I say beginners guide here because I am not at all an expert on knives. I mean this simply as a way to bridge you from using $5 serrated knives into better kitchen knives. If your interest carries you beyond that then by all means search out someone who actually knows about the subject. About eight years ago by fluke I happened across a knife store and bought my first two really good knives.
You can tell you have a really good knife if it was not part of a set. One good knife costs more than a boxed set of knives from a department store. I know it seems crazy but one good knife will easily do a better job than all of the other knives you own. I rely pretty heavily on three knives:
- a veggie knife (one with a long wide blade for chopping)
- a pairing knife (a small pointed one for peeling)
- a general kitchen knife (a shorter smaller blade than the veggie knife but larger than the pairing knife with a point for everything else)
these are the three knives that I think a person can’t live with out. If you decide to do a great deal of cutting meat, and you might when you see what it’s like with a good knife, you may decide to also get a meat cutting knife (a really long, thin, pointed knife which eliminates the sawing motion that’s bad for meat)but that one is not necessary a general kitchen knife will do a great job cut cutting meat as well.