When it comes to cooking well, you don't want just any old chef's knife - you want something durable, something strong, something that feels good in your hand. Of course, you could just go out and spend your hard-earned cash on the best brand out there, but brand alone doesn't guarantee you'll make the best choice - it's more about quality. Also, everyone is different and your knife should reflect that. You will be spending a lot of time together, so your knife should be an extension of your personality.

You should be clear about the purpose of your new knife. Will you slice, dice, peel or chop? Do you want something that can do everything? With so many different models out there, it's pretty hard to know where to start. In general, a home cook doesn't need nearly as many knives as a professional chef, but that doesn't mean you can't or shouldn't have everything. When starting out with a collection of kitchen knives, you should definitely invest in a few basic things, such as: B:

Chef's Knife - Gyuto

Chef's knife or Gyuto: By far the most versatile and popular kitchen knife, used for chopping, dicing, slicing and mincing. The perfect all-rounder. Chef's knives come in sizes from 15cm to 30cm (6" to 12"), with 20cm (8") being the most common size.

utility knife

Utility Knife: A versatile knife for everyday tasks, albeit not quite as versatile as a chef's knife due to its shorter length. It can be used to cut meat or chop vegetables. Utility knives range in length from 10 to 18 cm (4" to 7").

paring knife

Paring Knife: The small but powerful paring knife can be used for precision work such as peeling, cutting and coring vegetables and fruit. Paring knives are typically between 6 cm and 10 cm (2½" to 4") long.

bread knife

Bread Knife: The serrated edge of this knife is perfect for slicing fresh bread or cakes without crushing them. It is also good for slicing soft fruit, such as B. Tomatoes without damaging the sensitive flesh. Bread knives are between 15 cm and 25 cm long (6" to 10").

Once you've mastered the basics, you can hone your skills further with a couple of new knives:

Cleaver - Chai Dao

Cleaver: A solid, heavy-duty cleaver is the perfect tool for chopping up meat and poultry bones, and it'll have you feeling like an Iron Chef contestant. Household cleavers are typically between 15cm and 20cm (6" to 10") long.

filleting knife

Filleting Knife: With its thin, flexible blade, this knife is used to fillet fish and remove small bones and skin. Filleting knives range in length from 15 cm to 28 cm (6" to 11").

carving knife

Carving knife: You need this knife for your Sunday roast. With its long, thin blade, the carving knife is perfect for cutting thin pieces of meat and has a size of 20 cm to 38 cm (8" and 15").

boning knife

Boning Knives: Boning knives have a sharp point and narrow blade and are used to remove the bones from poultry, meat, and fish. They typically range in size from 12 cm to 17 cm (5" to 6½").

palette knife

Palette Knife: Popular with pastry chefs, this knife resembles a spatula and has a blunt, rounded end that's useful for spreading toppings, such as toppings. B. icing, is used on a cake. It does not have a sharp edge and therefore cannot be used for cutting or dicing.

pastry knife

Pastry Knife: Once you've covered your cake with frosting, you'll want to cut a slice. And that's exactly what the pastry knife with its long, serrated blade is designed for. Pastry knives are typically around 10" (25.5 cm) long.

Don't freak out now...
It is clear that purchasing so many kitchen knives can get expensive. That's why most experts advise starting your collection with a solid utility or chef's knife for everyday cooking tasks, and buying a quality serrated knife for bread, cakes and tricky fruits - like tomatoes. Because let's face it: no one wants to eat a squashed tomato. Anything beyond that, such as A cleaver or fillet knife, for example, may only become necessary as your skills advance or when you want to impress your friends by cooking a whole fish. We therefore recommend that you start with the starter set and expand your knife collection from there.

If your budget allows, you should buy the knives individually so you have the opportunity to pick up each knife and test the weight and balance. The knife should feel comfortable in your hand - a feeling that is not the same for everyone as it is a very personal preference. When holding the knife, remember to compare the knife's weight to the task you intend to use it for. For example, if you are looking for fast, precise cutting, you should make sure that the knife is light enough for the task, but still feels stable in your hand.

What is your knife made of?

Have you made your choice? Fine! But don't rejoice too soon. Instead, pay attention to the material your knife is made of. Generally, the best blades are made from high-carbon stainless steel, although these can be very expensive and not always affordable for those on a budget. All Tsume knives have a high-quality core made of stainless steel surrounded by 66 layers of carbon steel. Ceramic knives are also professional quality, but they can easily break if not cared for properly, and they also come at a high price.

