Knife Handles

The tang is the portion of the metal blade that is inside the handle.The highest-quality, most durable knives have a full tang, which means that the tang runs the full length of the handle.


French knife or chef's knife

French knife or chef's knife

Santoku knife or Japanese cook's knife

Utility knife

Boning knife

Boning knife


Butcher knife

Butcher knife



Oyster knife

Oyster knife

Clam knife

Clam knife

Vegetable peeler

Vegetable peeler

1. French knife or chef's knife.

Most frequently used knife in the kitchen, for general-purpose chopping, slicing, dicing, and so on.The blade is wide at the heel and tapers to a point. Blade length of 10 inches (260 mm) is most popular for general work. Larger knives are for heavy cutting and chopping. Smaller blades are for more delicate work.

This is your most important tool, so you must learn to handle it and care for it well. Chapter 7 explains its use in detail.

2. Santoku knife or Japanese cook's knife.

A wide-bladed knife that is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for the traditional chef's knife. Blades are usually 5 inches (13 cm) or 7 inches (18 cm) long.

3. Utility knife or salad knife.

A narrow,pointed knife 6 to 8 inches (160 to 200 mm) long. Used mostly for pantry work, cutting and preparing lettuce, fruits, and so on.Also useful for carving roast chicken and duck.

Paring knife.

A small pointed blade 2 to 4 inches (50 to 100 mm) long. Used for trimming and paring vegetables and fruits.

Paring knife

5. Boning knife.

A thin, pointed blade about 6 inches (160 mm) long. Used for boning raw meats and poultry. Stiff blades are used for heavier work. Flexible blades are used for lighter work and for filleting fish.

6. Slicer.

A long, slender, flexible blade up to 14 inches (360 mm) long. Used for carving and slicing cooked meats.




7. Serrated slicer.

Like a slicer, but with a serrated edge. Used for cutting breads, cakes, and similar items. _

Serrated slicer

8. Butcher knife.

A heavy, broad, slightly curved blade. Used for cutting, sectioning, and trimming raw meats in the butcher shop.

9. Scimitar or steak knife.

A curved, pointed blade. Used for accurate cutting of steaks.

10. Cleaver. A very heavy, broad blade. Used for cutting through bones.

11. Oyster knife.

A short, rigid, blunt knife with a dull edge. Used for opening oysters.

12. Clam knife.

A short, rigid, broad-bladed knife with a slight edge. Used for opening clams.

13. Vegetable peeler.

A short tool with a slotted, swiveling blade. Used for peeling vegetables and fruits.

14. Steel.

Not a knife, but an essential part of the knife kit. Used for truing and maintaining knife edges (not for sharpening them - see Chapter 7).

15. Cutting board.

An important partner to the knife. Hardwood boards are favored by many chefs. Hard rubber or plastic boards are thought to be more sanitary, but there is some evidence that bacteria survive longer on plastic and rubber than on wood. Cutting boards must be kept very clean.

Note: In some communities,wooden boards are prohibited by health regulations.



1. Ball cutter, melon ball scoop, or parisienne knife.

The blade is a small, cup-shaped half-sphere. Used for cutting fruits and vegetables into small balls.

A heavy, two-pronged fork with a long handle. Used for lifting and turning meats and other items. Must be strong enough to hold heavy loads.

3. Straight spatula or palette knife.

A long, flexible blade with a rounded end. Used mostly for spreading icing on cakes and for mixing and bowl scraping.

Straight Spatula

4. Sandwich spreader.

A short, stubby spatula. Used for spreading fillings and spreads on sandwiches.

Ball cutter

Cook's fork

Offset spatula

Offset spatula

5. Offset spatula.

A broad blade, bent to keep the hand off hot surfaces. Used for turning and lifting eggs, pancakes, and meats on griddles, grills, sheet pans, and so on. Also used as a scraper to clean benches and griddles.

Rubber spatula or scraper.

