A paring knife is an important tool in any modern kitchen. It is considered a miniature version of the chef’s knife. Paring knives are generally smaller in size, ranging from two and a half inches up to four inches long. These knives have a plain edged blade with a sharp, pointy tip. Some paring knives also come with a serrated edge. Since paring knives are small and sharp, they can be used to perform a wide range of tasks including slicing and peeling small fruits and vegetables, precision cutting and many more. Because of its versatility this type of knife is used most often then not, thus you should consider buying the best paring knife in order to have the best kitchen knife set.
There are many paring knives on the market today. In this article we will provide you with all the essential details you need to know in order to choose the best paring knife. We will also provide you with a detailed review of the best 15 paring knives on the market today.
- 1 Best Paring Knife Over $100
- 2 Best Paring Knife Mid Range $50 – $100
- 3 Best Paring knife Affordable $25 to $50
- 4 Types of Paring Knives
- 5 Tips on How to Choose a Paring Knife
- 6 How to Grip a Paring Knife
- 7 How to Use a Paring Knife
Best Paring Knife Over $100
Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
Famous for its incredible sharpness and excellent edge retention, the Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife has an inner VG-Max supper-steel core that enhances its strength, durability and rust resistant features. Each side of the blade is clad with 16 layers of Damascus stainless resulting in to a pattern know as Suminigashi or Ink pattern.
While the Damascus flower pattern enhances the beauty of the blade, it also improves its stain resistance, durability and reduces friction when cutting. The 4-inch blade length of this knife makes it easy for you to peel and trim larger fruits and vegetables, like apples. The handle is D-shaped and is made from Pakkawood and offset with a comfortable steel bolster impregnated with resin, making it strong, durable and moisture resistant.
This 4-inch knife is a must have in any modern kitchen. It can be used for peeling and removing pits, trimming, coring, decorating and other details. Its small size gives you complete control over the edge of the blade and the tip. The patented composite blade technology allows the knife to combine the best features of two steels in one blade. The incredibly sharp 16 degrees cutting angle makes the sharpening process.
Pros & Cons Of Shun DM0716 Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
- Extra length that makes it easy to peel and trim larger fruits and vegetables
- D-shaped Pakkawood handle with a comfortable offset steel bolster for durability
- Clad with 16 layers on either sides ,of stainless steel to produce a rust- free Damascus appearance
- Precision-forged high carbon stainless steel blade, holds a razor sharp edge
- Dishwasher- safe, for hand cleaning
- Lifetime warranty
- It comes in with a high price ,due to its durability
- Not dishwasher safe and only hand cleaning is recommended
Shun Premier 4 Inch Paring Knife
Shun is one of the most popular Japanese knife brands in the USA. They are highly preferred by most chefs. Shun knives come at a price due to their exceptional quality. For instance, the Shun Premier 4-Inch paring knife features a layered Damascus steel with a hand-hammered finish which showcases its extreme quality. The Shun Premier best paring knife is made from the most advanced materials in the industry and takes more 100 steps to complete.
The blade is made using the VG-Max super steel and is laser sharpened for a razor-like sharpness. The layered Damascus steel cladding on each side of the blade provides optimal stain resistance features and supports the core. The striking “Tsuchime” hammered finish create a series of hollow cavities that minimize drag and prevent food from sticking on the blade w en use.
This 4-inch best paring knife comes with a contoured two-position and moisture resistance Pakkawood handle nestles comfortably in either hand for ease of use. The smaller blade size, pointed tip and incredibly sharp cutting edge make it ideal for making attractive cuts, peeling, trimming and chopping small foods such as, garlic and shallots. The triple-riveted full tang makes it easy for you to control and use the knife. The lightweight blade makes all paring task a breeze.