As a rule of thumb, you can't go wrong with a good stainless steel kitchen knife. However, be wary of knives that claim they never need sharpening - these blades are not particularly durable and cannot be sharpened once dull. That might be good in the short term, but it's not the best choice if you're looking to make a long-term investment. That's why you should invest in a good knife sharpener to keep your knife blade sharp. Whetstones are suitable for this and have been tried and tested helpers in the kitchen for many decades.

Swing it like a pro

We all know it's best not to chop off your fingers. But how exactly do you reach this level without completing a professional qualification or years of training? With a little practice, patience and perseverance, of course. And sometimes with the help of a few YouTube videos...

Small kitchen knife
The first step is to learn how to hold your knife properly. Think of the knife as your friend, and try to hold it as if you are about to shake the handle - with your index finger on the flat side of the blade and the other fingers tightly gripping the handle just below the blade. This is by far the safest and most accurate way to get nice, precise cuts, as your fingers are close to the blade, giving you maximum control over the blade's movement.

You certainly don't want to wrap all four fingers around the handle and hold it like some unfortunate character from a bad teenage horror movie. Keep your elbows bent, your sleeves rolled up, and the knife parallel to your body.

Once you have the knife in your hand, make sure that the tip and the blade are always pointing downwards. Your knife should always be razor sharp, and don't mess with that. Safety first, friends.

You can now guide and grab the food with your free hand, preferably with a claw-like grip. Keep your fingers curled inward and grasp the food with your fingernails to avoid injuring your fingertips. The side of the knife blade should then rest lightly on the first knuckle of your hand to keep the blade upright while chopping, slicing, and dicing.

A few extra tips
It also doesn't hurt to heed a few extra tips, such as:

  • Make sure your knives are sharp, dull knives can slip easily, and you're more likely to be able to be extra careful with a sharp blade (more on that later).
  • Be careful not to cut your hand or get your fingers caught in the blade.
  • Avoid holding food in your hand when cutting - you can easily slip and cut your palm.
  • When chopping or slicing, keep the knife tip in contact with the cutting board and quickly move the handle up and down, making sure your fingers are out of the way.
  • Secure your cutting board with rubber feet or a damp tea towel to keep it in place while you work.
  • Choose the right knife for the right job. For example, avoid chopping up a block of hard cheese with a flimsy steak knife.


If you've invested in a good knife, you should protect that investment by taking proper care of it. This may sound obvious, but many people make many small mistakes that can drastically reduce the lifespan of their most important kitchen tool. Sometimes people even think that it is safer to work with a blunt knife, which is not the case. A sharp knife ensures more efficiency and more precise cuts. And believe it or not, if you accidentally slip and cut yourself, a sharp knife will hurt less than a dull knife. The wound also heals faster.

Wash knives in the sink with hot water
Tip number one for protecting your knife: never put it in the dishwasher. Most detergents used in household dishwashers are very abrasive and can wear down the blade of your knife over time. Another problem with dishwashers can be movement against other utensils during the wash cycle, which can also cause dullness. If your knife's handle is made of plastic or wood, the harsh wash cycle can cause irreparable damage by weakening or loosening the joints. The best way to clean your knife is in a kitchen sink with hot, soapy water, then dry it immediately and store properly.

After all this reading, you should now feel pretty confident about choosing and caring for kitchen knives. But let's recap some of the key points before we send you on your way:

  • Choose a knife that suits you, not someone else's. It should feel comfortable and stable in your hand - not too heavy and not too light.
  • Choose the right knife for the right job - there's no point using a cleaver for soft fruit, is there?
  • Wash the knives in hot soapy water, dry them immediately and store them in a way that will not damage the blades.
  • Peel, peel, peel! Learning how to sharpen properly will keep your knife sharper longer.
  • Sharpen once or maybe twice a year. Professional sharpening services are a good option for beginners.
There you have it! By following all of these tips and tricks, you can not only extend the life of your knife, but also impress your friends and family with your newfound skills and abilities in the kitchen. And isn't that what it's really about? Cooking incredible dishes with flair and finesse, sharing them with the people you love and bragging about them later on Instagram.

What is the best way to sharpen knives?
Knife sharpening steels or whetstones are both effective tools for sharpening chef's knives. A traditional steel is best for regular knife honing. If you want to re-sharpen blunt knives, a diamond steel offers a harder and more abrasive surface.

What are the best kitchen knives?
That depends on what task you need it for. Chef knives are the most versatile type of kitchen knife for chopping, dicing, and slicing. Utility or paring knives are shorter and better for more precise work, while there are specialty knives for chopping foods like bread, cheese, tomatoes, and meat.

How should you store kitchen knives?
It's important to keep your kitchen knives safe between uses. A knife block or knife rack is a practical and efficient means of storing your collection. Storage folders and cases are also popular alternatives.