A broad, flexible rubber or plastic tip on a long handle. Used to scrape bowls and pans. Also used for folding in egg foams or whipped cream.

7. Pie server.

A wedge-shaped offset spatula. Used for lifting pie wedges from pan.

8. Bench scraper or dough knife.

A broad, stiff piece of metal with a wooden handle on one edge. Used to cut pieces of dough and to scrape workbenches.

9. Pastry wheel or wheel knife.

A round, rotating blade on a handle. Used for cutting rolled-out doughs and pastry and baked pizza.

Pastry wheel 10. Spoons: solid, slotted, and perforated.

Large stainless-steel spoons that hold about 3 ounces (90 mL). Used for stirring, mixing, and serving. Slotted and perforated spoons are used when liquid must be drained from solids.

11. Skimmer.

A perforated disk, slightly cupped, on a long handle. Used for skimming froth from liquids and for removing solid pieces from soups, stocks, and other liquids.

12. Tongs.

Spring-type or scissors-type tools used to pick up and handle foods.

13. Wire whip.

Loops of stainless-steel wire fastened to a handle. There are two kinds of whips:

• Heavy whips are straight, stiff, and have relatively few wires. Used for general mixing, stirring, and beating, especially heavy liquids.

• Balloon whips or piano-wire whips have many flexible wires. Used for whipping eggs, cream, and hollandaise, and for mixing thinner liquids. Wire whip

Sandwich spreader

Rubber spatula

Pie server

Pie server

Bench scraper

Bench scraper

Spoons: slotted, perforated, solid

Spoons: slotted, perforated, solid

Offset spatula



China cap

14. China cap.

A cone-shaped strainer. Used for straining stocks, soups, sauces, and other liquids. Pointed shape allows the cook to drain liquids through a relatively small opening.

15. Fine china cap or chinois (shee-nwah).

A china cap with very fine mesh. Used when great clarity or smoothness is required in a liquid.

16. Strainer.

A round-bottomed, cup-shaped tool made of screen-type mesh or perforated metal. Used for straining pasta, vegetables, and so on.

17. Sieve.

A screen-type mesh supported in a round metal frame. Used for sifting flour and other dry ingredients.

China cap



18. Colander.

A large perforated bowl made of stainless steel or aluminum. Used to drain washed or cooked vegetables, salad greens, pasta, and other foods.

19. Food mill.

A tool with a hand-turned blade that forces foods through a perforated disk. Interchangeable disks produce different coarseness or fineness. Used for pureeing foods.

Food mill

Box grater

Food mill

Box grater

Channel knife

20. Grater.

A four-sided metal box with grids of varying sizes. Used for shredding and grating vegetables, cheese, citrus rinds, and other foods.

21. Zester.

A small hand tool used for removing the colored part of citrus peels in thin strips.

22. Channel knife.

A small hand tool used mostly in decorative work.

Channel knife

23. Mandoline.

A manual slicing implement consisting of blades fitted in a flat metal or wood framework. Folding legs position the mandoline on the worktable at a 45-degree angle for use. Levers allow the blades to be adjusted to control the thickness of the slices. A traditional mandoline has a flat blade and a serrated blade.Additional blades can be used in combination with the flat blade to cut julienne and batonnet.The serrated blade is used to cut gaufrette or waffle slices.

For safest use, a detachable guard is also supplied.The guard holds the food and allows it to be sliced without getting the fingers near the blades.

Pastry bag and tubes


Pastry bag and tubes

24. Pastry bag and tubes.

Cone-shaped cloths or plastic bags with an open end that can be fitted with metal tubes or tips of various shapes and sizes. Used for shaping and decorating with items such as cake icing, whipped cream, duchesse potatoes, and soft dough.

25. Pastry brush.

Used to brush items with egg wash, glaze, etc.

26. Can opener.

Heavy-duty can openers are mounted on the edge of the workbench.They must be carefully cleaned and sanitized every day to prevent contamination of foods. Replace worn blades, which can leave metal shavings in the food.

Pastry brush

Can opener

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