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Cutlery Buying Guide
Make the most of your cutlery. We've put together a guide to help you select the perfect knives for the way you cook!
Choosing the Right Knife for the Task
Cutlery Set >
Our sets include the most frequently used knives, each designed for a particular task. Choose a multitasking cutlery set with knives that feel the most comfortable in your hand, then add individual pieces for specialized cutting jobs. Best For: All sorts of everyday kitchen prep – from mincing, peeling and trimming to slicing, chopping and dicing.
Chef's Knife > Also called a cook's knife, a chef's knife is one you'll reach for every day. Its wide, sturdy blade, comfortable handle and efficient rocking motion make it ideal for all-purpose prep. Best For: Everyday prep – from chopping and slicing to mincing, dicing and julienning.
Santoku Knife > Count on this Japanese knife to assist you with all sorts of prep tasks. It cuts cleanly and precisely, whether you're using a back-and-forth slicing motion or a straight-down chopping motion. Best For: Fast, precise mincing, dicing and slicing all types of ingredients (santoku means "three benefits" in Japanese).
Utility Knife > Think of a utility knife as an all-purpose kitchen tool. Its handy size falls somewhere between a chef's knife and a paring knife. Available with a straight-edged or serrated blade. Best For: Everything from chopping, mincing and slicing fresh produce to cutting sandwiches or halving bagels.
Nakiri Knife > This traditional Japanese vegetable knife echoes the shape of a slender cleaver. The beautifully balanced blade is exceptionally sharp, so it's especially useful for precision slicing. Best For: All types of vegetable prep, including quickly chopping, slicing and mincing. You can also use the side of the blade for scooping prepped ingredients into a pot or bowl.
Bread Knife > A bread knife has a long, narrow blade with a sharp, serrated edge – perfect for slicing through crisp crusts without squashing the delicate interior. Best For: Slicing baked goods—from crusty artisan loaves and bagels to soft rolls and buttery brioche. Also useful for slicing tomatoes and citrus fruits.
Paring Knife >
This little knife is indispensable for precise cutting tasks, functioning like a mini chef's knife. The knife's small size and short blade (usually between 2 and 4 1/2 inches long) make it exceptionally maneuverable. Best For: Peeling, slicing, trimming and dicing smaller fruits and vegetables. Also great for everything from creating garnishes to coring tomatoes, hulling strawberries and deveining shrimp.
Slicer/Carving Knife >
These classic knives have long, slender blades that easily slice foods into neat, uniform portions. Depending on the knife's purpose, the tip may either be pointed or rounded. Best For: Pointed-tip carving knives are ideal for slicing roast meats and poultry – the tip helps cut into joints and navigate around bones. Rounded-tip slicing knives include ham slicers and salmon slicers.
Kitchen Shears >
Kitchen shears are among a cook's best friends. Sharp, sturdy blades and comfortable handles make them extremely versatile – and most shears have a pull-apart design for easy cleaning. Best For: Varied tasks like trimming poultry, shaping pastry, snipping fresh herbs and mincing dried fruit. Also great for cutting parchment paper and kitchen twine.
Steak Knives >
These table knives are much sharper than classic dinner knives, combining narrow, upswept blades with pointed tips that make it easy to cut meat away from the bone. Best For: Slicing tender, juicy steaks, chops and other cuts of meat.
Boning Knife >
Designed for prepping poultry and meats, this knife has a sharp, maneuverable blade that gives you precision control as you separate the flesh from bones and cartilage. Best For: Removing bones from raw poultry and meats – from a chicken breast to a leg of lamb. Also great for precise tasks like trimming a tenderloin.
Meat Cleaver >
Professional chefs use a powerful, well-balanced cleaver for breaking down larger cuts of meat and poultry. It features a sturdy, finely honed blade that cuts cleanly and easily through bones and tendons. Best For: Cutting through meat and poultry bones with a single stroke. Also works well for chopping and mincing firm vegetables.
Tomato Knife >
This knife cuts even the ripest tomatoes into neat, uniform slices. It combines a sharp serrated blade with a pronged tip designed for transferring tomato slices from your cutting board to a plate, bowl or platter. Best For: Slicing tomatoes without tearing their delicate skins. Also ideal for prepping citrus fruits – or slicing and serving cheeses.
ANATOMY OF A KNIFE
From the edge angle to the end cap, learn what distinguishes one knife from the next >
Knife Care Keep your cutlery in top condition
Cutting Boards >
To prolong the life of your blades, always use a resilient wood, composition or synthetic cutting board—cutting on metal, glass or marble surfaces will dull and eventually damage your knife blade.
Hone your knife blade with a hand-held steel before each use. Using a ceramic or metal steel helps maintain a knife's sharp edge by smoothing and realigning the worn carbon-steel cutting teeth.
Store knives in a block or in a drawer that's fitted with a special cutlery insert. Other great ways to safely store cutlery include wall-mounted racks, magnetic knife bars and individual knife sheaths.
Sharpening > A knife's blade becomes slightly duller with each use and will require sharpening to restore the blade's original angle. An electric sharpener is the easiest way to give your cutlery a razor-sharp edge.