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Nov 22, 2011 03:21 PM

What's wrong (if anything) with this picture?

I would not use such a big knife for that small vegetable, and I hold knives by the handle, not the blade-- ever --
am I doing it all wrong?

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  1. Nothing. That is a pinch grip. The thumb and forefinger pinching the blade and the others wrapped around the handle and that is what many folks do when wielding a chef knife.

    I use an 8" or 10" chef on darn near everything.


    1. Yep that's the way to do it, the picture that is, and that's a tiny knife!!!

      1 Reply
      1. re: Dave5440

        Yup the pinch grip is what I use and also use a 240 gyuto for most vegetable prep

      2. Hi blue room,

        The knife is actually small. It is only 6". The standard is 8", and many people prefer a 10" knife. I do use big knife even for small vegetables like ginger, garlic, green onion...etc. As for the way this person holds the knife. It is considered the most proper technique in Western cutlery skill. It is called the pinch grip.

        Here is video from the famous Chard Ward:

        The only thing I see as possibly wrong in the picture is that the cutting board is too small.

        12 Replies
        1. re: Chemicalkinetics

          Good pick up on the cutting board! I agree, I like a larger knife (usually a 8 inch) for small things - gives nice control and stability since the tip is always down. A small cutting board is the fastest way to lose some of that control.

          As for the pinch grip, I can do it, but I tend to fall back to the handle grip.

          1. re: Chemicalkinetics

            "too small" was my first thought too! on both the knife and the cutting board.
            Being raised in a Chinese family, I only know how to use meat cleavers to cut anything.

            1. re: kerosundae

              "Being raised in a Chinese family, I only know how to use meat cleavers to cut anything."

              :) My guess is that your family used the the all purpose "vegetable cleavers" to cut anything, not the "meat cleavers"

              Recently, I took two photos of cleavers to illustrate something for another post. You can see the difference between the blade thickness and edge grind for these knives:



              I can also use a Chinese vegetable cleaver to cut pretty much anything. For anything which I cut against a surface (cutting board), I use a large all-purpose knife which can be a Gyuto, Santoku, or Chinese cleaver...etc For most things which I cut between my hands, I use a paring knife, like peeling fruits...

            2. re: Chemicalkinetics

              I found another problem with the link picture. It has a link which pointed me to this.... this is just wrong on many levels:



                1. re: jpc8015

                  Me neither. What is wrong with this, Chemical?

                  1. re: escondido123

                    Sorry jpc9015 and escondido123

                    It is just me. I don't think it is wrong-wrong, but I do find two things which are strange, weird...etc.

                    First, the knife is expensive for its quality and size. US $40! :)

                    Second, I could be wrong, but isn't a serrated knife more dangerous than a straight edge knife? A straight edge knife makes a clean cut which is easier to heal. A serrated knife tears up the skin and muscule, so it is more damaging to the person and more difficult to heal.

                    This is also why a surgery scalpel is straight edge:


                    Not to mention that a serrated kitchen knife is more diffiuclt to clean and therefore possibly increasing the chance of infection (maybe?).

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Yep that "serrated is safer" claim is a puzzling.


                      1. re: knifesavers

                        You're probably less likely to cut yourself with a serrated edge. It grips into food and doesn't slip easily. And you're also less likely to get a cut from incidentally bumping the blade while it's resting on the cutting board. But as Chem pointed out, when you do cut yourself, the wound will be more jagged, slower to heal.

                        In a way, it's kind of like that advice that a dull knife is more dangerous than a sharp one. You're more likely to nick yourself with a sharp knife. But you're more likely to get a big ugly jagged wound from a dull one.

                2. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  I agree. Once again it's a picture to show off the knife.

                  The only positive I can see is the rounded front that could reduce impaling oneself.

                  Knife technique and safety don't change for children and adults and sadly the picture doesn't demonstrate either. Evidently there needs to be a third adult to make sure the other adult is properly supervising the child.

                  Better off starting with a non-serrated dinner knife and cutting bananas to learn proper technique and the relationship between the knife and the two hands.

                  W-S gets another demerit for claiming a serrated knife is safer.

                  1. re: SanityRemoved

                    "Evidently there needs to be a third adult to make sure the other adult is properly supervising the child."

                    :D True and funny.

                    Depsite the fact that I like a high performance knife, I would love nothing more than to use a safe knife. If I really think a serrated knife is safer, then I would definitely start to replace my current straight edge knives with serrated knives, but I don't believe it.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      One safety problem with some serrated, or perhaps scalloped, knives is that they tend to turn sideways as they cut, inevitably toward the hand holding the work.

              1. I agree it's a pinch grip but in my mind overly exaggerated. Regardless of the knife size, I don't think it demonstrates good technique. The Chad Ward video shows good technique.

                It basically comes down to marketing and photographers wanting a nice shot.

                Here is what I believe occurred: The person using the knife knows the proper technique but then was asked to tilt the knife allowing for a better view of the logo and was asked to choke up on the knife to reveal all three bolsters.

                1. Yeah thats how I hold my knives always except paring knife and I'd definitely have a larger knife.