If you're wondering what types of knives to get for your kitchen, we'll cover the 3 most important knives that will cover all your bases at home.
Without any of these 3 knives, odds are you aren't equipped to optimally perform every cutting task and will work more than you should while cooking. Considering most of us spend hours every week cooking, using a type of knife that's especially designed for the job at hand can transform your cooking experience—so it's very important to have the right ones.
The good news (and less marketable truth) is that you don't need a bulky 10-piece set. Most companies will try to sell you more knives than you need to make a bigger profit. But 99% of all home cooks only need these three.
With that said, let's dive into the 3 must-have knives every home cook should own.
The 3 Must-Have Knives To Have In Your Kitchen
1. The Chef's Knife
This is by far the most important knife you'll ever have. It's the bread and butter when it comes to cutting, slicing or chopping—simply put, if you could only have one knife, it should be this one. After all a chef's knife can do 90% of all cooking tasks.
This knife tends to be relatively long (usually from 7" to 12") to allow for single-stroke cuts when slicing, and also features a curved edge to allow for a "rocking" chopping style of cutting. Being so versatile is what makes a chef's knife king. It works for both cutting tough chicken or slicing small vegetables.
Shopping for a chef's knife is a personal experience. You're usually looking for a chef's knife that feels great in your hand and you're comfortable with—so it's all about the right weight and size. For most people, we recommend a chef's knife with an 8" long blade and 220g to 245g weight.
2. The Serrated Knife
The serrated knife, also called the bread knife, is a must for every kitchen. This is because it's the only knife that can cut without applying much downward pressure on foods.
Without the serrated knife, we wouldn't be able to slice cake, bread, or baked goods without squashing them. So if you don't have one and don't want to ruin your child's birthday cake, odds are you need one.
By letting the serrated edges on its blade cut sideways, the serrated knife can slowly but safely produce a cut free of mess. Especially for soft foods, the serrated knife is non-negotiable.
3. The Paring Knife
Sometimes size does matter—and smaller can be better.
Measuring around 3" to 4", the paring knife is excellent for cutting with more control and precision.
Its small tip and narrow blade is great for thin slicing, filleting, and peeling fruits. Looking at it's size it's pretty self-explanatory why it's so convenient for these tasks. Using anything bigger could feel awkward—or worse, lead to an unnecessary finger cut.
So having a lighter, easier-to-handle paring knife is much easier on your wrist and requires less effort when cutting smaller foods.
Wrapping Up: What Knives To Get
Contrary to popular belief, you don't need a 10-piece bulky set—all you need are 3 reliable knives that can get the job done.
As covered, with these 3 knives you'll be ready to handle any cooking task thrown your way. They will help you do everything effortlessly and optimally.
Specifically, we recommend the Mëren 3-Piece Knife Set.
It's a biased recommendation, but it's a top-rated knife set designed for home cooks by our founders and product team. Made with high-carbon Japanese steel, it outperforms many "luxury" knives while staying very affordable. This set includes a chef's knife, a serrated knife, and a paring knife. You can get it here.
With that said, no matter what brand or model you end up with, the most important takeaway from this article is to prioritize the correct types of knives. Doing so will ensure you end up with a suitable set for all cutting tasks.