What Are Chef Knives Used For Exactly?

Chef knives play a very important role in preparing food as they are used as a tool to cut various types of food items including vegetables and meat etc.

Originally it was designed to slice and separate large pieces of beef but today it is used by most of the cooks as the primary tool of general utility in their kitchen.

See more: the best chef knives for your kitchen


Normally chef knives have 8 inches long and 1-inch wide blades but in certain cases, the length of its blade can vary from 6 inches to 14 inches.

The shape of the blade of western chef knives is of two types – German and French. The entire cutting edge of the blade of German-style knives is continuously and deeply curved whereas that of French-style knives is curved up to the tip and straight up to the end.

None of them is considered the best as every chef uses them as per his personal choice.


Chef knives can be used perfectly for slicing, chopping, mincing, and dicing almost anything.

Though they are considered multipurpose knives still they should not be used for peeling vegetable skin. You can use the knives used for smaller tasks to peel the vegetables.

Techniques to use chef knives

The technique of using chef knives depends on the personal preferences of the user. Most cooks use their thumb and index finger to grip the blade of the knife to control it more precisely.

The rest of the fingers are placed below the bolster of the finger guard of the handle of the knife. This style of handling chef knife is commonly known as pinch grip.

The chefs who have not undergone culinary training usually hold the handle of the chef knife with all of their four fingers and thumb under all the fingers.

Last Updated on June 1, 2021 by Andy Wang

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My name is Andy Wang, and I'm a retired chef. I used to work at the City Vineyard restaurant in NYC. I also had a culinary degree from the Institute of Culinary Education in New York. And this blog is where I share my love for knives and cooking with people like you.