Types of Kitchen Knives : Complete Guide

chef's knife laying on cutting board surrounded by food and vegetables

Types of Kitchen Knives : Complete Guide

Best Knives for your kitchen:

  1. Chef's Knife 8" | Gladiator Series
  2. Chef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series
  3. Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Collector Set
  4. Chef's Knife 8" | Phantom Series
  5. Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Crusader Series
  6. Bird's Beak Tourne Paring Knife 2.75" | Gladiator Series
  7. Serrated Paring Knife 3.5" | Shogun Series
  8. Paring Knife 3.5" | Frost Fire Series
  9. Bread Knife 10.25" | Shogun Series
  10. Bread Knife 9" | Shadow Black Series
  11. Bread Knife 9" | Omega Series
  12. Extra Long Slicing & Carving Knife 14" | Shogun Series
  13. Utility Knife 5.5" | Shadow Black Series
  14. Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6" | Phantom Series
  15. 8 Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block | Gladiator Series
 Nakiri knife laying beside green vegetables

Find answers to:

  1. What Are the Different Types of Kitchen Knives?
  2. When Do I Use Different Kitchen Knives? 
  3. What Do I Keep In Mind When Purchasing Kitchen Knives?
  4. How Do I Keep Kitchen Knives Sharp? 
  5. Selection of the Best Kitchen Knives
  6. Frequently Answered Questions

    1. What are the Different Types of Kitchen Knives?

    boning knife laying on counter after cutting a steak

      If cooking is an art and chefs are artists, kitchen knives are the tools they need to make the whole process fast, safe and easy. Be it slicing, dicing, carving, or paring, every step of the process needs a professional set of knives.

      While picking the perfect knife can get overwhelming when you have a plethora of knives to choose from, we’re here to make that part easy with a complete guide of different types of kitchen knives to help you understand what works best for your kitchen needs: 

      Chef’s Knife: 

      Chef’s knives are the go-to knife in your kitchen arsenal. If you’re looking for a versatile knife that can help you chop, slice and dice, this is the knife your kitchen needs. Its long, triangular blade comes with a slight curve at the top, making it easier to rock back and forth while chopping herbs or anything else that you would like.

      Make your meal prep a breeze with these razor-sharp blades that run between 6 and 14 inches, allowing for excellent edge retention (that basically means that the blade will last for a long time, making it the perfect investment).

      Paring Knife:

      From hulling strawberries or dicing shallots to coring tomatoes - a ceramic blade or stainless steel paring knife is exactly what your kitchen needs. This classic knife is going to become an all-rounder, making it super quick and easy to finish kitchen tasks.

      The small narrow blade that tapers to a point is made with high carbon stainless steel and comes in various styles like the spear point, a little knife that will cut and slice on a small surface; the bird’s beak paring knife, whose curved blade makes it fantastic at peeling fruits; the serrated edge, which is excellent for slicing larger fruits and vegetables; and the sheep’s foot paring knife, perfect for working on a cutting board.

      Steak Knife: 

      While steak knives are less for cooking and more for eating, they instantly become essential if steak is involved. The sturdy and sharp blade paired with a solid wooden handle, gives your hand a comfortable grip, ensuring smooth and precise steak cuts.

      Can’t decide which steak knife to pick? Let’s break it down for you:

      You want to consider a smooth edge blade for a clean cut, a hollowed edge with measured indentations for fine slicing, or the classic style with a serrated edge.

      While a serrated blade is the most common for steak knives and retains its edge for longer — offering greater durability, one might argue that a straight blade is easier to sharpen.

      Utility Knife: 

      Meet the jack of all trades! While often confused with a folding utility knife or a retractable blade, kitchen utility knives have scalloped edges and a medium-short blade.

      This all-rounder knife is larger than a paring knife and can make a far more versatile cutter, managing all your slicing and cutting needs like a total pro! 

