A Quick Guide To Specialist Knives - Silke Kitchens Skip to main content

Without a doubt, there will be times in the kitchen where you standard knives just aren’t going to cut it (apologies for that terrible joke). Sometimes specialist knives are required.

With any task in the kitchen, it’s absolutely essential that you use the right tools for the job; knives are no exception to that rule. Certain tasks will require specialised knives or cutting equipment, which are usually designed specifically for only one or two tasks. In this short little series, we’ll be taking a quick look at some of the knives you might need to get the most out of your cutting edge modern kitchen.

Citrus Knives

Citrus knives are specially designed knives with an entirely serrated side, used primarily for zesting (sheering the outer edge of the skin to impart the oils/zesty flavour of the citrus into a dish). A far more reliable tool for the job then your cheese grater, for sure.

Steak Knife

Oftentimes the same size and length as a butter/sandwich knife, the serrated edge allows this kind of knife to cut through tougher meats (such as, er, cooked beef steak) without tearing the meat. It also means less exertion on behalf of the person cutting.

Slicing Knife

Coming in both straight edge and serrated edge variants, slicing knives are designed to cut through thinner cuts of meat then what you would typically use a carving knife for. This assures the meat won’t be damaged or bruised during the cutting process.

Soft Cheese Knife

One of two major variants of the Cheese Knife, the soft cheese knife typically features holes along the side of the blade and a finely serrated edge. Not only does it cut through the cheese without flattening it, but the holes along the side of the blade stop it from sticking to the sides as it cuts through.

Fillet Knife

Another name used for a boning Knife, these are typically used for removing the bones from fish. Because fish bones are very different the bones found on cuts of red meat, it’s a better suited tool for the job then a typical boning knife. They can also be used to bone certain kinds of poultry.

Hard Cheese Knife

The biggest difference between this and the variant used for softer cheese- besides the lack of holes along the side of the blade- is the fact that the blade itself is typically tougher and sturdier. This means it’s less likely to bend or break when cutting into firmer cheeses like Parmesan or Cheddar.


Used specifically to cut meat when it’s still raw, a cleaver relies more on the weight of it’s own blade and the force of your own swing to cut into meat, rather then it’s sharpness. Best used with especially thick joint or cuts of raw red meat.

Chef’s Knife

Chef’s knives feature a curved blade, which allows the user to rock the blade whilst cutting. Essentially, this allows you to go from cutting to flat out dicing whatever you’re preparing, and is typically the kind of knife you see daytime TV chef’s use when dicing vegetables or herbs.

Santoku Knife

One of the most specialist knives, and fairly similar to the above mentioned Chef’s Knife. Based on traditional Japanese style knives, the blade is incredibly broad and especially sharp, making it fairly useful for stuff that’s a little more difficult to cut. Though, that that doesn’t necessarily mean ‘hardier’.