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Types of Blades and Usage

Knives come in many different blade shapes and each shape in different sizes, making the choice confusing. Prior to explaining the different blades, here a bit of shared wisdom:

Professional Chef’s prefer longer blades

This is due to the simple fact that the longer a blade is, the more food can be cut with one cut. So for professional chefs in a prep session, the blade length is a matter of productivity.

Go for quality instead of quantity

Very few chef’s, be it professional or home chefs, need a wide selection of different knives. Most cutting tasks can be accomplished by a surprisingly small selection of blades. So when setting a certain budget for buying a set of knives, it’s always recommendable to buy less knives, but in better quality, instead of buying a huge block set that will probably include blades that will not see much kitchen use. 

 

Now coming to the different blade shapes. Here it's important to note that globally there are three common knife cultures, all of which have a different way of cutting and different blades to support the cutting style. It’s the Western, Japanese and Chinese knife culture, with Western being the predominant one.

 

In the past twenty years, the Japanese knife culture has permeated into Western kitchens and occupied the high end of the market, due to the superior cutting performance of Japanese knives. Due to their usefulness, some Japanese blades like the Santoku have become common is Western kitchens. Others with more specialised use like all single bevel edge blades are still rare outside of Japan.

 

The Chinese knife culture is starting to spread, with some consumers liking the wide blade of a Chinese Chef’s knife. But by and large, Chinese blades today are mainly used by Chinese users.

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