How To Hold A Knife?

If you’re new to cooking or want to improve your skills in the kitchen, learning ways to hold a knife is an essential step. Holding a knife properly not only makes your cutting tasks more efficient and precise, but it also helps to prevent accidents and injuries. Dive into the world of knife skills and learn how to hold a knife like a pro!

How To Hold A Knife?

The Handle Grip

The handle grip is a method when your fingers are entirely in contact with the handle, not the blade:

  • Step 1: Put your dominant hand on the handle of the knife. Wrap your fingers around the handle. All the fingers are behind the bolster of the handle.
  • Step 2: Make sure your grip is firm but tight enough. You can move the knife back and forth without it slipping out of your hand. Don’t hold it tightly as your hand may cramp up.
  • Step 3: Move the knife up and down when you cut or slice through the food.

It’s best to use the handle grip for heavy-duty tasks that require power and leverage, such as chopping large vegetables or meats. This grip allows you to use your entire hand to hold the handle, providing greater control and force for heavier cutting tasks.

The Blade Grip

The blade grip involves pinching the blade between your thumb and index finger. Follow the below steps for more details:

  • Step 1: Hold the knife so your thumb rests near the blade’s spine on the flat side. Your other fingers should wrap around the handle.
  • Step 3: Put your index finger on the bolster (the thick part of the blade where it meets the handle). You will control the knife and keep it steady when you cut.
  • Step 4: Curl your other fingers around the handle and make sure they’re not in the way of the blade.
  • Step 5: Keep your wrist straight and your arm close to your body. You will have better control of the knife and avoid injury.

The blade grip, also known as the pinch grip, is ideal for precision tasks that require finesse and accuracy. You can peel or slice delicate foods, making a thinner and more direct cut.

In addition, the blade grip method is suitable for those new to cook and those with small hands.

The Non-Knife Hand: The Claw

The claw method, also known as the “guide hand“, is a technique used to hold food while using a knife to cut it:

  • Step 1: Curl your fingers inward and tuck them under your knuckles, creating a claw shape with your hand.
  • Step 2: Grip the food with your claw-shaped hand. Keep your thumb tucked behind to stabilize the food.
  • Step 3: Put the knife blade level with the knuckle and move your hand backward while slicing to control the thickness and protect your fingers.

You can use the claw method when using a sharp knife to prevent slips or injuries. The claw grip ensures your food and knife are tightly controlled, so you will get safe and neat cuts. Thus, commercial restaurants always require chefs to have claw grip skills when using a knife.

What’s The Safest Way To Hold A Knife?

The choice of grip method ultimately depends on the knife user’s skill level and experience. 

  • As a beginner, it’s best to use the full-handle grip method. Handle grip provides more control and stability, which can help prevent injuries.
  • When your skill level and experience increase, using the blade grip method for certain tasks can offer more precision and control.

How Do You Prevent Knife Cuts?

Below are some tips to prevent knife cuts:

  • Always keep the blade away from your body when cutting, washing, or drying to avoid accidents.
  • Keep your knives sharp, clean, and dry to prevent rust and corrosion.
  • Use a cutting board to protect your countertop and to avoid damaging the blade. 
  • Put a towel under the cutting board to prevent slipping.
  • Store knives in a safe place, such as a knife block or drawer, to avoid accidents.
  • Always cut in a controlled manner, and never rush through cutting tasks or use the knife while distracted.
  • Don’t leave knives unattended, especially around children.
  • Never try to catch a falling knife.

How Does A Chef Hold A Knife?

Professional chefs usually choose the blade grip method for tasks such as fileting or peeling. 

The chef can make more delicate and precise cuts by holding the blade between the thumb and forefinger, especially when cutting smaller or more delicate food items.

The blade grip method also allows the chef to keep closer to the food, which is useful if they need to pay attention to detail.


How to hold a knife? You can choose between the handle grip, the blade grip, or the claw method to cut food. 

The way you hold a knife can significantly affect your safety. For beginners, the handle grip is the safest and most practical option. However, experienced chefs and professionals may use the blade grip method. 

Regardless of the grip method, you must pay attention to basic safety guidelines when using a knife to reduce the risk of injuries.