As you begin to think about the home you’ll be returning to (and building) with your new spouse after your wedding, there are certain categories of housewares that you’ll probably want to understand a bit better. In our Beginner’s Guide series, we’ll walk you category by category through all the essentials that make for a happy and functional home. From wine glasses to suitcases, we’ll provide all the definitions, distinctions, and criteria you need to know in order to make educated registry decisions.

As we dive deeper into what you should add to your Wedding Registry, we’re exploring one of the most critical household utensils: kitchen knives. Slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing is made easier, faster, and cleaner when you have the right tools. Keep reading this edition of the Beginner’s Guide series to figure out which knives are right for you.

After you learn all about kitchen knives, take a moment to discover the ins-and-outs of their perfect counterpoint: cutting boards.

What Are Kitchen Knives?

Everyone knows what a knife is. However, kitchen knives are unique. These cutting tools are used to prep food, and since each knife is designed to help you accomplish a different task while cooking, they come in many different shapes and sizes. Bread knives, fillet knives, chef’s knives, carving knives, boning knives, cleaver knives, utility knives, steak knives, and paring knives are just a few examples of the many different types available.

Do I Need Kitchen Knives?

You need kitchen knives for any type of cooking, but your needs will vary based on your cooking prowess. If you’re a top-notch chef, your needs will be quite different than if your signature dish is mac ‘n cheese. Your skill, ambitions, and what you cook in your home will determine which knives are must-haves for your newlywed kitchen.

What Types of Kitchen Knives Do I Need?

With cutlery blocks of up to 17 pieces or more, how do you decide which knives you’ll actually use? We rounded up the knives every kitchen needs. Here are our top picks for your Wedding Registry:

Paring Knife:

This is an essential tool in absolutely any kitchen. The paring knife is a small, thin knife made for fine cuts and easy maneuvering (think peeling potatoes or trimming the ends off green beans). You will use it for more delicate jobs, such as cutting fruit or peeling vegetables.

Chef’s Knife:

Chef’s knives are another must-have kitchen utensil. They can be used for dicing, chopping, mincing, or any other everyday cooking task. This knife will be your favorite go-to when preparing any meal.

Utility Knife:

A utility knife is a cross between a paring knife and a chef’s knife. It’s perfect for any task that is not delicate enough to require a paring knife, but may be too delicate for a chef’s knife. Pro Tip: It can also be used as an an all-purpose knife for beginners.

Bread Knife:

While you can get away without having this knife in your kitchen, it will make your life much easier when it comes to slicing bread, cakes, sandwiches, and even meats. Bread knives feature a long blade with a serrated edge. Their shape allows the blade to slice through thick crusts without crushing the soft interior. While this knife can seem a bit intimidating, it really does makes otherwise very tough cutting tasks seem like a breeze.

Kitchen Shears:

Kitchen shears (a.k.a. scissors) have a range of uses, including trimming meats and snipping herbs. Many models separate for easy cleaning.

Pro Tip: Resist using your kitchen shears when opening a package or performing other non-cooking tasks. Unfortunately, these household uses quickly reduce the sharpness of your blades.

Carving Knives:

If you cook a lot of meat, these knives are for you. Whether you are carving a chicken or can’t get enough of that marinated skirt steak, the long, slim blade of a carving knife will help get the job done while leaving your meat juicy without unwanted tears.

Steak Knives:

These knives are less about prepping food, and more about eating. Traditionally used at the dinner table, steak knives have much sharper blades than traditional dinner knives, allowing you to easily cut through any type of meat. They are an essential for couples that love to host dinner parties, or those that are just looking forward to grilling tenderloins outside during summer nights.

How Many Knives Do I Register for?

The number of knives your kitchen needs completely depends on how often you cook and what type of things you typically make. You can either register for each knife individually, or register for full knife sets.

Knife sets will equip you with all the essentials you need in the kitchen. If you order everything separately, we recommend having at least one chef’s knife, one paring knife, one bread knife, and at least four steak knives for when you have friends over to eat a delicious roast or ribeye.