Whether you are a home cook or a professional chef, you know that your knives are your most valuable kitchen tools. You use them often, and ideally you maintain them well by not running them through the dishwasher and keeping them sharp. This is a quick rundown of your chef knife’s anatomy from our website.

This side of the knife blade has been sharpened to an incredibly thin point in order to slice or cut. The edge loses some of its sharpness with each usage, so regular sharpening is required.

The spine, or spine of the blade, is the side of the blade that is blunter and thicker than the cutting edge. Use the heel or fingers of your hand to keep it steady while you operate.

When cutting through a thick, dense root vegetable like rutabaga or a chicken bone joint, the heel of the blade works better since it offers more leverage than the tip.

The bolster is the large metal component that sits between the handle and the blade. The bolster of a knife provides stability and balance, which makes it easy to hold and comfortable.

At this phase, the blade thickens as it gets closer to the handle. It keeps chopped food from piling up in kitchen knives and rolling back toward the hand.

This is the part of the blade that protrudes into the handle. Better knives usually feature a full tang, which is a blade covered in metal that is designed to fit the handle.

The back of the knife is referred to as the butt. On a knife with a complete tang and riveted handle, the tang is visible at the butt, between the two portions of the handle.

Scales The parts that comprise a knife handle are called scales.

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