Category Archives: Knowledge Base

Types of Dexter-Russell Grinds and Edges

As important as quality materials and proper heat treatment are, proper edge geometry is crucial to the manufacture of professional quality cutlery. Precision grinding creates the proper edge profile for the task at hand with accuracy and consistency.

Roll Grind

The roll grind as employed in heavy cook’s knives, cleavers, butcher knives, etc. where unusual support and bulk is required behind the cutting edge.


Panel Grind

The panel grind has a long, even grind with a rolled edge. Perfect for slicers because of blade thickness behind the cutting edge. Standard for Dexter knives of this type.


Hollow Grind

The hollow grind edge is a long, wide concave grind with a rolled edge. Great edge for thin, easy slicing.


Edge Types

Scalloped Edge

Scalloped edges feature many curved edges protected by sharp points that help to break through tough skins or hard crusts. As these points break through, the curved edges slice the soft interior without damaging it.



Duo-edges feature alternating Kullens, or hollow ground ovals, that allow air and juices to enter the cut to reduce friction and make slicing easier.


Tiger Edge

The Tiger edge is a form of scalloped edge and is designed for the aggressive cutting of frozen foods.  It is also very popular in the fishing industry for cutting of bait fish and cutting through cartilage.


Straight Edge

Straight or plain edges are designed to cut without tearing or shredding


Basic Knives and their uses

Although some knives such as the French cook’s knife and cook’s style paring knife are versatile tools in every kitchen, there are certain tasks that call for specialty knives. With the broadest product line available, you can be sure that Dexter-Russell has the right knife for every kitchen task. Following is a list of the basic kitchen knives and their uses.

Paring Knifebasic-knives-paring

Four styles of paring knives are most common…curved, spear, sharp, and clip point.  Delicate pepper rings finely sliced or slivered olives or cherries, can be done with a curved or sharp point paring knife to dress up fancy salads.  A cook’s paring, or spear point knife, can be used to remove corn from the cob, break up heads of lettuce or cabbage, peel fruit or vegetables, cut beans, etc.  The clip point is used for eyeing potatoes, seeding, peeling, and pitting.

Utility Knifebasic-knives-utility

A sharp 6″ utility knife is most efficient for slicing non-solid fruits and vegetables, such as tomatoes or squash.  For acid fruits, a stainless steel blade is preferred.  Useful for cutting large melon rings, cutting heads of lettuce into wedges, preparing cabbage for shredding, halving grapefruits and oranges, etc.

Boning Knifebasic-knives-boning

Blades vary in length from 4″ to 8″.  Many cooks simplify carving and get extra servings by boning out a roast when it is partially cooked.  For boning roasts, whole hams, lamb legs, veal legs, and filleting fish, a narrow flexible blade is best.  The wider stiff blade is used for cutting raw meat and many other trimming operations on less thick cuts of meat.

Butcher, Cimeter Steak Knife and Cleaverbasic-knives-butcher

For the odd jobs in the kitchen, the butcher and cimeter steak knives can be used for dicing salt pork, cubing cooled meats, cutting steaks or trimming raw meat.  Many cooks substitute the favorite forged cook’s knife for jobs normally done with these knives.  The cleaver is used for opening lobsters, cutting poultry and joints.

Cook’s Knifebasic-knives-cooks

Available in lengths for 6″ to 12″, this knife has more uses than any other one knife in the kitchen.  The blade is wide at the handle and tapers to a point.  Deep choil protects knuckles when dicing or mincing celery, onions, nut meats, parsley, peppers, etc.  When properly used, the chef positions the point of the knife on the cutting board beyond the food to be diced or sliced and, without lifting the point, works the knife in a rocking motion to cut evenly and rapidly.  Used for carving hot roasts also.  The blade may be forged or not forged.

Slicers and Carversbasic-knives-slicers

The most important carving knife is the roast beef slicer, most often used to carve rounds, boneless roasts, boiled briskets, pot roasts, butt roasts, and standing rib roasts.  The narrow cold meat slicer or ham slicer is used to slice ham or leftover cold roasts of all kinds.  The wide, stiff blade does a better job on hot meats, whereas the narrow, more flexible blade cuts cold meat more efficiently.  Although there are many patterns to select from, a slicer or carver should have adequate length to permit smooth slicing action.

