How to Use a Chef Knife What Technique Works the Best

How to Use a Chef Knife? What Technique Works the Best?

If you aren’t already familiar with the chef knives, let us introduce you to them. Chef knives, in our opinion, are the game changers! Normal kitchen knives might not perform the kitchen duties in the way that a chef knife does. That’s because of their strong and sturdy built, perfect grip for handling the knife comfortably, and the extremely sharp blades that stay durable for a long time.

Chef knives are not to be used by chefs only. Although they are common among the chefs because of how amazingly they help them get the job done, because of their popularity, you’ll see most of the home kitchens having chef knives.

But having a chef knife isn’t just enough. You must know the proper way to hold a chef knife. Using it correctly is what makes the actual difference. To use a chef knife, you must hold the knife in your dominant hand and grab the fruits, vegetables, or meat with your other hand.

The blade should work in a way that it doesn’t harm your fingers that are holding whatever you’re cutting or chopping.

What is the Proper Way of Using a Chef Knife?

What is the Proper Way of Using a Chef Knife

The perfect way to use a chef knife is to hold the knife in your dominant hand, whether it is your right or left, and handle the food to be cut with the other hand. Also, gripping the food rightly is very important. If it slips out of your hand, you might end up hurting yourself with the sharp chef knife.

Although there isn’t much rocket science in using a chef knife but using the proper cutting technique is essential. Here’s how to do it in the right way.

  • Hold the knife properly
  • Handle food with your guiding hand
  • Alternate claw grip also works!

Hold the Knife Properly

As described earlier, holding the knife correctly is what controls the cutting. While you hold the knife, your thumb should be on one side of the knife, while your index finger should be wrapped on the other side of the blade.

The rest of the fingers should be curled loosely around the handle. Mainly your thumb and index finger should grip the knife with the support of the remaining fingers.

Handle Food with Your Guiding Hand

Handle Food with Your Guiding Hand

Firstly, do not get confused with the term ‘guiding hand’. It is basically your non-dominant hand that is free up till now.

Now, the food you’re cutting, or slicing should be handled with your guiding hand. Make sure your guiding hand holds onto the food properly, so it won’t slip away. But at the same time, place your fingers in a way that they aren’t in danger of being cut. Your hand should be out of the cutting space of the knife.

Alternate Claw Grip Also Works

The Claw knife grip technique is what saves you from a lot of trouble if you practice it well. In claw grip, your fingers of the guiding hand are slightly curved on the inside while holding on to the food being cut.

You should guide your knife gently upwards and downwards between the knuckles of your guiding hand while keeping their fingers tucked under or holding the food to be cut. A good way to perfect this technique is to practice on apples or onions cut in half.

If you ask us, this technique is the best while you’re using a chef knife. But it isn’t comfortable for everyone too. If you practice it well, you’ll cut and chop like a pro within seconds. But if you feel uncomfortable, it’s up to you to NOT opt for this one.

What Are Chef Knives Used for?

What Are Chef Knives Used for

Chef knives are not for the chefs only. They are the perfect knives for most kitchen tasks whether they’re related to chopping and slicing vegetables or cutting slices of meat. A chef knife in your kitchen would never disappoint!

As multipurpose as it gets, chef’s knives are perfect for every occasion. It’s easy for them to chop herbs, julienne carrots, and other smaller everyday kitchen tasks as well as more complex tasks like dicing a large onion, cutting meat, and slicing a ham. In fact, in many modern American homes, among the knives present in the kitchen, a chef’s knife is often a common choice.

What Size of Chef’s Knife Do You Need?

Although there are different sizes available for chef knives and everyone can choose one according to their type of need and personal preference, an 8-inch knife would perfectly suit most of your kitchen tasks. It’s easy to handle and grip, and the blade can conveniently be moved back and forth on the cutting board.

A 6-inch chef knife would be suitable for people with smaller hands, as they’d feel more comfortable with this blade length. While the 10-inch or 12-inch blade would only suit the professional chefs who have a lot to do at the same time and are pro at handling bigger knives. Also, they’re usually preferred for cutting through larger pieces of meat.

How to Use a Chef Knife – FAQs

Can you use a chef's knife for everything?
Yes. Chef knives are multipurpose knives and are capable of handling most of your kitchen tasks related to cutting, chopping, and mincing. They’re great for cutting vegetables, fruits, herbs, and even chicken or meat.
What 3 knives are essential to a chef?
Three knives important for a chef to own are the chef’s knife, paring knife, and serrated knife. Most of the chefs you’ll know would most probably be owning these three knives.
Can I cut meat with a chef knife?
Yes. Chef knives do a great job in cutting or carving meat pieces because of their extremely sharp blades. Their large blade with a super comfortable handle would easily and comfortably let you cut through the meat.



If you’re a kitchen freak and spend a lot of time cooking in the kitchen, the right knife should be your top priority. A worthy knife makes it a lot easier for you to get your kitchen tasks done with ease and convenience. And if you don’t own a chef knife yet, you’re missing out on a lot.

There are plenty of different options for the amazing quality chef knives by popular brands such as Shun, Wusthof, and Dalstrong. Look out for one that you think would best suit your needs and make a purchase!