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Chef’s Knife

Can also be known as a cook’s knife or a French Knife, the chef’s knife is a multi-purpose knife that is curved to allow the cook to rock the knife on the cutting board for a more precise cut.  The broad heavy blade also serves for chopping bone instead of the cleaver making this knife the all purpose heavy knife for food preparation.  Chef’s knives are most commonly available in 15cm and 30cm (6″ and 12″) though 20 cm (8″) is the most commonly used.

Paring Knife

A paring knife is a small knife with a plain edge blade that is ideal for peeling and other small intricate work.  It is designed to be an all-purpose knife similar to a chef’s knife except smaller.  Paring knives are usually between 6 and 10 cm (2.5″ and 4″) long.

Utility Knife

A utility knife is between a chef’s knife and a paring knife in size, about 10cm and 18cm (4 and 7″) in length.

Bread Knife

Serrated knives are able to cut soft bread without crushing it.  The knife also has sections of grooves in the opposite direction of inclination, separated by a section of smooth blade, and the knife then can cut cleanly in both directions in hard and soft bread.  Bread knives are usually between 15cm and 25 cm (6 and 10″).

Carving Knife

A carving knife is a large knife (between 20cm and 38cm (8 and 15″) that is used to thin cuts of meat, including poultry, roasts, hams and other large cooked meats.  A carving knife is much thinner than a chef’s knife enabling it to carve thinner more precise slices.

Cleaver 

A meat cleaver is a large, most often rectangular knife that is used for splitting or “cleaving” meat and bone.  A cleaver has a heavy blade that is thick from the spine to quite near the edge.  The edge is sharply bevelled and the bevel is typically convex.  The knife is designed to cut with a swift stroke without cracking, splintering or bending the blade.  

Boning Knife

A boning knife is used to remove bones from cuts of meats.  It has a thin, flexible blade, usually about 12cm to 15cm (5 or 6″) long, that allows you to get into the small spaces.

Fillet Knife

Fillet knives are very flexible boning knives that are used to fillet and prepare fish. The blade is typically 15cm to 28cm (6 to 11″).

Point

This is the very end of the knife which is used for piercing.

Tip

The first third of the blade (approx) which is used for small delicate work.

Edge

The entire cutting surface of the knife, which extends from the point to heel.  The edge may be beveled or symmetric.

Heel

The rear part of the blade, used for cutting activities that require more force

Spine

The top, thicker portion of the blade, adds weight and height.

Bolster

The thick metal portion joining the handle and the blade, this adds height and balance.

Rivets

The rivets are metal pins used to join the scales to the tang to form the handle.

Scales

The scales are the part of the knife that creates the handle. Scales are often made of synthetic material or wood. Two scales are typically attached to the tang with rivets.

Tang

The tang is the part of the blade that extends into the handle of the knife. It is the surface to which the handle attaches to the blade.

Butt

The butt is the end of the handle of the knife.

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