Different types of kitchen knife, what are they for ?

Ever wondered which kitchen knife to use?

For amateur chefs and foodies, understanding kitchen knives not only makes food prep and cooking more pleasurable, but it also makes you more dynamic and skilful in the kitchen.

In this post we look at the different types of kitchen knives and what they're used for.

Paring Knife

A paring knife (or petite/petty knife) is perhaps one of the most versatile knives

in any kitchen and is used for tasks like chopping fruit and vegetables. The paring knife can be used for all sorts of kitchen tasks requiring the agility of a small knife, like slicing, peeling, filleting small fish and using its tip for places that are hard to reach.

Chef knife or Gyuto

The most essential knife to own for anyone who loves cooking, the Gyuto (or European Chef Knife) is a master at chopping, dicing, slicing and butchering. They are in the upper price range for kitchen knives, but can be exquisitely designed, and are built to last you for many years.

The Japanese Gyuto knife is thinner and lighter than the European chef knife, and the latter usually has more of a curve towards the tip to allow for a rocking motion.

Joseph Henry's new 'MIRA KO' chef knives provide the passionate home cook with an affordable, mid-range option, while maintaining professional precision and beautiful design. Made from a single piece of high-grade stainless steel and featuring a wooden pakka handle, the Mira-Ko chef knife (meaning 'mirror steel' in Japanese) will be your favourite kitchen knife! 

Carving knife

Thinner than a chef's knife, the carving knife is used to slice meat and poultry. It is especially designed to cut thin, uniform slices of meat. 


The cleaver has a heavy rectangular blade that is used to 'cleave' meat and bone apart. It is the only knife that can cope with tough butchering tasks and is therefore a kitchen essential for cooks that go the whole hog!


These Japanese knives are known for being balanced and user-friendly, with multi-purpose abilities including slicing, dicing and mincing. The blade is shorter, thinner and harder compared to the European chef's knife.

Small Santoku

This is a more compact version of the Santoku and, like the paring knife, can be used for many small tasks in the kitchen, making it a general, all-purpose knife.

Now you know what the different types of kitchen knives are and what they are used for, you can start building your own collection and take your cooking to the next level.

Seeking some culinary inspiration ?

Why not try one of our exclusive recipes by Monya our in house chef.  a perfect excuse to try out which knife.. for what.