Do you know your Nakiri from your Sujihiki? Even for professional chefs, all the different types of knives out there can be baffling. We are very aware that online you can’t handle knives before you buy, or see the products ‘in the flesh’.
So we have created this guide to help you understand what each kitchen knife is best at and we hope that will help you choose the right knife for you.
Each video has an explanation of the knife’s features and uses and includes comments from some highly respected chefs.
Don’t worry – if you get it wrong we have a 14 day money-back guarantee although we can count on one hand how many times people have used it.
All too much? We have also created knife sets made up of knives that we know work really well together.
3″ / 7.5cm PARING KNIFE 皮むきナイフ
This nimble little knife got its name because it was historically used for office tasks like opening letter. However it’s better used for paring/peeling (food hand-held) and for precise slicing of small items like garlic or shallots. It is also great for cleaning, carving or removing rind. It is the smallest kitchen knife that there is, but for a lot of chefs it’s the second most important in the kitchen after the Gyuto.
4¾” / 12.5cm UTILITY/PARING KNIFE ペティーナイフ
The Japanese name for this type of small utility knife is a ‘Petty’ knife. The TOG Petty knife is light and agile and perfect for smaller work like paring and slicing. It also has a very useful sharp point and works really well for light butchery eg chicken.
5½” / 14cm VEGETABLE CHOPPER コブンカ
A ‘Bunka’ is a less well-known Japanese blade profile characterised by its cut-off diagonal tip. Our 14cm ‘Mini’ version is extremely versatile, providing a smaller and more agile alternative to the Santoku. It’s optimised for chopping small fruit and veg and the squared off tip can make the knife feel a bit safer in the hand. It has a good shape for carrying prepared food around the kitchen, too.
6½” / 17cm MULTIPURPOSE KNIFE 三徳ナイフ
‘Santoku’ in Japanese means ‘three virtues’, relating to its proficiency with meat, fish and vegetables (or with mincing, slicing and dicing). This multipurpose knife is perhaps the most versatile of all knives and has gained huge popularity in the West over recent years. This knife is the first one we designed and has always been our most popular. If you are considering investing in a high quality knife for the first time, this is the one to go for.
6½” / 17cm VEGETABLE KNIFE 菜切り
This characteristic Japanese rectangular blade shape is ideal for vegetables and has gained the Nakiri quite a cult following. Its thin blade slices easily and its large surface can be used to scoop up food and carry it around. We’ve added a little curve to allow some “rock-chopping” as well as up/down chopping and the rounded corner prevents it catching on the board.
8” / 21cm CHEF’S KNIFE 牛刀
The Gyuto is the Japanese version of the Chef’s knife. It is favoured as a general purpose ‘go-to’ knife by most Chefs and is used for mincing, slicing and chopping larger vegetables and disjointing large cuts of meat. It’s equally capable of smaller work like garlic. Perfect for people who are confident with larger knives as well as for whole cabbage, butternut squash etc.
10¼” / 26cm SLICING / CARVING KNIFE 筋引き
The Sujihiki is a thin, double-bevel Japanese knife designed for slicing and carving raw or cooked protein such as meat or fish, or terrines. The length allows you to slice food in one clean ‘pull’ motion, leaving a perfect clean surface and avoiding ‘saw marks’ on the food. This knife is not intended for cutting onto bones and is not flexible. Side pressure should not be applied.