Boning Knife

A boning knife is a specialized kitchen tool with a sharp tip and a slim blade. It’s primarily used in food preparation for deboning tasks, such as removing the bones from poultry, meat, and fish. The length of a boning knife generally ranges from 12 cm to 17 cm (5 to 6 ½ in), although some brands are known to extend up to 9 ½ inches.

The blade of a boning knife is quite narrow, which is not as thick as some other popular kitchen or butcher knives. This design allows for precision boning, especially for deep cuts and holes. There are different types of boning knives, some are stiff which are good for boning beef and pork, while others are very flexible and are preferred for poultry and fish.

Bread Knife

A Bread Knife is a specialized cutting tool used in the kitchen, primarily for slicing bread. It is characterized by its serrated blade, which allows it to cut through soft bread without crushing it.

The blade of a bread knife is typically long, allowing it to slice through large loaves of bread with ease. The length can vary, but a 7-to-9-inch blade will handle most breads. If you prefer larger loaves of bread, you might need a longer blade.

Bread knives are not just for bread, they can also be used for other tasks. For example, they can easily slice through hard-won homegrown tomatoes into uniform slices without tearing the skin.


The Bunka (文化) is a versatile general-purpose Japanese knife and a common variation of the widely popular Santoku knife. It is adept at cutting, chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing foods such as meat, fish, vegetables and herbs.

A Bunka knife has a reverse Tanto angled tip, also known as a K-tip, that allows for more precision and accuracy when needed. Depending on the culture, the term Bunka is sometimes used interchangeably with Santoku.

Carving Knife

A carving knife, also known as a carvery knife, is a specialized kitchen tool. It features a long, thin blade with a pointed tip, designed specifically for carving meat. This knife is typically as long or longer than a chef’s knife, with a narrower blade.

Carving knives are primarily used to carve thin, uniform slices from cooked poultry, like turkey or chicken, and to slice large roasts of meat. They can also be used for filleting very large fish. The blade of a carving knife is designed to be easy to control, making it safer and less likely that you’ll cut yourself when using it.

Chef's Knife

A Chef’s Knife, also known as a cook’s knife, is a versatile cutting tool used in food preparation. Originally, it was designed primarily to slice and disjoint large cuts of beef. Today, it serves as the primary general-utility knife for most Western cooks.

This knife typically has a blade eight inches (20 centimeters) in length and inches (3.8 cm) in width, although individual models range from 6 to 14 inches (15 to 36 centimetres) in length. There are two common types of blade shape in western chef’s knives, French and German.

Chuka Bocho

The Chuka Bocho (中華包丁) is a Japanese term for a Chinese-style chef’s knife, but it differs from its Chinese counterpart in several ways. The steel used in a Chuka Bocho is usually harder, allowing the knife to get sharper and stay sharp longer. However, this also makes the Japanese counterpart more delicate. The Chuka Bocho can handle both light and heavy jobs, including chopping meat and vegetables as well as poultry or fish bones.


A cleaver is a large, robust kitchen tool that often resembles a rectangular-bladed hatchet. It’s primarily used for cutting through large pieces of meat, such as thick cuts of beef or pork, and tough vegetables like squash or potatoes. The blade of a cleaver knife is heavy and strong, designed to withstand repeated blows directly into thick meat, dense cartilage, bone, and the cutting board below.

Cleavers are not typically included in most knife sets as they are not the most popular style of knife for the average home cook. However, if you’re looking to improve your butchery skills or cut costs when buying proteins, a cleaver knife could be a great addition to your kitchen tools.


The Deba (出刃) is a sturdy and wide Japanese-style kitchen knife with a thick spine and a sharp blade edge that is pointed at the tip. It is traditionally used for cleaning, filleting and beheading whole fish.

Fillet Knife

A fillet knife is a specialized kitchen tool designed for preparing fish. It is characterized by its long, thin, and flexible blade, which allows it to move easily along the backbone and under the skin of fish. The blade’s flexibility also enables it to adapt to the contours of the fish, making it easier to remove bones and skin.

