A dinner knife is a standard piece of most flatware place settings. Typically the longest knife in the place setting, it is an all-purpose knife, used for cutting and pushing most foods. There are two general sizes of dinner knife, which are the continental-size (or European size) and the place size (or American size). The continental-size dinner knife is approximately 9-3/4 inches long and the place size dinner knife is typically 9-1/4 inches long.
When a knife is needed to cut soft or cooked foods, such as poultry, vegetables, or even salad, it is most often a dinner knife. A dinner knife has a slightly-serrated or possibly a dull-edged blade. It is included in the setting with nearly any main course, except for soup or thicker meats such as steak, pork, or lamb.
In formal settings, if there is a fish course, or a salad course, a dinner knife may not be the utensil used, since there are often dedicated fish knives and salad knives. However, in casual restaurant dining and residential dining, the dinner knife alone would be sufficient.
RestaurantSupply.com carries several brands of dinner knife. The dinner knife patterns are made from different grades of stainless steel. If you are looking for durable, long-lasting corrosion-resistance with a bright shine, you need stainless steel dinner knives with a higher nickel content, so you would look for 18/10 grade stainless steel, although you will pay a bit more for these. If you need to save a little money, but still require that bright luster and corrosion-resistance, consider going with dinner knives made from 18/8 stainless steel. However, the most affordable dinner knives are the 18/0 stainless steel dinner knives, with no nickel content. They are still stainless, but will over time be more susceptible to staining or losing their shine. As a restaurant owner, hotel manager, or other food service manager, you will need to decide which dinner knives to secure for your operation.