thicker vegetables like squash or melons.
  • Bread Knives or Scalloped Knives:Scalloped knives or bread knives are designed with a serrated edge and act as a sort of saw, making them ideal for cutting tough bread crusts without damaging the inside of the bread. They’re also often used for slicing and cutting fruits with tough rinds and come with round serrated edges. They’re designed to tear rather than cut.

Blade Shapes

Before moving on, it’s important to note that the blade types of kitchen knives are designed for three main types of cutting, the first being push cutting, which is a chopping motion. The second is pull cuts, which is a slicing motion. The third, paring, is when the cuts are made in the hand and are very precise.

Choosing the Proper Kitchen Knife Set for You

Now that you know the basics, it’s time to choose the proper knife set for you. So, let’s take a look at what you’ll need for a variety of different professions and/or lifestyles.

  • Everyday Cooking:Those who simply want a kitchen knife set for everyday cooking purposes will likely only need a chef’s knife, scalloped knife, paring knife, and a carving in the block or drawer. There are other specialty knives that might benefit you as well, depending on how often you entertain.
  • Pastry Chef:If you’re a pastry chef, specializing in desserts and bread, muffins, and cakes, you’ll only need three basic knives: a bread/cake knife, a paring knife, and a chef’s knife.
  • Aspiring Chef:Aspiring chefs will need a few more knives in their arsenal than the average person, such as a carving knife, utility knife, bread knife, and paring knife. Also, a chef’s knife is essential to get the job done and hone your skills.
  • Apprentice Professional:Before becoming a bonafide chef, you’ll first become an apprentice, meaning you’ll be training professionally under a chef with the aim of becoming one yourself. You’ll need a chef’s knife, a variety of paring knives for different purposes, as well as a boning knife for deboning meat, a carving knife, and a utility knife.
  • Professional Chef:Professional chefs require all of the different knife types at their disposal and some might even choose to invest in specialty knives like santoku knives or Japanese knives. Of course, they’ll also carry all the standards along with them wherever they go including a butcher knife or cleaver, slicing knife, carving knife, utility knife, boning knife, various paring knives, and a reliable chef’s knife.

Important Accessories

We’d be remiss if we did not include a few must-have accessories to add to your kitchen knife set arsenal:

  • Knife Sharpener: Keeping your knives sharp and ready to use is essential for being an efficient cook. From using a honing steel to a water stone, check out our dedicated knife maintenance page where we’ve collected some important tips for getting the most out of your cooking knives by keeping them sharp.
  • Edge-Guards: When you want to take your high-quality chef knife set out of the kitchen, it’s important to keep them sharp and protect them from chipping during transport with edge-guards. Most edge guards are made from heavy-duty plastic and will protect both you and your knives from being injured or damaged.
  • Knife Bags: If you find yourself bringing along your knife set frequently to cook dinners out on-location or at friends’ houses, then having the right storage solutions is essential. Having the proper knife bag is a sure way to keep your knives sharp and in top condition, while you stay safe transporting them.

Contact us today for more about the perfect kitchen knife set

If you want to make certain you have every knife you need at your disposal, Messermeister can help. We carry a wide range of kitchen knife sets, as well as specialized collections, like Kawashima, Mu Bamboo, and more. Our team is always happy to match you with the perfect knife or knife set for your needs.

Whether you’re an aspiring chef or simply want to upgrade your old kitchen knife set, our inventory is extensive and easy for you to pick and choose from a selection of top-grade, high-quality cutlery and more. For more information, shop online today.

1 Response


February 29, 2024

The Messermeister are the worst knives we have ever bought. They do not hold an edge at all !!!!!!! I have to sharpen every time I use them!!!!

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