Chef's Knife: An all-purpose piece of cutlery, this is an essential style. With a longer blade and sharp, narrow point, it's excellent for both rough, high-volume cutting and chopping as well as more delicate tasks like thin slicing and mincing. One of the most versatile styles, it can be used on meat, vegetables, fruit, herbs and more. A utility knife is almost a smaller version of this type but doesn't have the same curve in the blade, as it isn't meant to be used with the same rocking motion, but can be used on similar foods.

Cleaver: A must-have for butchering meats, its heavy blade can also be used to crush garlic, separate bones and slice through harder foods, such as winter squash.

Santoku Knife: A cross between a chef's knife and a cleaver, this Japanese classic has a specialized blade that lets food fall away when cutting, allowing for easier slicing, dicing and other food prep.

Paring Knife: The smaller form is easy to handle during precision cutting and the shorter blade is perfect for slicing, dicing, peeling and trimming fruits and vegetables.

Bread Knife: The serrated blade allows you to easily slice through bread as well as other foods with soft centers without crushing the firm exterior, like tomatoes and citrus.

Slicing/Carving Knife: Designed to easily cut through fish, chicken and other dense cuts of meat, the long, thin blade makes for thin, precise slices.

Boning Knife: A slim blade and sharp edge allows for easy trimming and removal of bones in meat and fish.