Knife Size, what Inches and Styles are About

Knife Style and Size

Different Uses of Knives

Table of Contents:

Chef Knife:

4 Inches and less, Paring Knife:

Different kind of paring knives…

Utility Knives:

What are Filet Knives for.

What are Boning Knives for.

What are Bread Knives for.

What are Cleaver for.


What are Carving knives for.

What are Sashimi knives for.

What are Damascus Knife about.

What are the Parts of knife

What is a 7 Inch Chef’s Knife For:

Usually chef, knife or sushi knife (santoku). Made for slicing, dicing and mincing. Perfect to crush herbs and garlic, good to slice and dice hard vegetable (as long as the knife is sharp enough) and great for preparing Fish, red meat and ribs.

There are different kinds of chef knife.
There are mostly 2 kinds and here is a video that explain the difference really well:

German style Chef Knife: Are having a very big, heavy deep blade (those are my favorite).
While using those kind of chef knife, you do not lift the knife from the cutting board. It is made for slicing without having to spend too much strength doing so.

Japaneses Chef Knife or Santoku: They are having a thinner blade and can usually be a little longer. While using those for slicing you really must hold the knife parallel to the cutting board and lift it from it by doing small up and down movement to cut your aliments.

Ceramic Chef Knife: Ceramic Chef Knife are mostly used for dicing and mincing. They are doing incredibly well on herbs, vegetable, fish and meat without bones. They are made of ceramic, which make it better to cut vegetables as it prevent them to oxidize (and become brown). Compare a ceramic knife to a steel knife here.

We suggest you those knife if you are looking to grab a great Chef Knife:
German Style Chef Knife:
J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL Classic 8-inch Chef’s Knife

Japaneses Chef Knife:
Zen Japanese Santoku Chef Knife

Ceramic Chef Knife:
Big Bang Cooking Ceramic 7 Inch Chef Knife

What is a Chef Knife for:

Usually chef knife, these can be Japanese knife too, however most Santoku are a little longer than 6 inches and can reach as high as 9 inches.

The 6 inches knives are mostly made for the same jobs as a 7 inches knife, slicing, dicing and mincing.  I prefer those compare to 7 inches to prepare food with bones, as they are a little smaller it is easier to use a good 6 Inch steel knife than a 7 inches one. You will have more agility and will be able to use the flexibility of the knife at your advantages.

A good 6 Inch Chef Knife made in Steel is the Victorinox one, very affordable for the quality.
Over 370 Reviews on Amazon, 5 Star on a max of 5 and UNDER $30!

If you are more agile in your kitchen, you might prefer a longer blade. Let me introduce you to our 8 inch chef knife. A top of quality and with a long lasting and solid handle. The 8 Inch Big Bang Cooking Chef Knife.

What is a 4 Inches and less Paring Knife For:

Paring knives are small solid and agile knives. Many different style of Paring Knives exist here is an exhaustive list. (If a knife kind is missing, thanks for contacting us so we can complete this article.)

Chef’s Paring Style knife with Straight edge:

The most general one is the Chef’s Style Paring Knife. Which is really a regular kitchen knife similar to a chief knife but very small, a “go to knife” when you aren’t sure what small knives you need.

Sheep’s Foot Paring Knive:

These are perfect to peel any fruits. Orange, Apple and Lemon are peeled with ease.
This knife can also act like a very accurate carving knife.

Spear Tips,Serrated Paring Knife:

The Spear Tips part make it easier to puncture or spear plastic bags and foods.
The Serrated blade make it idea to slice tomato, muffins and cut peppers.


Clip Point, Paring Knife:

Those knife are good to do very accurate jobs. Things like removing a small eye from a potato, an apple core or pits from olives.

What is a Tomato Knife used for:

A Tomato Knife is in fact a small serrated knife made to slice tomato. The serrated edge is very effective to cut through the tomato’s skin without crushing the flesh. Usually a tomato knives are having a forked tip to help you move the slices of tomato wherever you want.

Tomato knife are usually 4.5 to 6 Inches Knives.
A funny new looking Tomato knife exist, it is having a kind of “spatula” at the tip of the knife to take your sliced tomato and move those with ease.

What is a 5 Inch or 6 Inch Utility Knife for:

A Utility Knife is an average of size between the Paring and the chef knife.  They are designed to do mostly the same work as a chef knife. It can be preferred on all jobs that a too big knife would be awkward. For example, if you set up a cheese plates for your friends at a party… a Chef Knife would probably be too huge to fit on the plates while a small paring knife could be too small for the jobs.

They are also getting being called sandwiches knife as they are perfect for preparing and cutting them.

J.A.Henckels seems to make the best Utility Knife we can found online.
Here is the link to the 6 Inches and the 5 Inches.
(Please note the 6 Inches cost much more than the 5 inches one)

The utility knife is loosing in popularity as they are often not included in knife sets. One can do everything with a good paring knife and chef knife. It is usually not long enough to do the job a chef knife would do, nor as strong and agile as a small paring knife.

What is a 7 to 11 Inch Fillet Knife for:

A 7 Inch and a 11 Inch Filet knife are used for the same: making fillets.

Those are particularly good for fish and great for chicken.

The length of the blade you need mostly depend of the type of fish you are going to make a fillet from. The very flexible blade really allow you to move easily along the backbone and side to side of the skin of fish. If you are filleting a bigger fish you will need a longer Fillet Knife.