      Bread Knife:

      Bread knives are a key piece to add to your kitchen knife collection. This sharp edge bread slicer is made specially to take care of your kitchen needs and comes with ergonomic handles, giving it a durable and comfortable grip and control. 

      Be it slicing through thick loaves of bread, ripe and juicy tomatoes, or other soft fruits, this knife has got you covered. 

      Boning Knife: 

      While boning knives are not commonly found in a lot of kitchens, it’s the perfect tool to make precise cuts of meats like chicken and beef. 

      The narrow blades forged of high carbon stainless steel are accompanied by pointed tips and incredible edge retention. Need to pick a bone? This makes it easier for the knife to perform heavy-duty tasks, quickly and with great ease. 

      Carving Knife:

      Making uniform cuts on meat becomes super easy when you have a carving knife around. Be it prime ribs, ham, or roast beef, no meat is too tough for this maestro. 

      A carving knife has less surface area than the chef’s knife and makes cutting thin slices of large roasts simple while also doubling as a bread knife. So if you’re looking to cut up some slick and precise slices of meat or some crust and thick loaves of bread, this is the knife for you!

      Japanese Knife:

      Did you know that the samurai sword, Japanese sword, and Japanese knife are highly sought after by collectors and chefs alike? This is why any chef worth their salt is very likely to have Japanese knives in their collection.

      Not only are these knives easier to maintain than the European ones. One of the most popular types of kitchen knives is the Santoku knife, a true testament to Japanese craftsmanship.They have a razor-sharp blade that will leave paper-thin slices of meat or vegetable on your cutting board.

      Other Japanese knives are the Nakiri knife,  Usuba knife, a single bevel vegetable slicing knife; the Gyuto knife, a double bevel utility knife, similar to a western-style chef’s knife and the Yanagiba knife, which has a thinner blade and is used to cut sashimi and sushi.

      2. When Do I Use Different Kitchen Knives?

      8 piece kitchen block set sitting on marble counter

      Chef’s Knife:

      The razor-sharp, high carbon, stainless steel blade of this knife is ideal for:

      • Dicing and slicing vegetables 
      • Cutting meat 
      • Smashing garlic 
      • Chopping herbs and nuts 
      • Disjointing meat cuts 

      Paring Knife:

      The simple, sharp, and precise blades of paring knives are ideal for: 

      • Coring, mincing, peeling, and deseeding fruits and vegetables 
      • Slicing shallots 
      • Chopping herbs and cloves of garlic 
      • Deveining prawns 
      • Cutting shapes into dough 
      • Scoring patterns and designs of surfaces of food

      Steak Knife: 

      The serrated edges and sharply pointed tip of the knife are ideal for: 

      • Cutting through tough meats like steak
      • Slicing through meaty foods like burgers 

      Utility Knife:

      The screamingly sharp edges of our utility knives are ideal for: 

      • Slicing bagels and buns
      • Slicing meat 
      • Cutting sandwiches
      • Chopping vegetables 
      • Slicing herbs 

      Bread Knife: 

      The serrated blade edges of bread knives are ideal for: 

      • Slicing juicy tomatoes and other soft fruits 
      • Slicing fresh bread loaves and crust
      • Cutting through sourdough bread, soft bread, and other baked goods

      Boning Knife: 

      A classic boning knife is an ideal tool to: 

      • Cut around bones and other tougher meats
      • Trim fat and break away the cartilage in joints
      • Carve cakes, cupcakes, and cut cookie dough

      Carving Knife:

      A classic, slender and razor-sharp carving knife is ideal for:

      • Cutting thin, neat, and even slices of large roasts
      • Slice through larger fruits and vegetables
      • Serving meats like poultry, pork, lamb, or beef
      • Cutting through layers of cake in a smooth motion

      Japanese Knives:

      The carefully designed blades are ideal for: 

      • Slicing sashimi and sushi with precision
      • The wider blades assist in scooping up food for transfer
      • Chopping, slicing, and mincing vegetables

      3. What Do I Keep In Mind When Purchasing Kitchen Knives?

      paring knife on cutting board with fruits and vegetables

      Believe it or not, kitchen knives are the only equipment that comes in such a wide range. You can find a knife for $10 or you can pay 100 times the price and find a high-end, premium quality knife.

