Victorinox Chef s Knife

All kinds of Knives

photo of a diver's knifeThere are many types of knives around and it is easy to get lost in the details. This post will give you a good understanding of how knives are organized, how they are used, and which knife should you reach for to do a certain task.

Trust me, after you’ve read this post, you will know all about how knives are organized so that you can feel like a knife expert. Never reach for the chef’s knife when you really need a boning knife again.

Knives have been around since the begging of man. They can be used to prepare food, dress game, combat, and work. Within these broad categories, we can distill further the specific uses of a knife.

Work Knives

Besides kitchen uses, there are knives that are used on the job site or around the house. This category contains a long list of knives that are relevant only to certain professions or tasks.

Diver’s Knife

This is a sharp knife that has a sturdy, heat resistant handle. The handle fits within a sturdy sheath and the sheath has a strap to be attached to the leg. This knife is used underwater.

Carpenter’s Knife

This is a knife that has a retractable blade. It is also called a utility knife. The blade is refillable and can be used to cut carpet and other tough materials. Similar knives are also used by tailors to cut fabrics.

electrition knife with box by SOGHunting Knives

These knives are used by hunters to gut game. It is a fixed blade knife that has a good grip. Some versions of these knives also have gut hooks. Hunter knives are sometimes painted in camouflage.


A scalpel is a knife used in medicine to cut open patients. It is very sharp and made of high carbon steel. Scalpels are sterilized and can be available to individuals in high end medikits.


Often called Gerbers or Leathermans, these knives combine multiple tools into one utensil. Some contain pliers, screwdrivers, and can openers. They are usually placed in belt carriers.


A machete is a long, heavy knife used to cut trees, limbs, and coconuts. It is also used to gather firewood and sometimes used i the kitchen. Machetes are popular all over the world and each region has their own version of the machete. The latin Machete comes from Latin America whereas the Parang is a Malaysian machete.


photo of walking multi toolA kukri is a middle Asia knife that is weighted at the front. It gives the user more downward force and power. Large kukris can be used to chop down tree limbs. Kukris are excellent chopping tools.


A Balisong, also called butterfly knife, is a traditional work knife from Balisong, Philippines. It allows the worker to open the knife with only one hand while the other hand can be free. It uses two handles that are attached to a pivot point. By flicking the wrist, the user can expose the blade. Balisongs are also a popular recreational activity since flipping them is fun.

X-Acto Knife

This knife is used in art to do detailed cuts. The blade is replaceable. X-Acto knives are also popular in architect to create miniature models.

Pocket Knife

These knives are small knives that can fit in your pocket. The blade folds into the handle. Some pocket knives allow the user to lock the blade into the open or closed position. A type of pocket knife that can go into the open position with only a press of a button is called a switchblade.

Survival Knife

This is a type of knife used in the outdoors. Some versions have compartments in the handle where you can store survival gear. It may also include a whistle, fire starter, or small reflective device.

Combat Knives

Combat knives are used by soldiers during time of war. Combat knives are categorized by the origin of first use.

Trench Knife

The trench knife is a hybrid between a bayonet and brass knuckles. It allows the user to stab, slash, and punch with one tool. The trench knife appeared during WWI. Trench knives are illegal is a few states nowadays.


The bayonet is a knife that attaches to the front of a rifle. It gives the soldier a sword like tool to thrust with. Bayonets are not very good slashing tools since most of the damage is done by thrusting. You can use your rifle’s length to parry the other’s rifle. The last bayonet attack was done by the British against rebel forces in Afghanistan. The British took zero casualties.

man using a machete to cut wood photo of the parts of a butterfly knife

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