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3 Basic Kitchen Knife Grinds Every Cook Should Know

Richard.Blaine's picture

japanese knifeDo you know how to sharpen kitchen knives? Do you know what a kitchen knife grind is? The average everyday person who cooks in the kitchen in their home does not really know much about the care and maintenance of their knives, especially when it comes to kitchen knife sharpening. These people just love to cook and if they are like me they enjoy watching the cooking shows on TV or cable. Unfortunately, those shows teach people how to cook, and how to use their kitchen knives but they never seem to educate the viewer on how to sharpen their knives. So in order to learn how to sharpen your kitchen knives it is a good idea to become familiar with the different kinds of kitchen knife grinds that these knives can be produced with.

One thing more than any other draws a debate amongst kitchen knife aficionados is blade sharpening and how to sharpen the blade of the knife. Volumes have been written about the different knife edge angles employed in Asian and European kitchen knives and which kitchen knife grind is the best all around grind. The fact of the matter is that each type of kitchen knife grind has its pros and cons. With this being said I feel that anyone who uses kitchen knives on a daily basis should be aware of these pros and cons before going out and purchasing

Generally, when I am talking about knife sharpening I am talking about the geometry that is used to create the cutting edge of the knife itself. In this article I will address some of the typical knife grinds used in kitchen knives so that you may be better informed about kitchen knife grinds.

1. The Flat Grind: The flat ground kitchen knife has a "V" geometry and that is seen when looking at the tip of the kitchen knife from the tip itself. The spine of the blade the part that faces the ceiling is the top of the grind, and the bottom most point being the primary cutting edge of the "V" grind. This type of grind is most commonly used for precise and accurate cutting whether using a push cut or a draw cut and is used for intense chopping chores as well as the primary edge is a razor sharp 18 to 20 degrees.

2. The Hollow Grind: The hollow ground knife utilizes a concave appearance when you inspect the knife from its tip. It is somewhat akin to the "V" of the flat grind. This type of grind produces the thickest spine, but the thinnest primary cutting edge. The edge of a hollow ground knife is brutally sharp, the downside is that because of the inherent thin primary cutting edge this type of kitchen knife grind will not hold up long for chores like intense chopping and will dull quickly. On the upside, a hollow ground kitchen knife grind is excellent for and excels at slicing tasks.

3. The Chisel Grind: The chisel ground knife is a grind most commonly seen in Japanese kitchen knives. This type of grind produces a half "V" when viewed from the tip of the knife. Depending on whether you are right or left handed this type of knife grind is only ground on one side. Many people feel that this type of grind is the sharpest of all the grinds. In my opinion the jury is out on that one. This type of grind will only cut in one way, being either right or left and this of course is dependent on what side of the knife is ground. For most American kitchens this is not the typical grind of knife that you will see. It is however growing in popularity and deserves a look.

In this article we have looked at three of the basic kitchen knife grinds available today, there are others as well. If you found this information helpful and would like to learn more about how to sharpen kitchen knives and knives in general then please visit my blog @

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3 Basic Kitchen Knife Grinds Every Cook Should Know