A professional chef will almost certainly possess an extensive collection of knives at their disposal in their kitchen but for many home cooks, we will often try to make do with a reduced number of cutlery options when we are preparing food.

If you are heading to a knife store and want to know what is the best type of knives to have in your kitchen collection, here is a look at the essential items that every cook should consider buying.

Core essentials

Most home cooks should consider a knife collection that includes three core essentials, which you can get from any good store.

The first one is a chef’s knife, which can be between 8 inches and 10 inches long, depending on your own personal preference and what you feel most comfortable working with.


The next essential knife would be a paring knife, which should ideally be between 3 inches and 4 inches long, again depending on what you prefer to work with yourself.

The final core essential is a bread knife, which should ideally be at least 12 inches long and because it has a serrated blade and is therefore not often able to be sharpened like other knives, this is the one knife where you can probably afford to compromise on a quality if you need to in order to buy the best quality chef’s knife and paring knife.

Others to consider

Building a comprehensive knife collection is a key step in elevating your culinary prowess. The selection of knives you choose for your kitchen should reflect their versatility and suitability for various tasks. For a well-rounded collection, consider including a high-quality chef’s knife, your kitchen’s versatile workhorse, perfect for chopping, slicing, and dicing. Additionally, invest in dedicated Butcher Knives designed for precision when cutting meat, ensuring that each slice is uniform and clean. For delicate tasks like precision slicing fruits and vegetables, a reliable paring knife is indispensable. By curating a diverse set of knives, each tailored to a specific culinary function, you enhance your cooking experience, making meal preparation more efficient and enjoyable.

If you’re looking to expand your knife collection, you can consider adding a Japanese knife, which seems to be perfect for slicing and chopping various ingredients such as vegetables, fruits, and proteins. Renowned for their exceptional sharpness and reliability, these knives are essential tools for any home cook. If you are interested, you can learn more about Japanese knife styles at Choppn’ Knives (or any similar portal).

Another valuable addition to your knife collection would be a utility knife, which typically falls in a mid-sized range and may even feature a serrated edge. This versatile knife would complement your collection nicely. Additionally, acquiring a pair of kitchen shears would prove highly useful. They are perfect for snipping herbs or even preparing the backbone of a chicken if necessary.


Is bigger better?

Most of the knives that you will be choosing for your collection will come in a variety of different sizes and a common dilemma for home cooks is trying to decide whether they should choose a bigger knife over a smaller length.

An ideal chef’s knife should be big enough to cope with tasks like dicing, slicing and chopping, as well as being able to cope with a bit of butchering where required.

You choice should be dictated to a certain extent by personal preference. A shorter knife may give you more of a feeling of control and it is also worth considering that a smaller knife should give you greater precision and may allow you to work safer and faster as a result.

All home cooks deserve a good set of knives, so take the time choosing a collection that fits your needs and you feel comfortable with.

Craig Milton is a home improvement specialist. He likes sharing his experiences on the web. His posts can be found mainly on DIY and home improvement websites.