      Now with such a wide range of products available, you’d be wondering how you will ever find the perfect knife for your kitchen. Well, here is a little list of some important things to keep in mind when you’re purchasing your kitchen knives.

      Stamped Knife VS Forged Knife

      Stamped Knife 

      Forged Knife

      It is cut from a larger piece of metal, like a cookie-cutter. 

      It is made from a single piece of stainless steel. The metal is heated in a furnace which is then beaten into a blade shape. 

      These knives are easier to make and tend to be less durable, flimsy, and difficult to sharpen.

      This technique creates strong and rugged blades that can be sharpened and used for a long time. 

      These are cheap in price and quality.

      These are expensive in price and have superior quality. 

       

      Full Tang VS Half Tang/Stub Tang

      Tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle.

      Full Tang

      Half Tang/Stub Tang

      It extends all the way to the butt of the knife giving it maximum strength and rigidity.

      The length of the tang is shortened to produce cheaper, lower-quality products.

      Makes the knife strong and provides a good grip and support to the user.

      Makes the knife weak. 

      Can withstand pressure and less prone to damage.

      More prone to breaking under pressure. 


      Types of Blade Edges

      Straight Edge 

      Serrated Edge

      Scalloped Edge

      Hollow Ground Edge

      A straight or flat ground edge

      It has sharpened grooves and edges all along the edge of the blade.

      It has hollow dimples along the side of the blade.

      It tapers down from the middle of the blade, to create a very fine, sharp edge. 

      Knives are used for chopping and dicing lots of vegetables at once. 

      Used to cute tougher foods like loaves of break without damaging the edges. 

      These are useful when cutting wet or sticky foods like raw fish and vegetables. 

      It is mainly used to chop meat into smaller pieces by reducing friction and proving less drag while chopping. 

      It is normally found on chef’s knives, paring knives, and utility knives.

      It is normally found in bread knives, tomato knives, and steak knives. 

      It is normally found in Japanese Santoku blades and salmon knives 

      It is found mostly on Nakiri knives.

      4. How Do I Keep Kitchen Knives Sharp?

      whetstone on cutting block with butcher knife

      Keeping your kitchen knives sharp is crucial. Here are a few ways you can sharpen your knives. Here are some of those tricks: 

      Whetstones:

      These are great for precision sharpening and to make sure your knife’s scalpel-like edge remains in peak performance. The edge of the blade is held at an angle and then drawn down the stone until it becomes sharper.

      These techniques give the chef more control over the processing technique and the whetstone can also be used to sharpen a bunch of different types of knives like a chef’s knife, meat cleaver, paring knife, and even kitchen shears.

      Manual sharpeners: 

        These are a more affordable and an easy alternative for blade sharpening. The device has little slits through which you run your knife and sharpen the edges.

        Honing Steel Rods:

        These are long metal rods used to correct the edge of a blade before and after every use. This tool is used more for the purpose of aligning and repositioning the edge of the knife.  

        5. A Selection of the Best Kitchen Knives to Buy

          Now that you know all about the types of different knives and what to keep in mind when making your purchase, here is a selection of the best knives to help you pick the one that suits your kitchen needs.

          Best Chef’s Knife

            1. Chef's Knife 8" | Gladiator Series

             

            Chef's Knife 8" | Gladiator Series

             

            With a blade that is precision forged from a single piece of imported, premium quality, high-carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel, this knife has a Rockwell hardness of 56+. It’s sleek design makes it the perfect knife for all your slicing and chopping needs

            Price: This classic kitchen tool is priced at $89.99.

