Double Bevel Knife: What is it and What are its Uses?
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Most Western-style kitchen knives have double-bevel blades. The term sounds slightly confusing, but it’s quite simple to understand.
Many people are unfamiliar with the technical terms for the angle or incline on the blade edge.
Have you ever taken a close look at a knife? If so, you may have noticed a slight angle or incline on one or both sides that runs down to the edge.
That’s the bevel! But what exactly is it?
A double bevel knife, also known as a double-edged knife, is a type of knife that has a sharp edge on both sides of the blade. This is in contrast to a single bevel knife, which has only one sharp edge on the blade.
This guide explains what a double bevel knife is and why this type of blade is special and useful.
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What is double bevel?
Double bevel knives are also known as “double-edged knives” or “double-sided knives.”
A knife bevel is a surface that has been ground to form the knife’s edge. It’s the slight angle or incline that runs down to the edge of the knife.
If there’s an angle on both sides, then it’s a double-bevel knife. If there’s an angle on only one side, then it’s a single-bevel knife.
So, a double-bevel means that the blade is sharpened on both sides.
Double-bevel knives are the most common type of knife, especially in Western-style knives like those of the French and German.
Learn how Western style knives compare to Japanese knives (do you have a preference?)
This type of knife is great for slicing, dicing, and chopping with precision, as the double-bevel allows for more control and accuracy. Plus, it looks pretty cool!
Double bevel knives are commonly used in a variety of kitchen tasks, including slicing, dicing, and chopping.
Professional chefs often prefer them because they provide greater control and precision when cutting, and can be used to create very thin, even slices.
The blade of a double bevel knife typically has a symmetrical design with a sharp edge on both sides of the blade, which is also called the edge bevel.
The bevels on each side of the blade form a V-shape, which tapers to a point at the blade’s edge.
The angle at which the bevels meet in the center of the blade is called the edge angle.
The width of the blade is measured from the spine, which is the thickest part of the blade, down to the edge.
The thickness of the blade varies depending on the knife’s intended use.
Thinner blades are better suited for slicing and cutting tasks, while thicker blades are better for chopping and heavy-duty tasks.
The shape of the blade can also vary depending on the specific type of knife.
For example, a chef’s knife typically has a curved blade that allows for a rocking motion while chopping, while a santoku knife has a flatter blade that is better suited for chopping and slicing.
Double bevel knives can be made from various materials, including stainless steel, high-carbon steel, and ceramic.
Each material has its own advantages and disadvantages in terms of durability, sharpness, and ease of maintenance.
Most Western knives are double bevel, whereas traditional Japanese knives are single bevel.
Although the best Japanese knives are single bevel, brands make a lot of double bevel Japanese knives, which are just as great.
Here are some of the most popular double bevel knives and their uses:
- Nakiri: This Japanese vegetable knife is perfect for chopping vegetables.
- Santoku: This multipurpose utility knife is great for a variety of tasks.
- Gyuto: This chef’s knife is perfect for slicing, dicing, and chopping.
Confused with all the knife names? I’ve listed all major Japanese knives and their uses here
What’s the difference between single and double bevel knives?
Single bevel knives are usually used in traditional Japanese cuisine.
They are usually made with a sharp angle, which allows for precision cutting. Single bevel knives are only sharpened on one side.
In comparison, double bevel knives are more common in western cuisine and are usually made with a less sharp angle.
They are sharpened on both sides, so they are double-edged.
The main difference between single and double bevel knives is the number of sharpened edges on the blade.
Single bevel knives, also known as chisel edge knives, have only one sharpened edge on the blade, while double bevel knives have a sharpened edge on both sides of the blade.
Here are some other key differences between single and double bevel knives:
- Cutting technique: Single bevel knives are typically used in a slicing motion, while double bevel knives are used in a rocking or chopping motion.
- Precision: Double bevel knives offer more precision and control than single bevel knives, making them popular among professional chefs.
- Sharpness: Double bevel knives tend to be less sharp than single-bevel knives. The single-bevel knives are known to be razor-sharp since they’re sharpened to a lower angle.
