Different Types of Damascus Kitchen Knives & their Uses
Have you ever tried to prepare or eat a meal without a knife? We are very sure that the answer is no and that knives are indispensable to the process of cooking and eating. But it can be quite daunting to decide what to add to your collection. There are so many varieties with complex descriptions and each one with a different purpose. And that purpose is what should guide your decisions. Do you bake, regularly serve fish, or prefer fresh veggies vs prepacked or frozen? Knowing the answer to these questions is important.
While we believe that it would be nice to have every type of knife in your collection, we also believe for most people you can do just fine with a small collection. If you are just starting your kitchen knife collection, then hands down your first knife should be the Chef knife. If you are going to start with a collection, we recommend you start with what we believe are the 3 most important knives, which are the Chef, Santoku or Nakiri and Utility knife. You can get a Nakiri instead of the Santoku if you like, some chefs prefer one over the other. For a 5 piece set we recommend adding the paring and bread knife. If you want to add more to your collection, adding a Boning, Carving and Cleaver knife really adds more capabilities to your kitchen and collection. In another blog post we will talk more about specific specialty knives like Cheese, tomatoes, and Sushi knives. We have prepared this guide to take the guesswork out of your purchase.
1. Chef Knife
If you could only purchase one knife this would be the one we recommend. In fact, if you could only take one thing onto a deserted island this would be it. No knife is quite as versatile as the Chef’s knife. It could perform at least 80% of the cutting in your kitchen.
Although they can come in 6” to 12” the range we stock is on average 8” which is thought by many to be the perfect length for comfortable handling. It has a curved blade which makes it easy to finely chop your ingredients whether they are herbs or vegetables.
Uses: Professional Chef Knives can be used for almost every kitchen task from cutting meat to chopping vegetables and everything in between.
2. Santoku Knife
As with the Chef knife, this is another knife you want to add to your collection because it has so many qualities that will make cooking a dream. It has a blade that is slightly thinner than a Chef knife.
It also doesn’t have a tip, which influences how it operates. It tends to be shorter than a Chef’s knife which may be more comfortable for some.
Uses: It can do most things a Chef knife does but produces a thinner slice which may be preferable in certain types of cooking but it really stands out as a great vegetable knife.
3. Utility Knife
The utility knife is a great all-purpose knife, smaller and thinner than a Chef knife but with a long list of ways, it can be used. It is particularly useful when you don’t need the heft of a Chef’s knife.
Uses: It is ideal for peeling and chopping smaller vegetables and herbs. Mincing up shallots and chopping herbs will be an absolute dream with this knife.
4. Paring Knife
Paring knives are excellent for fine work like peeling vegetables or creating intricate designs out of them. It is the knife most commonly used for these specialized purposes. They are very versatile and can often be spotted in a professional chef’s kitchen. In fact, many chefs would recommend this knife because of how much it can be used.
Uses: Whether you need to slice vegetables into small pieces or peel a potato this is the right knife for the job.
5. Bread Knife
Experience the pleasures of slicing bread effortlessly. These knives are designed to slice through crusty loaves without ripping or tearing them apart. Bread knives are typically long with serrated edges to make them easier to use.
Uses: Bread knives are used for slicing and cutting baked goods especially different types of bread but could also be used for cutting meat in a pinch.
6. Cleaver Knife
A cleaver is a large blade that is usually square and heavy for easy chopping and slicing. It is ideal for tasks that require weight and force. Think of the last butternut or chicken you had to cut through, a cleaver may have benefitted you then.
Uses: A cleaver is a perfect knife for chopping, slicing, or dicing all types of vegetables as well as tough cuts of meat, bones, and sinews.
7. Carving Knife
It goes without saying that a carving knife is exactly what you need when you are slicing up a roast along with other meats. These are meant for people more comfortable wielding a knife and those used to carving up dense meats. It is perfect for cooks who like to experiment with larger meals.
Uses: A carving knife slices the most beautiful thin slices from your weekend roast. It is mainly meant for handling meats whether it is a chicken or a leg of lamb.
8. Nakiri Knife
A Nakiri knife has a rectangular blade and is most ideal for managing vegetables. It is similar to a Santoku in that it is quite large and versatile. It tends to look like a more sophisticated version of the Chinese cleaver with a straight blade edge that enables precise cuts.
Uses: Slicing, dicing, and chopping vegetables like a pro. In fact, just about anything to do with a vegetable works well with this XinZuo knife.
9. Boning Knife
It is quite an ominous-sounding name but the purpose is well known. Boning knives have long, thin, flexible blades with a sharp tip to make piercing meat easier and safer. They are incredibly tough and will last ages if treated well. The wicked sharp edge is what makes it so attractive.
Uses: As the name implies boning knives are used to remove bones in various cuts of meat. It performs the job easily and quickly with a long sharp blade.
10. Steak Knife
Have you ever tried to eat a steak with a butter knife? Probably not and there is a reason for that. Steak knives possess all the qualities you need to enjoy your steak dinner. They're usually constructed from metal or stainless steel, and will often feature a very slightly serrated edge to help with tougher foods.
Uses: It is specifically designed to easily slice through the meat in your meal whether that be a steak or a lamb shank.
Browse our range for a wide variety of Damascus Steel Knife set to suit every collection. And let us know if there are any questions you need to be answered. We would love to help with making decisions about the next member of your kitchen repertoire.