Pros & Cons of Shun Premier 4 –inch Paring Knife
- Scalpel sharp edge for making clean cuts
- Lightweight blade that makes all paring tasks easy
- Contoured walnut Pakkawood handle for a strong firm grip and unique appearance in any kitchen
- Striking ‘Tsuchime’ hammered finish for a striking appearance
- VG-MAX “super steel” that takes and holds precision cuttings
- Layered Damascus cladding supports the core and protects the blade against stains
- The handle feels comfortable in the hand while the embossed end cap adds beauty and balance
- Handcrafted in Seki, Japan
- Limited life warranty.
- It is expensive due to its sharpness and durability
Miyabi Birchwood SG2 3.5-inch Paring Knife
Manufactured in Seki, Japan, the Miyabi Birchwood paring knife is not only stunningly beautiful, but also offers ultimate long lasting sharpness. The blade is made from high quality SG2 powder steel that is hammered with 100 layers of steel for enhanced durability and long lasting sharpness. It is further ice hardened to a Rockwell rating of 63 to for enhanced toughness, flexibility and corrosion resistance.
Each Miyabi Birchwood knife is hand finished using the 3 –step Honbazuke technique to create a beautiful mirror-polished edge. The angle of the blade is honed to 9.5 – 12 degrees on each side. This acute angle together with the Honbazuke method gives the blade incredible sharpness.
The blade is affixed to a beautiful D-shaped Birchwood traditional style handle that has an intricate mosaic design, an engraved end cap and two red spacers. The knife is designed to be a chef’s utility knife for smaller, but intricate cutting task. The 3.5 long blade makes it ideal for all kinds of culinary opportunities as well as must have for every chef’s collection.
Pros & Cons of the Miyabi Birchwood 3.5-Inch Paring knife
- Potent SG2 super steel core protected by 100 layers of stunning flower Damascus pattern
- Hardened to Rockwell rating of 63 for outstanding toughness, corrosion resistance and cutting edge retention
- Hand honed to 9.5 to 12 degrees on each side for razor like sharpness
- Beautiful D-shaped Birchwood traditional style handle with an intricate mosaic design, an engraved end cap and two red spacers.
- Made in Seki, Japan and has a katana edge, reminiscent of the legendary Japanese swords
- Lifetime warranty
- Currently, there are no complaints from Amazon customers on this brand
Miyabi Artisan 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
Just like the Miyabi Birchwood, the Miyabi Artisan 3.5-Inch Paring Knife is handcrafted in Seki, Japan. The knife offers you an exceptional cutting performance and a distinctive look in any kitchen. The knife is expertly honed by experienced artisans using high quality materials. The blade is forged from SG2 micro-carbide powder steel. It is hand-honed using the 3-step Honbazuke process and finished with a true katana edge, to emulate the famous Samurai swords.
The blade is ice hardened to a Rockwell hardness of 63 for exceptional strength, durability and corrosion resistance. The small length of the knife and its sharp pointed top makes it ideal for paring and peeling and for carrying intricate and precise cutting tasks that require a greater amount of control and strength.
The blade is affixed to a Rosewood Pakkawood handle that is ergonomically shaped for enhanced. The handle also boast an attractive mosaic pin, a stainless steel end cap as well as brass and red spaced for a stunning appearance. The knife also features a full tang and a true bolster for enhanced safety and increased balance.
Pros & Cons of the Miyabi Artisan 3.5-Inch knife
- Made from an SG2 steel core for maximum strength, durability and flexibility
- Hand-crafted in Japan using the Honbazuke method for razor-like sharpness
- Full tang and bolster for increased balance and safety
- Beautiful hammered “Tuschime” finish to prevent food from sticking on the blade when in use
- Attractive D-shaped handle that nestles comfortably in your hand
- Though it is marketed as dishwasher friendly, it is recommendable that you only hand-wash it
Zwilling J.A Henckels 3.5-Inch Damascus Paring Knife by Kramer
The Zwilling J.A Henckels 3.5-inch Stainless Damascus Paring knife is designed for easy tasks like coring, garnishing, peeling and cleaning of vegetables and fruits. It can also be used for preparing meat and larding. The knife is designed to Master Blade Smith Bob Kramer’s exacting specifications. Made in Seki city in Japan, this best paring knife is small, versatile and light knife with a shallow blade and signature decorative centered tip.
