Kitchen Knife Essentials

Friends and family often come to me for knife buying advice. While I can honestly say I’m not an expert on kitchen knives, I do have enough knowledge to give advice to anyone who is looking to start their journey into cooking or is looking to invest some money into a higher end knife or set.

I own a large set of knives, and to be frank, was stupid to spend so much money on a knife block set. I don’t even use half of the knives.

So as a starter set, below are the type of knives I recommend.

Paring Knife – Precision and Control. This one is for small jobs such as peeling and detailing work. It’s really important that the handle of the knife fits your hand well.


Chef’s Knife – Versatility. This is the kitchen work horse. If you’re going to invest your money on knives, focus on the chef’s knife first. Chef’s Knives usually range from 6 to 10 inches. Personally, I prefer a 6-inch chef’s knife over those that are longer. There’s plenty of edge space and I feel I have better control with a 6-inch blade. If you’re buying online,  it’s important to visit a store that sells cutlery and give it a try. Think about how you will use the knife the most while taking grip comfort, blade to handle balance, and weight of the knife.  After all, you’re in this for the long run.


Cleaver/Chinese Chef’s Knife – Strength and Power. This is when some extra heavy duty power is needed. I use this one for smashing garlic and for heavy chopping. I notice many chefs on television use their expensive chef’s knives to smash garlic on their cutting boards, which I think is downright idiotic. They risk damaging the knife because the pressure will cause the blade to deform, especially after repeated smashing.


Honing Steel – Ok, so this isn’t a knife, but you gotta keep those blade edges honed!

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