The Different Types of Kitchen Knives – Vegan Knife Guide

Last modified date

Comments: 11

The Different Types of Kitchen Knives

Is there such a thing as a vegan knife guide?  Why not!  The different types of kitchen knives should be a question that vegans understand.

Especially when you are thinking of purchasing a knife set.

Don’t get suckered into buying a knife set that has 10 steak knives that will render your kitchen useless.

Don’t you want to know which knives are truly important to you?

Well keep reading to find out more!

What are the Different Types of Kitchen Knives?

The 3 Main Used Knives
  1. Chef Knife
  2. Utility Knife
  3. Paring Knife
Common Kitchen Knives
  1. Serrated Utility Knife
  2. Bread Knife
  3. Nakiri Knife
  4. Peeling Knife
Job Specific Knives
  1. Grapefruit Knife
  2. Mincing Knife
  3. Salad Knife
  4. Spatula Spreader Knife
  5. Decorating Knife
Knife Set “Tools”
  1. Shearing Scissors
  2. Gloves that are “cut resistant”

What are the Different Types of Kitchen Knives Used For?

3 Main Knives

1. Chef Knife.

Chef Knife

The chef’s knife, also referred to as the cook’s knife, is one of the most important culinary tools when it comes to food preparation.

This is actually a beginner-friendly knife and a must-have if you’re a home cook. Rather than excelling at any one particular task or technique, a chef knife enables you to perform several jobs without any complexities.

A chef knife is quite easy to identify: notice the long, broad blade that has a straight edge.

It is widest at the heel of the knife, which is basically the lower edge that’s situated furthest away from the tip. The curved blade also tapers up to a finely pointed tip.

When in doubt, this knife should be your go-to knife


2. Utility Knife. 

Utility Knife

This one shares several characteristics of a chef knife, except the dimensions are slightly smaller and also slimmer.

This feature makes it suitable for chopping ingredients that require more precision.

For example, while cutting small veggies extremely small or segmenting citrus, a chef knife often proves to be too large for the job.

In such cases, a utility knife enables detailed work and is particularly designed for lighter chopping as compared to a chef knife.

It’s also considered ideal for slicing medium-sized tomatoes and vegan cheese.

3. Paring Knife

Paring Knife

Last knife in the 3 main kitchen knives used.  The paring knife is a short bladed knife that is used for handling small jobs!

Smaller the object to cut, smaller the knife you should use.

This keeps you safe and more in control of making your desired cuts on smaller foods.

Its uses include peeling, garnishing, cutting small produce, food design and whatever other idea you can come up with in the kitchen.

This knife is essentially the go-to knife for all of your intricate food uses.

Other Common Knives

4. Serrated Utility Knife

Serrated Utility Knife

The serrated knives have edges that essentially look like little knife teeth all along the edge of the knife.

These knife teeth allow you to have more control when handling certain foods.

For example, the serrated knife will let you cut into hard outer surfaces while still being able to handle delicate food insides like tomatoes and bread.

The serrated edge allows for hard surfaces and juices to escape as the cutting motion continues into food.

This allows for the food to maintain its tough outside and delicate inside structure.

This knife really should be in the most common used kitchen knives.

5. Bread Knife.

Serrated Utility Knife

As the name indicates, this knife is particularly made for handling all kinds of bread and baked products.

With an eight-to-ten-inch serrated blade, a bread knife is perfect for slicing several types of bread including bagels, bread rolls, crusty bread and baguettes.

With this knife, it’s super easy to saw through even the softest items such as cakes and sponges.

Moreover, a bread knife will also come to your rescue if your kitchen is missing a cake leveler.

6. Nakiri knife.

Nakiri Knife

 Also called the Japanese vegetable knife, a Nakiri knife bears close resemblance to a cleaver.

However, it’s much smaller and slimmer. It has a broad, rectangular blade with a hollow ground edge that’s quite sharp.

Even though Nakiri knives aren’t commonly known and their name may sound peculiar to many, they have great significance, especially when it comes to vegan recipes.

Experts believe that investing in a specialized vegetable knife, such as a Nakiri knife, makes a huge difference.

A Nakiri knife allows you to chop much faster and safer at the same time.

It’s also especially crafted for handling larger veggies such as butternut pumpkin and also for creating thin even slices or ribbons of vegetables as a garnishing tool.

7. Peeling Knife.

Peeling Knife


This one’s also unique in its own way.

With a different-looking curved blade, a peeling knife is probably the easiest one to remember.

Peeling knives are easy to hold due to their small design, they’re ideal for not only peeling but also slicing through tough skins on several fruits and vegetables.

Moreover, their handles are non-slippery, comfortable to use and are especially designed for efficient peeling. 

Please stay safe in the kitchen and use knives that are specific to a certain job.

