There is a huge focus on using knives for different things these days.
But what if you could buy a single piece of knife that could do it all? Of course, it might not excel at everything, but it would handle every kitchen duty that you throw at it.
If that sounds like what you want to, read on to find out those kinds of knives in this piece.
Table of Contents
Understanding Different Knives
First, you need to understand the different kinds of knives and what they stand for.
This is the best way to validate the choice of what knives are best deployed as general-purpose tools for a wide variety of operations.
To that effect, I have developed some supporting guides to better knife identification:
- Check out these knife identification charts consisting of multiple blade designs, knife types, and more.
- Understand the different parts of a knife blade to understand the significance of each part to the knife’s operation.
Those two guides (with pictures included) will show you all you need to know about knife design.
From those guides, you will now see why you need to pay more attention to the slightest curvature on the knife blade since that can alter the purpose of your knife.
Which Knife Is Useful for General Kitchen Work?
And here, we get to the meat of the post.
The santoku or chef knife is best suited to a wide variety of kitchen work.
They are general-purpose knives as they are well suited to mincing, dicing, and cutting operations. They can also be applied to varying degrees for skinning, carving meat, cutting bread and other desserts, etc.
I generally don’t advise that you have both of a chef’s and santoku knife. If you have had one of these and want to try out the other, though, there is no harm in that.
Likewise, I recommend going through this chef vs santoku knife comparison guide to better determine which one you should put your money on.
While both knives are great, they excel in different aspects. See which one would work the best for you and choose just that. The best part is that you can never go wrong with either of the two anyway.
What General Purpose Knives Would I Recommend?
Just two: one for each category (the chef and the santoku knife category).
Those who have been reading the blog for some time now already know how I pick the knives that I buy.
I am a firm believer in good brand names and would not spend more than necessary on a piece of knife either. Balancing quality and priced right, again, here are the two knives to consider today:
Zwilling Professional S 8-Inch Chef Knife
It’s not all about the size but Zwilling has managed to balance this one well.
Where I would normally prefer a 7-inch knife, the extra inch on top of this high carbon stainless steel knife doesn’t put it out of proportion at all.
If this is your first time with a high carbon stainless steel knife, know that it is a high-quality material that stays sharp for longer. On the flip side, you need to take proper care of this knife else you’ll ruin the good money that you’ve spent on it.
I especially love the single-body build style of the knife which looks like everything flows continuously from the tip of the knife to the butt of the handle. While it is not stamped steel, it gives off that singular appeal.
Oh, Zwilling is not a brand I have to tell you about, now, is it?
Henckels 7 Inch Santoku Knife
With a 7-inch knife, I feel more in my element.
However, this Henckels knife does something that I do not like – and that’s in how it leans forward due to the bigger blade to handle ratio. Barring that, though, the knife still handles fine and you would probably not even notice this anymore in a while.
This santoku knife is also well suited to users who are more familiar with traditional stainless steel. If you don’t want all the hassles of a carbon steel knife, this one is the best bet for you.
For effect, Henckels throw in those dimples that prevent food from sticking to the side of your knife.
To me, this is not such an interesting innovation, but it is nice to have.
Overall, it is a solid knife that does what’s asked of it, is worth the money, comparatively affordable, and is durable enough to get through different times with you.
Would You Get A General-Purpose Knife?
When you are just getting your first kitchen knife, and you don’t know much about cooking, I would recommend a general-purpose knife.
So, go for a single, general-purpose knife first and work your way up to knife sets, if you would need that. In most cases, though, a chef/ santoku knife, paring knife, and serrated bread knife are all that you’ll need.