Knife Sets

Knife sets, whether they are a basic seven-piece knife or massive collection with 26 pieces, are convenient cutlery tools that make your slicing, cutting and chopping tasks in the kitchen a breeze. Despite some knives claiming to have the ability to take on various food preparation tasks, they cannot replace knives with specialized designs for slicing, cutting and chopping up food items. For example, a fillet knife cannot perform like a cleaver and vice versa.

Most knife sets, however, do have knives that have a design that enables them to perform various tasks in the kitchen. The utility knife, as the name implies, is the workhorse in knife sets as it has the ability to perform a number of tasks, including slicing and carving meats, chopping up vegetables and even peeling fruits. Similar somewhat in shape to the meat slicing and chefʼs knives, it comes in various blade lengths and stiffness. This knife is a handy tool that helps you in quick tasks, such as cutting cheese, slicing lemons and scoring roasts.

There are several knives that make up the basic composition of knife sets apart from the utility knife. These include the chefʼs knife, bread knife and paring knife. Most experts agree that the chefʼs knife is the must-have blade in the kitchen. Measuring between 8" and 10", this knife helps you with many of the daily slicing and cutting tasks for a wide range of food items, including meats, fish, vegetables and fruits.

Bread knives are easily recognizable because of their distinctive serrated edge, shape and length. Their specialized edge helps you slice through tough bread crusts easily for a quick sandwich or for making several garlic bread slices as once. Although most associate the bread knife with slicing bread, this knife has several practical uses as well. Its serrated edge also makes it ideal for food items with tough, slippery or waxy exterior, such as tomatoes, pineapples and watermelons.

Another recognizable blade in a knife set is the paring knife. This diminutive knife measures no longer than 4" and it helps you with small slicing tasks that would otherwise be difficult for the usual 8" chefʼs knife. Use the paring knife for food preparation tasks that require careful and precise slices. These include peeling the skin of fruits and vegetables, pitting olives and making radish roses.

Knife sets with more pieces have more specialized knives to offer with special designs to help you with several more slicing and cutting tasks in the kitchen. Among these specialized knives are the carving knife, boning knife, fillet knife and cleaver. Carving or meat slicing knives are typically longer than chefʼs knives and have narrower blades. Their design helps you make thin yet precise cuts on meat and poultry without tearing the meat fibers. Boning knives have flexible and narrow blades that help you separate meat from bones. These knives are also sturdy enough to help you slice through cartilage to help separate the joints in certain meat cuts, such as chicken legs or pork spareribs.

The fillet knife and cleaver have very specific uses. While fillet knives also separate meat from bones, this blade particularly works well for separating more delicate flesh, such as fish, from bones and skin. Cleavers are at the polar opposite of the knife spectrum from fillet knives. With plain brute force, the cleaver helps you cut through thick bones and cuts of meat.

Williams-Sonoma offers a variety of knife sets, from basic sets with just a few pieces to sets with 20 or more knives. Most of these knife sets often include kitchen shears, honing steels, steak knives and carving forks, especially in the larger sets. They also come with knife blocks for easy countertop storage.