The tip of a fillet knife is usually very fine and comes to a narrow angle. This design allows for precise cuts and easy insertion into fish. However, despite its thinness, the blade is designed to be strong and durable to withstand the demands of filleting.

The Fuguhiki (ふぐ引き) knife is a specialized Japanese kitchen knife that is designed for slicing Fugu, also known as puffer fish. It is similar to the Yanagiba knife, but it is narrower in height and is ground much thinner. This design allows the Fuguhiki to cut extremely thin slices of Fugu.

The Funayuki (舟行) is a traditional Japanese knife, originally designed for fishermen to use on their boats. Its name, which translates to "going on a boat", reflects its maritime origins.

This knife is adept at cleaning, filleting, and quality testing small to medium-sized fish, making it an essential tool for any seafaring cook.


The Garasuki knife is a type of Japanese boning knife that is primarily used for butchery tasks, especially in the preparation of poultry. It originated in Japan, where specialist chicken restaurants needed a knife to break down whole chickens.

The Garasuki knife shares the same overall blade profile as the Honesuki, another Japanese knife, but it is larger, thicker, and heavier, making it a better choice when dealing with larger sizes of poultry and cuts of meat. It features a unique and distinctive design, with a single-edge blade, a hallmark of traditional Japanese knife-making.


The Gyuto (牛刀) is a type of Japanese kitchen knife that has a double-bevel blade, meaning it is sharpened on both sides. It is similar to the western-style chef’s knife, but it is usually thinner, lighter, and sharper. The name Gyuto means “cow sword” in Japanese, because it was originally used for slicing beef.

Nowadays, it is a versatile knife that can be used for cutting meat, fish, vegetables, fruits, and herbs. It is also good for making precise cuts and rocking cuts. A Gyuto usually has a length of 180-300 mm, but some can be longer or shorter depending on the maker. A Gyuto can have either a western-style handle or a traditional Japanese handle.

The Honekiri (骨切り), also known as Hamokiri, is a specialized Japanese knife designed specifically for cleaning daggertooth pike conger, a fish that is full of fine bones. The unique design of the Honekiri allows it to handle this challenging task with precision and ease.


The Honesuki (骨スキ) is a Japanese-style boning knife designed to break down poultry. It is also used for larger butchering and capable of filleting fish and red meat.

The Kawamuki (皮剥き) is a type of Japanese knife that is often compared to a paring knife, although its shape is quite distinct. The name "Kawamuki" translates to 'skin peeler', which hints at its primary function - peeling the skin off fruits and vegetables.

The Kiritsuke (切付包丁/切りつけ), like most traditional Japanese knives, is a single bevel knife, meaning that only one side of the blade is ground to form a razor-sharp edge. A double bevel Kiritsuke usually refers to a variation of the Gyuto knife with a Kiristuke-style edge, and is often labeled as a Kiritsuke Gyuto or a K-tip Gyuto.

The Kiritsuke has a sword-like shape with its long and flat blade, straight edge, and angled ‘reverse tanto’ or ‘clip point’ tip. The edge of the blade is straighter than a Yanagiba, and the length of the blade is longer than an Usuba. This gives the Kiritsuke its signature sword shape.

The Ko Bunka (小文化) is a type of Japanese knife that has a small and short blade with a pointed tip. It is similar to a Bunka, which is a general-purpose knife that can cut, chop, slice, dice and mince various foods. However, the Ko Bunka is more suitable for smaller tasks in the hand or as an all-purpose blade. It can also be used to debone smaller meats, fish and birds.

The word "Ko" means "small" in Japanese, hence the Ko Bunka is also known as a "baby Santoku". It has a characteristic Bunka shape with a pronounced tip that resembles Tanto blades. The pointed tip of the Ko Bunka makes it superior at doing intricate precision work such as brunoise cuts or scoring vegetables. The flat profile of the Ko Bunka is well suited for tap-chopping or push-cutting techniques.

The Magurokiri (鮪切), also known as a Tuna Knife or Hancho knife, is a highly specialized Japanese knife that is primarily used to fillet tuna and other large ocean fish. The name "Magurokiri" translates to "tuna cutter", which aptly describes its function.

