Don’t buy a knife block with 8+ knives because it seems like value for money. They’ll be worse quality and you realistically only need 3.

Knives definitely follow the rule of “quality over quantity”. People get bamboozled by the 15 knife set that sometimes has multiples of the same knife

Realistically, you only really need three: bread, paring and chef.

These will cover almost everything you’d want to do in the kitchen. Spend the same amount you’d spend on a bigger set on a smaller, better quality set and you won’t regret it. They’ll last for ages, stay sharper longer and won’t get cruddy and chip.

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  1. If you only have the disposable cash for one good knife. A 6-8″ chef’s knife will give you the most mileage. I am building a wusthof set slowly, but a 8″ victorinox chef knife is a great way to improve your vegitable cutting.

  2. A few years ago, my wife and I decided to buy “good” kitchen knives. We made a list of about 8 knife types that we needed, then went to a local kitchen supply store. We found the four main knives we needed, but the price was a little higher than we expected, and a couple of the knives that we wanted had to be ordered, so we decided to just get the first four, and planned to buy the other four within the next month.

    Several years later, we still haven’t bought the other 4, as we haven’t actually needed them.

    We got a bread knife, two sizes of chef knife, and sort of a large-ish paring knife.

    I’ll also add that I feel like you get better “good” knives buying them individually, rather than in even a smaller set. It seems like even the small sets always include something you don’t want/need (I’m looking at you, cleaver).

  3. I only have 4. Chef, santoku, paring, and bread. There are always the specialty ones but those 4 I use daily.

  4. those 3 knives are a good start, but some people that cook a lot, may consider getting a a sharpening stone, and steel. the best knives are the sharp ones. I have multiple knives, but if you are on a budget, all you really need is a chef’s knife, with good steel, so it holds their edge longer in between sharpening. you can do everything with it, if you had to

  5. To clarify, many cultures have different styles and names of knives that accomplish the same things, so you don’t necessarily need a “Chef’s” etc.

    Realistically, you need

    1. Something serrated (has teeth) that can tear through tough things like bread and cooked meat,
    2. Something small that fits comfortably in your hand that can cut small things like fruit or nuts
    3. Something “all purpose”, good-sized with a sharp but not-serrated blade that can tackle heavier jobs like breaking down chicken, cubing potatoes, chopping chocolate etc.

    Whatever you find in good quality that works for you in these 3 categories is worth your money.

  6. While I went from a $100 Cuisinart block with like 15 knives to a $500 set with 6 much higher quality knife, and I don’t regret the decision at all because I my knives are fucking awesome. . .

    . . .I would say more so not that the number of knives matters, but that the quality of the knives. . .And “number of knives” is not a representation of quality. Having just done a google search to get an idea of what’s out there, you’re just as lucky to find a 6 knife set of shit quality as you are to find a 15 knife set that is considered to be really good.

    As with any product with big swings in quality, I would say it’s incredibly important to do your due diligence and read product reviews [the good, the bad, and the middle], and make an informed decision.

  7. I would also recommend a santoku, because they’re specially designed to prevent vegetables from sticking to the blade. Makes for great chopping and dicing

  8. This is extremely subjective. Most knife blocks these days come with a chefs knife, carving knife, vegetable knife, paring knife, bread knife, scissors, a set of steak knives, and a honing rod. Each one is for a for a seperatate role.

    I own a knife collection worth over 400$ and its missing some of those knives like steak knives because I cut all of my meat before I serve it. I also have an 80$ whetstone set to sharpen my knives.

    For the average consumer knife blocks offer a great value to people who cook every once in a whole because they give you every knife you need for 80$.

    My cooking career started out with a cuisinart knife block and It grew from there.

  9. Also, for the love of all that is holy, hand wash your knives!! Dishwashers are incredibly hard on knives and you’ll end up having rust spots or having to sharpen them more than is needed.

  10. Not a professional by any stretch, but I cook well enough (and often enough) to appreciate the tools of the trade.

    The most useful knife in my kitchen is an mid-length chef’s knife. This had a rounded nose and ends in a clipped point, and I *can* use it for anything if pressed. I can butcher meat, mince a shallot, and even hull strawberries (that last is a bit awkward.) There are other designs for a big main knife, the most common of which trades to smooth curve to a point for a dull front end. If you are to have only one big knife, you should avoid such a design as it is only good at certain kinds of slices – slices that the chef’s knife is very nearly as good at – and worse at quite literally every task in exchange for that small edge. (They often have little indentations along the blade that make them somewhat better for cutting potatoes or other things inclined to stick to the blade. This is truly their only improvement that I’ve ever noticed, and it’s rarely worth washing an extra knife just to cut a few potatoes.)

