9 Different Types of Kitchen Knives to Know for Every Cooking Occasion


To the average person, all knives may seem pretty much the same.

However, a true chef usually has a whole collection of knives for different purposes. If you’re an aspiring chef or just interested in cooking more, this list of the different types of kitchen knives will help you decide what to add to your arsenal.

different types of kitchen knives to use for different types of cooking and cutting
Taken by R. McCullough via unsplash.com. [Public Domain].

Chef’s Knife

A multipurpose knife good for cutting meat and chopping vegetables, the chef’s knife is an essential for anyone who prepares food. Its blade curves at the tip, allowing you to use it in a rocking motion. You can also find chef’s knives in various lengths to fit your grip and preference.

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Santoku Knife

The santoku knife is a Japanese version of a general-use knife. It doesn’t have a curved edge, and it’s also thinner, making it sharper than a chef’s knife. You can cut meat, vegetables, and fish in thinner slices with this knife, and some people prefer its precision enough to replace their chef’s knives with it.

Utility Knife

Another knife you can use in a variety of situations, the utility knife is usually smaller than a chef’s knife (four to seven inches long as opposed to six to twelve). It’s often used to cut vegetables and fruit as well as to slice tough ingredients such as bagels. Unlike a chef’s knife, a utility knife can have a straight or serrated edge.

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Paring Knife

Distinguished by their pointy ends, a paring knife is even shorter than a utility knife. You can use it for precise, delicate work such as peeling, mincing, and deseeding. However, this type of knife isn’t ideal for cutting large pieces of meat.


A wide, rectangular blade and thick, heavy design make cleavers instantly recognizable. They can chop cooked and raw meat; bones; and thick vegetables, including squash and pumpkins. The cleaver is probably the knife you associate with butchers.

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Boning Knife

Boning knives separate raw meat from bones. They’re also useful for butterflying meat. Typically, they have narrow, pointy blades, which can be stiffer for meat or more flexible for fish and poultry. Chefs often use the stiffer versions because they generally offer greater precision.

Slicing Knife

The end of a slicing knife can be rounded or pointy, but its purpose remains the same: to slice cooked meat. You can also use one to slice fruit and vegetables. The neatness that the slicing knife offers is great for good presentation.

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Bread Knife

The bread knife has a rounded end and a serrated edge. It can cut through bread, cake, and other soft foods without squishing them down and deforming their shape. The serration also allows them to break through the initial hardness of bread crusts.

Kitchen Shears

Sometimes, one blade just isn’t enough. That’s where kitchen shears come in. These scissors are made for the kitchen, and they make it easy for you to cut vegetables, poultry, and small herbs. They also free you from the annoyance of the untearable plastic packages that some ingredients come in.

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Well, that’s all on our list of important types of kitchen knives to know. Got any questions, comments, or other kitchen knife types we should add to our list? Let us know in the comment section below, and thanks for reading!


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