How to use a Mat Cutter

The Dexter Mat Cutter eliminates the problems of cutting mats with uncertainty, leaving ragged and untidy edges. Anyone can use it efficiently with very little practice. You can cut a straight or bevel edge with absolute accuracy and give your mat that professional look. It’s easy and safe to use saving a great deal of time, money, and effort.

  1. Additional equipment required: (A) Drawing Board, (B) Heavy Duty T-Square or Straight Edge, (C) Corrugated or Plain Cardboard for under-padding is essential. (See Figure A)
  2. Tape the cardboard under-padding securely to the drawing board surface.
  3. On the BACK of the mat board, measure and mark with pencil lines the area to be cut out. Intersect the lines at each corner for starting points. Cutting the mat board from the back eliminates scuffing or marring of the face (finished) side of the mat.
  4. Place a Dexter #3 mat cutter blade on the angled slot for bevel cuts or in the perpendicular slot for straight cuts. The cutting edge of the blade should be facing the direction in which you choose to cut. (See Figure B)
  5. To set the correct blade cutting depth place a small piece of scrap mat board against the underside of the mat cutter. Hold the mat cutter and the board with one hand while forcing the blade point approximately 1/32″ through the mat board with the other hand. Tighten thumb screw to secure the blade in position. Remove scrap piece of mat board. (See Figures C and D)
  6. Place the mat board to be cut on the under-pad and position the T-Square on it with the head of the T-Square at the base of the drawing board. Square up the vertical pencil line on the mat board so it’s parallel to the T-Square. Slide the T-Square away from the drawn line to allow the mat cutter to be positioned for the first cut. Maintain pressure on the T-Square to prevent movement and to keep the mat board square at all times.

    NOTE: For best results, cut only in a North (push-up) or South (pull down) direction. Cutting from left to right or vice-versa invariably leads to the T-Square slipping which produces uneven cuts.

    If you choose to cut by drawing the mat cutter toward you and you are right handed, insert the point of the blade into the mat board approximately 1/16″ above the intersecting lines at the upper left-hand corner of the drawn guidelines. If you are left handed, insert the blade point in the mat board in the same manner in the upper right-hand corner. The straight edge of the T-Square is now moved up against the blade side of the mini cutter. Press the T-Square securely against the mat board with one hand while drawing the mat cutter toward you with the other. If you choose to cut by pushing the mat cutter away from you, reverse the blade position in the angled slot of the Dex or rotate the Mini 180 degrees and begin the cut at the lower corners of the guidelines. A left handed person begins at the lower left corner and a right handed person at the lower right. Constant pressure must be applied to the mat cutter to keep it firmly against the T-Square and to keep the blade point continuously penetrating the mat board for a straight and even bevel cut. (See Figure E)

  7. After completion of the cut, turn the mat board clockwise 90 degrees. Realign the vertical pencil line with the T-Square and make the next cut using the same method as previously indicated. The results should give you professional looking bevel edges every time. (See Figure F)
  8. When mat cutting is finished, loosen knob, pull blade back from cutting position and retighten for safety and to prevent broken points. For best results always use a sharp Dexter #3 mat cutter blade in either the Dex or the Mini.







How to use a sharpening steel

Sharpening systems for the edge you need. Rely on the experts in edges for all of your sharpening needs. For quick edge touch-ups and restoring factory edges, Dexter gives you the solution. Each sharpening solution is designed to give you the edge you need quickly to excel in today’s demanding and fast paced food service industry.

For efficient performance always keep your Dexter-Russell knives sharp. Remember, a dull knife can be dangerous. Keep all knives in a rack or block to prevent direct contact with each other or other hard objects. Don’t toss them in a drawer or use to open cans, remove jar and bottle caps or cut string, cones, metal, or paper. Always use a cutting board or proper cutting surface when chopping, slicing, or mincing…never cut on metal, glass, or porcelain.

Kitchen knives demand constant inspection for efficient performance.  A fine cutting edge made from the best steel and the finest manufacturing know-how will turn its edge if used on a hard surface.

