A bread knife is a long knife with a serrated (or “scalloped”) cutting edge. It enables you to slice bread without squishing it.
Ceramic knives have their blades made from zirconium oxide, which is the second-hardest known material after diamonds. The blades can stay sharp for years without sharpening, and won’t rust or stain.
While a Western cleaver is used primarily for meat, a Chinese cleaver is used primarily for vegetables.
A cleaver is a heavy, rigid knife with a large rectangular or square blade. Its weight allows the knife to pick up momentum as you swing, so that the blade’s weight does part of the work for you.
A hockmesser is a knife with a single, slightly curved blade, and no side handle. Instead, the handle is on the top; you press down as you chop.
Japanese knives are prized for their craftmanship and technical refinement. Some Japanese knife makers have been in business 400 to 700 years.
A mezzaluna is a half-moon-shaped blade designed to be rocked from side to side. Some models have one blade, some are double-bladed. They are used for mincing food items, particularly herbs and nuts.
A palette knife is a wide, flat knife with a rounded tip meant for lifting, spreading, and smoothing, making it more like a spatula in terms of its purpose.
A paring knife is a knife with a small blade for working with small objects. Its tapered blade ends in a sharp, fine tip. The cutting edge of the blade can be straight or serrated. The handles can be wood or plastic.
An ulu knife has a blade about 15 cm (6 inches) long, counting the curve, and about 10 cm (4 inches) tall. The handle is on top of the blade. The design puts the force of your hand directly above the centre of the blade.
A utility knife, in culinary terms, is a larger version of a paring knife. It is mid-way in size between a paring knife and a chef’s knife. The blade can be flat-edged or serrated.