Knives are one of the most ancient tools prepared by humans. A knife is basically a sharp edged tool, which is used to cut different objects. It usually comprises of a blade, which is attached to a handle. The knife is man's oldest tool. Tools that were the very instruments early man (hunter/gatherer) used to keep himself fed. The knives at that time were truly “hand made”. Early man fashioned his knife out of thin pieces of stone.
The first knifes used in the Stone Age were made of either flint orflint or rock, their edge was chipped or ground, and they sometimes, but not all the time, had a handle. With later advances in smelting and metallurgy, blades were able to be made of bronze, iron, and even steel. Although time has changed the materials that are used, a knife's basic design still remains very much the same.
Types of knives:
As different objects cannot be cut and chopped by the regular knife, different types of knife are available in the market to make the task easy. Kitchen knifes are used for table service and these type are usually very common. These are usually named after the service they provide such as a dinner knife, luncheon knife, fish knife, butter knife, and the popular steak knifes.
- One of the most used of the kitchen knifes is the smaller paring knife. A paring knife has a short, pointed blade that is very easy to handle. It is mostly used for quicker jobs such as peeling and removing cores.
- Kitchen knifes are the most commonly used type of knife today. It seems that everyone who has a kitchen has at least one, although many of us have several that are used for many different purposes.
- One of the most commonly known of the kitchen knifes is the French knife, also known as a chef's knife. It has a broad, tapered shape with a fine edge that is great for things such as chopping vegetables.
- A slicing knife, with its long and narrow blade, is used to cut through things such as cooked meat.
Those kitchen knifes that feature scalloped edges are perfect for slicing those foods that are softer, such as tomatoes, bread, and cakes.
Type of Knife and Their Uses
- Boning Knife – This knife has a 4-5 inch blade. The blade is flexible and suited for separating meat from the bone.
- Bread Knife – Bread knife has a 9 inch blade. With the help of its sharp, scalloped blade, the bread can be easily cut without squashing the loaf.
- Chef's Knife – The Chef knife has a 4-12 inch blade. It is a versatile knife that can be skillfully used for various purposes. However, it comes very handy, while chopping and dicing. You can choose the blade length as per your comfort but make sure you use a longer knife for bigger jobs.
- Cleaver – This knife comes with a 6 inch blade. It is best suited to chop through the bones and joints of an animal. Moreover, its flat side can be used to crush peppercorns and other spices.
- Fish Filet – This knife has a 7 inch blade. As the name suggests, this thin, long blade knife has great flexibility for filleting fish.
- Fork – Fork knife has an 8 inch blade. This is a carving knife's assistant, used to hold meat in place while slicing. Meat can also be transferred from pan to plate with the help of this knife.
- Ham Slicer – This knife has a 10 inch blade. As the name suggests, it is also a specific knife, specially designed for slicing through the unique texture of ham.
- Oriental Cleaver – It is a 7 inch blade knife, which is also referred as 'cleaver'. It's really a fine chopper and dicer of vegetables, herbs, meats and fruits. However, it should not be used to chop bones.
- Paring Knife – A paring knife is designed to be short, sharp, and pointed for easy handling while peeling or mincing. This knife has a 3½-4 inch blade. This is the most commonly used knife in the kitchen, preferred for hand-held tasks, providing utmost control. A paring knife is intended to be all-purpose, just like chef's knife but smaller in size. A paring knife can be an extension of the hand because of its size and lightness. It is mainly used for peeling fruits and vegetables, and slicing small ingredients. Because it can be used in controlled and detailed cutting, a paring knife is also used in de-veining shrimps, removing seeds from jalapeño peppers, and cutting shapes/designs for small garnishes.
- Birds Beak Knife – It is a type of a paring knife. It is designed for peeling small round fruits and vegetables.
- Salmon Slicer – It has a 12 inch blade knife. It is long, thin and exceptionally flexible, designed for slicing smoked salmon.
- Slicer/Carver – This knife has an 8-10 inch blade. It is used for carving paper – thin slices of meats, fruits and vegetables. With the help of the pointed tip, you can cut around bones or pieces of melon.
- Steak Knife – The Steal knife has a 5 inch blade. This is a sharp knife that cuts through thick steaks and chops.
- Tomato/Bagel Knife – This knife comes with a 5 inch blade. It is a serrated knife, appropriate for cutting something that's soft on the inside and tough on the outside.
- Utility Knife – Utility knife has a six inch blade. It can be rightly called a cross between a paring and chef's knife. In effect, it's an all – purpose knife capable of performing a variety of everyday tasks.