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Kitchen Novice Guide: What Kitchen Tools and Knives Do You Really Need?

The easiest way to buy kitchen knives is to divide them by function. The most commonly used knives in Western cuisine are the chef's knife, the boning knife, the cleaver, and the multi-functional knife, as well as some functional knives that can be purchased according to specific needs. As for brands, the overall cost-effectiveness of Japanese knives is higher, and they are also very easy to use. German knives are made of softer steel, so they need to be sharpened frequently during use, and they may not be as sharp, but they are less likely to chip. When sharpening, only a sharpening rod is needed, so personal preferences should also be considered when choosing them. Now let's introduce kitchen knives.

Chef's Knife (Boning Knife)


The chef's knife is a versatile knife that can handle almost all kitchen tasks. The blade is wide and the tip is curved, making it suitable for handling meat, seafood, and vegetables. If you only choose one knife, then the chef's knife is the best option. The difference between a boning knife and a chef's knife is small, and there is no significant difference in terms of user experience. Therefore, when purchasing, choose a style and pattern that you like.

Santoku Knife


Compared with the chef's knife, the Santoku knife is shorter and has a much smaller tip curve, making it more suitable for female users. It is more like a combination of a Chinese-style slicing knife and a chef's knife, making it very suitable for Asian users. If you have been using a slicing knife frequently, you can choose a Santoku knife, which has almost no break-in period.

Vegetable Knife


The vegetable knife is more like a compact version of a Chinese-style slicing knife than a Santoku knife. It is very light but has a good feel, making it more suitable for women to use. Its cutting method is exactly the same as that of a Chinese-style slicing knife, making it very convenient for cutting meat or vegetables. However, it is not as convenient as the Santoku knife or the chef's knife when dicing or slicing onions.

Deba Knife


This is perhaps the most common Japanese kitchen knife. The Japanese cannot do without fish and use deba and yanagiba knives to process fish. Deba knives are mainly used for rough processing of fish, cleaning fish scales, bone cutting, and fish slicing. The size of the deba knife used depends on the size of the fish being handled. The biggest feature of the deba knife is that the end of the knife back is particularly thick, making it very durable. A deba knife can be used for a lifetime.



The cleaver is designed to ensure that the blade does not break during use, so the blade is very thick and has a small opening angle, not focused on sharpness, but on durability. Because the cleaver is very heavy, you need to be very careful when using it.

Boning Knife


The boning knife has a long and narrow blade that is very easy to control at the tip, and the steel used is not very hard. VG10 is already considered high quality, but it is also tough. It is the best choice for handling meat, such as removing the bone part of minced meat or removing the fascia from beef. When using it, you can slowly scrape off the meat parts along the gap between the bone and the meat, so the blade needs to be sharpened frequently.

Bread Knife


The bread knife has a long blade and a serrated edge, and is mainly used for cutting bread or food with a crispy outer layer and a soft interior, such as Italian grilled meat. When cleaning, be careful not to cut yourself.

Multi-functional Kitchen Knife


Multi-functional kitchen knives are generally 7-10cm long. Larger ones can be used as fruit knives, while small ones can handle vegetables, such as garlic skin, onions, and chopping.

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