The knife looks like a simple kitchen utility, but it is vital. It performs many duties, the standard being cutting. You use it to cut vegetables, fruits, meats and apply condiments like butter on bread.
If you are a pro in the kitchen, you cannot afford to miss a knife. You have to know the different parts of a knife for its proper use.
There are two main parts, the blade, and the handle. That looks like all we have in knife parts, however, that is not true as there are several parts spread from the tip to the handle.
If you want to better your knife skills, stick on as we have a closer look at its design and components.
The Kitchen Knife Design
There are different types of kitchen knives, and they are distinct from each other in design. You will notice a variation in the size and shape of the blade. Some knives have uniquely shaped handles for easy use.
The design determines the knives’ functionality. For example, you notice that slicing cutters are long and thin. On the other hand, paring knives are shorter and smaller.
A Look at the Different Parts of a Knife
We will start by looking at the blade, then the handle components of the kitchen knife.
The blade is the metallic part of the cutter. Other cutters will feature wood or heavy-duty plastic.
The tip is the pointed end of the blade. Most of the time, it is sharp, though it may have a squared or lobed outlook, like in butter knives. With continued use, the tip may become blunt.
You use this section for easy-to-cut items like tomatoes, chilies, and mushrooms. When storing knives, it is advisable to use a knife block to prevent the tip from getting blunt. The Noble Home and Chef store’s in-drawer bamboo block is a reliable pick. It can easily fit in your kitchen drawer. You can also use it to organize other cutters.
You may consider the edge to be the most crucial part of the knife, as it performs the cutting duties. The edge is usually sharp, extending from the heel to the tip. There are several types of edges, such as the hollow grind blade.
It is among the sharpest edges and is ideal for light and delicate duties like filleting. The downside to this type of edge is that it is delicate. Some cutters may lose their sharpness if used for heavy tasks. Global Santoku hollow ground knife is among the exceptions, as it has a robust structure.
There is also the flat grind edge, which is less sharp but heavier and robust. The flat grind edge is common in butchering knives. For instance, the cleaver easily cuts through bone.
There are chisel-edged cutters, prominent in Japanese slicing and filleting scene. The edge is extremely sharp and thin and cuts with precision. You can encounter them in sushi restaurants, where chefs use them to get thinly sliced fish.
The serrated edge is one that most people know. It has a toothed appearance and is flexible, courtesy of its many applications. You can use it as a buttering utensil, cutting steak or sandwiches.
There are double-edged kitchen knives, but hard to come across due to the safety aspect. It is easy to cut yourself when using this type of utensil. However, in the camping setting, they are useful due to their versatility in tackling several tasks.
The spine or shoulder is the unsharpened part opposite the blade. For double-edgers, it is in the middle. This part offers support to the blade, making it stronger. Knives like the cleaver have a heavy spine that allows them to deal with bones and cartilage.
The bolster is the point at which the blade meets the handle. It also strengthens the cutter, complementing the spine. Another function is to ensure safety when using the knife. It separates the edge from the handle.
The Knife Tang
You may consider the knife tang as the transitional part extending from the blade to the handle. Among the different tang, types include the full tang. Here, the metal extends to the base of the handle. It is pretty solid and easy to handle, as the weight is evenly spread.
The partial tang extends partly into the handle. A type of partial tang is the push tang, where you have the metal part affixed to a premade handle. In the past, partial tang cutters felt weak, but now you can find many that are robust. The change is due to tech advancements in knife manufacturing.
The handle is the part you hold the cutter when in use. It is firm and comfortable on the hand. Typical materials that feature on this part include metal, plastic, and wood. Some knives feature excellent designs on the handle to upgrade their aesthetic appeal.
The handle may feature a lanyard hole for anchorage purposes when you are not using it.
Knives to Have in Your Kitchen
If you are an avid cook, your utensil collection will show off some degree of your prowess in the kitchen. Highlighted below are some cutting tools that you should have as part of your cutlery set.
1. Chef’s Knife
The chef’s knife is a standard utensil that most cooking enthusiasts have in their kitchens. It is very versatile, as you can use it to cut meat, disjoint, cutting vegetables and fruits. It has a simple design, which you may describe as the basic kitchen knife build.
The knife’s length ranges from 6-14-inches, and it is relatively broad.
2. Slicing Knife
The slicing knife is a darling to meat lovers, as it does a great job in giving perfect meat slices. Definitive features of the slicer are its long and thin blades, ranging from 8 to 14-inches. It has a blunt tip.
Besides cutting meat, this cutlery piece can prepare fruit and veggies for salads.
You can also check our dedicated article for the most suitable knives for cutting brisket.
3. Fillet Knife
The fillet knife is a must-have if you prepare fish and other meat dishes. Many people do not know the difference between a fillet knife and a boning knife. The two have many similar characteristics, like a long blade and pointed tip.
The contrast between the two is that fillet knives are thinner and more flexible than the boning counterparts. You use it for removing skin and bones from meat, especially seafood. Boning knives come in handy in stripping flesh from bones.
To up your filleting game, check out the Kastking 7-inch fillet knife. It is a sturdy piece made from German stainless steel, guaranteeing durability. The blade is safe to use, courtesy of its non-slip handle.
4. Butter Spreader
You do not have to improvise when applying butter on bread slices if you have a butter spreader. Also known as a butter knife, it comes in two versions, serrated and non-serrated. They are not very sharp but can easily cut through bread.
5. Steak Knife
As its name implies, the steak knife is the to-go cutlery piece when you have a steak dish. It easily cuts through the meat, preventing you from messing up the table. Like the butter spreader, there are serrated and non-serrated types.
Most come in sets, for example, Home Hero 8-set steak knives. The knives are perfect for a large dining table.
Related: The 7 Best Steak Knives in 2021
Taking Care of Your Kitchen Knives
An essential part of having an excellent cutlery set is maintaining them. Proper maintenance enhances their durability. As such, the utensils serve you for a long time.
Knives’ maintenance is a straightforward affair, where you care for them like other utensils. Ensure to exercise some extra care to prevent blunting of the tip and edges and accidental cuts.
Sharpen the edges regularly, use a honing steel to keep the blades as perfect as possible, and clean the knives after use. As earlier mentioned, store them in a knife box to retain their sharpness.
Should I put the cutter in the dishwasher? Yes, most are dishwasher-friendly unless stated otherwise by the manufacturer. Hand washing is the best way to go because it is gentler than the dishwasher.
A knife has many parts, as we can see from this piece. Each part is significant for its best service. You also learn that there are several types of knives, and we introduce you to a handful of them.
Never forget to maintain these cutlery pieces to extend their life. Additionally, be careful when handling them for your safety.