9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (2022)

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (1)

Staff, Courtesy of Zyliss

A paring knife is the smallest and lightest member of your knife set. It may not be the most attention-grabbing knife in your arsenal, but it’s certainly no less important than the sturdy chef’s knife or serrated bread knife. If you’re looking to complete your supply of culinary blades with a small but mighty paring knife, here’s what to look for when shopping for one.

What to Consider

Before investing in a new paring knife, there are a few things to consider. First, what size knife do you need? Paring knives are small and easy to maneuver for detail-oriented cutting jobs like peeling vegetables and making elegant garnishes out of cucumbers, avocados, and other delicate produce. The size of a knife will make it more or less comfortable in your hand. People with smaller hands will find a smaller or lighter knife easier to use, and vice versa for large-handed folks. As a general rule, the more intricate the cut, the smaller the blade you want.

Next, consider the handle material on a new knife. The most common materials used for paring knife handles are plastic, wood, and stainless steel. Plastic is harder than wood but it lasts longer and is easier to keep clean. Wood can’t be washed in the dishwasher and may start to splinter over time with frequent use and hand-washing. You can also find rubberized plastic handles, which are softer and more comfortable to hold.

Finally, paring knives come in several different blade styles. These include straight-edged, serrated, and bird’s beak. Serrated knives are best for slicing through tough surfaces like baked goods and hard sausages. Bird’s beak knives make intricate knife work, like fluting mushrooms or peeling carrots, easier. Straight-edged paring knives are the most widely versatile option, for everything from peeling to slicing and chopping.

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How We Selected

As a trained chef, recipe developer, and food writer for Munchery and Simply Recipes, I can’t avoid knife work. And when I have a high-quality and comfortable knife, it’s much easier to work through a mountain of prep work. To select the best paring knives for this list, I researched product specifications and consumer reviews to ensure that there’s a high-quality knife for every kind of home cook and kitchen. Whether you’re seeking a sturdy serrated blade for slicing your Sunday bagel or a lightweight all-purpose knife for any number of kitchen tasks, you'll find the right paring knife for you on this list.

Best All-Around Paring Knife

Zwilling J.A. Henckels Twin Signature Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (2)

Zwilling J.A. Henckels

$30 AT AMAZON $30 AT WALMART $39 AT WAYFAIR

  • Ergonomic handle
  • No blade guard

Key Specs

  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Blade Length: 4 in.
  • Handle Material: Plastic

This paring knife has an easy-to-maneuver design and weight. Its stainless-steel blade maintains its super-sharp edge longer than other materials, thanks to the ice-hardening production technique, a process that includes freezing the steel to produce a hard, sharp, and corrosion-resistant blade. The knife is an appropriate weight for most cooks, with just the right amount of heft to make your job easier without being burdensome.

Best Budget Parking Knife

Mercer Culinary Millennia Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (3)

Mercer Culinary

Now 31% off

(Video) Top 5 Best Paring Knives Review in 2022 | For Sharp Cuts in the Kitchen

$10 AT AMAZON $13 AT WALMART

  • High-carbon stainless steel blade
  • Not as sturdy as other options

Key Specs

  • Weight: 1.6 oz.
  • Blade Length: 3.5 in.
  • Handle Material: Plastic

This super-lightweight and affordable paring knife is a great starter blade. It has a sharp single-piece stainless-steel edge that’s easy to resharpen. The knife is also especially lightweight, which makes it a great option for people with small hands or for detailed cutting work.

Best Set of Paring Knives

Zyliss 3-Piece Peeling & Paring Knife Set

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (4)

Zyliss

$10 AT AMAZON $17 AT WALMART $10 AT BED BATH AND BEYOND

Key Specs

  • Weight: N/A
  • Blade Lengths: 2.25 in., 3.25 in., 3.25 in.
  • Handle Material: Plastic

This 3-piece set of colorful paring knives is a convenient single purchase to cover most small cutting tasks. The knife blades have slightly different shapes: a serrated edge, a straight edge, and a bird’s beak for especially delicate tasks.

Best Professional Paring Knife

Miyabi Kaizen Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (5)

(Video) Best Paring Knife in 2022 – Affordable Products Guide!