    Next is a longish narrow and flexible blade which is my go to whenever the meal of the moment requires butchery of any sort. While the chef’s knife works in a pinch, the flexibility and thinness of the blade makes the task simpler and cleaner, though this seems to be at a cost of the edge’s longevity. My example has to be well honed at every use, but admittedly I’ve never though to try any of the more expensive models.

    Finally there is the paring knife. While I *can* use my chef’s knife to hull a strawberry, it is awkward and slow going. The paring knife fixes that.

    Were I to *only* have three knives, it would be those three. But since I can add more, I also include a clever. This is useful mostly the edge case of needing to mince or finely chop something that isn’t inclined to yield to that task. It’s more laborious to mince chicken than to grind it – at least until it comes time to clean the grinder. It can also serve in most of the same functions as the chef’s knife if a bit more awkwardly for many making it second or third best for most other tasks.

    I also include a bread knife. While I rarely need it, none of the other knives are nearly as good for the tasks that it excels at.

    If I never cooked with meat, I’d be inclined to replace the fillet knife with the bread knife as an essential third. You *can* carve bread with a chef’s knife, but it’s obnoxious.

  11. Very subjective.

    If I was giving someone with a budget advice, I would start with a 6-8 inch chefs knife, followed by a honing steel, followed by a sharpening stone. Tier 2 would be a paring knife followed by kitchen shears, then a bread knife. Tier 3 would be a serrated utility knife and a Santoku knife.

    It totally depends what you cook. I almost never use a bread knife. I tend to cook with rice, pasta and vegetables and eat bread only occasionally.

  12. When it comes to me and knives, “need” was abandoned long ago! A quality chef’s knife is amazing. From there, paring knife, bread knife, and some utility variety are great additions. Don’t forget a means of sharpening them because not only is a dull knife a dangerous knife, but a dull knife fucking suck.

  13. Eh, it depends on what you do in the kitchen and how skilled you are. I have a meat cleaver, a boning knife, three different serrated knives for different tasks, my workaholic chef knife, a carving knife, and a paring knife. I use them all regularly and they are all the best at their particular jobs. But I will agree that not everyone needs a ton of knives. I do, though!

  14. As if I bought them to use, I just keep them on the counter so my friends can think I have money or something

  15. Over the years I have had many knives Gerber, Wusthof, Henckels, some of unknown brands I inherited. I cook every day. Have done for 40 years. The best knifes I have ever had are the Dexters I bought in a restaurant supply store. I started collecting them about 5 years ago They keep their edge, are easy to sharpen and best of all designed to be easily and completely cleaned in a dishwasher. They are not overpriced, and come in a large variety of sizes to fit your hand and needs.

    First off I don’t need or want a huge chef’s knife, I use an 8 inch (Have 2). I also am the kind of person who buys primals from Cash and Carry. so I need to be able to butcher them into my preferred cuts. I have what they call a roast slicer that let me cut steaks etc, it also slices cooked meat and bread. I have others but these are the two kinds I use on a regular basis.

    If you can’t find a restaurant supply store near by they are also available on Amazon. I am using the same knife block I got for a wedding present in 1983.

  16. Um, I dunno. I bought this block in 2014 and I use all the knives. And I gifted the sandwich knife as well which had a slot in the block, which is awesome. The tomato knife is delightful, the knives for meat make quick work for cutting up for pad thai. And the two chefs knives get a lot of action cutting fruits and veg. The bread knife is a good size and easy to use on crusty yet soft bread without crushing it.

    I hone mine regularly and they get sharpened as needed. I also oil the handles because they are wood. (I oil up all the wood things in the kitchen monthly- chopping blocks, wood salad bowls, etc.)

    Maybe the pro tip should be not to buy crap?

  17. Speak for yourself, we use all of the knives in our knife block for their intended purposes – with the exception of the boning knife which we mostly use for cake.

    You ever tried carving beef with a table fork and chef’s knife?

  18. Bah steak knives for everything! Spreading butter, opening milk bags, opening boxes of more steak knives, soup, cutting steak.

  19. LPT: if you want to buy cheap kitchen equipment, Goodwill is by far the cheapest place to get it. The knives at GW going to be dull AF, so buy a knife sharpener for them

  20. Buy food service knives. Sam’s club sell’s two-packs of chef knives and a utility/boning knife combo, both for like $10. You can find similar prices at any restaurant supply store. A knife sharpener is like $10 on Amazon.

    These knives have a very plain handle, and a very solid blade. Knives you buy for a home kitchen usually have a very nice, ornate handle, and if you’re lucky, a good blade, but what you’re really paying for is the handle which who really cares?

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