            Pros:

            • Superior quality product, making it totally worth the price
            • The wide blade makes it easy to scoop and transfer food from the cutting board
            • Perfect knife for beginners
            • This knife is a top pick by both, home cooks and professional chefs

            Cons:

            • If you prefer a fancy knife for your kitchen, you might want to look at the other knives in our range. 

              2. Chef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series

              Chef's Knife 9.5" | Shogun Series

              Slice through anything on your cutting board with great precision and control with this truly impressive chef’s knife. Crafted with AUS-10V Japanese super steel core and 66 layers alternating layers of Damascus cladding, makes these knives are highly durable. The cryogenic tempering on the knife also enhances its strength, flexibility, and hardness.

              Price: The long chef knife is priced at $169.99.

              Pros:

              • The blade is tapered for minimal slicing resistance and non-stick properties.
              • Its scalpel-like sharpness is at a staggering 8-12 degree angle per side.
              • The knife also offers superior hand control, comfort, and agility, maneuvering through meat and vegetables easily. 

              Cons:

              • Since this is at a slightly higher price point, it might not be the most budget-friendly option out there. 

              3. Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Collector Set 

              Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Collector Set | Omega Series

              This beautifully hand-crafted knife is as striking and impressive as it looks. With ultra-premium American forged BD1N-VX hyper steel, the blade's composition and added vacuum heat treatment to 63 Rockwell provide astonishing performance and flawless precision. It also comes with a ‘LiquidMetals’ pattern, minimizing the blade’s drag and maximizing its slicing efficiency.

              Price: The multipurpose knife comes at a price of $209.99.

              Pros: 

              • A premium quality knife with a beautiful and high-end design.
              • Unique, impressive, and precise blade.
              • A military-grade G10, ergonomic handle for increased durability.

              Cons:

              • The higher price point might not fit everyone’s budget.

              4. Chef's Knife 8" | Phantom Series

                A hit among professional chefs, this classic knife is crafted with Japanese AUS-8 steel. This knife also has premium quality laminated pakkawood handle with a carefully created brass and copper ‘phantom spirit’ mosaic. Indeed a gorgeous knife, it is something your knife block must-have.

                Price: The chef-favorite knife is priced at $109.99.

                Pros:

                • A premium quality product at a mid-range price.
                • Experience excellent resilience and superior edge retention with the ice-tempered blade.
                • Low maintenance as it cleans easily. 

                Cons:

                • It is highly possible that there aren’t any drawbacks to this knife.   

                  5. Kiritsuke Chef's Knife 8.5" | Crusader Series

                  These all-steel knives offer a minimalist aesthetic paired with a stunning design. This beauty is made from a single piece of ThyssenKrupp German high-chromium stainless steel and comes with a blade edge that is hand sharpened to 16-18 degrees per side, making sure to maintain the perfect balance between ultra-thin slicing and maximum resilience.

                    Price: This razor-sharp knife is priced at $99.99.

                    Pros:

                    • Affordable prices and great quality products.
                    • These knives are easy to clean and hygienically superior
                    • The blade is attached to a hand-crafted Acacia wood sheath
                    • Enjoy maximum blade hardness and flexibility.

                     Cons:

                    • Some people might prefer a solid wooden handle over a steel handle. 

                    Best Paring Knives:

                    1. Bird's Beak Tourne Paring Knife 2.75" | Gladiator Series

                    Bird's Beak Tourne Paring Knife 2.75" | Gladiator Series

                    If you’re looking for a knife that is great for little detail works like cutting fruits and vegetables, this is going to be your go-to knife. Its distinctive beak-like shape makes it very easy to perform tasks like peeling.

                    Price: Also known as a Tourne knife, this is priced at $59.99.

                    Pros:

                    • The extremely sharp tip of the spear ensure precision
                    • Round blade allows for a style of cut that produces very little waste
                    • Easy to control, with a comfortable grip.

                    Cons:

                    • The unique shape of the knife can make it difficult to sharpen it with an electric knife sharpener. 