Miyabi

$120 AT WAYFAIR $120 AT SAKS FIFTH AVENUE

  • Ultra-sharp blade
  • More expensive than other knives

Key Specs

  • Weight: N/A
  • Blade Length: 3.5 in.
  • Handle Material: Plastic

This Japanese-made professional paring knife is designed for a high-volume kitchen. It has an ultra-sharp, ice-hardened, stainless-steel blade and a perfectly balanced handle for optimal maneuverability and cutting ability. The knife also has a traditional Japanese design that makes it as attractive as it is functional.

Best Wide Paring Knife

Wüsthof Classic Wide Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (6)

Wüsthof

  • Sharp blade point for starting cuts in tough ingredients
  • Larger size may not be best for small hands

Key Specs

  • Weight: 2.3 oz
  • Blade Length: 4 in.
  • Handle Material: Plastic

For larger cutting jobs, this wide-bladed paring knife from Wüsthof is a great option. It has a comfortable ergonomic handle and a thick, super-sharp blade that makes this knife a good tool for peeling, chopping, slicing, and more. The handle has three rivets for added durability.

Best Wood-Handled Paring Knife

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (7)

(Video) Best Paring Knife 2022 - Review

Chicago Cutlery

$14 AT AMAZON $17 AT WALMART $15 AT FARMANDFLEET.COM

Key Specs

  • Weight: 0.8 oz.
  • Blade Length: 3 in.
  • Handle Material: Walnut

This attractive wooden-handled knife from Chicago Cutlery has a comfortable, smooth walnut handle and a sharp stainless-steel blade. The blade is rust- and stain-resistant and has a tapered edge for maximum slicing abilities.

Best Serrated Paring Knife

Zyliss Serrated Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (8)

Zyliss

  • Includes blade sheath
  • Heavier than other options

Key Specs

  • Weight: 2.24 oz.
  • Blade Length: 3.75 in.
  • Handle Material: Walnut

A serrated paring knife is the best tool to cut through tough surfaces like tomato skins and hard salami. This heavy-duty knife has a nice balance to it that means you can apply less pressure for the same amount of work as a smaller knife.

Best Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

Dalstrong Tourne Peeling Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (9)

(Video) 10 Best Paring Knives 2019

Dalstrong

  • Laminated handle for sanitation
  • Not as versatile a shape as other knives

Key Specs

  • Weight: 3.53 oz.
  • Blade Length: 2.75 in.
  • Handle Material: Pakkawood

This uniquely designed paring knife is super sharp and has a pointed end that’s great for poking through tendons during butchering. The curved blade shape is also handy for making advanced knife cuts like decorative fruit and vegetable garnishes such as fluted mushrooms and tourned carrots.

Best Ceramic Paring Knife

Farberware Ceramic Paring Knife

9 Best Paring Knives for Every Chef (10)

Farberware

  • Includes blade sheath
  • Not for use with frozen and other hard foods

Key Specs

  • Weight: 2.4 oz.
  • Blade Length: 3.5 in.
  • Handle Material: Softgrip plastic

Ceramic is a rust-proof and easy-to-clean blade material that’s especially handy for paring knives. While ceramic may chip on hard items, in most cases you’ll be using your paring knife for small, soft, and pliable ingredients like produce items. This knife also has an especially comfortable easy-grip handle.

Elizabeth BriskinLizzy Briskin, a food writer and product reviewer who runs Earthen Food Co, is a trained chef and avid home cook who loves to put new gadgets to the test to help people make informed buying decisions; she contributes food, cooking, and lifestyle content to publications including the Chicago Tribune, Simply Recipes, Munchery, Insider, and others.

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FAQs

What is the most versatile of all kitchen knives? ›

That said, there's a reason the basic 6- to 8-inch chef's knife is ubiquitous: It's the most versatile knife. The chef's knife is capable of dicing veggies, slicing meat, smashing garlic, and chopping herbs and nuts. In a pinch, it'll even go through small bones without too much trouble.

What are the 3 most important knives in a kitchen? ›

If you think about the knives that you use again and again, it comes down to three essentials: The chef's knife, the serrated knife, and the paring knife.

