Cutlery Registry GuideWedding and gift registry
A collection of great knives is essential for every kitchen—let us be your guide
as you register for the cutlery that's right for you. These tips and resources
will help you understand what to look for when choosing your perfect knives,
as well as how to sharpen, clean and store the ones you select.
Try Out Your Knives
Hold different knives to see how they feel in your hand. Choose a style that feels secure, comfortable and well-balanced in your grip—like an extension of your arm.
Give Yourself Options
Consider registering for a set of knives as well as individual knives. A set provides the basics, and individual knives offer versatility for special tasks.
Add two of the same type of knife to registry—a chef's knife, for example—so that you and your spouse can work together in the kitchen.
Keep Special Occasions in Mind
Be sure to include a carving knife and meat fork on your list for holiday meals, dinner parties and other special occasions.
Don't Forget the Steak Knives
If you plan to serve juicy steaks and chops, you'll want to register for good-quality steak knives. These may come in sets of four, six or eight—be sure to add enough sets to accommodate all your guests.
Knife CareKeep your cutlery in top condition
To prolong the life of your blades, always use a resilient wood, composition or synthetic cutting board—cutting on metal, glass or marble surfaces will dull and eventually damage your knife blade. If you use the same board for meats, poultry or seafood as well as vegetables or fruit, be sure to sanitize it when you switch from one type of food to another.
To guarantee the best performance, it’s a good idea to hone your knife blade with a hand-held steel before each use. The edge of the blade is made up of microscopic cutting teeth that flatten out over time. Using a ceramic or metal steel helps maintain a knife's sharp edge by "trueing" it—that is, smoothing and realigning the worn carbon-steel cutting teeth.
You'll want to have your favorite knives close at hand, but protected. With this in mind, never keep your cutlery loose in a drawer or in containers with other utensils. Instead, store knives in a block or in a drawer that's fitted with a special cutlery insert. Other great ways to store cutlery include wall-mounted racks, magnetic knife bars and individual knife sheaths. All these options will protect the blades and safely cover their sharp edges.
A knife's blade becomes slightly duller with each use and will require sharpening to restore the blade's original angle. An electric sharpener is the easiest way to give your cutlery a razor-sharp edge.
The NecessitiesChoose the right knives for the task
Using the proper knife for the job helps ensure the best results. Our sets include the most frequently used knives, each designed for a particular culinary task, as well as wooden blocks, racks and indrawer organizers for easy storage.Best For:
Everyday kitchen prep—from mincing, peeling and trimming to slicing, chopping and dicing.Consider This:
Register for a multitasking cutlery set featuring knives that feel the most comfortable and natural in your hand, then choose individual pieces that will assist with specialized cutting chops (such as boning a chicken breast or slicing fish for sashimi).
A good chef's knife is one of the most versatile, hardworking knives in any kitchen. Its wide, sturdy blade, comfortable handle and efficient rocking motion make this all-purpose knife ideal for prepping just about every ingredient—from fruits, veggies and herbs to meats and other proteins.Best For:
Use this knife for everything from chopping and slicing to mincing, dicing and julienning.Consider This:
Also called a cook's knife, a chef's knife is one you'll reach for every day. The blades usually range from 4 to 14 inches in length, with the most popular being anywhere from 6 to 8 inches, depending on the size of your hand.
Performing the duties of both a Western-style chef's knife and a cleaver, this versatile Japanese chef's knife assists you with all sorts of prep tasks. Its wide blade cuts cleanly and precisely, whether you're using a back-and-forth slicing motion or a straight-down chopping motion.Best For:
Use this knife for fast, precise mincing, dicing and slicing (santoku means "three benefits" in Japanese).Consider This:
Many chefs equip their kitchens with a Western-style chef's knife and a multipurpose Asian santoku — consider registering for both types in the sizes that feel most comfortable for you.
Think of a utility knife as an all-purpose kitchen tool, great for all sorts of everyday prep tasks. Its handy size falls somewhere between a chef's knife and a paring knife.Best For:
Count on this versatile knife for everything from chopping, mincing and slicing fresh produce to cutting sandwiches or halving bagels.Consider This:
Choose a straight-edged or serrated blade, depending on your cutting preferences. Serrated blades are especially useful for slicing quickly and cleanly through ingredients that combine a crisp crust or tough rind with a soft, delicate interior.
A bread knife has a long, narrow blade with a sharp, serrated edge—perfect for slicing through crisp crusts without squashing the delicate interior.Best For:
Slicing baked goods—from crusty artisan loaves and bagels to soft rolls and buttery brioche. Also useful for slicing tomatoes and citrus fruits.Consider This:
If you plan to slice breads and other baked goods at the table, consider registering for a bread knife with a handle that's both attractive and comfortable to hold.