It has SG2 micro-carbide super-steel core results for razor sharp lasting edge. The steel material enables it to be durable and long lasting. The blade of this knife is ice-hardened to 63 Rockwell to increase its durability. The blade edge is designed to be 15 degrees’ angle shaped on each side to make it very exceptionally sharp. This best paring Knife features a blade layer 101 with deep etched chevron pattern.
It has a Linen micarta handle which is full tang tapered and triple riveted to withstand extreme temperatures. The handle is water resistant and resistant to wear even after using the knife for long period. Triple riveting makes the handle strong and the knife easy to control.
Pros & Cons of the Zwilling J.A Henckels 3.5-inch Paring Knife
- The blade is ice-hardened to make it durable
- Ergonomically triple rived handle that will last a lifetime
- The blade is made using stainless steel to make it rust resistance
- The blade edge is designed 15 degrees to make the knife very sharp
- The handle is triple riveted to make it strong
- Made with decorative mosaic pin to make the knife look beautiful and pleasant to the eyes
- Made with full tang tapered triple riveted linen micarta handle to make the knife withstand extreme temperatures
- The knife is made light making it easy to control
- It comes with a higher retail price, but this is due to its amazing feature
- The knife cannot be used for hard tasks
Best Paring Knife Mid Range $50 – $100
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 4 Paring Knife
Made of a special formula steel that has been perfected for over 280 years, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 4 best paring knife is one of the most trusted knives for precise work of mincing, trimming and peeling. The special arched bolster was designed by Matte Thun to allow for a perfect thumb grip. It also allows you to sharpen the entire cutting edge from the tip to the end.
The blade of the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 4 Paring Knife is precision forged using the Zwilling’s SigmaForge process. This results in a hard and flexible blade. The blade is further ice hardened using the Zwilling Friodur Ice hardening method for maximum sharpness and corrosion resistance properties. Precision lasers are used to make sure that the cutting edge is at an optimal cutting angle for razor-like sharpness.
The ergonomic black polypropylene handle is triple-riveted for maximum durability. It is also contoured to enhance comfort. Just like other Zwilling Knives, the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 4 Paring Knife has the J.A Henckels logo to showcase its superior quality to professionals and serious home cooks.
Pros & Cons of the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Pro 4 Paring Knife
- Made from a single piece of special formula steel for enhanced hardness
- Cutting edge sharpened to 15 degrees on each side for incredible sharpness
- Contoured triple-riveted black polypropylene handle for maximum durability and comfort
- Ice hardened using the Friodur technique for razor-like sharpness, flexibility and corrosion resistance
- Laser controlled edge and precision honed blade ensure ideal cutting edge for outstanding sharpness and longevity
- Rockwell hardness rating of 57 gives it an excellent edge retention
- Arched bolster design with a soft transition to the bade for enhanced safety, balance and firm thumb support
- Limited lifetime manufacturer warranty
- Made in Solingen, Germany
- Though the knife is dishwasher safe, the manufacturer recommends that you hand was with warm soapy water to avoid damaging it.
- Requires regular honing to maintain its sharpness
Global GS-38 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
Just like other Global knives, the Global GS-38 3.5-Inch Paring Knife is popular due to its incredibly sharp edge and the way it’s balanced. The cutting edge is ground straight to a point rather than beveled like most western style knives. This gives it a scalpel-like cutting edge that remains sharp long. The edge is so large that it can be easily with a naked eye. It extends about a quarter inch or more to the top of the knife.
To enhance the balance, the GS-38 best paring knife comes with a hollow handle that is filled with just the right amount of sand. Global prefers this technique rather than the full tang and bolster to balance the knife for two main reasons. First, bolsters act as a hindrance to sharpening and cutting. Second, the method is far more precise than using a bolster and full tang. The ergonomic handle also features a dimple pattern for a comfortable and slip resistant grip.
The GS-38 best paring knife is made from finest high carbon CROMOVA 18 stainless steel, which is exceptionally hard to maintain its sharpening edge for long. The short blade and the pointed tip makes this knife ideal for coring, peeling and paring.