                      2. Serrated Paring Knife 3.5" | Shogun Series

                       

                      Serrated Paring Knife 3.5" | Shogun Series | Dalstrong ©

                       

                      This knife’s edge is similar to the spear point tip paring knife and the blade ranges between 3.5 - 5 inches in length. This knife is best suited to slice larger fruits and vegetables and thick, crusty loaves of bread.

                      Price: The knife is priced at $99.99.

                      Pros:

                      • Larger size provides more cutting surface
                      • The serrated blade provides more grip

                      Cons:

                      • Sharpening these knives can be challenging due to the edge of the blade.

                      3. Paring Knife 3.5" | Frost Fire Series

                      Paring Knife 3.5" | Frost Fire Series

                      This collection of lightweight, razor-sharp steel knives has an icy cold look. Not only are they amazing to look at and hold, but they are also known for their superior precision.

                      Price: You can find this knife for $79.99.

                      Pros:

                      • A precision-based sandblast finish gives it a beautiful ‘frosted’ look.
                      • Crafted with 7-layer high-carbon steel, added cobalt, and expert heat-treatment.
                      • Extremely sharp knife blade, at a 16-18 degree angle per side.

                      Cons:

                      • Some people might prefer a paring knife with a slightly longer blade. 

                      Best Bread Knives

                      1. Bread Knife 10.25" | Shogun Series

                      Bread Knife 10.25" | Shogun Series

                      Welcome the champion of all knives to your kitchen. Be it wide loaves, hard crusts, thick crusts, soft bread, tall melons, juicy roasts, thick sausages, and more, this saw-tooth specialist is designed for minimal crumb dispersion and maximum performance.

                      Price: This knife is priced at $159.99.

                      Pros:

                      • The extra-long blade enables thin and even cuts of meat
                      • Can cut through thick and crusty ingredients with each, minimizing damage
                      • Handles are constructed with G-10 Garolite making them extremely strong and sturdy. 

                      Cons:

                      • Some people might not prefer buying a knife for their home kitchen at this price. 

                      2. Bread Knife 9" | Shadow Black Series

                      Bread Knife 9" | Shadow Black Series

                      Enjoy exceptional craftsmanship with this sleek, aggressive, and muscular-looking knife that definitely stands out from the pack. For a chef with a unique sense of style, this knife is a statement about who you are.

                      Price: The menacing design of this blade is priced at $99.99.

                      Pros:

                      • The blade is nitrogen cooled for enhanced hardness and flexibility.
                      • It has a Titanium Nitride non-reflective coating, improving robustness, corrosion resistance and enhancing non-stick properties
                      • Cleans easily for low maintenance

                      Cons:

                      • The knife might not fall in the preferred price -range for some people
                      • Some people might prefer wooden handles over a fiber-resin handle. 

                      3. Bread Knife 9" | Omega Series

                      Bread Knife 9" | Omega Series

                      These stunningly designed knives with unobtrusive beauty come with razor-sharp blades that can slice and dice with utmost precision. The sharply drawn lines forming the profile of each knife are indicative of modern design, while the groove machined into every blade is reminiscent of historical medieval swords, welding the past and present together.

                      Price: The knife is priced at $129.99.

                      Pros:

                      • The blade is painstakingly honed by experts to ensure precision.
                      • The solid steel design ensures toughness and resistance.
                      • The blade comes with superior hardness and flexibility. 

                      Cons:

                      • The price of the knife might not be preferred by some people.

                      Other than these essential knives, here are a few important ones that are often underrated and overlooked by everyone:

                      Best Slicing and Carving Knife:

                      Extra Long Slicing & Carving Knife 14" | Shogun Series

                      Extra-Long Slicing & Carving Knife 14" | Shogun Series

                      A precision instrument of slicing mastery is perfect for briskets, roasts, ham, turkey, sides of salmon, and other larger cuts of meat. The 2.00mm thick blade provides just enough flex to follow any contours, while the 8-12 degree double bevel edge avoids any shredding or tearing, leaving all the juices inside. The knife is also expertly suited for prepping large fruits and vegetables, slicing bread loaves, and layer cakes. A required addition for every chef!

