The knives in the photo above are known as utility knives. They are all purpose knives for a variety of chopping, slicing and mincing. The key to using a knife is to keep the blade sharp. A knife with a sharp blade slices easily and works better.
The knife on the bottom is known as a chef knife. Chef knives are generally 10- 12 inches long. The longer the blade, the more surface area you have to work with. I found this video to be very useful in choosing a chef’s knife.
The top knife is known as a paring knife. Paring knives are the second most useful knives in a kitchen. They are generally 31/2 to 4 inches and are used to minced and slice smaller items such as strawberries, onions or garlic. Mincing food with a paring knife does take practice. This video gives you a concise lesson on how to properly use a paring knife to mince.
A serrated knife has a jagged edge which is used to penetrate foods with a smooth surface such as bread and tomatoes. Serrated knives can not be sharpened. They will need to be replaced with the blade gets dull.
The boning knife has a blade that is thinner than that of a chef’s knife. The thinner blade makes the knife more flexible. They are about 6 inches long and rigid. Boning knives are used to slice meat and fish.
Photo credit Kelly Senyei