A Guide to Professional Knives and Their Uses


Skilled cooks and professional chefs can’t imagine doing their duties without a sturdy pair of knives. Some of the most commonly seen knives in professional settings are listed below, along with brief descriptions of their functions so that you are in the know of what knives you need most!

Chef’s Knife

Every kitchen needs superb professional chef knives as an addition to the most useful cooking tools. A chef’s knife, also known as a cook’s knife, has a long, wide blade that tapers to a point. Thanks to this design, it can quickly rock back and forth for quick mincing and chopping. It often has a straight edge to quickly and easily cut through food.

A chef knife has a blade length that ranges in size from 15 to 30cm, with 20cm being the most popular size. This type of professional knives is used for chopping herbs and nuts, and dicing and slicing fruits, vegetables, and meats. It can also be used for mincing and crushing garlic and cutting through melons.

chef's knife
source: nbcnews.com

Paring Knife

Paring knives are ideal for delicate knifework because of their low weight, short blade, and pointed tip. Their serrated or straight edges can be used for a variety of jobs, and their blade lengths range from 5 to 10 cm. The spear point, bird’s beak, and sheep’s foot professional chef knives are the most popular and are named after the shapes of their blade tips. A paring knife is used to cut, chop, and slice fruits, vegetables, and some cheeses. It can also be used to devein shrimp, remove extra fat from meat, and peel skins for decorative garnishes.

paring knife
source: fnsharp.com

Utility Knife

Chef knives and paring knives are combined to create utility knives. In order to give precision for cutting tasks when a chef knife may be too large to use and a paring knife too little, a utility knife’s blade is narrower than a chef knife and longer than a paring knife. For a variety of uses, these knives might have a straight or serrated edge. The most common utility knife size is 15 cm, with blade lengths ranging from 12 to 22 cm. Small to medium-sized fruits and vegetables, meats, bread, and citrus fruits can all be cut with a utility knife.

utility knife
source: girlcooksworld.com


Meat, bones, and other thick items are easily broken down by cleavers. They feature a short, wide blade with a straight edge that mimics an axe and is ideal for chopping and hacking in an upward and downward motion. There are two different kinds of cleavers: vegetable cleavers, which have a thinner blade and are better suited for cutting vegetables and slicing through fish, and meat cleavers, which are intended for preparing raw meat. The size of a cleaver’s blade varies from 10 to 25 cm, with 17 cm being the most common length. Using a cleaver knife, you can mince garlic, chop vegetables, and slice and tenderise meat.

cleaver knife
source: cusocuts.com

Butcher Knife

The long, curved blade of a butcher knife has a sharp tip at the end, making it easier to see through flesh with precision. This type of knives has a straight edge that makes it simple to cut through meat without damaging the food. Blade lengths for butcher knives range from 12 to 30 cm, with 20 to 25 cm being the most common size range. To cut through skin, cartilage, and bones, use a butcher knife. It’s also used to divide up big amounts of meat, such as whole carcasses, racks of ribs, and primal beef pieces.

butcher knife
source: cutco.co.uk

Boning Knife

In accordance with the sort of meat you are cutting and how flexible you require the knife to be, boning knives can have either a thin or wide blade that is flexible, semi-flexible, or stiff. For instance, a wide, stiff blade is best for deboning cattle and pork, while a narrow, flexible blade works well for shaping and cutting lamb, veal, and fish. A boning knife’s blade can be 7 to 30 cm long, with 15 cm being the most common length.

boning knife
source: thedaringkitchen.com

Carving Knife

Knives used for carving or slicing meat have a long, narrow blade that tapers to a point. They can cut thin, even slices from cooked poultry and huge roasts since they are significantly thinner than chef knives. For carving stations at catered events, carving knives are the finest option. Granton edges are found on many slicing blades, which reduce drag and stop the flesh from tearing as it is being cut.

carving knife
source: huwareserve.com

Cheese Slicer

Smaller knives known as cheese knives or cheese slicers are frequently served with cheese and are used for portioning and slicing. There are various kinds of cheese knives available with various blade lengths and styles that are made specifically to sever soft, semi-soft, and hard cheeses. For ease of usage, some cheese knives are made with perforations that keep the cheese from clinging to them. Inside restaurants and caterers that offer charcuterie and grazing boards on their menus, cheese knives are the ideal instrument to improve the overall-customer experience.

cheese slicer
source: bobvila.com

Santoku Knife

Santoku knives are broad, straight Japanese professional chef knives with a curved spine that tapers to a tip. They can be used with nuts, meat, herbs, garlic, or carrots. The blade of a santoku knife is lighter and thinner than a chef knife, which makes it ideal for finely chopping and thin, accurate cutting.

They can commonly be used in the kitchen in place of chef knives due to their versatile design. Santoku knives have blade lengths ranging from 12 to 22 cm, with 17 cm being the most typical length. Use a santoku knife as a part of your essential kitchen tools to slice and chop fruits, vegetables, meats, and seafood.

santoku knife
source: seriouseats.com

Nakiri Knife

Nakiri knives are Japanese-style knives with a straight, razor-sharp edge and a thin, lightweight, rectangular blade. Since nakari knives are perfect for chopping precise and clean slices, they are a little heavier than santoku blades. These knives cut through vegetables, like ginger, with ease, and other vegetables can be sliced, diced, chopped, and ribboned. Blade lengths for nakiri knives range from 12 to 22cm, with 17cm being the most common length.

nakiri knife
source: techgearlab.com

Bread Slicer

Long, straight blades of bread knives have a serrated edge that makes them ideal for cutting through soft objects while maintaining their integrity. To avoid the user’s knuckles from striking the cutting surface, certain bread knives have offset handles.

bread slicer
source: thegreenhead.com