Ordinary slicing of meat will dull a good edge.  However, this doesn’t mean that the knife requires re-sharpening.  A few light strokes on a butcher’s steel will reset the edge and restore the knife’s keenness.  Eventually this keen edge wears off and the use of a steel will not restore it.  The knife must then be reground.

instruction-sharpen-steelCareful grinding with a quality hand or motor-driven grinding wheel may be employed.  It is of extreme importance, when grinding, not to overheat the blade, as excessive heat will draw the temper, and the blade will no longer hold its edge.  A wet grindstone is the best possible protection against overheating.  A good lubricated stone can be used when steeling fails to bring the edge back.  With proper instructions, a person can become quite skilled at sharpening knives.

1. Grasp the sharpening steel firmly with your left hand (if right handed), placing the thumb securely behind the guard.

2. Place the heel of the blade against the steel at a 90° angle – (see figure A).

3. While keeping the cutting edge against the steel, raise the back of the blade approximately 1/4″ off the steel – or at 20° – (see figure B).

4. Try to maintain this angle and apply constant, moderate pressure as you draw the blade smoothly across and down the full length of the steel in one continuous motion until the blade tip completes the stroke by passing off the steel near the guard – (see figure C).

5. Repeat for the other side of the blade, only this time under the steel – (see figure D).

Product Categories

Dexter-Russell has the broadest product line available. With over 2,000 products, you can be sure that Dexter-Russell has the right knife for every kitchen task. Dexter-Russell is your true one-stop shop.












Chinese Chef’s


Miscellaneous Products




















Dough Cutters




Pizza / Cheese




Steak Knives







Cutlery Cases




Agricultural Knives


Serving Pieces


Putty / Scrapers



Ink / Pallette

Rubber Knives

Extension Blade Handles

Extension Blades

Shoe Knives

BDM – Buffalo Dental

Miscellaneous Industrial

Blade Only




Japanese Chef’s Knives

Traditional blade patterns and razor sharp edges blend to create tools to enhance the look and flavor of authentic Japanese cuisine.

Sashimi Knife

Sashimi knives are used to prepare sashimi.  They are very strong and slender, usually with 7″ to 15″ blades.  

Deba Knife

Deba knives are heavy knives primarily used for fish fillet preparation, cutting meat and chopping hard vegetables.  Blades are usually 7″ to 12″ long and have a curved spine.  

Nakiri Knife

The nakiri knife is used for slicing and chopping vegetables.  Both the spine and edge are straight, making them resemble cleavers. 

Santoku Knife

Santoku means “Three Good Things”. For slicing fish, meat, and vegetables. This knife is the Japanese version of the chef’s or cook’s knife.

Material and Construction

The keys to Dexter quality lie in our steel, heat-treatment of that steel, blade geometry, and our ultimate sharp edges.

Carbon Steel

Carbon steel is an alloy of iron and carbon. Often, it also contains vandadium and manganese.  Carbon steel commonly used in cutlery has a 1% carbon content.  Carbon steel blades are inexpensive, are very sharp, and hold an edge very well. Carbon steel is generally easier to resharpen than most stainless steels, however, it is vulnerable to staining.  Some professional cooks employ carbon steel blades because of their reasonable cost, cutting power, and edge-holding ability, however, others find these advantages are outweighed in the kitchen by extra maintenance.  Over time, carbon steel blades acquire a dark patina of oxidation which acts to block the staining process.  Some people find the patina an alluring sign of age while others find it unattractive.

Stainless Steel

Stainless steel is an alloy of iron, chromium, nickel, and molybdenum with a small amount of carbon.  Stainless steel blades are highly resistant to corrosion.


Dexter’s proprietary, high-carbon, high-alloy stainless steel, that is specially engineered for professional knives. This special blend of elements enhances sharpness, edge holding capabilities, corrosion resistance and ease of re-sharpening.

High Carbon Stainless Steel

High Carbon Stainless Steel refers to high-grade stainless steel alloys with certain amount of carbon. High carbon stainless steel is intended to combine the best attributes of carbon steel and ordinary stainless steel. High carbon stainless steel does not discolor or stain and it maintains an extrememly sharp edge. High carbon stainless steels are higher quality alloys often including molybdenum, vanadiaum, cobalt and other components intended to boost strength, edge-holding, and cutting abilities.

Forged Blade

forged-blade Forged blades are made in an intricate and multi-step process by skilled craftsmen. A chunk of solid steel is heated to a high temperature and pounded while it is hot, to form a blade. The blade is then heated, quenched, and tempered to attain the desired hardness. After heat treating, the blade is polished and sharpened. Truly forged blades are often considerably more expensive than blanked blades due to the increased number of manufacturing steps involved. . A forged blade will serve the same function as a blanked blade. Forged vs. blanked is a matter of preference.