How much should I spend on a paring knife? ›

Paring knives generally cost anywhere from $10 to $60. It's important to note that paring knives come standard in most knife sets. The sharper a knife is, the easier it will be to work with, so we recommend buying knives made from high carbon stainless steel as they hold a great edge.

What should I look for when buying a paring knife? ›

When buying a paring knife there are 3 main considerations, the blade's shape/size/construction, comfort and grip, and price. Since paring knives will be, and likely are, one of the most used in your arsenal, it's important to find a brand that is lightweight, comfortable to grip, and very sharp.

What is the best knife brand in the world? ›

Best Kitchen Knife Brands
  • Wüsthof.
  • Zwilling J.A. Henckels.
  • Shun.
  • Imarku.
  • Global Cutlery USA.
  • Victorinox.
  • Mercer Culinary.
  • Kramer.
Apr 18, 2022

Which knives stay sharp the longest? ›

Carbon steel knives are known to keep their sharp edges longer than most and make chopping, slicing and shaving safer and easier.

What knives do Gordon Ramsay use? ›

Gordon Ramsay uses both Wüsthof and Henckels branded knives; the brands are known for quality products, and they are two of the best knife manufacturers in the world. Wüstoff has been making knives since 1814, and Henckels has been around since 1895.

What knife did Anthony Bourdain use? ›

That's why it's probably a good idea to listen to him when he reveals his favorite chef's knife. According to the Daily Meal, at the premiere of his new documentary Wasted, Bourdain said that his go-to chef's knife—an all-purpose knife that can be used when you're preparing dinner—is the Global G-2 eight-inch knife.

What knives does Bobby Flay use? ›

He's been using the Shun Classic Western Chef's Knife for years, and it's always been his favorite. The Shun Classic Western Chef's Knife gives Flay a significant edge. The blade is made of high-quality Japanese VG-10 steel.

What knives do Michelin chefs use? ›

The Michelin two-star chef's favorites are the Maguro and Yanagiba knives made by Tatsuo Ikeda, a traditional, award-winning craftsman from Osaka, Japan.

Do chefs use paring knives? ›

While a chef's knife is the perfect tool for mincing ingredients like onions or bell peppers, it's much more cumbersome to use for dainty items like shallots, garlic cloves, herbs or even pitting and chopping dates. That's where the paring knife comes in.

How many knives does a chef need? ›

There are only three knives that are crucial in a kitchen: a chef's knife, a paring knife and a serrated knife. Any other knives are a luxury--they can make cooking easier and more enjoyable, but are unnecessary.

What knives does Jamie Oliver use? ›

A favourite among the Jamie Oliver food team, the santoku knife is great for slicing, dicing and chopping. Japanese in origin, the flat edge and sheepsfoot blade not only looks beautiful, but is super efficient, too.

What knives do celebrity chefs use? ›

Ina's Favorite: Wüsthof Classic 8-Inch Chef's Knife

“They're what I use. They're pretty expensive, but they last a lifetime. That's why I say, ask for one as a gift or buy one at a time,” Ina told us, admitting that they're a bit of an investment — but totally worth it.

What make of knives does James Martin use? ›

James Martin's Santoku knife is a top favorite among his recommended list of knives. The Santoku knife was invented in Japan for light cutting, slicing, and mincing. James Martin uses a special Santoku knife modified by himself and Stellar, exclusive for its design, sharpness, longevity, and efficient use.

What is a bird beak paring knife used for? ›

Today, fans of these knives—many of them former restaurant cooks—use them for two basic types of jobs: peeling fruits and vegetables and precise detail work such as trimming brussels sprouts or removing the eyes from potatoes.

What is a Japanese paring knife? ›

The Paring knife makes it suitable for a variety of commonplace kitchen tasks, but it is primarily used for peeling and accurately shaping fruits and vegetables, particularly useful when cutting small items held in the hand. Paring Knife is indispensable in the kitchen, and are a perfect companion for the larger Gyuto.

How sharp should a paring knife be? ›

Paring Knives

The detail work that you'll do with your paring knife requires a super sharp blade. Paring knives are most similar to chef's knives in shape — with a straight edge and spear-like tip — but are usually less than half the size.

