Victorinox is a manufacturer of knives based in Ibach, Switzerland and is the biggest producer of pocket knives in the world, including the famous Swiss Army knife. It is also known for a whole range of products as diverse as watches, flashlights, travel gear, cutlery and kitchen knives. It is these kitchen knives that we are focusing on today.
Victorinox was founded in 1884 and by 1891, had started supply pocket knives to the Swiss Army, featuring their famous emblem of a cross in a shield by 1909. The company was renamed Victorinox at this point in memory of founder Karl Elsener’s mother Victoria and the abbreviation inox for the French term for stainless steel, acier inoxydable.
As well as their pocket knives and kitchen knives, Victorinox produce bayonets for the Swiss Stgw 90 assault rifle, wrist watches, LED flashlights created with the same design principles as the pocket knives and pocket multi-tool sets.
Picking a knife
The chef’s knife is also known as a cook’s knife or a French knife and is an all-purpose knife that has a curved blade. This means it can cut on a flat surface using a rocking motion as well as having a heavy enough blade to chop bone. Common sizes range from 6 to 12 inches with 8 inches being the most popular size.
A paring knife is a smaller knife with a plain blade that is used for intricate work as well as peeling jobs. It is a smaller version of the chef’s knife and works well on jobs such as deveining shrimp or removing seeds from a chilli. They tend to be between 2.5 and 4 inches in length.
A utility knife is the mid-range between a chef and a paring knife at around 4 to 7 inches. It is not always included in all ranges as some see it as a filler knife but can still be preferred by some people who find the chef’s knife too large and the paring too small.
The carving knife is a large knife usually 8 to 15 inches in length that is designed to cut meat such as poultry, roasts and hams. It cuts the meat far thinner than is possible with a chef’s knife.
Cleavers are the stuff of horror movies – big, rectangular blade knives that are designed to split meat and bone. The edge of the blade is usually sharply bevelled and it is designed to be used with a single, swift stroke.
Bread knives usually have a serrated edge to cut the bread without crushing it and were first created back in the 1890s. They tend to be between 6 and 10 inches in length and are designed for this specific job.
Butter knives are another specialist that use a dull, rounded blade for spreading butter or other soft foods. They are often put on the table as part of a table setting.