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If you’ve ever asked yourself what the point is of using different professional knives as opposed to simply buying one because there’s “no harm done”, then this article is for you.
The reason why there are so many different types of professional knives is because each knife is designed in a specific way to easily cut through different types of foods with ease. If cutting through food isn’t effortless, then you’re using the wrong knife or it isn’t nearly as sharp as it should be, and you could be putting yourself at risk of injury.
It seems counterproductive, but the rule of thumb when it comes to knives is: sharper your knife, the less chance you have of sustaining an injury. This is because you don’t need to place as much pressure on the knife and risk slipping and cutting yourself.
Additionally, using the wrong kind of knife altogether could result in the same fate, as particular knives are just not supposed to be used for cutting certain types of foods. For example, you wouldn’t use a Chef’s knife for cutting flaky pastry, because you would squash it.
This article will tell you the characteristics of different types of knives, and the purposes for which they should be used.
Dough knives are professional knives that should be used for dough, and dough only. Dough knives work best when the dough has come straight from a mixing vessel. They have rounded tips as opposed to pointed ones so that they can access the underneath of the dough to allow for easy lifting. Dough knives are often used in commercial baking to shape, cut and manipulate the dough they produce, and help it keep its soft and malleable texture.
This type of professional knife gives a clean cut, and doesn’t compromise the quality of the dough like a serrated blade would.
These professional knives are designed very intentionally to efficiently complete particular tasks. The taller back end of the blade and the shorter front end provides the user with the ability to rock the knife back and forth accordingly. This function makes Chef’s knives perfect for chopping lots of ingredients at one time.
These knives can withstand great deals of pressure before breaking, and they’re best known for their versatility. They work best with thicker and harder foods, like root vegetables and beef steaks, rather than softer foods, which could cause you to slip and cut yourself.
Slicing knives are a type of professional knife characterised by their long thin blades. Both rounded and straight-tipped variations of this knife are available to cater to the food you’re preparing. Round tips are recommended if there is a chance that you may pierce the ingredient you’re cutting and release juices that could accentuate the flavours of your product.
These professional knives are available with and without serrated blades, which could either be helpful to your process or hinder you. Serrated blades are best for ingredients like tomatoes, whereas straight blades would work better with strawberries. Slicing knives are only intended for thin, easily penetrable foods like cuts of meat and soft fruits and vegetables, and can break if you apply too much pressure when trying to cut foods that this particular kind of knife isn’t intended for.
Utility knives are the most commonly-used professional knife on this list and are a staple of every kitchen, whether they be in the commercial baking, industrial or domestic industry. They’re available serrated and non-serrated and allow for far higher precision-cutting than the other types of knives mentioned. These knives are normally 3 inches in length, a factor to which their precision is attributed.
This knife is multi-purpose and can cut through various types of food like meat, fruits, and sandwiches to name a few. However, it is important that the blade stays sharp. Sharpness is vital because these knives can’t handle a lot of pressure, so if you have a dull blade and press on the ingredient to try and cut through it, you may break it and sustain an injury.
Palette knives are the most individual of all the knives on this list. This is because palette knives, while technically being classified as professional knives, aren’t designed to cut through anything at all. They’re more suited to the category of decoration tools, as they’re used to spread ingredients on top of other foods. Think, crumb-coats on cakes.
Palette knives are professional knives designed to lift items like cakes, as well as spread and smooth decorative ingredients. They work similarly to silicone spatulas, but the blades are sturdy and don’t bend. Using any other knife for the intended purpose of the palette knife would likely result in jagged lines and dips in the spread substance. Additionally, the blade of the palette knife itself is not sharp enough to penetrate any food, so it cannot be used for cutting.
Pastry knives are used daily in the commercial baking industry because their serrated blades, which are designed to cut through thicker and tougher foods, easily penetrate the food while leaving it intact. These professional knives are more akin to saws than knives and allow you to cut through delicate pastries, fluffy sponges, and hard pastry crusts without squashing the food.
The pastries won’t have much resistance, so applying any pressure to them will result in them being flattened. So, it’s far better to gradually work through the pastry than it is to push in the direction of gravity against very delicate foods.
We hope that this article has helped you to understand the reasons why there are different types of knives and what the purpose of having so many is. We at Creeds Direct partner with the best brands around to provide you with the highest quality kitchen accessories, so why not shop our range of knives today?