How to Hold a Knife: 3 Easy Steps (With Pictures)

How To Hold A Knife?

If you ask any chef or culinary professional, what are the most important things to becoming a professional chef? 99% of them would say their knife skill. You know working with a professional knife can be a daunting task but it is done properly and you develop a good technique you can work with it by adjusting your grip on a knife that will let you added control and quicker cuts so you’re more efficient.

That’s why culinary schools spend so much time on knife skills before they move on to the art of producing delicious food.

Most of us who never attended culinary school so never learned how to hold a knife the proper way. Great knife skills are essential to becoming a better look. It’s really the basis of everything that you are going to do in the kitchen.

This is true every day you use this skill just about everything you cook. With a little practice and care, you’ll stay safe while working with your knives. Moreover, proper knife skill helps you to ensure safety in the kitchen, keeping food, not fingers, on the chopping block, your food cuts will be more precise and consistent make your cooking and more professional results.

We should know what the parts of a knife are, and the importance of each section.


Anatomy of a Knife

Point: The point of a knife is the place where the knife’s blade and its spine meet. You’ll need to sharpen the edge (and possibly the spine) as necessary to get your knife to perform its intended functions.

Tip: The tip is the front part of the knife used for delicate cutting.

Edge: A knife’s edge is the point where the cutting edge meets the handle. The knife’s edge has many uses, but is most commonly used for slicing bread or thin cuts of meat. It can also be used for trimming fat from meat before cooking.

The spine and the heel: The spine is the back of the blade which is unsharpened. Thicker the spine the stronger the blade because it affects the balance of the knife. The heel is the lowest and rear part of the edge, opposite the point and close to the bolster.

Bolster: The bolster is a metal plate that connects the blade to the handle of a knife. It helps provide balance to the knife and keeps the blade from becoming misaligned with the handle.

Tang: Tang is where the handle attaches the knife. The tang can be a full-tang allowing you to apply a greater amount of force to the knife.

The handle: A knife handle has two parts – the tang and the bolster. The tang is where the blade actually is, whereas the bolster holds the blade securely while it’s in use. Knife handles can either be screw or rivet styles.

When it comes to how to hold a knife, there are some different methods used in the kitchen. So here, you will find out some easy and most effective techniques that will help you to become a pro in chopping or cutting skills.

1. The Handle Grip

What is handle grip? Handle knife grip is one of the methods when you about to chop or cut anything with the knife your entire hand grip is completely the handle behind the bolster.

Beginner cooks or those who cook with exceptionally small hands used this technique because it is a solid and comfortable grip, making it a good choice for them. This technique gives a comfortable hold on the knife.

Your fingers have to be folded behind the bolster and thumb securely placed on the blade that makes sure some stability into the grip.

How To Hold A Knife

However, the most natural way to hold a knife is the handle grip. Some professionals do not use the handle grip technique. Because the bulk of the grip so far away from the end of the blade that’s why cuts cannot be precise and constant so this gives a very hard time to get the job done and makes any food projects become difficult.

Handle Grip

2. The Pinch Grip

When you watch your favorite chef or cooking shows, you can see the professional chef’s chopping skill which gives some thought to how the chefs chop through ingredients with such swiftness and grace?

Now the answer is the Pinch grip technique, which is the most effective way to hold a knife. it will help you to make thinner, more straight cuts. The proper way to hold a knife is one of the first lessons taught in many culinary arts programs.

Pinch grip or blade grip is a technique where you’re gripping the blade between your forefinger and thumb. Your other fingers go underneath the handle and wrap around it. It’s done in such a way that your index finger is at the top and your thumb is at the bottom.

Pinch Grip

The reason we hold the knife in this position is that we want to keep a perfect balance between sharpness and safety. This means not moving the knife away from your body when you use it. If you accidentally move the blade in any way while using it, you could easily cut yourself. We don’t have to over guide the blade and the knife, our fingers will be light around the knife which will fit an extension of your hand.

The more you practice the blade grip and become easy with the different knife cuts, the closer you will get to slicing, mincing, dicing like a professional.

pinch grip

3. The Claw

You are planning to achieve an even slice or precise cut then the claw technique is preferable in this case. The claw helps you get even cuts while keeping your hand fingers safe.

The claw is achieved by holding the ingredient being cut in place on the cutting board with the tips of your fingers and curl the fingers on your non-dominant hand into a claw. Your non-dominant hand should be laid flat on your worktop or table with your palm face off. When your hand is in the right position, it should look like the letter C that is knuckling.

The Claw Technique

Now, hold the knife with your dominant then press the blade against your knuckles. Move the knife blade forward to cut through the ingredient.

Press down on the ingredient with your lead hand so it doesn’t slip or move. After each cut, slide your non-dominant hand further back along with the ingredient. Check the width of the first part you sliced, and shift your lead hand back just to cut another part that will be the same size.

The Claw


let us know in the comment which style you feel comfortable and use regularly. If you know some better way of holding a knife please share it with us.

2 thoughts on “How to Hold a Knife: 3 Easy Steps (With Pictures)”

  1. Hold the knife at a very low angle and pull back evenly, using the full length of the blade to cut through the food without cutting down.

  2. A good chef’s knife can handle almost any cutting task you throw at it. It should have a wide blade that tapers upwards so the knife can swing back and forth to chop quickly.


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