Basic Knife Skills

It has often been said that if you have a good set of knives or even just one good knife and have decent skills at using them, you are on the right path to make cooking easier. We’ve certainly got a collection of state of the art knives. So, we’ve put together this short tutorial on mastering knife skills.


The first step in knife skills is learning how to hold the knife properly. When holding a chef’s knife, grip it by wrapping your fingers around the handle with the thumb on the inside of the knife with the tip at the base of the blade. The forefinger, or pointer finger, should be on the blade of the knife itself, slightly angled. This position may seem awkward at first, but it helps to keep control of the knife.

The other hand has the responsibility of keeping the food in place on a cutting board. Make a “claw grip” with this hand. This is the position it should be in to prevent your fingers from being chopped.

Now that you know how to hold your knife, let’s get started on chopping things. An onion, for example, is something everyone has to chop. We can’t teach you the skills to stop the tears, although we hear burning a candle helps.


Chop the ends of the onion off and cut the onion in half. Start with half of the onion. Lay it flat and start cutting it crosswise, resulting in a half-moon shape. Once this is done turn the onion, (holding it in place) on its side. Then cut in the opposite direction, which will leave you with the onion being diced. Watch those fingers!

When chopping herbs, stack the leaves on top of each other and roll them up. Once they are rolled up, start chopping them into long thin strips. This ensures that the texture of the herbs is not damaged.

Don’t forget to keep your knives sharp. Not only is it important for cutting and chopping, but if your knife isn’t sharp, it means you must apply more pressure to cut and chop. This can make the knife more likely to slip. See the full line of knives available from Culinary Outfitters.