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7 types of kitchen knives and their uses

Updated ·3-min read
Cutting onions. (Photo: Getty)
Cutting onions. (Photo: Getty)

Knives have come a long way, not just in terms of the material used. Their varying shapes and sizes also affect their uses. In the past, knives have been made of bone, stone, and flint. But now, we use titanium, iron, steel and even ceramic.

Have you ever purchased a knife set but not know what each knife is used for? Below, we’ll clarify the uses of some common kitchen knives.

1. Chef knife

The most basic and versatile of all is the chef knife. Characterised by a long, broad blade with a straight edge, it is the perfect tool for chopping and dicing vegetables. The curved blade allows it to rock back and forth on a chopping board, while the broad heel area lets it withstand higher chopping pressure, especially when it comes to thick or hard foods like potatoes.

Orblue Chef Knife, 8-Inch High Carbon German Stainless Steel Kitchen Chef's Knife

S$14.78 S$22.78 at Amazon

Orblue Chef Knife, 8-Inch High Carbon German Stainless Steel Kitchen Chef's Knife for Cutting, Chopping, Dicing, Slicing & Mincing – Professional Cooking Knife with Ergonomic Handle & Sharp Blade. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Orblue Chef Knife, 8-Inch High Carbon German Stainless Steel Kitchen Chef's Knife for Cutting, Chopping, Dicing, Slicing & Mincing – Professional Cooking Knife with Ergonomic Handle & Sharp Blade. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Mercer Culinary M22608 Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife, Black

S$24.96 S$26.50 at Amazon

Mercer Culinary M22608 Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife,Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Mercer Culinary M22608 Millennia 8-Inch Chef's Knife,Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)

2. Utility knife

Like a smaller version of the chef knife, the utility knife allows for more intricate work. It comes in handy for chopping smaller foods and vegetables. If you think the chef knife is too big for the foods you need to chop, what you are looking for is a utility knife.

Cutluxe Utility Knife – 5.5" Petty Knife – Forged High Carbon German Steel

S$29.99 S$39.99 at Amazon

CUTLUXE Utility Knife – 5.5
CUTLUXE Utility Knife – 5.5" Petty Knife – Forged High Carbon German Steel – Full Tang & Razor Sharp – Ergonomic Handle Design – Artisan Series. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Kyocera Utility Knife, Orange

S$41.88 S$88 at Amazon

Kyocera Utility Knife, Orange. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Kyocera Utility Knife, Orange. (Photo: Amazon SG)

3. Santoku knife

The santoku knife is one of the popular kitchen knives in Japan. Similar to the chef or utility knife, it is highly versatile. The straight blade is good for cutting fish, chopping fruits and vegetables and slicing and mincing meats.

Cutluxe Santoku Knife – 7" Chopping Knife – Forged High Carbon German Steel

S$34.99 at Amazon

CUTLUXE Santoku Knife – 7
CUTLUXE Santoku Knife – 7" Chopping Knife – Forged High Carbon German Steel – Full Tang & Razor Sharp – Ergonomic Handle Design – Artisan Series. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Babish High-Carbon 1.4116 German Steel Cutlery, 6.5" Santoku Knife

S$25.40 at Amazon

Babish High-Carbon 1.4116 German Steel Cutlery, 6.5
Babish High-Carbon 1.4116 German Steel Cutlery, 6.5" Santoku Knife. (Photo: Amazon SG)

4. Boning knife

Contrary to its name, a boning knife is not for breaking bones. Its slim but strong blade is constructed for trimming the meat around the bone and for cutting through cartilage. It is designed to be light and easy to manoeuvre.

Mercer Culinary M18180 Ultimate Curved Boning Knife, 6", White

S$21.01 at Amazon

Mercer Culinary M18180 Ultimate Curved Boning Knife, 6
Mercer Culinary M18180 Ultimate Curved Boning Knife, 6", White. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Victorinox 5.6603.15 6" Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife with Semi-Stiff Blade B0000CF94L, Silver/Black

S$41.15 at Amazon

Victorinox 5.6603.15 6
Victorinox 5.6603.15 6" Fibrox Pro Curved Boning Knife with Semi-Stiff Blade B0000CF94L, Silver/Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)

5. Paring knife

The paring knife may be short and slim, but it is ideal in cutting, chopping or slicing fruits and vegetables. It is strong enough for cutting hard foods like potatoes into smaller pieces, and manoeuvrable enough for peeling, trimming, and removing seeds.

Kuhn Rikon Straight Paring Knife with Safety Sheath, 4 inch/10.16 cm Blade, Black

S$23.56 at Amazon

Kuhn Rikon Straight Paring Knife with Safety Sheath, 4 inch/10.16 cm Blade, Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Kuhn Rikon Straight Paring Knife with Safety Sheath, 4 inch/10.16 cm Blade, Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Glad 3 Piece Kitchen Knife Set for Prep | Stainless Steel Paring, Utility, Chef Knives | Razor Sharp Rust Resistant Blades | Professional Cutlery Pack

S$37.68 at Amazon

Glad 3 Piece Kitchen Knife Set for Prep | Stainless Steel Paring, Utility, Chef Knives | Razor Sharp Rust Resistant Blades | Professional Cutlery Pack. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Glad 3 Piece Kitchen Knife Set for Prep | Stainless Steel Paring, Utility, Chef Knives | Razor Sharp Rust Resistant Blades | Professional Cutlery Pack. (Photo: Amazon SG)

6. Bread knife

Self-explanatory as it is, bread knife is, well, for slicing breads. The beauty of this long serrated blade is how it cuts through soft bread without making it out of shape. Unlike most of the other knives, you have to use it like a saw. It can also be used to slice cakes and tomatoes, cut large melons, or break chocolate bars.

RedMan 57437 Stainless Steel Bread Knife, 8”, Multicolour

S$3.40 at Amazon

RedMan 57437 Stainless Steel Bread Knife, 8”, Multicolour. (Photo: Amazon SG)
RedMan 57437 Stainless Steel Bread Knife, 8”, Multicolour. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Kuhn Rikon Colori Bread Knife with Safety Sheath, 7 inch/17.78 cm Blade, Black

S$39.48 at Amazon

Kuhn Rikon Colori Bread Knife with Safety Sheath, 7 inch/17.78 cm Blade, Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Kuhn Rikon Colori Bread Knife with Safety Sheath, 7 inch/17.78 cm Blade, Black. (Photo: Amazon SG)

7. Cleaver

Also called the butcher knife, the cleaver is characterised by its flat and rectangular blade. One of the broadest and heaviest knives, it is a heavy-duty tool for chopping raw meat. It can even cut through bone!

Shi Ba Zi Zuo Heavy Duty Cleaver Butcher Knife for Chopping Bones

S$48.77 S$78.86 at Amazon

SHI BA ZI ZUO Heavy Duty Cleaver Butcher Knife for Chopping Bones. (Photo: Amazon SG)
SHI BA ZI ZUO Heavy Duty Cleaver Butcher Knife for Chopping Bones. (Photo: Amazon SG)

Farberware Steel Cleaver Knife with Edgekeeper Self-Sharpening Sheath, Black, 6-Inch

S$24.61 at Amazon

Farberware Steel Cleaver Knife with Edgekeeper Self-Sharpening Sheath, Black, 6-Inch, 5209950. (Photo: Amazon SG)
Farberware Steel Cleaver Knife with Edgekeeper Self-Sharpening Sheath, Black, 6-Inch, 5209950. (Photo: Amazon SG)
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Originally published