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KNIVES

 

BUYER'S GUIDE

 

GLOSSARY OF KNIFE TERMS

 

 

 

BALANCE

 

The perfect knife should be balanced between the weight of the handle and the blade

 

BOLSTER

 

The raised section that connects the blade to the handle and acts as a safety guard for the hand

 

CARBON STEEL

 

Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon used for knives. The best carbon steel blades have a high carbon content which makes it easier to keep them sharp.

 

CERAMIC BLADES

 

An exceptionally hard and light blade, which rarely need sharpening. Can chip or break if knocked or dropped

 

CENTRE TIP

 

The back of the blade and the cutting edge are gently curved, terminating in a point.

 

FULLY FORGED BLADE

 

The bolster, blade and tang are made from one solid piece of steel. Extremely strong and durable.

 

TANG

 

The part of the blade that extends into the handle.

 

FULL TANG

 

The blade continues the full length of the handle giving good balance. These are found on the best quality knives, as well as heavy duty knives and choppers.

 

HIGH TIP

 

The back of the blade is straight where the cutting edge is curved – e.g. a utility knife. This enables the knife to be used with a rolling action.

 

ROCKWELL

 

The hardness value of a blade. A good quality knife will have a Rockwell rating between 55 and 58. Japanese knives usually about 66.

 

 

KNIFE TYPES

 

 

 

WHY SHOULD I USE IT?

 

 

 

 

 

Peeling Knife

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Small, lightweight knife with a curved blade, straight cutting edge and a firm tip

 

 

 

 

 

 

Paring Knife

 

 

 

A small multi-purpose knife with a sharp point. Ideal for peeling, de-seeding and slicing fruits and vegetables

 

 

 

Vegetable Knife

 

 

 

A small knife with a strong, straight blade. Used for cleaning, peeling and cutting small fruit and vegetables.

 

 

 

Utility Knife

 

 

 

An all-purpose knife, larger than a paring knife but smaller than a cook’s or chef’s knife. Used for carving and slicing of fine meats and vegetables.

 

 

 

Boning Knife

 

 

 

A knife specifically for removing bones from raw poultry and other meat. These have a thin, flexible blade that curve upwards to enable the knife to work around the bones.

 

 

 

Filleting Knife

 

 

 

A knife with an extremely thin, flexible blade with a straight edge, designed for filleting meat and fish.

 

 

 

Bread Knife

 

 

 

A knife with a long, serrated, rigid blade for use on bakery goods or foods with a hard exterior and soft centre, such as tomatoes

 

 

 

Chef’s/Cook’s Knife

 

 

 

A large, versatile, all-purpose knife. The blade is curved to allow a rocking motion, which allows for chopping with the minimum of force and so knuckles are protected.

 

 

 

Slicing Knife

 

 

 

A slim knife with a strong blade and fine cutting edge. Used for the preparation of meat and for carving roasts.

 

 

 

Santoku Knife

 

 

 

An Asian style knife, meaning ‘three uses’, has a broad blade and razor sharp blade. An all round knife used for preparing meat, fish and vegetables.

 

 

 

Sashimi Knife

 

 

 

A traditional Japanese knife, with a long blade. Usually flat on side, with a bevelled edge on the other side used for preparing and slicing raw fish.

 

 

 

Salmon Slicer

 

 

 

A knife with a long, slim, usually flexible blade with a rounded end, used for thinly slicing joints of meat and for slicing salmon,  

 

 

 

Carving Fork

 

 

 

A large fork with two strong prongs, used to hold the roast while cutting and serving

 

 

 

Carving Knife

 

 

 

A long, rigid bladed knife with a sharp point, for carving meat.

 

 

 

Cleaver/Chopper

 

 

 

A large knife with a broadly rectangular blade, used for chopping through boned joints and also for chopping vegetables.

 

 

 

Cheese Knife

 

 

 

A knife that is largely rectangular in shape, often with holes in the blade to prevent the cheese sticking and a pointed tip.

 

 

 

Hachoir/Mezzaluna

 

 

 

A curved, two-handled chopper, often used for herbs

 

 

 



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