Know Your Knife’s Anatomy
When it comes to learning how to grip a knife properly and safely, you’ll first need to know the right terminology to guide you through. A chef’s knife or a Santoku knife, is one of the most commonly used items in a kitchen, and they all have a similar basic anatomy. Below is a handy guide to help you recognise which part is which and why they are so crucial to the build of a knife.
The very tip of the knife. The point can be used for scoring or piercing when chopping.
The blade encompasses the entire steel portion of your chef’s knife, including the heel, spine, edge, tip and point. The shape of the blade defines the type of knife, for example your classic chef’s knife has a different blade to a bread knife or a meat cleaver.
The tip of a chef’s knife also includes the point of the blade. This part of your knife can be used for controlled slicing and delicate cuts.
The edge of the blade refers to the portion between the heel and the point. Sharp and thin, this is where most of your chopping work will be done.
Towards the back of the blade is the heel, typically this is the widest part of the blade’s edge. This makes it ideal for chopping tougher ingredients like carrots or pumpkin.
Adjacent to the edge is the spine, this part of the knife is crafted for stability and balance.
This is where you will grip your knife. The handle can come in a range of materials, shapes and weight, however the purpose always remains the same. The ideal handle is weighted to allow for better control.
The bolster is crucial in balancing the blade and the handle strategically placed between them, this allows the user to have maximum precision when slicing or dicing. It also makes for a sturdier knife.