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Before you invest in a knife, the most important thing to research is what knife feels good to you.

You might prefer a knife that is a bit heavier and feels solid in your hand. You might prefer something lighter. Make sure you hold a few different brands and styles before choosing one.


How to hold a knife

You don’t want to just grip the knife around the handle as this will not give you as much stability. Instead you want your thumb and index finger holding the top blade — opposite each other — and then you wrap your other fingers around the handle. If you cook a lot you’ll end up with a callus at the base of your index finger — a sign you’ve found the proper position.

You grip mainly with the thumb and index fingers. Relax your hand around the handle.

Now let’s look at what your other hand is doing, the guide hand.

Guide hand

Your free hand will always be in a “claw” shape. Your fingernails will be on the object you’re cutting and your knuckles are against the knife. Essentially you “shield” your fingers with your knuckles and the knuckles act as a “guide” as they move back

Keep your thumb tucked behind — it’s easy to let it slip out front.

With your knuckles constantly against the knife you should be able to look away from the cutting board while cutting and still be safe.


And last, remember your knife is curved to allow you to glide the knife on the cutting board. You don’t need to lift it when chopping (except for larger objects like a whole potato). This will make you faster and more efficient.

These techniques may feel awkward at first but go slowly and with some practice you’ll get faster and more accurate in your knife skills.

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About the Author

Sue Riedl worked for 12 years in the Toronto film industry where her culinary passion was ignited while consuming countless unhealthy snacks off the craft service table. More


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