What 3 knives are essential to a kitchen Reddit? ›

The standard answer is:
  • Chef knife.
  • Paring knife.
  • Bread knife.
  • Whatever else you wish you had when you were doing that thing you do often.
Feb 3, 2017

What is the difference between Santoku and chef's knife? ›

Shape of the blade: A santoku knife has a single bevel (there is only one side with a sharp edge) and a curved blade; a Western-style chef's knife blade has a double bevel (each side of the blade is sharp at the top) and comes to a pointed tip.

What do professional chefs use to sharpen knives? ›

A honing steel is a tool used by many professional cooks to realign knife blades.

Why are Japanese knives so good? ›

Generally, Japanese knives are lighter, feel more balanced in the hand and feature steel that is harder, thinner and able to hold an edge for a longer time. These are exactly the reasons they're so popular among professional chefs, and why they're perfect for the precision tasks chefs do all day every day.

Which kind of knife is used most often in the kitchen Why? ›

As its name suggests, the chef's knife is one of the most frequently used and versatile tools in the kitchen. Chef's knives are typically between eight and ten inches, although they can be as short as six inches and as long as 14 inches.

What do you use a paring knife for? ›

Paring knives (also called peeling knives) are very versatile, and a mainstay of the professional kitchen as a result. Many cooks use them to peel or cut fruit and vegetables into small pieces, or to carry out other similar precision work.

Should paring knives be sharp? ›

To handle precise tasks, like peeling fruits and vegetables, paring knives must have very sharp blades. They also need a sharp pointed tip for hulling strawberries and deveining shrimp, two surgical tasks that require the tip to dig under and into ingredients with precision.

What is a Japanese paring knife? ›

The Paring knife makes it suitable for a variety of commonplace kitchen tasks, but it is primarily used for peeling and accurately shaping fruits and vegetables, particularly useful when cutting small items held in the hand. Paring Knife is indispensable in the kitchen, and are a perfect companion for the larger Gyuto.

How sharp should a paring knife be? ›

Paring Knives

The detail work that you'll do with your paring knife requires a super sharp blade. Paring knives are most similar to chef's knives in shape — with a straight edge and spear-like tip — but are usually less than half the size.

Which knife is best for peeling potatoes? ›

Best Way to Peel a Potato - Knife or Peeler | RadaCutlery.com - YouTube

How long should my paring knife be? ›

A paring knife is a short chef knife, with a blade of 8–10 centimetres (3–4 inches) long. Its compact size is intended to make regular tasks such as cutting, trimming or slicing much easier and more precise.

Do you hone a paring knife? ›

As we've said, yes, paring knives can be sharpened. In fact, they are so often used in most kitchens, you'll probably find sharpening essential. Now, if you'd like to know the best method, we'll discuss using both a whetstone and pull-through or 'V' style sharpener below.

What is the best knife brand in the world? ›

Best Kitchen Knife Brands
  • Wüsthof.
  • Zwilling J.A. Henckels.
  • Shun.
  • Imarku.
  • Global Cutlery USA.
  • Victorinox.
  • Mercer Culinary.
  • Kramer.
Apr 18, 2022

Which knives stay sharp the longest? ›

Carbon steel knives are known to keep their sharp edges longer than most and make chopping, slicing and shaving safer and easier.

What is the best size for a chef's knife? ›

Size: An 8-inch chef's knife is the most popular among home cooks because of its versatility. A 10-incher's longer blade can cut more volume but may feel intimidating.

What is a Santoku knife used for? ›

Santoku knives or to give them their full name Santoku bocho knives, which translates as 'three uses', are ideal for mincing, dicing and slicing, as they feature a straight edge with a narrow sheep's foot blade. These knives have evolved from the traditional Japanese vegetable knife which has a rectangular blade.

What is Deba knife? ›

Deba --- For cutting fish and light mincing. Thick, wide blade. The back of the blade can be used to chop thin bones. Thick and Heavier blade of Deba has good durable edge, suitable for cutting a Fish, a Chicken (includes the bones), also for filleting tasks.

What is a kiridashi knife? ›

JAPANESE KIRIDASHI MARKING KNIFE: Kiridashi Knife is a Japanese hand-forged utility knife for woodworking, bamboo craft, whittling, marking, deburring, pencil sharpening, paper cutting, leathercraft, and so on. The handy portable size is convenient for camping and outdoor as well.