- Versatility: Double bevel knives are generally more versatile than single bevel knives because they can be used for a wider range of cutting tasks.
- Sharpening: Single bevel knives can be more difficult to sharpen than double bevel knives because they require a specific angle to be maintained on one side of the blade.
Ultimately, the choice between a single or double-bevel knife comes down to personal preference and intended use.
Single-bevel knives are often preferred for specific tasks, such as sushi preparation, while double-bevel knives are more versatile and commonly used in a variety of kitchen tasks.
At what angle are double bevel knives sharpened?
Sharpening angles can be a tricky business, especially when it comes to double bevel knives.
It’s like a balancing act between sharpness and durability.
You want your knife to be sharp but don’t want it to be so sharp that it breaks easily!
The bevel can be ground to a variety of different angles. Generally, the smaller the angle, the sharper the knife.
So if you’re looking for a sharper knife, you’ll want to look for one with a smaller angle.
On the other hand, if you’re going to be doing some heavy-duty cutting, you’ll want a higher angle.
That’s because a higher angle will give your knife more durability and strength. It’s all about finding the right balance between sharpness and toughness.
The angle at which a double bevel knife is sharpened can vary depending on the type of knife, the intended use, and personal preference.
In general, double bevel knives are sharpened at an angle between 15 and 24 degrees but can go as high as 30 degrees.
A lower angle, such as 15 degrees, will produce a sharper edge that is well-suited for slicing tasks.
However, a lower angle may also result in a blade that is more prone to chipping or damage.
A higher angle, such as 30 degrees, will produce a more durable edge that is better suited for heavy-duty tasks like chopping.
However, a higher angle may result in a blade that is not as sharp as a lower angle.
Generally, the angle should be between 20 – 30 degrees.
If the knife is used for chopping or cutting dense meats and vegetables, it’s best to sharpen it to the higher angle (30 degrees).
Now, when it comes to double bevel knives, you’ll want to sharpen both sides of the blade to the same angle.
That way, you’ll get a total angle that’s double the angle you sharpen each side to. For example, if you sharpen each side to 20 degrees, you’ll get a total angle of 40 degrees.
Asian knives usually have a slightly lower angle, with both sides sharpened to around 17 degrees. But, in general, it’s safe to assume that your knife has a bevel on both sides.
Most double bevel knives are sharpened at an angle between 20 and 25 degrees, which offers a balance between sharpness and durability.
It’s important to note that the exact angle used for sharpening can vary based on the specific knife and that maintaining a consistent angle while sharpening is key to achieving a consistent and effective edge.
When sharpening a double bevel knife, it’s best to use a whetstone and create the same angle on each side of the bevel.
What is double-bevel knife used for?
A double bevel knife is a type of knife that has two bevels, or angles, on each side of the blade.
This type of knife is typically used for tasks that don’t require intricate work, such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.
A double bevel knife can be used for a variety of tasks, such as:
- Chopping vegetables
- Slicing meats
- Dicing fruits
- Peeling long, unbroken pieces of thin vegetables
Mastering the art of cutting with a double bevel knife
Using a double-bevel blade is actually easier than using a single bevel, and it can be used by both right-handed and left-handed users just the same.
Mastering the art of cutting with a double bevel knife takes practice and technique, but can greatly improve your efficiency and precision in the kitchen.
Here are some tips to help you get started:
- Hold the knife correctly: Grip the handle firmly with your dominant hand and rest your index finger on top of the blade for added control. Rest your other hand on the food to stabilize it while cutting.
- Use the proper cutting technique: For chopping and slicing, use a rocking motion with the blade while applying gentle pressure to the food. For fine chopping and mincing, use a forward-and-backward motion with the blade while keeping the tip in contact with the cutting board.
- Keep the blade sharp: A sharp blade is essential for clean and efficient cutting. Use a sharpening stone or honing rod to maintain the edge of the blade, and avoid using the knife on hard surfaces like cutting boards or plates.
- Choose the right knife for the task: Different types of double bevel knives are better suited for different tasks. For example, a chef’s knife is ideal for chopping and slicing, while a paring knife is better for peeling and detail work.
