Long behind you are the days of using a single, ever-dulling knife for all your kitchen needs. Now that you’re a serious adult with serious things to cook in the kitchen, it’s time to invest in some knives. But where to begin? Reddit user Randomusefulbits shared this easy-on-the-eyes, ever-handy guide to the different knives a true chef has in his or her kitchen, along with descriptions and what each blade is used for.
You’ll never question your kitchen knife knowledge again.
Let’s take a closer look. The chart starts off with a simple breakdown of the three main types of knife blade — straight, serrated, and granton — as well as what they’re used for.
Razor-sharp, straight blades are used to cut raw meat, slice fish and chop vegetables. Serrated blades — those with a jagged, saw-like edge — are used for slice soft-interior, hard-exterior products, like bread or watermelon.
Granton blades are identified by the shallow, oval-shaped grooves on the faces of the knife, which keep the knife from sticking when slicing moist, juicy items.
Now that you know the three main types of blade, it’s time to move onto the particulars.
The paring knife has a fine blade, slim cutting edge and a firm tip, good for everyday use but best for peeling potatoes, fruit and vegetables, as well as other fine, intricate tasks. A turning knife features a curved blade, short handle and firm tip, great for taking the eyes from potatoes and other peeling procedures.
The thin, curved blade and straight edge of the boning knife is best-suited for, as its name implies, removing meat from bone, and are also great for cleaning and preparing poultry and fish.
The filleting knife and its long, thin blade are made to filet and prepare meat and fish; the blade’s flexibility allows easy, precise movement. The small, stiff, granton-bladed utility knife is highly versatile and multi-functional; it’s good for slicing and chopping vegetables, fruit and even smaller cuts of meat.
Though it looks like a cleaver, the Chinese chopper is really best suited for general meat slicing, rather than heavy-duty chopping tasks like bones and frozen foods.
For those bone-in cuts of meat, a cleaver is indispensable. The large, rectangular blade — note the hole in the corner opposite the blade — is great for the toughest tasks. The Santoku knife, with its wide granton blade, is made for meat, fish and vegetables, and its curved end helps the easy, rocking motion made while chopping.
The mother of all knives and must-have in every kitchen is, of course, the chef’s knife. Its strong, weighted blade makes it good for all manner of chopping and slicing — just make sure you keep it sharp.
With a long, slightly curved, serrated blade, the bread knife helps slice bread without crushing or tearing it, but it’s also good for slicing firm-skinned, juicy-interior fruits like tomatoes. The unsharpened palette knife had a broad, blunt, and rounded blade made for sliding between items, a game-changer when it comes to griddle and pan cooking.
Last but certainly not least, the carving knife helps get those perfectly thin cuts of turkey and ham we all love on Thanksgiving and Christmas. It’s got a long, thing, straight blade with slight curve at the end for precision slicing.
Finally, the chart breaks down the four main types of materials that go into knives — from inexpensive stainless steel, the higher-quality carbon steel and on through the strong (and expensive) titanium and Damascus steel blades.