Cutlery Buying Guide

What is cutlery? The term usually refers to knives and other cutting implements used in food preparation. A good knife is an important tool in your kitchen, and having the right type of knife makes the job of food prep much easier, efficient and more enjoyable.

Many consumers set out looking for the professional chef knife set in a brand that they heard about from a food-related ad or a TV show. There are other important factors to consider when choosing your main kitchen knives, such as:

  • Weight - Some people prefer heavy weight, while others opt for a lighter feel. Try a few different knives you have in the kitchen today to determine what you lean towards.
  • Length of the blade - 8 inches is typical, but some consumers prefer slightly smaller size for more agility and better control, while others opt for the longer chef’s knives.
  • Feel - The knife should feel balanced in your hand. You should have a good grip on the handle without feeling strained in your wrist and fingers. It should be sharp and slice through easily.

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Investing in a good kitchen knife set is the best way to get all the essentials at once. You can add specialty knives that we review in this buying guide as you need them, since many knife blocks come with extra slots. 

Types of Kitchen Knives

Carving Knife and Fork 

Perfect for everything from holiday feasts to family dinners, this set helps you cut and carve with precision and confidence. The knife should be sharp to slice through large ham and turkey pieces, while the fork should feel comfortable in your hand and offer good grip and control when moving sliced pieces to the plate. 

Paring Knife

A smaller knife used for fine cuts, peeling and coring, your paring knife will be one of your most used as it allows for great control and cut precision. The blade length is usually between 2 ½ and 4 inches long.

Serrated Knife

A serrated edge is great for slicing soft and juicy vegetables with tough outer skins. Also useful for slicing meat and bread.

Utility Knife

Positioned perfectly between a paring and chef’s knife, it is good for smaller tasks that don’t require the larger chef’s knife.

Santoku Knife

A traditional Japanese shape with a straight cutting edge and extra knuckle clearance. Used for dicing, chopping and mincing fruit or vegetables. Also a great knife for cutting boneless meat, cheese, and fish.

Bread Knife

A long, saw-like serrated blade, ideal for cutting through crusty bread in long strokes, without crushing it.

Chef’s Knife

The essential all-purpose knife used to chop, mince, dice and slice most types of food ingredients in your kitchen. Chef’s knives range from 6 to 14 inches in length, although most people prefer to buy and use 8-inch long knives.

Sharpening Steel

Also known as a honing steel, the long rod helps maintain the blade’s edge.

Steak Knife

A table (vs Kitchen) knife used for cutting foods served as a main course such as steak or chicken steak. Typically come with a serrated blade 4 to 6 inches in length and an ergonomic handle, which can be metal or wood.