Pros & Cons of the Global GS-38 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
- Made in Japan using the Traditional Artisanal Techniques combined with the latest technology
- Rockwell hardness rating of 56 to 58
- Hollow handle filled with sand for enhanced balance
- Ergonomic handle with a dimple pattern for a slip resistance and comfortable grip
- Blade made of exceptionally hard Cromova 18 stainless steel for an incredible sharp edge and excellent corrosion resistance properties
- Short blade and pointed top for easy peeling and garnishing
- Lifetime guarantee from Global
Vanadium/ molybdenum stainless steel is lightweight, but tends to need more frequent sharpening
Wusthof Classic Ikon 3.5-Inch Paring knife
The Wusthof Classic Ikon 3.5-Inch Paring knife is ideal for small, such as prepping fruits, mincing garlic and trimming meats. The blade of this knife is made from high carbon stainless steel that resists corrosion and stains. It is then triple riveted to a beautiful African Blackwood handle that is smooth and comfortable to hold for long periods. The handle is contoured to allow for maximum comfort even if it’s used for a long time. The compact blade is spear pointed making perfect for dicing, slicing, trimming and peeling fruits and vegetables.
The fact that the full tang is triple-riveted to the handle gives this paring exceptional durability and control. The bolster is recessed to allow for efficient sharpening and honing along the entire length of the cutting edge. The heel bolsters acts to improve the balance of the knife.
Overall, the Wusthof Classic Ikon 3.5-Inch Paring knife is a great looking knife that maintains its incredible sharpness for long. For maximum durability, avoid putting the knife in your dishwasher. It is recommended that you only hand wash it with warm soapy water to avoid damaging it.
Pros & Cons of the Wusthof Classic Ikon 3.5-Inch Paring knife
- Precision forged from a single high carbon stainless steel for maximum durability and attractive design
- Cutting edge is laser sharpened and tested
- Blade is spear-pointed dicing, slicing, trimming and peeling fruits and vegetables.
- Hand polished African Blackwood Handle is contoured for enhanced comfort
- Recessed bolster for easy sharpening and honing
- Triple riveted full tang for enhanced control and durability
- Extra ordinary sharpness which is easy to maintain
- It cannot be put into a dishwasher. Manufacturer recommends that you hand wash using warm soapy water.
Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S 4-Inch Paring Knife
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S 4-Inch Paring Knife is crafted using the Henckels Sigma design, and is precision-forged from a single solid piece of steel. The blade is made from a unique formula of chromium and carbon. This gives it a long lasting sharpness and excellent corrosion resistant properties. It is FRIODUR ice hardened for outstanding hardness and sharpness. For a more precise and accurate cutting edge, the blade is hand sharpened, refined and laser controlled.
Attached to the blade is an Ergonomic, strong Novodur handle with three corrosion and rust proof rivets that prevent accumulation of bacteria and unhygienic dirt between the handle and the blade. The handle feels firm to grip and comfortable for long.
The Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S 4-Inch Paring Knife is small, light versatile with a slim blade and centered tip. Besides cutting and dicing, you can use the knife for meat preparation and larding. The knife is hand sharpened and precisely polished. Though it is marketed as dishwasher safe, hand washing is highly recommendable.
Pros & Cons of the Zwilling J.A. Henckels Professional S 4-Inch Paring Knife
- Sigma forged construction for enhanced durability and cutting edge retention
- Short blade makes this knife ideal for multiple peeling , cutting tasks and preparation of cold platters
- Well balanced and versatile
- Ice –hardened for long lasting sharpness
- Laser- controlled edge for razor-like sharpness
- Ergonomic handle that is comfortable to hold and grip
- The edge of its blade is honed. This makes the knife ideal for cutting at different angles
- Should be hand washed
Wusthof Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
The Wusthof Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife is made in Solingen, Germany using a single piece of high-carbon, German stainless steel for maximum heft and strength. It is hand crafted using the western style design for better strength and durability. The blade is well balanced and ground for easy cutting
The blade is precisely refined via Wusthof’s Trademark Computer-controlled refining process to create an exceptionally sharp cutting edge. Since the blade is made of stainless steel, it is resistant to both corrosion and rust. The fact that the blade is sharpened using the PEtec cutting technology creates a razor-like edge that helps in
This best paring knife comes with an ergonomic and slip-resistant Polyoxymethylene handle that is not only comfortable to hold but also resistant to fading and discoloration. The seamless triple-riveted handle features a full tang to give the knife a better balance. The tang of this forged knife extends into the handle to improve the balance and ergonomics.