Lastly, it can be used to prepare decorative garnishes, remove skins and slice soft fruits.


Specialty Knives (Job Specific)

8. Grapefruit Knife

Grapefruit Knife

This is a really neat knife.

It has 2 sides to the knife.

One side is used for trimming the fruit away from the peel.

The other side is like a tilted triangle scoop that allows you to literally scoop only the fruit flesh out of the overall grapefruit.

This device is great for isolating only the fruit part of the grapefruit.

9. Mincing Knife

Mincing Knife

This knife is definitely something vegans should look into when considering the different types of kitchen knives.

This knife is most commonly used for cutting down large amounts of herbs.

It has a curved blade and most new designed mincing knifes have 2 handles so you can rock it back and forth.

This blade is pretty sharp but since it is not dull, it will not leave your herbs brown after cutting.

Fresher greens mean fresher foods.  This knife will amaze you in how well it dices and slices your herbs.

10. Salad Knife

Salad Knife

This is a knife that is not metal but plastic.

The theory behind having a plastic knife, opposed to a metal knife is that the plastic knife will not turn your veggies brown once you cut into them.

This is a wonderful knife for all the salad lovers.

Hence why this should be a kitchen knife that all vegans own.

11. Spatula Spreader

Spatula Spreader Knife

Just as the names entails, it helps spread things onto your food.

Examples of this can be vegan cream cheese on a bagel, hummus onto a pita wrap and spreading icing on a cake.

It can also have other functions like cutting into brownies and then scooping them out of the pan for serving.

This useful knife can also cut into your vegan butter safely.  Nifty knife to have in a vegan kitchen.

12. Decorating knife

Ever see a really cool cut melon at a Sunday brunch?

Well, chances are that the person who prepared that melon is using a decorating knife.

There are a lot of different decorating knives.  Some to decorate fruit and others that are zig-zag shaped.

Other decorating knives are used on icings for a cake and also garnishes.

Knife Accessories

13.. Kitchen shears (scissors)

Kitchen Scissors

Pretty much every knife set comes with kitchen shears or what most people know them as, kitchen scissors.

These are predominantly used for breaking down poultry but there are valuable vegan uses too.

Don’t think by owning kitchen scissors that you are promoting animal abuse.

These kitchen scissors allow you to snip herbs and cut open tightly wrapped packages.

They definitely have their place in your kitchen.

14. Cut Resistant Gloves

This is something for all kitchen chefs of any skill level to look into.

These types of gloves are resistant to being cut by knives.

They will help protect you if you slip and have the knife come in contact with your other hand.

They are not like the metal chained gloves at Chipotle either.  They have sleek designs that will have you looking stylish in the kitchen.

How Do You Buy Quality Kitchen Knives?

Great question!

Look for well known knife makers that have a history of proven respectability.

This bodes true when purchasing a well known German or Japanese knife brand.

These two countries know a thing or two about crafting knives.

Also, before starting the purchasing process, always make sure you’re only aiming to buy the knives that you actually need.

Here are a couple quick in sights that might help:

  1. Each knife is constructed for a certain skill set. BUT, not all knifes in a certain category are created equal.
  2. In short, German knives have a thicker blade edge compared to Japanese knives.
  3. This difference is neither a good or bad thing.  Just a matter of the chef’s knife preference.
  4. Understanding the difference in style’s is important so that you get the most out of your knife purchase.

The Different Types of Kitchen Knives

Best Knife Brands

The most trusted and well respected knife brands, rated by culinary chefs tend to be these brands listed below, in no particular order.

German Knives

  1. Henckels
  2. Wusthof
  3. Messermiester
  4. Cangshan
  5. Mercer

Japanese Knives

  1. Masahiro
  2. Misono
  3. Bob Kramer
  4. Shun
  6. MAC


Even though knives from such brands may appear to be cost prohibitive for many, it’s important to note that investing in durable and premium knives saves you from a lot of hassle, and gives you a solid performance in the kitchen.

It’s a known fact that knives from these brands can be trusted for being amazingly effective cutting tools for years to come.

Also, many of these knife brands have a lifetime warranty.


How to Store Kitchen Knives

There are 3 best ways to store kitchen knives and I will also let you know what I think is the best method.

  1. The Knife Block.

This method is most commonly seen in commercials and on the internet as the best way to store your knife.

However, this method can be rough on the knife blade if you are too rough pulling the knife out or placing the knife back into the knife block.

Some tricks would be too place the knife into the slit with the dull part of the knife resting on the block.

The other advice would be to press the back of the knife onto the block so that the blade edge is not dragging on the knife block when you are using or putting back your knife.

    2. The Magnetic Strip

This style of knife storage usually is visually appealing to most people.

It looks pretty impressive having all of your knifes on display in your kitchen.

The only downfall to this is that you can damage the knife blade if you are not putting the knife properly onto the magnetic strip.

