Carving knives and slicing knives share similar functionality and differ mainly in size. A carving knife is considered a large knife typically measuring between 8 and 15 inches in length. Carving knives are used to cut meats including poultry, hams, roasts and other cooked meats into thin slices for serving and are often used in conjunction with a fork. Much thinner than a chef’s knife, particularly at the spine, a carving knife allows a chef to carve cooked meats into thinner, more precise slices. The size of a carving knife is typically shorter and wider than a slicing knife.
Slicing knives are comparable in function to carving knives but are generally more narrow and longer. Slicing knives can have serrated or straight edges and usually contain rounded or blunted tips to improve meat separation. A slicing knife is intended to precisely cut thinner and smaller slices of meat and a more flexible blade aids in accomplishing this task. Because of this many chef’s find slicing knives better suited for slicing roasts, fish, pork, venison or barbecued beef. A ham slicer is a unique style slicer with a long blade and a rounded tip. These knives are specifically tailored for cutting ham because they are typically more flexible and have a thinner blade.