Lessons > Selecting a Knife Set

Your culinary journey starts here

★★★★★ (514)

30,043 Students
All Levels

Lesson Overview

The first and most important step in becoming a good cook is to have a good set of knives and just a few are enough to get any new cook started on a successful culinary path.

The function of your knives is to get your hands started – to train them to prep and move ingredients effectively from …

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Lesson Objectives

At the end of this lesson you'll be able to:
  • describe the components of a basic knife set
  • list the parts of a chef’s knife
  • describe the characteristics of the European, Japanese, Granton, Santoku and Nakiri chef’s knives
  • learn what to look for when buying a chef’s knife

Course Syllabus

START: Watch Lesson Platform Tour
1. Introduction: Selecting a Kitchen Knife Set 5 mins
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2. Complete Your Self Assessment 2 mins
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3. Selecting a Basic Knife Set 2 mins
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4. European Chef's Knife & Anatomy 3 mins
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5. Label the Parts of a Chef's Knife 5 mins
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6. Asian-Style Chef's Knives 2 mins
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7. Which Knife is Best for You? 2 mins
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8. Lesson Quiz 10 mins
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Finish Line 31 mins Total Time

Prerequisites & Related Lessons

Please consider these additional lessons to support your learning and discovery. Some of these lessons are prerequisites that may help contextualize what you are learning and form a baseline of knowledge and skill. Other lessons are related and may help you explore next steps or dive deeper on a learning topic.
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Handling a Chef's Knife

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★★★★★ (337)

Thumbnail how to cut using a chef s knife

How to Cut Using a Chef's Knife

13 Tasks | 10 Videos | 7 Recipes | 1 hr 53 mins

★★★★★ (186)

Thumbnail knife sharpening with a whetstone

Knife Sharpening w/ a Whetstone

7 Tasks | 6 Videos | 0 Recipes | 1 hr 8 mins

★★★★★ (169)

What People Are Saying

Αντώνης Α "Easy, simple and quick lesson!" Αντώνης Α. ★★★★★
Katherine H "This lesson was very helpful. I'm glad to know what to look for when I shop for new knives, which I desperately need!" Katherine H. ★★★★
Elle R "I am loving the new upgraded format for the lessons. The sections are bite sized and explained well, much like the Rouxbe courses." Elle R. ★★★★★
Rechon B "Very informative and great information." Rechon B. ★★★★★
Default profile "Liked it, short and good introduction to knifes. Only would have liked a little more detail on the differences between Santoku, Chef's knife, Nakiri (depending on different tasks)." ★★★★
Default profile "I think I will make a purchase of some Japanese steel this weekend! I'll see just how nimble the lighter blade really is when I put it up against my veggies in preparation for my thanksgiving stocks." ★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was very helpful. I'm glad to know what to look for when I shop for new knives, which I desperately need!" ★★★★
Default profile "very helpful!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I am loving the new upgraded format for the lessons. The sections are bite sized and explained well, much like the Rouxbe courses." ★★★★★
Default profile "Love the lesson, I really learnd. Thanks!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Good" ★★★★★
Default profile "We learned something new, even though we are both very experienced in the kitchen." ★★★★★
Default profile "Easy, simple and quick lesson!" ★★★★★
Default profile "awesome" ★★★★★
Default profile "I'm happy" ★★★★
Default profile "Great introduction to knives!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative and great information." ★★★★★
Default profile "- selecting a knife set, yet only chef knife is talked about - missing bunch of recommendations for each knife, not just recommendation for one knife which has limited use" ★★★★
Default profile "Understanding knives is the cornerstone of learning to cook. Very impressed with this short but effective lesson." ★★★★★
Default profile "An easy way to learn and absorb new information." ★★★★
Default profile "I HAVE LEARN A LOT IN THIS LESSON ABOUT KNIFE..." ★★★★
Default profile "I truly don't deserve all of the credit for my score. If not for the expert instructors and staff I wouldn't be the person that I am today. Thank you." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative and fun!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Awesome I learned some new things" ★★★★★
Default profile "Complete and clear! Basic but useful!" ★★★★
Default profile "Clear and concise lesson." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very good information for beginners" ★★★★★
Default profile "Clear, concise, easy to follow and informative. I have never known what to look for in choosing a chef's knife before and never had much success with sharpening them (so that will be my next lesson!) so in the past I have always bought stay sharp knives. No wonder I haven't been able to chop like the pros!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "very well presented and paced" ★★★★★
Default profile "It was really helpful." ★★★★★
Default profile "I think the subject matter was straight to the point; giving clear and precise details about the repertoire of knifes. I believe this material will be helpful to someone new to the course." ★★★★★
Default profile "Please improve site navigation its very confusing.." ★★★★★
Default profile "Good overview, though the brief tour into Japanese knives while leaving out the differences in paring and other knives felt a bit odd." ★★★
Default profile "First Lesson... NAILED! It was very focused on the subject, and very well organized. I took the course with my two daughters (5 & 6 yrs old), and they even enjoyed the lesson. Thank you!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Wonderful introduction to kitchen knives. I like that it emphasized only a few basic pieces so that I don't run out a buy a 15 piece set when I will only use 3. I can concentrate my resources on buying a few quality knives that suit me and my cooking skills then purchase specialty knives as (or if) needed." ★★★★★
Default profile "Short, yet very informative. It whets my appetite to do further study." ★★★★
Default profile "I admit that I have watched this video in the past. It was so helpful to me in choosing a chef knife for my kitchen. Love my knife. Thank you" ★★★★★
Default profile "I gained a better understanding of Japanese knives because of this course, in particular the Nakiri style knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Might mention other knives in comparative manner" ★★★★
Default profile "I think this lesson is great for any beginner such as myself, I now know a bit about knives and what to look for when I go to buy one." ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent course!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Thank you for this lesson on the different types of chef's knives, it was very informative. I learned quite a few things I did not know about the importance of using the proper knives." ★★★★★
Default profile "Much more knowledgable about knives now….." ★★★★★
Default profile "Didn't know how d many differences there are in knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "Excellent content. Now, it's off to the knife store to purchase a chef's knife!" ★★★★★
Default profile "All the lessons I learned here is useful to the workplace. The information is priceless. Thank you!" ★★★★★
Default profile "informative for beginners" ★★★★
Default profile "Basic information but informative enough to make an educated decision." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great lesson. Very instructive." ★★★★★
Default profile "THANK YOU FOR YOUR COURSE" ★★★★★
Default profile "learning a lot about the chef's knife" ★★★★★
Default profile "I love the brevity and focus of this lesson. It contains very straight forward information information in an easy to understand format that will help any cook decide the best knife for their style of cooking. An essential stopping stone in mastering your culinary skills. I'm now aware that I own a European style chefs knife, while Japanese may be much more conducive to my style and needs." ★★★★★
Default profile "Note much Knolodge was introduced, too brief on the topic." ★★
Default profile "A whole new world opened up for me. Really exciting learning!" ★★★★★
Default profile "A good intro to knives, thanks!" ★★★★
Default profile "Very informative." ★★★★★
Default profile "in my personal case, i have never worked with food before, and im starting from zero, and it has helped me a lot. It helps to start correctly everything related to culinary arts Thank you so much !!" ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson answered a couple of things I always wondered about!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Maybe too concise, but informative all the same. Would recommend everyone completes this lesson." ★★★★
Default profile "It gives the basics on what to look for in a knife set. Especially with the majority of the focus being on the Chef's knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Good basic information for those who have lots of knives, but don't know the particulars of them." ★★★★★
Default profile "I knew the chef's knife has always been my fav and "go to" ....but now I know why! Great info!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Liked this very much as it was most informative on the different types of Chef's knives and knowing what to look for before you buy!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I knew more about knifes than I thought" ★★★
Default profile "This lesson is a great start for students who want to learn the basics. I recently got a new set of knives and been using the wrong knives for cutting vegetables, fruits, etc... Now I know which knife to use! Great Stuff!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Great intro to knives!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Amazing" ★★★★
Default profile "Now I know enough to test knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "now I know what is the knife I'm using at home. this is a really good lesson for every cooking learner." ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned a lot in a short amount of time. I feel more confident in buying a knife that works for me." ★★★★★
Default profile "I knew about a chefs knife and paring, this really gave me in depth knowledge of the different types, and functionality." ★★★★★
Default profile "This is a good start when selecting knives for your knife kit. Its basic enough to give a person an idea on what they are looking for, the pros and cons to the different styles of knives on the market. Overall I would grade this a 5" ★★★★★
Default profile "It was quite enlightening, specially for someone who knows nothing about this, like me." ★★★★★
Default profile "easy!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very helpful content for choosing a good quality chef's knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Quick, succinct and thorough." ★★★★
Default profile "This is a great introduction to knife sets. Before taking this lesson I didn't know that I owned and had been using a Santoku knife or why my Granton knife looked so weird." ★★★★★
Default profile "amazing knowledges" ★★★★★
Default profile "Good information" ★★★★
Default profile "very helpful for getting to know different kinds of knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "I fell as though I can make a confident knife purchase." ★★★★
Default profile "The details presented about the various knives was very interesting." ★★★★★
Default profile "A great intro course to knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative - I didn't really know some of the differences between knives." ★★★★★
Default profile "Shortly, simply, informatively!! Very good!" ★★★★★
Default profile "i loved this quiz" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very insightful. Knives are a very overwhelming subject, and I feel I have a much better understanding of what to look for when purchasing my chefs knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "A reasuring guide to how one can make an informed choice when picking knives. Gràcies" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very interesting learning the difference with Japanese knives vs European." ★★★★★
Default profile "Although short, this lesson contains a remarkable amount of information. Not only do you learn about knives, but which knife is best for YOU." ★★★★★
Default profile "grt" ★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was very informative and interesting. Love the layout of the course!" ★★★★★
Default profile "This was a great first lesson, but it doesn't cover all types of knives and could go into more depth on proper care for knives (e.g., sharpening, storage, transportation, etc.)" ★★★★
Default profile "Could be more informative. I consider myself a novice but I knew almost everything in the tutorial." ★★
Default profile "Very informative!" ★★★★★
Default profile "the lesson was very informative and helpful" ★★★★★
Default profile "Very interesting test" ★★★★
Default profile "Very educational. Really helps understand knives and what to buy. But what about chefs knives that have a serrated side?" ★★★★★
Default profile "it was fun" ★★★★★
Default profile "I thought I knew what all I needed about knifes, but this lesson allowed me to be able to be confident about the proper knife necessary for a particular task." ★★★★★
Default profile "Definitely learned a few new things about knives." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very informative!" ★★★★★
Default profile "This was absolutely great for a beginner like me." ★★★★★
Default profile "Combine videos" ★★★★
Default profile "Good material with plenty examples" ★★★★★
Default profile "Muito bom!" ★★★★
Default profile "I found the information for new style chef knives to be very informative. I have never really understood what the differences were and/or why I would want to purchase one, considering their costs." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great platform to hone your kitchen skills" ★★★★
Default profile "This material was very useful because it showed me how to tell what types of knifes there are and how to tell the components to a knife" ★★★★★
Default profile "Good and easy to learn with!!!" ★★★★
Default profile "I found this material to be extremely helpful. I have a consumer knife set, and have looked at the knives behind glass at the kitchen store, but never really knew the differences/strengths/weaknesses of what I was looking at. There's no way that this lesson was all there is to know, but it made me smart enough to ask smarter questions about knives and their uses. That's really all I could ask for, and what I was hoping for." ★★★★★
Default profile "interesting the way lessons are arranged. It helped me to understand what to look for when buying a knife" ★★★★
Default profile "enjoyed the lesson. I never knew why those notches were on the knives! I now understand the Japanese knife use" ★★★★★
Default profile "Focused on chef's knife. Could talk a lot more about the other items." ★★★
Default profile "I enjoyed the lesson but I think a video about knife steel differences would also be helpful" ★★★★
Default profile "I found this lesson extremely helpful. I am more knowledgeable about knives and loving every step! Thanks Rouxbe!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Just what I needed to understand in clear and simple terms how to go about selecting a basic knife set." ★★★★★
Default profile "Good videos and information" ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned more about chef's knives than I knew before. Short, but very informative videos." ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson is helpful in understanding the importance of chef knives and the different style knives available. I especially like the voice software which helps me to pronounce the Japanese knives correctly." ★★★★★
Default profile "I'm really liking this lesson format. And I'm happy that I'll be able to review the lessons, as repetition is very helpful to me." ★★★★★
Default profile "The lesson was very informative. Now I know which knife to buy" ★★★★★
Default profile "Nice to learn about the different types of knives and how to pick a chef's knife. Would be helpful to understand when a Granton or Santoku knife is preferred over a chef's knife without the grooves." ★★★★
