A chef’s knife is a large knife used to cut and prepare food. It is an invaluable tool in the kitchen, where chefs spend most of their time not serving customers or cooking with other chefs. The chef’s knife can be considered the most critical type of kitchen knife that you have.
To pick the right chef’s knife, it helps first to be familiar with its anatomy. Its tip is pointed, allowing chefs to use the tip for cutting small items such as chives or garlic cloves. The part of a chefs knife blade nearest to the handle is called a bolster; it creates a finger guard which keeps one’s fingers from sliding down onto the blade during work and acts as a balance when using certain grip styles, especially pinches grip (with thumb and forefinger grasping the blade and middle finger resting on the bolster). The part of a chef’s knife where the handle and blade meet is called a heel. It is usually either riveted or solidly joined to the tang.
The chef’s knife is known for its large size, ranging from 10 to 15 inches. Most chef’s knives even have an indentation partway down the length of the blade just before the tip called a fuller designed solely to lighten it. A chef’s knife does not need these extra design features that make it a lightweight kitchen knife used for all purposes, as seen in German knives.
The chef’s knife is often preferred over other kitchen knives for its versatility. Depending on the chef’s preference or what kind of ingredients they are cutting, chefs may choose a chef’s knife with a blade between 5 and 12 inches long. The chef’s choice in length depends on how much cutting needs to be done during one session in the kitchen. A chef’s knife commonly has a rounded tip which makes it more versatile in general use when compared to a cook’s knife, which has a tougher tip for tasks such as piercing and stabbing.