Knives and their uses part 3 – Cooks knives

  • The Cooks knife is known by many a name: Cooks knife, Chef’s knife, Chopping knife, Kitchen knife.
  • The sizes typically range from 15cm (6″) to 30cm (12″)
  • The blade is typically deeper and thicker than other knives
  • The Cooks knife will do 80% of the work in the kitchen
  • Need a new Cooks knife? visit our official website

In this series of posts, I will be going through each type of knife and what it is used for.

Despite the urge to use one knife for almost every job (one knife springs to mind!) each knife has a very specific job and will in fact make your work easier and more efficient.

In this post we will be taking a look Cooks knives (Chef’s Knives) including Santoku’s which are all the rage at the moment!

The Cook’s knife is the most important knife you will use in the kitchen. It will do 80% of the work, it will chop, mince, crush, break, slice, dice, julienne; everything. Vegetables, fruit, meat fish, there is no type of ingredient you cannot use this knife for. The blade of a Cooks knife is usually broad and today quite curved. The spine of the blade is thick which adds heft and strength. You can use the spine of a Cooks knife to break small bones and shells without worrying about the knife ending up in two pieces but don’t use the cutting edge for this! You will find Cooks knives in a range of sizes from 15cm (6”) to 30cm (12”) and beyond. and now to the differences! ‘Traditional’ Cooks knife When I say traditional Cooks knife I am talking about the curvature of the blade and the depth. Our Sabatier knives are what I would call a ‘traditional’ Cooks knife. The edge is very straight and the blade not as deep as more modern, German style Cooks knives. Depending on the size of the Cooks knife, this can affect the board clearance, so do get a hold of the knife if you can to see for yourself.

Giving this as a gift is bad luck apparently

notice the shallow blade, with a straight edge curving nearer the tip

The curve in the blade is also not as aggressive and starts toward the final 3rd of the blade. Take a close look at the image and you will see what I mean. ‘Modern’ Cooks knife


notice the deeper blade and more aggressive curve which starts from the centre of the cutting edge

When I say modern Cooks knife I very much am alluding to German Cooks knives which have a deep blade and rather aggressive curves which start from half way down the cutting edge. These sorts of Cooks knives are quite popular at the moment as they make chopping fairly easy and almost every Western Cooks knife you see on today will follow this design. Bolster vs No bolster

notice the bolster near the tang (where the handle joins the blade)

The bolster is near to where the handle joins the blade.

Traditional Cooks knives and modern Cooks knives come with a bolster there are a growing number of knives that are doing away with the bolster.


no bolster, no problem

The advantage to not having a bolster is you get to use the whole cutting edge, and it makes it easier to sharpen Santoku

The ever popular Santoku

The ever popular Santoku

The Santoku is known as a Japanese Cooks knife and will do pretty much everything a Western shaped Cooks knife will do. They do tend to be thinner however and therefore cracking bones and shells you should perhaps avoid. The thin blade is excellent for really fine cuts and the broad blade is perfect for scooping food off of the board. The cutting edge on a Santoku is often quite straight, so rockin’ and choppin’ ain’t the order of the day. So there you have it, Cooks knives explained. Need to upgrade your knives? Why not see our full selection of Cooks knives and, oh so much more at our official website until next time

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