Blanked Blade

stamped-bladeBlanked blades are cut to shape directly from sheet or coil stock. They are considerably less expensive than their forged counterpart. They are heat treated for strength, ground, polished and sharpened. Blanked blades can often be identified by the absence of a bolster. A blanked blade will serve the same function as a forged blade. Forged vs. blanked is a matter of preference.

Wood Handle

Wooden handles provide a good grip and are most attractive, however, they need to be cleaned more thoroughly than plastics or composits and must be occasionally re-treated with mineral oil to retain water repellency. Wooden handled knives should be hand-washed and dried.  Our handles are made from rosewood, beech, and walnut.

Plastic Handles

Plastic handles are more easily cared for than wood and do not absorb micro-organisms. For this reason they are the material of choice in meat processing plants around the world and most kitchens.

Composite Handles

Composite handles are made from laminated woods impregnated with plastic resin. Pakkawood and Staminawood are commonly encountered. They are considered by many chefs to be the best choice because they are easy to care for, are as sanitary as plastic, have the appearance, weight and grip of wood, and are more durable than either.

Scalloped Edge

Scalloped blades feature many curved edges protected by sharp points that help to break through tough skins or hard crusts. As these points break through, the curved edges slice the soft interior without damaging it. They are particularly good on fibrous foods such as vegetables. The scalloped edges are protected by the sharp points making the scalloped edge very durable. Because of this, they may go longer between sharpenings.

Sales Policies


All prices shown are at net. PRICES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT NOTICE. Net prices are shown.


All prices subject to addition of federal, state and local taxes where applicable.


Orders will be filled at the price in effect at the time of shipment.  Should a stock position make it impossible to ship an order complete, partial shipment may be made.


Orders will be shipped via UPS

Returned Goods

No material returned will be accepted for credit without authorization.  Authorized returned goods accepted for credit are subject to a 20% refurbishing charge; all returns must be sent prepaid.  Where a shipping error is made by Dexter and is immediately brought to our attention, there should be no penalty whatsoever unless merchandise is damaged by faulty repacking and shipping.

Defective Merchandise

Merchandise returned as “defective” is subject to inspection before the claim can be allowed.

Shortage or Damage

In case any shortage or damage is detected, notify at once the delivering transportation agent and file claim promptly.  Our responsibility for delivery of goods ends when we have a signed Bill of Lading by our local transportation agent.  We cannot honor shortage claims beyond 30 days after delivery.


Seafood Processing

seafood-processingFish, clam and oyster knives are available in the following product lines:  Sani-Safe, Sofgrip, Traditonal, and Basics.  Select from the broadest line of professional fish knives in the world with the right balance, blade flexibility and handle shapes to fit your cutting needs.  Dexter product lines feature the finest high quality, stain-free high-carbon and high-carbon steel blades with the ultimate sharp edge.  Formed, textured polypropylene handles provide comfortable non-slip gripping surfaces.  See our broad line of butcher steels and sharpeners.

Poultry Processing

poultry-processingDexter poultry knives are available in the following product lines:  Sani-Safe, Sofgrip, Traditional.  Each product line features ergonomically designed knives to perform special cutting tasks such as trimming, boning, stripping and ripping on conveyors, tables or overhead rail/hang conveyors.  Blades are stain-free high-carbon steel with the ultimate edge.  Formed, textured polypropylene and Sofgrip handles provide comfortable non-slip gripping surfaces.  See our broad line of butcher steels and sharpeners.

Meat Processing

meat-processingDexter meat cutting knives are available in the following product lines:  Sani-Safe, Sofgrip, Traditional, and Basics.  Dexter product lines feature the finest high-quality, stain-free high-carbon, and high-carbon steel blades with the ultimate edge.  Dexter ergonomically designed handles are available in white and colored polypropylene, and white and black Sofgrip.  See our broad line of butcher steels and sharpeners.

Knife Guards

Side Guard

Protects the fingers along the side of the handle. 

Bottom Guard

Protects the fingers along the bottom of the handle and stops the knife from pinching fingers between the knife handle and the cutting surface.

Combination Guard

Protects the fingers along the side and bottom of the handle.