Getting Aquainted with the Knives in Your Knife Block Set

Modern knife block

Every household needs a knife block set and purchasing one is not hard. There will be knives in the knife block set that you don't recognize or know the use of. The following article goes over the standard knives found in a knife block set.

Chef Knife

The chef knife is not the largest in the set, but it's the most versatile. The work horse of the knife block set, it can be 14-inches, 16-inches or 18-inches long. It is used to chop, slice and dice but can also be used in place of the other knives in your knife block set.

Paring Knife

This is the smallest knife in the set. It looks like a miniature version of the chef knife. It is primarily used to peel fruits and vegetables. You can also use it to slice and dice smaller things such as kiwi and strawberries as the chef knife may crush them.

Fillet Knife

Many people never use the fillet knife in their set unless they do a lot of fishing (cleaning of their own fish) or butchery. The blade is long and curved as well as flexible and very sharp. You use it to slice meats (typically fish) in thin layers across the top of the item rather than down through it. It can be used to create slits in beef, chicken and pork to make them easy to stuff.


This is the brute of the kitchen knife block set, but not all sets come with one. It is large and heavy, and is used to cleave or chop through bone or tendons. It is like a miniature axe of sorts.

Steak Knife

You will usually get 4 to 8 of these in a set. They are typically 4 to 6 inches long and are serrated. The name implies its use.

Bread Knife

If you have ever tried to slice bread using a chef knife you will notice how easy it is to crush the bread. The bread knife is the longest knife in the knife block set and is serrated like the steak knife. It is used in a sawing motion to slice bread easily without crushing it.

Carving Knife

The chef knife can be used to carve but the carving knife has a longer blade that is not as wide as the chef knife. These are also very sharp and are actually paired with the fork in the knife block. You hold the meat down with the fork and slice it with the carving knife.

Boning Knife

This knife resembles a fillet knife, with less flexibility and a thicker blade. The boning knife is designed to carve and to remove bone from sockets as well as cut through tendon.

Utility Knife

This is the catch-all knife in the knife block set. It resembles a chef knife but is serrated. It is also rather small but it is used to anything. This includes cutting through kitchen twine, heavy packaging and even small diameters of wood.