This little knife is indispensable for precise cutting tasks, functioning like a mini chef's knife. The knife's small size and short blade (usually between 2 and 4 1/2 inches long) make it exceptionally maneuverable, so it's easy to navigate tight spaces.Best For:
Use a paring knife for prep tasks like peeling, slicing, trimming and dicing smaller fruits and vegetables. It's also great for everything from creating garnishes to coring tomatoes, hulling strawberries and deveining shrimp.Consider This:
Paring knives come in a variety of shapes. The most common (and versatile) is the classic point parer, which is the ultimate all-purpose paring knife. Specialized shapes include a bird's beak parer, sheep's foot parer and fluting knife.
A manual or electric knife sharpener allows you to restore the blades to their original, factory-sharp edges. Most sharpeners have three slots, designed for stropping, sharpening and polishing the blade edges.Best For:
Restoring your knives' razor-sharp edges.Consider This:
Some sharpeners are designed only for straight-edge knives, while others also accommodate serrated blades. If you use a santoku or Asian-style cutlery, you may want to register for a sharpener designed especially for those types of blades.
Essential for keeping your knives razor-sharp, this easy-to-use handheld tool quickly smooths and realigns the blades' worn edges.Best For:
Everyday knife maintenance between periodic sharpenings (using an at-home sharpener or professional knife-sharpening service).Consider This:
Most cutlery sets include a honing steel, but if you're only registering for individual knives, you'll want to make sure your gift list also includes a steel.
These classic knives have long, slender blades that easily slice foods into neat, uniform portions. Razor-sharp blades sometimes have oval-shaped indentations that reduce friction to help prevent foods from sticking. Depending on the knife's purpose, the tip may either be pointed or rounded.Best For:
Pointed-tip carving knives are ideal for slicing roast meats and poultry—the tip helps cut into joints and navigate around bones. Rounded-tip slicing knives include ham slicers and salmon slicers.Consider This:
A good carving knife is essential for slicing all types of roasts. If you frequently serve ham or salmon, you may also want to register for a specialized slicer.
A meat fork is the traditional companion for a carving knife. This large, sturdy fork holds meats in place during carving—and is useful for transferring the carved slices to a serving platter.Best For:
Assisting with carving, slicing and serving roast meats and poultry.Consider This:
Since the meat fork will typically be used with your carving knife, make sure the two pieces coordinate with each other—or register for a carving set.
Kitchen shears are among a cook's best friends, assisting you with an impressive variety of cutting jobs. Their sharp, sturdy blades and comfortable handles make them extremely versatile—and most shears have a pull-apart design for easy cleaning.Best For:
Varied tasks like trimming poultry, shaping pastry, snipping fresh herbs and mincing dried fruit. Also great for cutting parchment paper and kitchen twine.Consider This:
Multipurpose kitchen shears are a culinary essential. If you frequently cook chicken, turkey or duck, you may also want to register for specialized poultry shears, which are custom-designed to cut cleanly through skin, cartilage and bones without damaging the delicate meat.
These table knives are much sharper than classic dinner knives, combining narrow, upswept blades with pointed tips that make it easy to cut meat away from the bone.Best For:
Essential for slicing tender, juicy steaks, chops and other cuts of meat.Consider This:
Depending on your style of dining, you may want to register for elegant steak knives for more formal dinner parties—and casual versions for outdoor barbecues.
When it comes to storing knives safely and efficiently, there are three primary options: storage blocks, racks and sheaths.Best For:
Keeping cutlery safely organized and easily accessible, while protecting the knives' sharp edges.Consider This:
You may want to choose a variety of knife storage options, depending on your style of cooking. For example, you might opt to store your most frequently used knifes in a countertop wooden block or on a wall-mounted magnetic knife rack. Less frequently used pieces can be stored in specially designed in-drawer knife racks or individual sheaths.
A good-quality cutting board or chopping block is essential for any task involving a knife. In addition to maximizing cutting safety and efficiency, a resilient wooden, composition or synthetic board absorbs the knife's impact, protecting its razor-sharp edge.Best For:
Use a cutting board whenever you're working with a knife. If you're using a large knife or heavy cleaver, you may want to opt for a substantial chopping block.Consider This:
Most cooks like to have several cutting boards, which simplifies prep when you're cooking. Larger, heavier boards are useful for chopping, while smaller, flexible boards make it easy to funnel chopped ingredients into a work bowl or pan. Whichever material you choose, make sure the board is designed to rest securely on your countertop while you work.
The Well Equipped Kitchen
Depending on your interests as a couple, you may want to register for some
specialty cookware pieces. Consider the following options: