How to Hold a Chef Knife and Position Your Guide Hand

[Intro music] Knives are dangerous tools. Let me show you how to handle safely a chef knife. Grab the knife by the handle. Place your thumb and index finger on each side of the handle to have a good grip. You should hold the knife with the same hand you write with. Now that you know how to hold your chef knife, let me show you what to do with your free hand. We call that hand a guide hand because that will be the hand that will guide the knife. In order to position well that hand, place it flat on your cutting board. Then using those three fingers, curl them to have your fingertips curled underneath. And we call this position the claw position. Using your pinky finger and thumb finger on the side to keep the food in place. Then take the knife and bring it against the first knuckle. And my free hand or the guide hand will move and the chopping hand, that holds the knife, will follow. This is the safest way to chop or to cut vegetables. Let me show you from another angle. Place your guide hand in the claw position. Outside fingers underneath. Don’t let them stick out. Use the first knuckle of the major finger and position the knife against it. And the guiding hand is moving and the knife is following. Now, never chop over the first knuckle. Okay. Don’t go to high. The movement of that hand is up, forward, back up, forward, back up, forward, back up, forward. A bit faster now. My guiding hand is moving slowly defining the cut or the size of the cut and my knife is following. Going up, forward, up, forward, right. It will feel awkward to have your fingers in a claw position, making sure that your outside fingers are behind it. It will really feel strange for a while. But with practice, practice and even more practice, you will finally get it. And you’ll be safely cutting and chopping vegetables all the time.

1 thought on “How to Hold a Chef Knife and Position Your Guide Hand

  1. Thank you. Well explained. Had to watch this after I slashed my finger and nail while chopping lemongrass.

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