Many are mingled about the difference between a Fillet Knife and a Boning knife. Fillet Knives are thinner and more flexible than boning knives. Therefore they are doing a better jobs with delicate meat such as fish. Also their flexibility really is a plus when it is time to remove the skin from the fish meat.

While using a Fillet Knife, it is known that you should use protective gloves.
Even the Pros are not taking chances as those knife are usually very sharp and made to cut through skin…

Here is a video on how to use a Filet Knife.
(Warning it is shown on actual real fish, so if you are sensible about this, do not watch the video… and you probably have no use of a Filet Knife)

What is a 5 or 6 Inch Boning Knife for:

A Boning Knife is the excellence choices to remove meat from bones.
They are usually kind of long, 5-6 Inches and less flexible and stronger than fillet knife, while being more agile than most other blades of their sizes.

Of course, those knife are made to remove meat from the bones in specific, delicate places. It is made for precision boning. Cleavers are made to do the rough boning. While a very stiff blade is good for boning pork and beef, a more flexible one is better for poultry. For fish we really suggest you to go with a fillet knife they are going to have a longer blade and they will be more flexible.

As for what boning knives are better let’s just state that they have their jobs.
The shortest one are made to cut through bone with ease, while a curved one allow you to have more visibility and manageability while cutting around a bone.

If you are searching for great tricks and explanation on how to use a boning knife go look on there is a very good article about it.


What is a 8 or more Inches Bread Knife for:

The Bread Knife is one that we did not think need a long explanation.
A Bread Knife is usually long, and full of triangular tip on the blade. Such knife is very useful and the best tools to cut a bread without squeezing it. Those triangle tip allow you to make real good looking slices while keeping the shape of the bread.

In case you are searching for a nice 8 inch Bread Knife let us suggest the Victorinox Cutlery 8-Inch Wavy Edge Bread Knife.


What is a 8 to 10 Inch Carving Knife for:

Carving Knife are long knives design to slice your meat, for example your favorite roast beef. It allow you to create very thin slices that can make your roast beef taste better as it increase the contact with your favorite sauce. It is usually used with a Carving Fork to old your big pieces of meat while you lice your pieces the way you love them.

It can easily be bigger than 8 Inch, however it is very rare that you will find a carving knife with less than 8 inches of blades.

They are very slim knives with a blade that mostly keep the same size all the ways.
Here is an example of our top suggested 8 Inch Carving Knife.

What is a 6 to 9 Inch Cleaver Knife for:

It mostly is to cut through bones. That is perfect for those that order part of animals and need to cut and prepare those themselves.  A Cleaver and a Carving Knife with fat blades are both also known as a butcher knife.

Cutting through bones really is the essential meaning of this knife.
If you are looking for a Vegetable Cleaver, you should look at a smaller one, a Chinese Cleaver.

What is a 3 to 6 Inch Chinese Cleaver Knife for:

A good Chinese Cleaver is designed to be used as a chef knife, to do mostly every jobs.

It is used exactly as on this video, you place your finger behind the long blade, on the vegetables or meat you want to cut. That way as long as you are not lifting the knife high enough it is impossible to cut your finger.

Even if I am personally not a fan of using this kind of knife to cook, I know plenty of people that simply love cutting their food with this tools. It is, in it’s kind a Chinese chef knife; good for everything.


What is a 9+ Inch Sashimi Knife for:

A Shashimi Knife is a traditional Japanese knife used by most chief to create a variety of sushi, slice raw fish and Seafood.

Traditional Japanese knife might be honed only on one side (the right). For left hand user, you might have to order a special one if you order from a very traditional knife producer.

To have only one side honed allow japanese blacksmith (now industries) to create a sharper blade. One simply cannot make a dual blade as sharp as a one side honed blade.

Sashimi knife are the western-style of a traditional sushi knife. They are usually double-edged but no as sharp on each side.

If you want to learn more about Japanese Knife, we strongly suggest you to read this well-made article.


Damascus Chef Knife:

Damascus Knife can be any style of knife. The only things that make it a Damascus knife is the steal used to create the knife.

A Damascus blade is one that is forged with 2 or more different steel type through a pack of different process. The results of those process are creating a special looking, wavy artistic blade.

The antic method of creating such blade was sadly lost in history. On our days, all Damascus knife and steel are mostly poor attempt of creating a similar results as in the medieval blacksmiths.

The large amount of Damascus forged in the present are of 2 kind:
1) San-mai, which is mostly a sandwich of 3 sheets of different steel.
The AIM is to have an hard protected edge that is usually made of Carbon-steel and protected by stainless steel sheets.

2) The other pattern is called badly and simply Damascus steel.
The makers choose wisely 2 to 5 style of steels. The AIM is to make the blade look as beautiful as possible while having the strongest resistance possible.

The edge of those knives are usually a melted fusion of all steel used in the blade.  Well forged Damascus Knives might be incredible knives. However, the real value of those knives can be counted in the time and the harmony that the maker had to spend to create that piece of art.

Knife parts:


  1. 1. The Point: Used to pierce, this is the extremity of the blade.
  2. 2. The Tip: This is the first part of the blade, used to cut delicate stuff.
  3. 3. Edge: The edge is the part of the blade that cuts. Depending on the angle an edge can be very sharp and incisive or a bit more rounded, which last longer.
  4. 4. Heel: The last third of the blade which is used to apply a little bit more weight for harder jobs.
  5. 5. Spine: The rear of the blade, adds strength and weight.
  6. 6. Handle: Let you hold the knife firmly. A good handle has the right size to fit in your hand comfortably.
  7. 7. Butt: The very end of the handle.

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