Pros & Cons of the Wusthof Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
- Full tang triple riveted to the handle for extreme control
- 4-inch long blade makes it ideal for paring tasks
- Ergonomic Polyoxymethylene handle resists fading and discoloration
- Rockwell hardness rating of 58 gives the blade an excellent edge retention
- Crafted from high-carbon stain resistant steel complemented with a bolster
- Laser controlled cutting edge to ensure the final edge of the blade is uniform from the tip to the heel of the knife
- Limited Lifetime manufacturer warranty
- It cannot be put in dishwasher, the manufacturer recommends that you hand-wash it with soap and warm water.
Zelite Infinity Alpha Royal Series 4-Inch Paring Knife
The ZELITE INFINTY best paring knife- Alpha Royal Series is constructed from imported Japanese AUS10 Super Steel 67 Layer high carbon stainless steel for enhanced strength and durability. The knife has a Rockwell hardness rating of 61 giving it superior cutting edge retention. Its razor-like cutting edge allows you to effortlessly slice meat, fish, vegetable and fruit.
The knife has a stunning triple riveted black Pakkawood handle that is rounded for enhanced comfort. The handle is also triple-riveted for maximum strength. The full tang ensures maximum balance and improved safety while using the knife. The ergonomically constructed-rounded handle provides safety, and a comfortable grip.
The ZELITE INFINTY best paring knife is guaranteed to last a lifetime. Its short blade length makes it ideal for chefs, home cooks and culinary students.
Pros & Cons of the Zelite Infinity Alpha Royal Series 4-Inch Paring Knife
- Perfect balance meaning wrist fatigue and incredible control
- Laser sharpened cutting edge for exceptional sharpness
- Ergonomic rounded handle for enhanced safety and comfort
- Stamp of excellence since the knife is made from military grade G10 handle triple to the full tang
- Premium material as it is made from imported Japanese AUS10 Super Steel 67 Layer high carbon stainless steel
- Aesthetically beautiful due to the stunning triple riveted black Pakkawood handle
- The knife is incredibly sharp and can easily cut you if used carelessly
Best Paring knife Affordable $25 to $50
DALSTRONG Gladiator Series 3.75-Inch Paring Knife
The Dalstrong Gladiator series 3.75-inch paring knife is preferred by many professionals and home cooks due to its incredible sharp edge and long lasting sharpness. The cutting edge is sharpened to 18 degrees on both sides. This enhances the balance of the knife while the sharp edge allows you to make very thin slices. The blade is ice hardened to a Rockwell hardness rating of 55 for an exceptional edge retention.
The knife boasts a D-shaped Pakkawood handle that is comfortable to hold for an extended period of time. The Dalstrong Gladiator series paring knife is well-balanced and easy to control. The smaller sized blade is lightweight making the knife ideal for multiple paring tasks.
Pros & Cons of DALSTRONG Gladiator Series 3.75-Inch Paring Knife
- Precision forged from a single piece of high carbon ThyssenKrupp German steel for exceptional strength and rust resistant features
- Rockwell hardness rating of 55 gives this knife an exceptional edge retention
- Stain resistant
- Scalpel sharp for easy cutting and slicing
- Luxurious imported Pakkawood handle for enhanced comfort and safety
- Tempered design for hardness and flexibility
- Engraved Dalstrong rivet
- Tall blade height allows for maximum knuckle clearance and enhanced safety
- Though this knife cuts great, some customers complained of its heavy weight
Cangshan V2 Series 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
Cangshan V2 Series is a well-balanced, beautifully-designed and a extremely sharp paring knife. The knife has a patented design and an ergonomic handle that is comfortable to hold for an extended period of time. The full tang ensures the knife is well balanced making easy to control.
