An illustrated guide to the types of knives

A sharp knife which is the right shape and size is an essential tool for every kitchen. A perfect shaped knife not only gives better grip and control but also make chopping easier and safer. Even though there are plenty of choices available in the market, finding a right knife can often be a real task. The right choice would be to have different kinds of knives for different chopping needs as they are designed to best serve a particular use. Numerous uses of knives range from being used at a dining table like butter knife; to be used in the kitchen like paring knife; to be used as weapons like daggers; to be used by travelers and hikers like a pocket knife and some others.
In earlier times, the knives were made from a rock, bone, flint, and obsidian, but with the advancement in technology, knife blades nor being made of iron, copper, steel, bronze, cobalt and titanium alloys, obsidian, plastic, and obsidian.  Though, obsidian is rarely used in the kitchen as it is known to be the sharpest knife and can handle both fine as well as hard chopping. But owing to the thin blade size, they tend to get brittle soon. But with new options like Knapping, the obsidian knife can be a good option for the kitchen.
Though there are numerous uses of knives, the most common use today is in the kitchen for preparation of food or as a piece of cutlery. Here is the list of knives that are essential tools in the kitchen:
Chef knife: It is one of the most common and useful knives as it can perform the most crucial functions including cutting meat and dicing vegetables. This makes it an extremely useful and multipurpose tool.
Serrated utility knife: This may look like a bread knife, but it cuts cleanly through delicate fruits and vegetables. It also works well for small slicing jobs.
Paring knife: With a simple, straightforward and sharp blade, this type of knife is ideal for intricate work such as peeling fruits or vegetables. It also works well for the creation of delicate garnishes.
Boning knife: This knife is designed to get into small spaces to detach meat from the bone.
Few other commonly used types of knives are - Butcher knife for butchering or dressing of animals; Carving knife for carving large cooked meats and; Cleaver for hacking and crushing using its broadside.
‘A person is known by the company he keeps’ is an adage. True to this, a knife is known by the tools with which it has been sharpened. Even if you buy the best knife out there; it must be sharpened because frequent use will inevitably dull its edges and make it rough.
A good quality knife is supposed to last a lifetime if you maintain it well. The most basic way to maintain your knives is to clean it, wipe dry and store it properly. But that will not remove the dullness of the knife and it will eventually become blunt. To ensure that the knife serves you, in the long run, it is imperative that you invest a few more dollars on the knife sharpener if you have already invested a fortune on the knife. How often you will use the knife sharpener depends on the amount of work that you will do with the knife. If you are a professional chef, then a good quality knife sharpener is your lifeline. If you are a home user, then the price and ease of use will be the major deciding factor.

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