Which chef's knife do you use

Kitchen knife: which knife for what?

Table of Contents

  1. Which knife for what?
    1. The knife blade
    2. The material
    3. What is the difference between Japanese and European knives?
  2. Kitchen knife for everyday cooking
    1. Paring knife
    2. Paring knife
    3. Utility knife
    4. Cheese knife
    5. Chef's knife
    6. Bread knife
  3. These knives should not be missing from meat lovers
    1. Steak knife
    2. Filleting knife
    3. Boning knife
    4. Ham knife
  4. The kitchen knives for specialists
    1. Santoku knife
    2. Chinese chef's knife
    3. Chopping knife
    4. palette
  5. Graphic: Which knife for what?
  6. Graphics: It's all about the blade!

Which knife for what?

Cutting, chopping, carving, peeling, brushing - there are countless types of knives, all of which are perfect for a specific task. Choosing the right knife makes every cut in the kitchen easy.

Some of the knives should be found in every kitchen, other kitchen knives are more suitable for the private hobby kitchen. EAT SMARTER explains which knife is best for what and what makes a good knife.

The knife blade

Whether smooth, fluted, flexible, stable, narrow or wide - the shape of the blade is decisive for which knife should be used for what. The shape of the blade is called a wade shape. There are four differences here:

  1. Smooth blade: This allows you to cut cleanly and precisely. The blade is versatile, but has to be sharpened regularly.
  2. Wavy blade: Knives with a wavy blade are mostly bread knives, but they are also suitable for fruits and vegetables with a slightly harder skin.
  3. Saw blade: The saw cut is suitable for soft fruit or vegetables, for example tomatoes.
  4. Bullet-shaped blade: The indentations in the blade prevent it from sticking. Particularly good for cheese or for cutting wafer-thin slices.

The material

Depending on the material, a knife has different properties and is suitable for different areas of application. For example, the difference between Japanese and European blades is very large due to the different material. Most knife blades are made from these four materials:

  1. Ceramics: These knives stay sharp for a long time, are light and hard. It is best to use ceramic knives on a soft surface. They are rust-free, inexpensive and easy to care for.
  2. stainless steel: Knives made of stainless steel are rustproof and stable. They wear out a little faster and should therefore be reground regularly. They are good for novice cooks.
  3. Damask steel: Expensive fun, but worth it! Here, many layers of different types of steel and iron, or soft and hard alloys, are processed into a flexible and stable blade. They stay sharp for a long time and are sharper than other types of steel, so that very precise cutting is possible.
  4. Fisslerbionic: The Fissler brand has developed a very special blade. Here, chrome-molybdenum-vanadium steel and an ultra-hard coating have been combined. The steel wears off faster than the coating, but this keeps the blade permanently sharp. If you don't like sharpening, you will find the perfect knife here.

What is the difference between Japanese and European knives?

The European knives are very robust and do not wear out quickly even if they are not handled professionally. Japanese knives, on the other hand, are very sharp, but also more sensitive: Stone or glass as a substrate is prohibited here and cutting takes some practice. Both kitchen knives have their advantages and disadvantages - your own preference ultimately decides here.

Kitchen knife for everyday cooking

Paring knife

This kitchen knife, also known as a paring knife, has a curved blade and can be used for peeling and cleaning vegetables and fruits. So it mainly takes care of the little things and can also be used to decorate and garnish side dishes.

Paring knife

The blade is short and straight, which makes the knife very handy. The paring knife can be used in many ways, for example for cleaning and preparing vegetables, but also for decorating.

Utility knife

Also known as a paring knife or paring knife, this pointed, sharp blade can be used in many ways: for peeling, cutting and chipping. The serrated edge means that you don't need to exert a lot of force, but you can still cut smoothly. The all-purpose knife is a mixture of a chef's knife and a paring knife and is a good entry-level model.

Cheese knife

Cheese knives are of course self-explanatory, but there are different versions: For hard or soft cheese, as a bow knife or universally applicable. A cheese knife can be used to process or serve cheese.

Chef's knife

The chef's knife is the all-rounder in the kitchen, the universal tool for everyday cooking. You can use it to cut fish, meat and vegetables, but also to finely weigh herbs or onions. The chef's knife should not be missing in any kitchen!

Bread knife

Who likes a mashed slice of bread? Hard and soft bread and rolls can be cut perfectly with a bread knife. Thanks to the serrated blade, even hard bread crusts are no longer a problem. Misuse for crispy roasts is also possible.

These knives should not be missing from meat lovers

Steak knife

Both for preparing in the kitchen and for cutting steak on the table. The knife is equipped with a saw and can cut juicy steaks.

Filleting knife

The blade is flexible and narrow, so fish and meat can be filleted very thinly.

Boning knife

With this kitchen knife you can cleanly remove bones, boning poultry, skin fish and remove tendons. The slim blade gives a lot of control, there are models with flexible and rigid blades.

Ham knife

The ham knife is a sturdy but light meat knife. The thin, narrow blade cuts roasts, meat and of course ham into the finest slices. This allows you to precisely portion meat in raw or cooked form.

The kitchen knives for specialists

Santoku knife

The Asian knife is an all-rounder and can cut and chop - whether fish, meat, vegetables or herbs. The all-rounder has a wide, thinner blade that is not quite pointed. Since it can be used for fish, meat and vegetables, it is called "three virtues".

Chinese chef's knife

This Asian knife looks like a cleaver, but be careful: it is not suitable for chopping bones. However, you can easily cut and chop herbs and vegetables with it. In traditional Chinese cuisine, it is an all-rounder that is used for many jobs.

Chopping knife

This kitchen knife is operated with both hands and can chop herbs into small pieces in seconds.


The straight palette can be used to smooth out dough, glazes or creams or to loosen the cake base and to give up the piece of cake. But the kitchen knife is also ideal for turning pancakes, omelettes or pancakes.

Which knife for what?

So that you don't pack the wrong thing when you buy the kitchen knife, EAT SMARTER has the kitchen knife guide for you. Here you can find out which knife is best for what, which tailors should not be missing in any kitchen and what else you should pay attention to when handling knives.

It's all about the blade!

You can find the right kitchen knife for you here on Amazon.