Anonymous asked in Food & DrinkOther - Food & Drink · 1 decade ago

What are the differences between these knives?

Parer knife, utility knife, santoku knife, Chef's knife. That might sound kind of silly, but i am buying knives and I don't really know why I need so many. What do each of them do and is it really that big of a difference than just using one?


Oh and the santoku knife has 5 inch and 7 inch, what is the diff?

12 Answers

  • Visor
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    For practical purposes paring is any knife that is designed to be used off the board, in the air basically. Small knife, used for delicate cutting, peeling, destemming strawberries, and such.

    Utility knife - Utterly useless knife in the kitchen. Too short and narrow to be anything like Chef's or Santoku in the kitchen and too long to be a good pairing knife. Proponents of it say, it's excellent to cut sandwiches in half. So, if you do that all day, may be you should consider it, otherwise skip it for sure, and sav4e money too.

    Chef's knife - General cutting, anything from soft meat to veggies. Can double as a slicer too, if it is long enough.

    Santoku - In Japanese means a knife of three virtues. Although, when you dig that part, there are several sets of 3 virtues floating around, so you might be getting a lot more virtues in one knife if U get lucky. Jokes aside, Santoku is a Japanese houswife version of the chef's knife and a nakiri.

    You'll never see Santoku in a pro environment in Japan, but it's very popular in households. Beats Nakiri in versatility and shorter/cheaper to compared to gyuto (japanese chef's knife).

    Bunch of other kitchen knife types here -

    5 and 7 in is the blade length obviously. And 5 is too short too. Although, that's very personal, you have to decide for yourself.

    Minimal set for home cooking is 8-12" long chef's knife + 3-4" paring knife and 10"+ long bread serrated knife. That will cover 99% of home cooking cutting. You can add boning knife or a slicer depending on your needs.

    Brands - Given your budget from Euro knives VIctorinox/Forschner is your best bet, x50CrMoV15 steel used by them is same as in more expensive western knives.

    From Japanese knives you might wanna check out Tojiro knives, that's pretty close to your budget too and outperforms most of the mainsteram western knives too.

    More on choosing kitchen knives here -

    Source(s): 12+ years of knife collecting, sharpening and research.
  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    Depends on what kind of job your doing. The santoku and chefs knife are both good knives for most kitchen work like chopping, dicing, julienne, etc. The paring knife is good for small items like cutting out orange segments or fluting mushrooms. A utility knife is a good knife to use for slicing meats or for rough chopping or just about anything.

    Edit: The difference in blade lengths is simply personal preference. Everyone has different sized hands. A person with small hands will often times feel more comfortable using a knife with a shorter blade. You can even buy santoku knives that are the same size as paring knives and two can be used interchangeably.

    When shopping for knives, I always like to hold the knife and do some simulated chopping with it before I buy it. That way, I can tell if it will feel comfortable or not.

    Source(s): professional chef culinary school grad 29 years in the industry
  • 1 decade ago

    Santoku (along with a nikuri) is just an Asian version of a Chefs knife. The shape of the blades are different but they perform all of the same tasks. You only need one or the other on that. This can be used for almost all kitchen jobs and this is the one on which you should spend the most money.

    Paring knife is for very small intricate jobs. This is used for preparing detailed garnishes etc. This will not get used as much so you need not spend as much on this.

    A utility know is used for opening packages and the like. The size is larger than the paring knife but smaller than the chefs knife. This is really optional.

    Spend as much as you can afford on a Santoku, Nakiri or Western style chefs knife. Spend a little less on a paring knife and utility knife is optional.

  • spyrd
    Lv 5
    1 decade ago

    Though there is lots of difference in the knives still there is no difference .

    The Bread knife:

    The serrations on the blade make it ideal for cutting bread and other foods with a hard surface and soft interior.So I prefer using this knife for almost all my kitchen chopping especially tomatoes.

    Apart from this knife I use pairing knife for slicing fruits in my hands as this is small.

    The utility knife I use for chopping on the board.


    The Santoku knife has been called an Asian chef's knife in deference to its general utility at a variety of cutting tasks. The Santoku has a straighter edge than a chef's knife, with a blunted sheepsfoot-tip blade and a thinner spine, particularly near the point. From 12 cm to 18 cm (5 to 7 inches) long, a true Japanese Santoku is well-balanced, normally flat-ground, and generally lighter and thinner than its Western counterparts, often using superior blade steels to provide a blade with exceptional hardness and an acute cutting angle. This construction allows the knife to more easily slice thin-boned and boneless meats, fish, and vegetables. Many subsequent Western and Asian copies of the Japanese Santoku do not always incorporate these features, resulting in reduced cutting ability. Some Western Santoku-pattern knives are even fitted with kullens, scallops on the sides of the blade above the edge, in an attempt to reduce the sticking of foods and reduce cutting friction. A standard in Asian (especially Japanese) kitchens, the santoku and its Western copies have become very popular in recent years with chefs in Europe and the United States.

    here is the link where you can get more information about the knives:

    In short I prefer lots of knives so that I don't have to wash them while preparing food and transfering germs from one to another.

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  • 1 decade ago

    Knives are tools.

    Just as a carpenter will have a variety of screw drivers in his tool box of different sizes and heads for different applications, so too will a chef have a variety of knives, each with it's own attributes to help do different jobs. Most do-it-yourselfers start a job only to find out that they need a different tool than they have. So it is with novice cooks. Some struggle trying to use one knife to do everything until they need to finely chop 4 or 5 onions. That's when they think, I sure could use one of those big chef's knives.

    I suggest you google "cutlery uses" for an explanation of what each knife's function is so you can decide which ones you need for your cooking style. Another suggestion would be to go to a kitchen supply store and ask a sales representative to explain the functions.

  • Dave C
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    For most home cooks, all you really need is a paring knife and a chef's knife.

    Paring knife is for small jobs such as peeling or small handheld jobs, while a chef's knife is for general chopping, slicing and cutting.

    All those other knives are just dead weight in a drawer and a hit to your pocket book.

  • barrie
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Chef Knife Vs Santoku

  • Anonymous
    4 years ago

    Santoku Vs Chef Knife

  • Anonymous
    1 decade ago

    for yous hold use you need a utility knife and a chef knife

    and possibly a paring knife

    make sure the metal blade goes right down through the handle

  • TLK
    Lv 4
    1 decade ago

    I use chef's knife most often. I use it to cut vegetables, to part chicken, to cut meat, to cut herbs, etc.

    Santoku is a Japanese knife to cut vegetables. You don't need it if you have chef's knife.

    For fish, you want a flexible knife especially to remove the skin.

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