The 5 Knives Every Cook or Chef Needs to Own

Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

If you're an established chef or cook, a newbie to a commercial kitchen environment, or simply a chef in your home kitchen, these knives are a must have.

Cutting onions

The Chef’s Knife

Chef's knife

With a blade size of 8 to 10 inches, the chef’s knife is easily the most important item in every chef’s arsenal of tools. It is a go-to for around 90% of kitchen duties, playing a part in the slicing, dicing and trimming of fruits, vegetables, meats, and fish.

While it’s such a key piece of equipment in the kitchen, it is advised that the following should be avoided and reserved for smaller-sized blades:

  • Carving Poultry
  • Butchering
  • Removing skin from large vegetables e.g. Pumpkin, Butternut squash etc.  


The Paring Knife

This shorter blade on average is around 3.5 inches long and is great for tasks and foods that require greater attention to detail. It works well on food types and prep work that the Chef knife struggles to tackle such as peeling fruits and vegetables, slicing and mincing garlic and hulling strawberries.

Avoid using your paring knife to cut hard vegetables. The paring knife lacks sufficient weight.


The Serrated Knife

Serrated knife

The serrated knife has an average blade length of ‘6’ inches and works extremely well when approaching waxy foods and fruits.

Use the serrated knife when cutting watermelons, peppers, citrus fruits, pineapples, tomatoes etc.

These knives are strictly to be used on slicing and not chopping. Also don’t use this knife when slicing smaller items such as berries, garlic and herbs.


The Boning Knife

Boning knife

Cut around bone with ease. Remove ribs, slice through joints and cartilage when cutting up fish, meat or poultry.

While all the aforementioned knives cut in straight lines, the boning knife has ‘flex’, in the way it moves, glides, and gives the knife holder space to work around a piece of meat.

Make sure not to chop through or cut directly into bone or hard vegetables.


The Honing Steel

Honing steel

As suggested by its name it’s clear that this knife isn’t exactly a knife. This tool is as important as the ones mentioned above as it keeps them sharp and ready when required to perform.

To sharpen your knife blade, simply run your blade one side at a time against the honing knife like shown below.

Knife sharpening