Many magnetic strip owners say to put the back of the knife against the magnetic strip first and then slowly roll the knife onto the wide part of the blade.

This helps prevent the knife blade from chipping or becoming dull.

Also, do not have a magnetic strip that is to powerful that it grabs the knife out of your hand forcefully.

Knife Drawer Inserts

 3. Foam Drawer Insert Holders

This is my preferred method of storing knives.

The reason being that the blade is protected when you pick the knife up and put it back in its drawer.

This is because the foam will not do any damaging harm against the blade.

I also like this idea because it can hide the kitchen knives and give your kitchen counter more room to operate.

How to Clean Your Knives

This may sound simple but remember to keep your knives clean and dry, making sure there is no residual water or washing liquid on them.

Avoid washing them harshly with abrasive sponges or steel wool pads, as this can potentially cause scratches on the blade.

Secondly, always hand-wash your delicate knives instead of leaving them in the dishwasher with other utensils, where their blades could get chipped.

Keep your knives away from heat as expansion of the metal may weaken the knife blade.

Also, never leave your knives in the kitchen sink for long because then can cause them to rust.

How Often Should I Sharpen My Knives?

 Most chefs recommend sharpening kitchen knives once every four months.

However, this can differ, depending upon the type, quality and usage of the knife.

There are several methods and tools which are suitable for knife sharpening.

The top two ones have to be whetstones and steel knife sharpeners, which are easily available in the market.

However, if you feel like sharpening your knives at home is an inconvenience, you can always contact a local knife sharpener or opt for a professional knife sharpening service.

Either way, you’ll notice that renewing and polishing these essential tools makes a world of difference.

Cabbage Knife

Owing to the fact that you’re now up to speed on the different types of kitchen knives, their uses and the correct ways to handle them, you can easily and confidently choose the right culinary tools based upon your kitchen needs.

With these guidelines, you’ll surely notice that food preparation will be much easier, safer and more efficient, which will eventually improve the quality of your dishes as well. Happy cooking! 

Thanks for reading everyone!  Please leave a comment if you have more insight or just an opinion about our post.  Also, if you want to learn more about our product reviews or product information then click here. Thank you!



Hello I'm Eric and I am striving to educate people about plant based diets. I enjoy bowling, gardening and nature in my free time. Marilyn and I hope you find our site helpful in learning about a proper Vegan diet.


11 Responses

  1. Thank you for such a comprehensive insight on the different types of kitchen knives. Although I am familiar with main knives and some common ones . I am so grateful to learn about Nakiri knife. I am vegan and never thought that I could use such a special knife in my kitchen. I need to check it out. I know feel like a knife specialist and will share with my friends, Thanks again and I do appreciate this information .

  2. Hello….it was so amazing to have known all this types of knives. Some of them are in my kitchen but the funniest thing is that i don’t know their use and purpose. Am happy to have been educated about the knives especially about NAKIRI knife which facilitates easy and faster  way of chopping veggies and fruits.

  3. I found your article about the different kinds of knives very informative.  I am afraid I have grown sloppy with my references to the Cutlery I use and was unfamiliar with some of the knives you wrote about.  Thanks for taking the time to write about the tools I use on a daily basis but don’t really know what they are called.  I do agree that the proper knife makes the job go better.  And safer.

    The storing of our knives is also import to be reminded of.  The habits that we sometimes get into are usually careless ones and need correcting.  The non-slippery handles are important as well.  I find that as my arthritis has made my grip weaken, I end up with a twisted knife more often, and the nonslippery handle is the answer to that.  

    It was good to read an article that had so much basic information that I can use every day, plus the knowledge of some speciality knives I knew nothing of. 

    • So glad we could help you Sami.  It is a lot to take in but understanding how to store your knives can go a long way.  Thanks for the comment.

  4. I just buy kitchen knives for use I don’t care to know what they are called and things like that. Knives are very important handy tools in the kitchen though. I am not a vegetarian and I also don’t see how this is restricted to vegans only. Everyone uses kitchen knives. Although I am glad that I now know what some knives are called and their uses. Tremendous article, thanks for sharing this guide. I’ll definitely look to it when I want to get a news sets of knives. 

  5. Hello there! Thanks for sharing this with us. Wonderful way to teach someone how to cook. Food has always been my best friend so you can understand the joy on my face seeing your article with so much new food to try. Prior to seeing this article, I didn’t know there were different kitchen knives for different purposes. this your website is really an eye opener, thanks a lot..

  6. Helo there, It will be out of place if I don’t thank you enough for sharing the differentt hope now. Anyways a. Big thanks fo camp and. This is really a nice guide on the thre difference. Our new kickem mk 2sxd if kuutchen. I will definitely recommend this tiger kitchen nice, I will definitely visit your site some other times.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment