Knives Buying Guide

Purchasing a Knife

Knife Leads

Consider the following when shopping for knives:

  • Shop for knives according to your cooking skills and your diet. Vegetarians, for example, are unlikely to get much use from a boning knife.
  • If possible, try using a variety of knives before making a purchase. You may find it easier to work with blades of a particular length and weight.
  • Knives are made from a range of different materials. Opt for the lightest and most durable knives that you can afford.
  • All knives need to be sharpened at one point or another so remember to factor the cost of a knife sharpener into your budget.

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Knife Sets

Knife Blocks

Knife Sets

Knife block sets are affordable, save space and help you care for the blades. A good knife block will contain a minimum of the following knives:

  • Chef’s knife: a great all-rounder, chef’s knives feature a curved blade so you can rock the knife while cutting for increased speed and precision.
  • Paring knife: a small knife with plenty of uses, a paring knife is great for chopping, peeling and any task that is too intricate for a chef’s knife.
  • Bread Knife: bread knives have a long, serrated blade. They are ideal for cutting soft food as they require less pressure.

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Types of Knives

Chef’s Knife

Chef’s Knife

A chef’s knife is essential kitchen equipment. They come in a variety of sizes to suit your preference and the kind of ingredients you like to work with.

  • Chef’s knives feature a curved, sharp blade for completing a host of chopping, cutting and dicing tasks.
  • If you are going to invest in any one knife, we recommend that you make it a chef’s knife as they are hugely versatile and a good one will last for years.
  • If possible, try using a few different sized chef’s knives before committing to a purchase as some users may not enjoy working with larger blades.

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Paring Knife

Paring knife

A paring knife (sometimes referred to as a vegetable knife) is one of the most versatile knives in a cook’s arsenal.

  • Paring knives are smaller than many other knives (most feature a 7cm blade) making them ideal for seeding and coring fruit or trimming vegetables.
  • Paring knives are also equipped with a sharp, pointed end for removing pips.
  • You don’t need to invest heavily in a paring knife to get great results so consider spending the bigger sums elsewhere.

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Bread Knife

Bread Knife

Bread knives are designed to allow you to cut through foods with a soft centre without squashing them beyond all recognition.

  • Bread knives feature either serrated edges, scalloped edges or combination of both. Opting for a bread knife with both will increase the versatility of the blade.
  • Bread knives cut through the crust without tearing at the bread so you get the perfect slice every time.
  • A bread knife requires less pressure to cut though food than other knives. This means they can also be used to cut the likes of tomatoes.

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Carving Knife

Carving Knife

Carving knifes are ideal for anyone who likes to cook and serve large cuts of meat.

  • A carving knife features a flexible blade with a sharply pointed tip — the ideal configuration for freeing meat from the bone.
  • Carving knives are available with a straight or a serrated edge. Your choice between them should be guided by the existing knives in your collection.
  • When used correctly carving knives produce the perfect slice of meat so your dishes will look as good as they taste.

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Santoku Knife

Santoku Knife

Santoku knives are ideal for slicing, dicing and chopping. Unlike a chef’s knife, which works best with a rocking motion, a Santoku knife should be used with singular downward cuts.

  • Santoku knives have a broad blade with a blunt end. They are extremely sharp so you can make light work of cutting most ingredients.
  • Almost every Santoku knife features granton edges (hollow shapes) to ensure the easy release of thin slices or sticky foodstuffs.
  • Santoku knives are usually very light. This makes for quicker cutting and reduced strain on your hands and joints.

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Utility Knife

Utility Knife

The prefect all-rounder, the utility knife sits between the paring knife and the chef's knife in size.

  • A utility knife is another kitchen essential. They can be put to a large number of uses with outstanding results.
  • Utility knives feature a serrated blade making them perfect for cutting soft and harder foods.
  • An average blade length of around 13cm makes utility knives extremely easy to handle.

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Knife Features

Blade Material

Blade Material

The material that a knife is made from can have a big impact on its longevity, effect and cost.

  • Stainless steel knives tend to be the most affordable but they require regular sharpening. Carbon steel is more expensive but it is also more durable.
  • Ceramic knives are much harder and lighter than carbon steel knives. They do not require regular sharpening, however they can be prone to chipping.
  • Titanium offers the best weight to strength ratio of any metal. Titanium is often used in conjunction with other materials like ceramic to make a first-rate knife.

Knife Care

Knife care

Caring for your knives increases their lifespan. Use the following equipment and techniques to keep your knives in like-new condition.

  • Honing (straightening) a knife's cutting edge removes notches and irregularities for a smoother cut.
  • Blade sharpeners re-define the cutting edge of a knife into an extremely sharp "V" shape. Most knives need sharpening once every 3-6 months.
  • Shopping for a knife block or a set of knives with sleeves prevents the blades from getting blunted by coming into contact with other utensils.

Knife Essentials

Chopping Boards

Chopping boards

A chopping board helps you prepare ingredients without damaging your surfaces or crockery. Certain model feature anti-bacterial qualities for increased food hygiene.

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Complete your cooking in the kitchen with a range of pans, pots, steamers, fryers and mixing bowls with Harvey Norman's range of cookware.

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Knife Sharpeners

Knife sharpeners

A knife sharpener ensures your blades are always at their best. Effective and easy-to-use, sharpeners can help you get the very most from your investment.

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