- Practice and be patient: Mastering the art of cutting with a double bevel knife takes time and practice. Start with simple tasks like slicing vegetables and gradually work your way up to more complex tasks. Focus on developing your technique and maintaining a consistent angle while cutting.
With practice and patience, you can master the art of cutting with a double bevel knife and improve your efficiency and precision in the kitchen.
Are Western knives double bevel?
The answer is a resounding yes! Western-style knives have a blade edge that is sharpened on both sides, creating a double-edged, double-ground, or double beveled blade.
This is the most common edge style for Western knives, so if you’re looking for a sharp blade, this is the way to go.
Plus, it’s easier to sharpen and maintain than other types of blades.
So if you’re looking for a knife that will stay sharp and look great, a Western-style double beveled knife is the way to go.
Western knives are double bevel because they are designed to be versatile and suitable for a wide range of cutting tasks.
Double bevel knives offer a balance of sharpness and durability, making them well-suited for a variety of kitchen tasks such as chopping, slicing, and dicing.
Western knives are typically designed with a thicker and heavier blade than traditional Japanese knives, which makes them better suited for heavy-duty tasks such as cutting through bone and tougher ingredients.
The double bevel design allows for a stronger and more durable edge, which is important for these types of tasks.
Double bevel knives are also easier to sharpen than single bevel knives, which can be more difficult to maintain due to the need to maintain a specific angle on one side of the blade.
This makes double bevel knives more accessible to home cooks and amateur chefs who may not have as much experience with sharpening knives.
Overall, the double bevel design is a practical choice for Western knives, as it offers versatility, durability, and ease of maintenance.
Traditionally, the double bevel has been the go-to knife design, especially for chef’s knives.
Is double bevel knife necessary?
No, a double bevel knife is not necessary. If you ask a Japanese chef, he or she will probably say a single bevel knife is more than enough for most tasks.
However, Westerners have a hard time using single-edge Japanese knives and prefer the comfort and ease of a double-bevel blade.
So in a way, yes, a double bevel knife is necessary for the home and commercial kitchen.
A double bevel knife can be used for everything from slicing bread to slicing beef to chopping up onions, so it’s probably the most versatile blade type to own.
Why are chefs knives double bevel?
Chef’s knives are double-beveled because it allows for a more precise and efficient cut.
The double bevel design allows for both left and right-handed users to use the knife with ease.
The double bevel also allows for a much sharper edge, which is important for chefs who need to make precise cuts.
With a double bevel, the blade can be sharpened on both sides, which helps to maintain the sharpness of the blade for longer.
Additionally, the double bevel design helps to reduce the risk of the blade slipping or catching on the food, which can be a hazard for chefs.
All in all, the double bevel design makes for a much safer and more efficient cutting experience.
Are Japanese knives double bevel?
No, traditionally, Japanese knives are not double bevel.
They’re single-bevel, which means they cut into ingredients slightly to the left and separate parts more easily. This makes chopping faster.
But many modern Japanese knife brands create all types of double-bevel knives which are sharp and precise, almost like the single-bevel models.
Western kitchen knives, on the other hand, are double-bevel.
So if you’re looking for a knife to make sushi, you’ll want a single-bevel one (see a review of the top 10 best knives for sushi here).
But don’t worry, you don’t need a special sushi knife for all Japanese food – single-bevel knives are great for all kinds of dishes.
A double bevel knife is a type of kitchen knife that has a blade with two sharpened edges, one on each side of the blade.
This is in contrast to a single bevel knife, which has only one sharpened edge.
They are often used for general purpose slicing, chopping, and mincing of various types of food, including meats, vegetables, and fruits.
Double bevel knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, each designed for specific tasks in the kitchen.
They are generally considered to be versatile and easy to use, making them a popular choice for both home cooks and professional chefs alike.
After a Japanese knife? Check out my complete Japanese Knives Buying Guide & 8 Kitchen Must-Haves before you buy
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Joost Nusselder, the founder of Bite My Bun is a content marketer, dad and loves trying out new food with Japanese food at the heart of his passion, and together with his team he's been creating in-depth blog articles since 2016 to help loyal readers with recipes and cooking tips.