How do I know if my knife is sharp enough? ›

Fingernail Sharpness Test: Testing sharpness on your fingernail is the go-to sharp test for Work Sharp at knife shows and sharpening events. The technique is simple… gently tap the edge of the blade against your fingernail. Your knife is sharp if the blade bites in, and dull if it deflects or slides.

What do you use a serrated paring knife for? ›

Your small serrated knife is the right tool for the job. And speaking of cake, a serrated paring knife is perfect for trimming cake edges (or slicing off a bit to nibble on). It's also my favorite tool for evenly slicing chilled dough for any kind of slice-and-bake cookies.

The Spruce Eats Top Picks. It doesn’t matter which knife you buy —they all need to be sharpened eventually, and it's a good idea to keep your knives sharp because a sharp knife is safer to cut with than a dull one.. Here, the best knife sharpeners for all your needs.. The first time this sharpener is used on a knife, it will take a bit longer, since it’s cutting a new edge angle.. Next, medium grit (ranging from 1,000 to 3,000 grit) is great to sharpen a knife that is dull but not damaged.. There are water stones, oil stones, and ceramic stones.

Here, the best Japanese knives for your kitchen.. It has an 8-inch blade that’s the perfect length for all-around cutting, slicing, chopping, and dicing, while the handle is designed for a comfortable and almost effortless grip.. It’s also great for chopping herbs and for slicing, as well.. Keep in mind you’ll need adequate storage for whatever size knife you buy, so if it’s too big for a drawer or knife block, you may need to reconsider.. The knife can offer a Japanese or a European handle, which comes down to feel and preference.

Santoku knife: Originating from Japan, a santoku knife differs from a chef’s knife due to its downward curving tip and thinner blade.. Peeling knife: A peeling knife looks a bit like a paring knife but its blade curves inwards making it ideal for peeling misshapen, tough skins on fruit and vegetables.. Knife blocks: Some knife sets come with a knife block as standard and are a great option if your kitchen is on the compact side.. 1Zwilling Knife Block Bamboo 6 pcs selfridges.comWith a lifetime guarantee, this winning knife set is an investment.. Key specificationsKnives in set: Paring, chef’s, slicing, bread and utility Blade material: Stainless Steel Storage options: Block. Key specificationsKnives in set: Carving, bread, cook’s, santoku, utility, paring Blade material: Stainless steel Storage options: Block. Key specificationsKnives in set: Chef’s, carving, bread, santoku, boning, utility, paring Blade material: Damascus steel Storage options: Block. 5Ballarini 7 Piece Pakka Wood Knife Blockamazon.co.ukMatching the performance of sets double its price, this knife set would suit everyone from beginners to expert chefs.. Key specificationsKnives in set: Chef’s, bread, carving, utility, peeling, paring Blade material: Stainless steel Storage options: Block. 8Richardson Sheffield Scandi 5 Piece Stainless Steel Knife Set & Block amazon.co.ukAspiring butchers will enjoy the chef’s knife here, which cut through a beef steak like butter.. Key specificationsKnives in set: Chef’s, carving, bread, utility, paring Blade material: Stainless steel Storage options: Block. Key specificationsKnives in set: Chef’s, bread, slicing, serrated utility, paring Blade material: Japanese steel Storage options: Block. Key specificationsKnives in set: Paring, utility, chef’s, serrated utility, santoku Blade material: Stainless steel Storage options: Block. 11Zyliss Comfort 6 Piece Knife Set lakeland.co.ukThough the most basic set on our list, the knives performed impressively.

Videos

1. 5 ESSENTlAL KNIVES every serious cook must have!
(devil's food kitchen)
2. best paring knife in the world
(ChefGiovanni)
3. King of All Paring Knives - Renaissance 3.5in Forged Paring
(JPM.Cuisine)
4. 10 Best Paring Knives 2016
(Ezvid Wiki)
5. Victorinox: Prepping Asparagus with a Paring Knife
(Sur La Table)
6. ZüM ZüM - One of the sexiest paring knives I used.
(JPM.Cuisine)

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