Kitchen Knives Around the World

Author: PriceK

Continuing our theme of kitchen apparatus from different nations today we’re taking a look at the differences in popular knives as used by cooks in kitchens across the globe. As you might expect, what’s common in our kitchens isn’t necessarily what you’ll find in kitchens of other countries. So let’s have a run through some popular knives that make up the most commonly used of exotic foreign kitchens.


For a nation with a passion for fresh fish your typical Japanese chef will tend to have a selection of very fine sushi knives which are ideal for precision slicing and pairing of seafood items that are often chopped very finely. Whilst most professional chefs will have an extensive selection of knives suited for every individual task the typical home user will have less in their cutlery drawer and the most popular knife for home use across Japan is the Santoku. This flat edged blade usually measures between 13 and 20 cm and its name literally means “three virtues” alluding to its ability to perform three main tasks: dicing, mincing and slicing.




Across the Atlantic in the States our American cousins tend to pick their knives according to their effectiveness in cutting huge slabs of meat. Steak knives are the order of the day from north to south as this is a nation who’s love of the steak cannot be underestimated. You’ll tend to find that most US kitchens will boast at least one full set of heavy duty steak knives and when it comes to Christmas, birthdays, fathers day and any number of other occasions for gift giving, you can be sure that attractive steak knife sets will be exchanged in every state from Hawaii through to Maine and everywhere in between.



The most commonly found knife in your typical Russian kitchen is a relatively small and lightweight multi-purpose knife. It is common practise to cut vegetables and other ingredients in your hands which means having a small and easily manoeuvrable knife is the order of the day. These are the sorts of knives we would consider a pairing knife in the UK, and the Russians like to use them for everything!



In contrast to us or the Americans, the Chinese tend to favour one knife for everything and the most commonly used knife in any Chinese kitchen is what’s known out there as a standard chef’s knife. Similar to what we would call a cleaver it has a very fine blade for precision cutting with a much wider edge than you’d find in other knives. Ideal for high speed chopping it’s easy to see why it finds favour in Chinese cookery and you can see a good example in the image below, second in from the left.


With more and more property owners looking to add a touch of foreign flair to their kitchens why not consider a knife set to match the stylings of your themed kitchen? And if you’d like any tips on how to create a unique kitchen that’s right for you and your home then just get in touch with us at Price Kitchens and we’ll be happy to impart some of our knowledge to help you achieve the look you desire, whether rustic, contemporary or something else entirely!

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