Default profile "Answered questions I have always had about knives and knife sets." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great information. G" ★★★★★
Default profile "it was short sweet and easy" ★★★★★
Default profile "I'm going to the store and buy me a good chef's knife. This lesson is to the point." ★★★★★
Default profile "Easy to understand" ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was clear and concise,easy to understand." ★★★★★
Default profile "Good lesson to help in purchasing the correct knife first time round. They can be expensive, and you will be using the knife (or basic set of knives) all the time." ★★★★
Default profile "It seems to be an important topic to know your tools and have the best one that works for you. I never knew until now there was even a chefs knife. Great topic!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I think it's missing a bit more information. For example, how to sharpen the knife." ★★★★
Default profile "I learned a lot about knives. I now know that having a good knife is essential for food prep." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very good structure and content. Essentials presented, liked the quiz as well." ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was really helpful. I had already seen the different types of chef's knives but didn't know the differences between them." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great lesson, gain a better understanding in selecting knives and the anatomy of a knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Very interesting. I learned that my main kitchen knives aren't what I need. They are more like carving knives. Now I know what I need, thanks!" ★★★★★
Default profile "My children and I really enjoyed this. We're going through these lessons as part of our home school." ★★★★★
Default profile "Knives aren't difficult to use." ★★★★★
Default profile "Its very comprehensive and easy to learn." ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson is definitely helpful which I never learned in my class." ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was really helpful for me as a beginner in this subject. Now I really need the good set of knives. And thank you for nice video and helpful link:)" ★★★★★
Default profile "Everything is quite clear & very easy to understand." ★★★★★
Default profile "I like this website and its so informative." ★★★★★
Default profile "i belive it is a little bit too simple, it does not even show how to proper hold the knife which is one of the more important things, it could be better" ★★★
Default profile "Good knowledge about knives I did even know they had names. Thanks Rouxbe" ★★★★★
Default profile "It was interesting coming into this feeling like I knew a little about the basics of knives already. Turns out there was a lot more going on then I thought. Learning the small differences now makes me feel a lot more confident in the next Knife purchase I'm going to make!" ★★★★
Default profile "Very good lessons, might want to consider putting in a little more information" ★★★★
Default profile "I learned a lot of knives and I love to learn more" ★★★★★
Default profile "Now I’m know how to pick out the greatest knife of my life!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned a few new things about knives." ★★★★★
Default profile "I am not a professional I am a stay home mom I learned a lot loved it easy to understand wish I had this along time ago even though I didn’t get the perfect score I am very satisfied with my results" ★★★★★
Default profile "a good introduction but there may be more to learn" ★★★★
Default profile "I feel that I have learned a lot about the world of knives! Thank you!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Began test assessing my knowledge at 50% . Your lesson fulfilled the second 50% I needed" ★★★★
Default profile "I thought this was a great course. I thought I knew so much about knives and how to use them but not so much." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great Information! I learned a lot. I can't wait to try some of the knives I haven't tried before. Thank You!" ★★★★★
Default profile "I always have problems using a knife when cooking. I thought this lesson was very educational in how to choose a knife and why the knives are different." ★★★★★
Default profile "I've always wondered about the different knives and am ecstatic to know a little about the most important knives I need to select for my personal use. Thank you very much!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Thanks for the sharp tips" ★★★★★
Default profile "I realize the different parts and style of knives" ★★★★★
Default profile "An excellent and concise introduction, absolutely worth watching (and re-watching), even if, as I did, you have some basic knowledge of knives (or so I thought - I think I might have scored a 50% on the test before watching the videos. (Life) Lesson learned! I started off giving this only 4 stars because I would love to see an extended version with more details, but on reflection, I think it would be better to have that as a separate lesson. As it stands this is a near-perfect, welcoming, and encouraging introduction to a topic I'm really excited to learn much more about. I highly recommend it!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Great Lesson!" ★★★★★
Default profile "This lesson was very informative. I really liked that the main concern for choosing a personal chef knife was not cost but balance and comfort with the cautionary information on knives to be wary of when choosing.. Great first lesson!!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Before I took this lesson I didn't have much knowledge about knives or how to select my own chef knife. Now that I have completed this lesson with everything I've learned. I know that I can confidently choose a chef knife that is suitable for me. I also feel that anyone who takes this lesson will feel the same way." ★★★★★
Default profile "it was fine" ★★★★★
Default profile "for an amateur cook, really helped understand the differences of each type of chefs knife." ★★★★★
Default profile "Great for starters!" ★★★★★
Default profile "Through this lesson, I can now make right choice for my knife" ★★★★★
Default profile "great" ★★★★★
Default profile "I found this lesson very helpful for learning about various types of knives and what constitutes a quality knife." ★★★★
Default profile "I tried out completing this lesson as the teacher so I can accurately describe the experience to my HS culinary classes for their instruction" ★★★★★
Default profile "I learned so much that I never knew I didn't know about the various types of knives. This lesson was very informative and helped me a lot." ★★★★★
Default profile "5" ★★★★★
Default profile "would not recomend."
Default profile "5" ★★★★★
Show More
7 Videos | 8 Tasks
Task 1: Introduction: Selecting a Kitchen Knife Set
Task 2: Complete Your Self Assessment
Task 3: Selecting a Basic Knife Set
Task 4: European Chef's Knife & Anatomy
Task 5: Label the Parts of a Chef's Knife
Task 6: Asian-Style Chef's Knives
Task 7: Which Knife is Best for You?
Task 8: Lesson Quiz

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