The V2 Series paring knife is forged from X50Cr15MoV German Steel and has a Rockwell hardness rating of 58. This gives it maximum strength and excellent cutting edge retention. The knife has a taper grind edge that remains sharp for long and easy to sharpen. Each blade of the V2 series knife undergoes an ultra-precise 6-stage heat treatment process to produce the best quality steel.
The manufacturer of the knife says it took them more than two years to come with the design of this best paring knife. The blade is sharpened at an angle of 16 degrees on both sides making it very sharp. The knife comes with a National Sanitation Foundation Certified Lifetime Warranty against Manufacturer’s defects.
Pros & Cons of the Cangshan V2 Series 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
- Designed to showcase the beauty of classic kitchen knives
- Highly durable and well balanced
- Forged from a X50Cr15MoV German Steel for maximum strength and durability
- Rockwell hardness of 58
- Triple riveted ergonomic handle that feels great to grip and hold
- Sharpened to 16 degrees on both sides
- Each blade undergoes a six-stage ultra precise heat treatment to bring out the best qualities of steel
- Some customers complained that the knife becomes rusted after sometime
KitchenAid Professional Paring knife
The KitchenAid Professional best paring knife is manufactured from German stainless steel for enhanced strength and long lasting sharpness. This high alloy steel also resists stains and corrosion well. The blade is ice tempered and hardened to increase its durability, flexibility and edge-to-edge performance. Ice hardening also prevents the blade from breaking when accidently dropped or when used for heavy tasks.
The performance of this knife is further enhanced by a razor-like edge that maintains its sharpness for a long period of time. On top of this, the KitchenAid Professional Paring knife has a beautiful artisan crafted handle that is ergonomically engineered for maximum comfort and hand control. The grip is made from highly pressurized layers of non-porous materials, such as fiberglass making it extremely durable. Both the blade and handle are then stabilized for agile performance.
The handle boasts unique polished steel rivets that ensure it is firmly attached to the blade. The centre rivet is larger than the others to ensure a secured strong hold. The handle is further complemented by a tapered Bolster for a perfect balance.
Pros & Cons of the KitchenAid Professional Best Paring knife
- German stainless steel for enhanced strength and long lasting sharpness
- Forged full-tang handle that is triple riveted for precise strength
- Ergonomically engineered handle to offer you a comfortable grip
- Ice tempered and hardened for increased strength
- Full Bolster for perfect balance and enhanced safety
- It might not be very precise for some kitchen chores
- Does not come with a sheath
Wusthof Grand Prix II 3.5 inches Paring Knife
Wusthof Grand Prix II 3.5-inch paring knife has a straight edge to give you a precise depth control thus producing a distinctive dish. The knife is crafted in Solingen, Germany. Since 1814, Wusthof has been one of the world’s top manufacturers of precision forged cutlery. Wusthof Grand Prix II 3.5-inch paring knife features a pebble -textured and comfortable handle to give you a firm grip even in slick circumstances.
The blade is crafted by expert artisans using high quality materials. It sharpened to 14 degrees on each side and has a more tapered cutting edge that reduces drag when cutting or slicing through foods. This ensures flawless and easy cutting. Every blade knife is completely polished and buffed by hand. The blade is strong and sturdy and has a good edge retention and long lasting sharpness.
Pros & Cons of the Wusthof Grand Prix II 3.5 inches Paring Knife
- Forged from one piece of specially tempered high carbon steel for outstanding strength and excellent stain resistance features
- Perfectly balanced for effortless cutting
- Precision –forged, full tang blade for enhanced safety
- Sharp edge for smooth and easy cutting
- Lifetime warranty
- Though it is marketed as dishwasher friendly, it recommendable that you only hand wash with soapy warm water and then dry it with a kitchen towel
Types of Paring Knives
Paring knives differ from one another. It is important to understand the different types of paring knives and their specific uses. This will help you go for the best and right type of paring knives for your kitchen. Here are the four major types of paring knives.
