Kitchen knives are an important tool in any kitchen. Good knives will not only last longer they mean easier food preparation. A well made knife is also safer as it is less prone to snapping and causing injury. There are several different types of knives and few basic knives will suit most need. You will find a wide range of prices for kitchen knives from just a few dollars to hundreds of dollars for a professional grade knife. The price will be determined in part by blade material, handle material and how the knife is constructed. In general it is best to buy a knife set and then supplement with any additional knives you find you need. A set of knives is generally cheaper than buying the same pieces one at a time.
Every kitchen needs at least four different types of knives for most food preparation. A chef's knife has a wide blade that is 6-10" in length. It is used for slicing, dicing, mincing and chopping a variety of foods. A slicing knife also has a 6-10" blade length but it is a narrow blade. A slicing knife is primarily used for slicing meats. Slightly smaller is the utility knife. It also has a narrow blade but it is only 5-6" and is used for smaller jobs. The smallest basic knife you will need is a paring knife. It's blade measures only 3-4" and is used for peeling and coring fruits and vegetables. Depending on your type of cooking and food preparation you may also want a meat cleaver. A meat cleaver is used to cut through bone and large slabs of raw meat. It has a 5-8 thick blade that is rectangular. A large serrated bread knife is good for slicing bread, meats and large vegetables. Peelers are very useful for quickly and easily peeling fruits such as apples.