Updated on 16 October, 2021
If you've ever had the opportunity to use a prehistoric knife, you know that cutting food with rock knives is no simple task. In fact, it was once a popular pastime among hunting and fishing tribes. Back then, a stone knife was essentially every chef's best tool. These prehistoric tools used a rock hammer and a sharp rock to crack, split, and dice an assortment of ingredients including fish, antlers, hooves, horns, bones, and many other natural materials.
Over time, chopping knives became more like traditional hand tools, which allowed people to create elegant presentations of their foods. In earlier times, chopping knives were primarily used for all types of activities in the kitchen, including handling large animals or chopping meat. In later years, the rocking motion provided the perfect distribution of force, and a double blade could easily chop up larger chunks of vegetables or meat. While these basic designs remain popular, modern chopping knives have developed a number of specialized motions that provide even more precision and ease of use.
One of the most popular forms of chopping knives in use today comes from the Japanese maker Tanto. Available in several sizes, Tanto knives are made of high-carbon stainless steel that's practically indestructible against any kind of attack. Its specially designed blade and handle design allow it to be carried easily and effortlessly as it shifts effortlessly between chopping and slicing.
Another great option in chopping knives is Bo Peep's Chopper. Constructed of lightweight but tough stainless steel, this multi-purpose tool can slice, mince, and dice nearly anything recommended. The curved shape of its blade provides precision as it slices, while a strong rubberized grip ensures that it remains secure on the chopping block. A strong spring mechanism keeps the blade locked into place when not in use, and a heavy-duty locking mechanism makes it safe to carry. When selecting a knife of this type, keep in mind that its weight may be an issue if you tend to carry it over your shoulder.
Bo Peep Knives also make a smaller knife that's perfect for fine cutting in smaller areas. At only 10 inches long, the Compact Model is very convenient for tight spaces. Unlike many other smaller models, the compact version doesn't compromise on power and performance - in fact, it offers a lot more than most compact chopping knives. Its stainless steel blade and lockable grip provide a solid form of protection as you chop away. If you find a good one, it can easily slice through thicker foods with surprising ease.
For more precise chopping, you might consider a Shun knife paring knife. This classic knife features a tapered point and a traditional curved blade. The tapered point is designed for maximum accuracy, providing a level of control and accuracy that most chefs prefer over other types of knives. This style also comes in a number of sizes and designs, from those with traditional Asian designs to modern urban fashions. While the flat top and traditional look of most Shun knives make them stand out, they actually work quite well in a wide variety of kitchen settings.
For even more versatility, consider an optional fingerguard or a drop-away handle. Drop-away handles offer an extra layer of versatility by permitting you to fold the knife's blade in half and store it in your pocket, creating more space in your kitchen. Folding up the blade allows you to use both hands for chopping and handling food. Optional leather or silicone grip lets you confidently place your hand near the handle as you slice, mince, or roast. And at an extra cost, some Amazon voucher codes include a free knife or paring knife with purchase.
Whether you prefer the feel of a traditional wooden knife or a modern ergonomic knife that works like a mini-computer, it's important to consider how much you're going to be using the knife. If you're a serious cook who prepares several servings of food daily, you'll likely want a heavier knife with a sturdier handle and a longer blade. Meanwhile, if you're more comfortable working in a busy kitchen with multiple knives, a smaller multi-purpose knife is perfect for everyday use. Regardless of your lifestyle, an effective chopping knife set should make chopping easier and more enjoyable.