The Menkiri, also known as Udon Kiri or Sobakiri, is a unique Japanese knife that is specifically designed for cutting noodles. The name “Menkiri” translates to ‘noodle cutter’, which perfectly describes its function.


The Nakiri (菜切り) knife is a Western-style Japanese vegetable knife with a thin and broad rectangular blade, a straight cutting edge, and a flat, blunt tip. It is specifically designed to excel at quickly and efficiently chopping, slicing, dicing and mincing vegetables.

The Pankiri (パン切) is essentially a bread knife with a unique Japanese touch. The term “Pankiri” is derived from the Japanese words “Pan”, meaning bread, and “Kiri”, meaning to slice. This knife is characterized by its long, serrated blade, designed specifically for slicing bread. However, it’s not limited to just bread; it can also handle other ingredients like soft fruits and vegetables.

Paring Knife

A Paring Knife is a small, precise, and versatile kitchen tool primarily used for peeling, trimming, and carving fruits, vegetables, and meat. It is considered one of the essential knives in a home kitchen, second only to the chef’s knife.

The typical paring knife has a short, sturdy blade, usually ranging from 2 to 4 inches in length. The blade is straight or slightly curved, allowing for precision in delicate tasks. They are lightweight and easy to hold, making them ideal for intricate work like hulling strawberries, deveining shrimp, or cutting around the core of a peach or avocado.


Petty (ぺティ) knives are considered to be a smaller version of the Gyuto and are similarly used as an all-rounder knife to peel, slice, dice, mince, peel and trim a variety of smaller fruits, vegetables, herbs, garnishes and proteins.


The Santoku (三徳) is a versatile multi-use Japanese knife, famous for the translation of its name, ‘three virtues’. The three virtues are said to refer to the Santoku’s versatility in use for chopping, slicing and dicing, or the primary range of ingredients that it can be used for: fish, meat and vegetables.

Steak Knife

A steak knife is a table knife that’s specifically designed for cutting steak. It comes in various styles and sizes, but the most common design features a partially serrated blade and a wooden handle. The serrated edges of steak knives make them ideal for foods that are crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, such as tomatoes and dinner rolls.


The Sujihiki (筋引) literally translates to "tendon slicer", meaning it is intended for slicing boneless protein such as meat or fish, or terrines. The thin and short height profile reduces friction when slicing.

The Sushikiri is a specialized Japanese knife that is primarily used for cutting sushi1. The name “Sushikiri” translates to 'sushi slicer’, which perfectly encapsulates its function. This knife is characterized by its long, curved blade. The curvature of the blade is designed to facilitate a rolling motion when cutting, allowing the user to slice through sushi rolls without crushing them.


The Takohiki or Sakimaru Takohiki (先丸蛸引) is a noticeable lighter variation of Yanagiba, a single bevel slicer used for the same purposes - for sashimi and fish.

The Unagisaki, also known as the Eel Knife, is a specialized Japanese knife that is primarily used for filleting eel. The name “Unagisaki” is derived from two Japanese words: “unagi”, which means “eel”, and “saki”, which means "tear".

This knife is characterized by its long, thin, and curved blade. The sharp and curved blade allows for precise cuts through the slippery flesh of the eel. This design makes it an essential tool for any sushi chef who wants to prepare eel in a clean and precise way.


The Usuba (薄刃) translates to "thin-blade". It is a traditional single bevel knife specialized in working with vegetables.

Utility Knife

A Utility Knife, is a smaller, precise knife that’s excellent for more detailed, intricate work in the kitchen. It is a versatile culinary tool that is longer than a paring knife, but shorter than a chef’s knife. This knife usually has a blade between 4 to 7 inches long. A utility knife has a straight, sharp edge to provide precise, delicate cuts.


The Yanagiba (柳刃) is a traditional-style Japanese sashimi knife with a thin and long blade that is mainly used to slice boneless fish fillets for sashimi or nigiri sushi.