‘A kitchen without a knife is not a kitchen’

                                                                      Masaharu Morimoto


A good knife is you best friend in the kitchen and each has its own specialist task in creating your culinary masterpieces.

However, too often we reach for the wrong knife for the job (usually the nearest clean one) and this leads to unnecessary work and accidents. A good quality knife used correctly should make chopping, slicing and dicing an effortless task. Here is our list of the five knives that are essential to every kitchen.

Chef’s Knife

The king of the kitchen, the chef’s knife is your go-to for most day-to-day tasks. It is a larger knife, usually around 20cm, and has a curved blade designed to chop with minimum force. It effortlessly chops through hard root vegetables, fruits, and meats, and the tapered tip of the blade also provides more control for chopping smaller items. However, because of the large size of the blade it is not ideal for more intricate cutting such as removing skins, or where a flexible blade is needed such as for carving chicken. As this is a knife you will be using every day, it is worth investing a bit more money in a good quality one that will last you a lifetime.

Paring Knife

This smaller nimble knife is designed so that the handle comfortably fits between you thumb and forefinger for maximum control. The paring knife is perfect for more intricate cutting and can be used to peel, mince, remove stalks, chop garlic and herbs, and make decorative shapes. It’s best not to use on hard vegetables though, as it doesn’t have the weight to easily slice through, which can cause you to increase pressure or tighten your grip, which in turn can cause the blade to slip. When looking to buy a paring knife, opt for a metal blade over ceramic for a longer lifespan.

Bread Knife

The bread knife has a long serrated blade, which as the name suggests is ideal for sawing through bread and pastries. However, its also has lots of other uses in the kitchen. The sharp teeth are perfect for slicing through delicate fruit and vegetables that could otherwise be squashed by the pressure of using a flat blade. It also makes short work of foods with a waxy surface that are hard for other blades to grip, such as tomatoes. A smaller knife with a serrated blade such as a utility or tomato knife is also a good addition to your kitchen for slicing smaller fruits.

Boning Knife

This knife is a must for cooking enthusiasts who bone their own meat. The narrow and more flexible blade of the boning knife makes it easier to cut in curves, allowing you to slice with the contours of the bones. It is also a good choice for slicing through meat in general and trimming the fat.

Honing Steel

While not technically a knife, this essential piece of kitchen equipment is almost just as important. A honing steel should be used regularly to keep your knives at their peak sharpness, although it doesn’t technically sharpen the knives itself. It works by realigning the teeth, or fibers, on the blade, which leads to a sharper edge and cleaner cut. In addition to this regular maintenance, experts advise that you get your knives professionally sharpened about once a year.