Spear Point Paring Knife
It is the most popular type of paring knife. Its tip is spear pointed thus the name spear tip. The blade of this knife is short and has a sweeping outward curve. The blade flows from the knife’s handle to the pointed tip and has a slight outward curve. It is entirely smooth and has no serrations at all. The short blade and the small handle make this knife simple and easy to hold, use and control.
The spear tip paring knife is mostly used for peeling fruits and vegetables with thin skins. The cutting edge of the blade enables the knife to cut through a fruit’s skin, removing just a thin layer. Both the tip and strong blade are created to remove cores of fruits and vegetables. This explains why the spear point paring knife is commonly used for coring.
This best paring knife has a sharp tip extending forward over the blade’s sharp side. The tip is angled and its appearance resembles a bird’s beak, hence the name “bird’s beak”. Bird’s beak paring knife can have either an inward curve or no curve at all through the length of its blade. This differentiates it from a spear tip knife that has an outward curve. The blade of these knives is short while their handles are small and easy to hold and control.
Bird’s beak paring knives are mainly used for peeling and curving intricate designs into vegetables and fruits because of its hooked beak tip. The beak shape also allows you to cut round fruits like oranges since the angle is tailored to remove the peel. These paring knives can also be used to carve Jack-O-Latterns. The blade’s inward curving enables you to cut the outer skin of pumpkin into swipes due to its shape.
These types of paring knives have a serrated and straight blade with a curved point. They are usually longer than other knives with a length of around 5 inches. They have small teeth along their edge, which make them ideal for slicing breads with tough crusts and cutting soft animal skins. Serrated blade paring knives can also be used to cut small baguettes.
Though other types of paring knives may also have serrated blades, the main difference between them and serrated blade paring knives is that they cannot easily cut through a crust of a baguette as these knives do. These knives can also be used for cutting large fruits and vegetables.
These paring knives have a tip that is shaped like the foot of a sheep thus the name sheep’s foot. They have a straight and smooth edge. What makes them different from bird’s beak and spear tip knives is that their blade is flat, while the other two knives have curved blades. The curve stops at the flat part of blade preventing it from overhanging. The curved tip assures you to use the knife with no fear of slicing your fingers if the knife slips.
The flat blade makes these knives ideal for cutting thin blocks of cheese. They can also be used for julienning. The curved style of the tip makes the knives perfect for slicing and chopping small spices such as garlic and onions.
Tips on How to Choose a Paring Knife
- Consider Sharpness of the Blade
The best paring knife has to be precisely sharp. The cutting actions these knives should be are precise and small. Thus, they should have an incredibly sharp cutting edge. When choosing your paring knife, ensure that the blade you choose is not too flimsy or soft as it is likely to lose its sharpness quickly.Secondly, check the tip of the cutting edge and make sure it is fine and sharp. A sharp tip is necessary when hulling and coring fruits like tomatoes and strawberries. If the tip is not fine or well rounded, you may not be able to cut through the surfaces of these fruits.Thirdly, go for the best paring knife that maintains its sharpness for long. This will save you time and energy of having to sharpen it regularly.
- Ensure the Blade is Sturdy and Strong
You can either choose a thick or thin blade depending on your specific needs. However, the blade should be made from a strong metal material, such as high carbon stainless steels. It is important to note that the thickness of the blade and the material it’s made from determines its ability to withstand pressure applied on it. While plunging your knife into a hard fruit, you are likely to apply a lot of pressure on it. The knife has to be strong and thick enough for it to withstand such intense pressure without breaking.Additionally, make sure that the tip of the blade is strong enough to allow you cut fruits and vegetables easily. A strong thick blade is highly durable and cannot break or bend.
