Are you using the correct knife?

Try chopping a tomato with a smooth cutting edge. Now try chopping it with a serrated edge and you’ll soon see that each knife is created with a specific purpose in mind. Here is our breakdown of the three most common kitchen knife blades and the tasks they are best suited to.

Blades with a smooth cutting edge

A long, smooth cutting edge is one of the most common knife blades. It is the type of blade found on paring knives, utility knives, cook’s knives, carving knives and many others. These knives produce a very smooth, precise and clean cut, and should be razor sharp for best performance.

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Straight edge blades tend to cut through food smoothly in a simple stroke without the sawing motion needed when using serrated blades. Whether you are cutting something hard or soft, there is no tearing or ripping. These knives are typically used to cut the following:

  • Meat, such as roast chicken or fillet
  • Fish, such as tuna or salmon
  • Vegetables, such as potatoes, broccoli or carrots
  • Fruit, such as apples, pears or bananas

Blades with a serrated edge


Knives with a serrated edge are especially useful for cutting soft produce with a hard crust or a tough skin, and a tender center – such as bread, tomatoes or sausages. The teeth of a wavy-edge knife bite into foods that are too hard or too delicate for a straight edge knife to get a grip on. The ‘points’ of each serration dig into the top layer of the food and allow greater pressure to be exerted on the object being cut while the scooped-out gully sections help to reduce friction as the blade moves back and forth. These knives are typically used to cut the following:

  • Loaves of bread, rolls or baguettes
  • Tomatoes
  • Firm fruit, such as pineapples
  • Cake

Blades with a hollow edge

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The ‘fluted’, or hollow edge blade is crafted with evenly spaced vertical indentations, which create small air pockets between the blade and the food. These small air pockets gently push thin slices of food off the blade – preventing extra thin or soft slices from sticking to the blade – and reducing friction and drag, which enables an easier and faster cutting motion. These knives are typically used to cut the following:

  • Ham
  • Carpaccio
  • Fish, very thinly sliced
  • Cheese
  • Sushi

Wielding the right knife for the right job is the key to kitchen success and armed with the above information you should be able tailor your knife collection to suit your needs. Head this way to browse Wüsthof’s full range.

Edison StoneComment