Purchasing kitchen knives can seem like an overwhelming task.
Not only are there so many different ones to choose from, but also the prices can cause anyone to need to take a deep breath and count to ten.
The truth of the matter is that choosing the right kitchen knives doesn’t have to be so challenging.
And the expense of a good kitchen knife will be a worthwhile investment, considering that the best-made knives are designed to last a lifetime.
This article will break down the five most common types of knives, describing their design and function, to help you know which kitchen knives are right for you.
A good bread knife is a staple for any house or apartment.
No matter how much or how little you cook, you will always find yourself needing to cut bread in one form or other.
From fresh baked bread to store-bought Kaiser Rolls, everyone eats, and thus, needs to cut bread.
Using the wrong knife will cause bread to crumble and tear, creating a mess.
Bread knives are specifically designed to cut through bread, using a serrated blade to create a clean, even cut every time.
Unlike a bread knife, a carving knife is not something that everyone needs.
Unless you cook a fair amount of turkey, roast beef or other meat that requires precision slicing, a carving knife is probably an expense you can afford to skip.
The blade of a carving knife is heavier and thicker, giving it the stability to cut through tougher textures than most other knives can handle.
Again, unless you are hooked on 10-pound hams, you can probably survive without a carving knife.
A good paring knife is a must-have for anyone who eats a lot of fruits and veggies.
The delicate blade of a paring knife is designed to cut, slice, peel and shape the softer textures of fruits and vegetables.
The small handle allows for a more delicate hold, ideal for the precision that cutting fruits and vegetables often requires.
Using a larger handle knife will make the task of fine cutting more cumbersome, and a larger blade will be unable to perform tasks requiring minute precision.
The thin, curved shape of a boning knife blade is ideal for removing fish or chicken from the bone.
It allows a close, smooth cut along the bone, removing the maximum amount of meat.
A larger knife will ‘butcher’ the job, while the smaller blade of a paring knife will be unable to handle the task well.
A boning knife is absolutely necessary if you do a lot of cooking with fresh fish.
However, if your idea of fish is a frozen, breaded square, then this knife probably isn’t for you.
A good chef’s knife is a must have for anyone and everyone.
It is the workhorse of the kitchen, performing about 70 percent of the ‘knife-tasks’ on average.
This is the knife you need for regular meat cutting, dicing, chopping, slicing and all other regular ‘knife-things’.
Even if you don’t eat meat, this knife is essential.
The versatility of this knife means that it can perform anything that doesn’t require the fine precision of a paring knife or the durability of a carving knife.
It’s the culinary equivalent to a good pair of jeans.
There are a few knives that I didn’t include in this article, largely because they are self-explanatory.
Are you a butcher?
If not, then you probably don’t need a cleaver. You probably knew that though.
In any event, the five knives listed in this article are all you will probably need, or at least the only ones you will need to consider.
Hopefully this information will make your knife buying a more enjoyable experience.