How to Hold a Chef’s Knife

CUTCO's handle allows the hand to naturally grip the knife.

There are a couple of schools of thought on the correct way to hold a chef’s knife, but in the end, it’s all about balance, control and safety.

It begins with having a knife that’s well balanced. If you don’t have that, you don’t have control while cutting, which isn’t safe. Choose your knife wisely. Look for one that feels balanced, weighted a little forward, that feels good in your hand.

Professional chefs will almost always promote holding a chef’s knife with a pinch grip where the thumb and forefinger pinch the blade at the heel.

Pinch Grip pinchGrip

The pinch grip helps provide control while cutting.

I like to think of it as choking up on the knife, kind of like how a baseball player is taught to choke up on a bat to give them more control of the swing.

CUTCO’s handle is designed in such a way that the pinch grip isn’t necessary. Our ergonomic handle provides that control and comfort without having to pinching the blade.


CUTCO’s handle allows the hand to naturally grip the knife.

It was designed by industrial designer Thomas Lamb who noticed that most things required the hand to conform to the handle, when it should be the other way around.

He studied more than 700 pairs of hands, going so far as to ask family and friends to stop by his office so he could measure their hands and fingers.

Thomas Lamb

Industrial designer Thomas Lamb meticulously studied hundreds of hands to develop his ergonomic handle.

So was born CUTCO’s ergonomic handle, which conforms to the hand and, by design, places your fingers into a comfortable grip. It allows for better control while cutting, which is also safe.

Ultimately though, it’s your preference. Use the pinch grip if that feels best, but don’t be reluctant to wrap your hand around CUTCO’s ergonomic knife handle. Its contour allows your hand – large or small, left or right – to naturally and comfortably hold the knife.

For this post we consulted Certified Master Chef Fritz Sonnenschmidt who is a member of our culinary advisory board and former dean of the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, N.Y., who reiterated how important it is to hold your knife properly.

“For a knife to function properly it’s important to hold it secure and allow it to move easily in all directions without much effort and danger to your hand,” he said. “I believe that a knife is an extension of your hand and it needs to be respected and cared for.”

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