JAPANESE BLADE SHAPES

SANTOKU

Santoku literally translated means 3 virtues. This traditional Japanese shaped knife is for everyday use. The Santoku is the equivalent to a Western chef’s knife.

It’s name ‘three virtues’ is derived from its versatility for cutting fish, meat and vegetables.

Typical Blade Size: 6 – 8 inch

YANAGIBA

Yanagiba meaning the willow leaf blade. The most iconic knife and seen in many Sushi restaurants. Deadly sharp with a single sided cutting edge the blade and hollow-ground making it suitable for very thin cuts. This shares some similarities with a Western style boning knife.

Typical Blade Size: 8 – 11 inch


DEBA

Deba translates to protruding blade. In Japan a Deba is used for fish and cutting small bones. The blade is sturdy, with a broad blade and a single cutting edge.

Typically the front of the blade is used mainly for filleting fish whereas the rear is used for tougher meats.

Typical Blade Size: 6-7 inch

 

NAKIRI

Nakiri translates to vegetable cutter. The rectangular blade shape is traditional in Japanese for cutting vegetables. This should not be confused with a Western style cleaver which has a deeper blade.

Typical Blade Size: 5.5in – 7in

WESTERN BLADE SHAPES


CHEF’S KNIFE

The all round knife for everyday use. Chef’s knives have a curve that continues to the tip. Originally for cutting meat, chef’s knives have developed to becoming a multi purpose knife for slicing, dicing and chopping almost every food type.

Typical Blade Size: 6 – 14 inch


UTILITY KNIFE

Known in the USA as a tomato knife or sandwich knife, the utility is a multi purpose knife. These typically have a serrated edge for cutting through the skin of fruits and vegetables.

Typical Blade Size: 4 – 7 inch


PAIRING KNIFE

This short bladed knife is ideal for smaller tasks that require control. These are typically used for peeling fruits and vegetables or tasks in the hand.

Typical Blade Size: 2.5 – 4 inch


BONING KNIFE

A boning knife is popular for cutting meat from the bone. Blades can be flexible or stiff, with stiffer blades popularly used by chefs on thicker meats like beef and pork. More flexible blades are typically used for intricate tasks, such as small game and poultry. Both have a sharp point for piercing meat with ease.

Typical Blade Size: 5 – 7 inch


BREAD KNIFE

 A serrated blade for cutting through thick crusts, the serrations help to cut the bread without tearing or flattening the bread. Bread knives can also be ideal for cutting thick-skinned vegetables and citrus fruits.

Typical Blade Size: 9 – 12 inch


FILLETING KNIFE

 Filleting knives are typically used to fillet fish.  The flexibility of the blade allows for the removal of bones. They have a unique shape and are typically long and thin with a sharp point for piercing skin.

Typical Blade Size: 4 – 9 inch


CLEAVER

 A large blade used for butchering or hacking through bone and hard foods. Cleavers have a large face useful for the transportation of foods and also in crushing foods such as garlic.

Typical Blade Size: 6 – 8 inch