Essential Knives For Any Kitchen

Someone asked me one time what my opinion was on buying knives.

Now, I don’t have any official culinary training, but I do know what I like.

Here’s my advice:
(Feel free to share your opinions/advice in the comment section, as well.)

You should spend the money and buy the best quality knives you can afford.

You don’t need to buy big expensive sets either. (Unless you have the cash or get a very generous gift from someone.) I have listed below the knives I use the most. If I owned a full set, I doubt I would ever use them all.

I happen to have a preference for Henckels because I started my knife collection with that brand and have been very pleased. There are a lot of great brands out there, and the prices are more economical than they used to be.

These are my list of essential knives you should own:

(I bought the Professional S series pictured below.)

1. 8″ or 9″ Chef’s knife

OR…..a Santoku knife

2. 4″ paring knife–maybe even a couple of these

3. Serrated bread knife (pictured at 8″)

The two knives I still want:

6″ Cleaver–for cutting up chunks of meat, whole chickens, or anything with bones. Yeah…it’s pretty much awesome. My husband’s aunt has one and I love to use it when I’m at her house.

Tomato/Utility Knife–I know I don’t really need this, but…..I just want it.

Storage Options:

I bought one of these because I was in love with the one my grandma has. I couldn’t be without it. I don’t have counter space for knife storage, so I wanted an option that could work in a drawer. I love it so much.

Of course, you can always go for the traditional knife block–

Or even one of these super cool stainless steel magnetic strips

(image via

Great places to shop for knives:
Crate and Barrel
Chef Central
Bed, Bath and Beyond
big department stores
Or, you could just Google it.

Buy a good knife. You won’t ever be sorry.

(all knife and knife block images via

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  1. Just wanted to let you know I am enjoying the new focus of your blog. Love all the kitchen stuff and serving info. I am excited when I see you have a new post on Bloglines!

    Thanks for the knife info. Boy do I need some good knives. :o)

  2. Here is my secret to buying knives on a budget: check thrift and second hand stores. Often, cutlery is tossed into a big bin; you can look through it all and sometimes walk out with an awesome knife for a couple dollars.

    You want to look for a blade that runs the length of the handle that is riveted in place, the knife should feel balanced in your hand, not too heavy, not too light. The make doesn’t necessarily matter, but getting yourself a knife sharpener does (and no, a steel doesn’t count.) America’s Test Kitchen recommended a hand-held model that you could buy for about $15. I found the same model on sale at my grocery for $5. Being able to frequently sharpen your knives makes a huge difference in how well they perform (and lowers the chance of you getting hurt.)

  3. my knife collection consists of 3 serated knives (one of the four original ones broke), 2 cutco big ones that I took from my old apartment that the previous owner left behind, and a few butter knives. The 3 were bought at wal-mart

  4. I own every one of those Henkel knives and let me tell you the tomatoe one is essential–I actually have two of them. I use it constantly. It is the best knife for cutting cheese.

  5. Hi, Steve!

    I have used Wustof before. I don’t own any, but I’ve used them when I have been at a friend’s house. They are very comparable to Henckels. I’ve heard some say they like them better, in fact. I think it’s one of those things like, do you prefer Canon or Nikon?

    Thanks for your question!

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