From classic chef's knives to specialized steak knives, each kitchen knife says something about the person wielding it. Whether you're a dedicated home cook or an aspiring professional chef, understanding what each type of knife can do will help you get the most out of your cooking experience.
Here's a look at some of the most popular kitchen knives and what we think they say about you.
The Chef's Knife
The chef's knife is the most recognizable kitchen knife (and one of our favorites). It’s typically 8-10 inches long, with an ergonomic handle and a curved blade. The chef’s knife is about versatility. We use it for slicing, dicing, chopping, mincing, and julienning. It’s also easy to sharpen and maintain.
A chef's knife usually belongs to someone who emphasizes efficiency and convenience above all else. They enjoy doing multiple tasks with one tool without sacrificing quality or time.
The Santoku Knife
The Santoku knife is similar to the chef's knife in that it is versatile, but it differs in two significant ways: its blade is straighter than a chef's knife, and it has dimples along the edge designed to reduce friction while cutting through food.
Its straight blade makes it ideal for precise slicing and dicing, while its dimples make quick work of sticky foods like potatoes or onions. People who use santoku knives prefer precision over speed or brute force when cooking.
The Petty Knife
The Petty knife is much smaller than the chef or santoku knives. It’s typically 3-4 inches long with a sharp point at the end of its blade. We find it great for delicate tasks like peeling fruits or vegetables, trimming the fat from meats, or deveining shrimp.
Anyone who uses paring knives is usually more detail-oriented. With a paring knife, we find it’s easy to appreciate the small things without sacrificing accuracy or quality control.
If steak knives are the only type in your drawer, family dinners around the table and classic, filling meals are the only way to go.
Our steak knives are designed with a plain edge blade, which make them perfect for cutting through tough cuts of meat, such as steaks or chops, without tearing or ripping them apart.
A cleaver is a large knife with a rectangular blade that can easily chop through bones or tough cuts of meat. A well-sharpened cleaver may be your weapon of choice if you like unique dishes and aren’t afraid to get creative in the kitchen.
We love using a cleaver to experiment with ingredients that require more muscle power!
A fillet knife has a skinny blade, making it ideal for cutting through delicate fish fillets without damaging them. If this is your preferred choice, you like subtle flavors and dishes where fresh ingredients take center stage rather than complicated sauces or garnishes.
Cutting in the Kitchen
From chef’s knives to steak knives and everything in between, there is something out there for everyone when selecting the right kitchen tools. The type of knife(s) in your kitchen drawer says something about who you are as a home cook—are you an adventurous explorer, or do you prefer traditional meals? Do bold flavors excite you, or do subtle notes find their way into every dish?
Knowing these answers will help guide your decisions next time you shop for new kitchen tools!