- Go For a Knife with the Best Handle
Paring knives come with either plastic handle or a wooden handle. It is important you ensure the material you choose does not slip out of your hand if it’s wet. Where possible, choose a handle with non –slip or texture coating to prevent the sliding. For efficient control of your knife, consider the thickness of the handle. A thick handle is easier to control than a thin handle since you are able to hold it more firmly.More importantly, the best paring knife should have neither a completely round nor flat handle. A round handle is more likely to spin in your hand especially if your hands are sweaty. On the other hand, a flat handle may be uncomfortable and may not allow for maximum control while using the knife.Before choosing a paring knife, hold it in your hands to test if your fingers rest safely on the handle and if the grip is firm. This will also help you to determine if the handle feels solid or flimsy.
- Consider the Knife’s Comfort
The best paring knife should be comfortable to handle and use. It should be light to allow for maximum maneuverability. The handle and blade weight should be well balanced to allow you to cut through skins of small fruits without applying much force. The blade should be comfortable to choke up without reaching your gripping hand. This will prevent or minimize the chances of cutting yourself while using the knife.Since most paring knife jobs are done off the board, the knife should be a lightweight to give you a comfortable cutting action. For increased comfort make sure that the blade and the handle are intact and that the blade is well and tightly riveted and fixed into the handle.
- Choose a Knife with a Riveted Full Tang
A full tang paring knife has a blade that extends into its handle. The sharp part of the blade does not extend into the handle. The blade is pinned into the handle using two or three metal rivets that resemble screws. The best paring knife should have a well riveted full tang. A poorly riveted knife is likely to snap when in use.A knife without a full tang is also dangerous as it can easily break while you are slicing or peeling a fruit in your hand. This can be very dangerous as you can easily cut yourself.
- A Precisely Flexible Knife is Highly Advantageous
Ensure that the blade of your knife is precisely flexible, so that you can core or peel any type of fruit at any angle. If the blade is flexible, you can easily and comfortably maneuver the knife into tight spots or even around sharp turns. This is practically useful when you are trying to core a fruit without cutting away too much fresh. A stiff blade is ideal for slicing and mincing.For a blade to be flexible, it should not be too long. Go for knife with a blade length of 3 to 4 inches for an enhanced precise flexibility. More importantly, ensure that the knife is not too heavy as this will negatively impact on the flexibility of its blade.
- Consider Your Budget
The price of the best paring knife depends on its quality. A quality paring knife should have a good riveting; a strong thick blade with a cutting edge that retains sharpness and a strong well pointed tip. It is recommendable that you choose a high quality knife to avoid repetitive buying due to breakages and dullness.
How to Grip a Paring Knife
It is important that you have a comfortable grip when using your best paring knife. The knife should feel balanced and secure in your hand. This way you will be able to control the blade easily whether you are peeling, trimming or slicing. The knife should not slip out hand, whether you are cutting on a board or in your hands. Always ensure that your knife is incredibly sharp before using it. Dull knives are not only strenuous to use but are also dangerous.
How to Use a Paring Knife
It is unfortunate that the chef’s knife, has been frequently misused by many cooks as a type of a paring knife. A chef’s knife is usually small and versatile; hence most cooks are using it even for jobs it is not meant for. Here are some of the most popular ways you can use the best paring knife
- Deveining shrimps. Many cooks prefer using a paring knife for deveining shrimp. This is because it has a small size that allows you to run the edge of the blade smoothly along the back of the shrimp to make small cuts. The tip of your knife is used for removing out the vein.
- Segmenting Citrus. A paring knife can be used like a micro plane when it comes to segmenting citrus. All you need to do is to slide in between the white pith and zest, and then slice them into small pieces.
- Coring and Peeling. A serrated paring knife is ideal for slicing tomatoes and removing core. For you to do the coring, you have to insert the tip of a knife through the skin at the top part of a tomato next to the core, and plunge it one inch inside the fruit at a small angle. Use the core to direct you how to run the blade into the tomato. By using a slight sawing motion you can easily achieve a conical cutting at the top of the fruit.