When selecting a knife, choosing the blade edge is almost as important as selecting the right knife for the job. Listed below are the four most common blade edges found on commercial cutlery:
Straight edge blades, also called flat ground, are formed by grinding the edge so it tapers in a straight line to form a razor sharp cutting edge. Straight edge knives are the most common and can be used for many different cutting tasks.
A granton edge is also referred to as a duo or kullenschiff edge. This type features hollowed out sections running along both sides of the blade edge. When slicing meats, the grooves fill with fat and juices, allowing superior contact between the meat and blade. Granton edge knives are used primarily when slicing very thin serving portions of turkey, roast or ham.
Serrated edge knives are also referred to as wavy or scalloped knives. This style features rows of teeth along the blade edge. The teeth are designed to easily penetrate a product's tough outer crust, prevent the soft inner flesh from tearing and protect the actual cutting edge from being dulled by the cutting board. Serrated knives are used to cut anything from bread loaves to fruit.
A hollow ground blade is created by grinding from just below the midpoint of a knife and forming concave sides that come to a very thin, very sharp cutting edge. Since the blade edge is so thin, it tends to be brittle and dulls easily, so hollow ground knives are not recommended for heavy cutting tasks. They are used primarily for fine cutting such as skinning, cutting sushi or peeling and slicing fruits.