When I got married and started a kitchen I had no idea as to what to look for when buying knives. After many years in the kitchen I still don't. I either received a nice set of knives as a Christmas or Birthday gift or just picked up one here and there if I felt the need. I do know what a paring knife is but as for some of the others I simply guess. Call me a dumb blond but that has been my life with knives.
Now at 64 I've decided it's about time that I learn what some of these knives are really supposed to be used for. To do this, I went searching and this is what I found.
The Bread Knife has an 8" blade that is serrated which allows you to easily cut through breads, bagels, tomatoes, cakes and other foods with tough exteriors and soft interiors. (Didn't know about the tomatoes and cakes. I've always used mine for bread only.)
The Chef's or Cook's Knife also has an 8" blade. It's used to chop, dice and mince foods with the wedge-shape blade. (This one I've seldom used because it's so big. Guess I'll give it a try now that I really know what it's used for.)
The Paring Knife has a 3 or 4" blade. This knife is comfortable to handle when peeling and cutting fruits and vegetables or other small items. (This one I use constantly. I actually use it in place of just about all of the other knives.)
The Utility Knife has a 6" blade that is thin making it easy to smoothly slice sandwiches and other soft foods such as fruit and cheese. (Yep, you got it. I've been using my Paring Knife for these tasks.)
The Carving Knife/Slicer has a 10" blade that is long and thin making it easy to slice cooked meats. (Got this one right. I actually use my Carving Knife to carve turkey, ham, etc.)
There are many more knives in various shapes and sizes but these are supposed to be the essential knives for all kitchens.