                      Price: This painstakingly crafted knife is priced at $139.99.

                      Pros:

                      • Cuts large portions of meat and bread with complete ease.
                      • The blade is highly impervious to heat and moisture.
                      • Highly durable knives with razor-sharp edges
                      • Comes with rust and corrosion-resistant cladding.

                      Cons:

                      • The price might not be welcomed by everyone, but you can always find a slicing and carving knife that fits your needs at Dalstrong.

                      Best Utility Knife:

                      Utility Knife 5.5" | Shadow Black Series

                      Utility Knife 5.5" | Shadow Black Series

                      If exceptional grip, screamingly sharp cutting edge, and optimal maneuverability are what you’re looking for, then this utility knife is what you need. The midnight black titanium coating creates unforgettable styling, sophistication, and functionality, sure to turn heads in any kitchen.

                      Price: Striking from every angle, this knife is priced at $69.99. 

                      Pros:

                      • Tapered design for hardness and flexibility
                      • Precisely tempered for added durability
                      • Full tang for incredible robustness
                      • It’s a mid-range knife, making it affordable

                      Cons:

                      • People might prefer knives with wooden handles. 

                      Best Nakiri Knife:

                      Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6" | Phantom Series

                      Nakiri Vegetable Knife 6" | Phantom Series

                      The Nakiri is a favorite among Asian knives for its proficiency and exceptional performance. From cutting and slicing meat and vegetables to scooping up the food for transfer, the Nakiiri knife has got you covered. With a traditional Japanese D-shaped black pakkawood handle designed to tuck perfectly in the palm of your hand

                      Price: This ruthless culinary instrument is priced at $89.99.

                      Pros:

                      • The blade’s straight edge, spine, and nose make these knives push-cut specialists.
                      • Easy for scooping up food for transfer
                      • Cleans easily for low maintenance
                      • The handle is designed to tuck into the palm of your hand for superior hand control, comfort, and agility

                      Cons:

                      • The shape of the blade of this particular knife is boxy.
                      • While the 6-inch blade works perfectly fine, if you want a little more blade, you can check out the 7 inches Nakiri knife from our Gladiator Series. 

                      Best Steak Knives Set:

                      8 Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block | Gladiator Series

                      8 Piece Steak Knife Set with Storage Block | Gladiator Series

                      Every kitchen needs a fine set of outstanding steak blades and peak performance. This 8-piece stainless steel steak knife set comes with Military-grade G10 handles. This knife set is well-balanced, cuts like butter, and is an immediate show-off piece to proudly display in your kitchen.

                      Price: You can get this gorgeous set for $229.99.

                      Pros:

                      • The incredibly sharp blades are supported with a full-tang, providing complete support to the knife.
                      • Get clean, straight cuts with these blades, hand sharpened to 14-16 degrees per side, expertly heat-treated, and honed to perfection.
                      • Makes for a great gift for steak lovers and home cooks.

                      Cons:

                      • The blades are not serrated like most traditional steak knives

                      6. Frequently Answered Questions

                      chef's knife laying on top of rack of ribs

                      What are the 6 types of knives?

                      While there is a wide range of the different types of knives, these 6 knives are essential for any kitchen:

                      What are the main 3 types of knives used in the kitchen?

                      Traditionally there are only three knives that are crucial in a kitchen: a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. Any other knives are a luxury--they can make cooking easier and more enjoyable. A chef's knife (sometimes called a cook's knife) is the most important knife to have in your kitchen.

                      What are the 4 main knives used in culinary?

                      90% of all cooking jobs can be completed successfully by having these 4 knives around in your kitchen:

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                      Written by Himani Vaid

                      Toronto-based food nerd turned food storyteller, Himani is a connoisseur of all things delish. Currently, busy thinking about what to eat next.