There are a lot of different knives that serve different purposes. For a normal household, any knife can be used for almost all types of chopping or slicing tasks. However, for chefs or for people who love to cook, there are knives that are only meant for a more specific job.
The best paring knife is often used for peeling the outer layers of fruits and vegetables. Peelers can do this job, but there are some vegetables and fruits, like tomatoes and grapes, where you would need a paring knife to peel properly.
Finding a paring knife can be a bit daunting if you don’t know what to look for. We listed down some of the best in the market so that you won’t have to spend a lot of time looking for the best models.
Best Paring Knife Reviews
1. Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
Wusthof is a brand that is a great example of German craftsmanship. This Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife is no exception and makes a fine addition to any chef’s kitchen. Check out our full Wusthof Classic Paring Knife Review.
The Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife from the German culinary leader Wusthof features a sharp 3.5-inch blade made of German steel. This high-carbon stainless steel helps the blade remain sharp for longer, meaning it should almost always be ready for use without sharpening.
Wusthof uses state-of-the-art technology and equipment to make their knives. For this particular knife, a new computer-controlled production method has been employed that makes the edges irresistibly detailed and sharp.
The precise level of engineering of the blade of this knife is such that it has 28 degrees of sharpness, 14 degrees on each side. The knife is manufactured in 38 steps by craftsmen who have decades of experience. Some parts are custom made by hand forging as well. Three rivets bind the blade inside the handle with an incredibly tight joint. This increases the knife’s overall durability and strength.
The riveted handle with a full tang blade is a well-balanced combination for a paring knife. The high-impact composition lasts throughout a lifetime so that you will never have to worry about replacing it.
Aesthetics have also been taken care of while designing the knife. Ergonomically, the shape of the handle makes it very convenient to hold and cut food, and with a manufacturer’s lifetime warranty, that should continue for a very long time.
What's to like about the Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
The high standard of materials and manufacturing processes used in this knife definitely stand out. Precise German engineering with the newest technology has certainly produced a knife of quality.
What's not to like about the Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
The knife is just 3.5 inches long, which means that it isn’t really suited to cutting larger fruits and vegetables.
2. TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife
TUO Cutlery is a trusted knife manufacturer that is known for providing middle- to high-end kitchen knives for a price you can afford. They create high-quality knives for professionals, cooking amateurs, and even home cooks.
The TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife is a masterpiece with its polished Pakkawood handle and curved blade. This handle design is made especially to provide durability and comfort to the user.
The blade is incredibly sharp, and it is made from premium German high-carbon stainless steel. It also features a hand-polished edge that is about 12 to 15 degrees for every side. What’s more is that this is also tempered and stain-resistant.
Through the high-tech vacuum heat treatment, the hardness of the blade is measured at HRC562. With this, you can be sure that the knife will last for years to come with proper maintenance.
What's to like about the TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife
Some of the things to like about the TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife are its sharpness and durability. The Pakkawood handle will also fit perfectly on your hands, giving you an effortless cutting experience.
What's not to like about the TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife
3. Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Colori Paring Knife
Kuhn Rikon has been in the cooking utensils industry since 1926, and it has always produced innovative products. The Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Colori Paring Knife is one of the most famous knives manufactured by the company.
The blade of the Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Colori Paring Knife is made from non-stick Japanese stainless steel, which is extremely sharp and provides lasting performance. The non-stick coating in the blade will guarantee that the food will not stick. It also has a plastic safety sheath to keep the blade sharp when it is stored.
The knife also comes in different colors. You can choose from black, blue, fuschia, green, purple, and red, as well as sky blue, teal, orange, yellow, and red. The heel guard is very smooth and effective. This knife has a blade that is four inches, and the total weight is only about two ounces.
What's to like about the Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Colori Paring Knife
One of the best things about the TUO Cutlery Fiery Phoenix Utility Knife is its four-inch stainless steel blade with non-stick coating. The blade length is just right for a paring knife, and the non-stick coating provides unimpeded slicing.
What's not to like about the Kuhn Rikon Nonstick Colori Paring Knife
The handle is made from plastic, and it doesn’t fit well on your hands. The knife is also too lightweight, which makes it very hard to slice harder vegetables and fruits.
4. KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Chef Knife
KitchenAid is known to provide high-quality and modernized kitchenware since 1919. Their knowledge and experience in the field are unmatched. This is very much evident in the KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Chef Knife, which is one of the best chef knives that they made to date.
The KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Knife is made from the highest-grade, high-carbon German 1.4028 stainless steel. This type of stainless steel can provide a long-lasting sharpness together with amazing durability.
Aside from that, this knife also features a triple-rivet comfort handle, which was ergonomically created with a full tang and bolsters. The rivets ensure that the handles are strong and provide a hint of elegance. All in all, this knife offers ultimate comfort when slicing and dicing ingredients.
What's to like about the KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Chef Knife
The best thing about the KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Chef Knife is its long-lasting sharpness. Compared to most traditional knives, you don’t need to hone or sharpen this knife too frequently.
What's not to like about the KitchenAid Classic Forged Series Chef Knife
The only thing that you probably won’t like about this knife is the diameter of the handle. It is too small for people with larger hands, so it may not feel right when you are holding it.
5. Dalstrong Phantom Series Paring Knife
The Phantom Series paring knife is a clear indication of Dalstrong’s commitment to providing beauty and functionality when it comes to knives. It boasts a perfectly balanced sharpness, along with an elegant appearance that makes it one of the best paring knives in the market.
The Dalstrong Phantom Series Paring Knife has a razor-sharp edge that was honed by experts to 13 to 15 degrees edge. This knife was nitrogen cooled to improve flexibility, corrosion-resistance, and hardness.
The blade was made from high-carbon, Japanese AUS-8 steel at 58+ Rockwell Hardness. Because of this, it offers excellent edge retention, durability, and strength. It also has a high-quality Dalstrong DragonLock sheath that would protect the blade and lock it into place.
The handle is made from Spanish Pakkawood, and it is laminated and polished to make sure that it would provide exceptional grip and durability. The handle is D-shaped and would fit perfectly in the palm of your hands, allowing you to have full control of the knife while cutting.
What's to like about the Dalstrong Phantom Series Paring Knife
The ice-tempered blade is definitely the best thing about the Dalstrong Phantom Series Paring Knife. It will guarantee that the knife would retain its sharpness for a long time and provides better resilience at the same time.
What's not to like about the Dalstrong Phantom Series Paring Knife
There are instances where the handle will start peeling. The knife would be very uncomfortable to use when the handle peels apart as the metal bits might stick to your hand while cutting or chopping.
Finding a paring knife that suits your needs the most doesn’t have to be too difficult. There are several factors that you need to check to ensure that you find the best one. We will list down these factors for you to help you make the right decision.
1. Type of Blade Steel
There are literally thousands of types of steel used as knife blades, and it would be extremely difficult to explain each and every one. There are four common types, and your decision will be based on the number of certain ingredients you want in a knife. These would indicate the quality and features of the blade.
To understand the types of blade steel for a paring knife, you should first know the main ingredient of steel—carbon. The knives you’re using right now feature carbon as this ingredient is an important hardening element of blades and will tell you about its quality.
Low carbon blades have about 0.3% carbon or less, medium carbon blades have somewhere between 0.4% and 0.7%, and high-carbon blades have more than 0.8% carbon in the mixture. The Society of Automotive Engineers’ (SAE) designation system assigns a four-digit number for carbon and alloy steel. The first digit would be the main element, the second indicates the next element, and the last two digits represent the amount of carbon in the blade. With this, we can derive that a 1095 steel has 0.95% carbon in its construction
The most common types of blade steel are carbon steel, alloy steel, tool steel, and stainless steel. These are all the general names of the types of steel only, and these are still divided into smaller groups.
Plain Carbon Steel
10XX steel is definitely one of the most common types used for knife blades. The 1095 model is the most common because it is also the one with the highest carbon. The steel used for knife blades ranges from 1045 to 1095, with 1045 having the lowest amount of carbon.
1045 steel has more manganese compared with 1095. The 1095 model has a higher level of wear-resistance, but it would be less durable, as well. The only drawback is rust. This is the reason why 1095 blades usually come with some type of coating to deal with rust issues.
This is a 5160 steel with a mix of chromium. The chromium is only minimal to turn it into stainless steel, but it is added to help strengthen the material. This kind of steel usually has 0.56% to 0.64% carbon.
This type of steel is divided into smaller groups as well.
- 52100 Steel: This is actually high-carbon steel with about 0.98% to 1.10% carbon. It is harder than other types of steel, and it can hold an edge well.
- A2 Steel: It is very tough steel, but it doesn’t have a lot of wear-resistance. It has a carbon content ranging from 0.95% to 1.05%.
- CPM 10V Steel: This is one of the steel types with the best wear-resistance level.
- CPM 3V Steel: This steel type is designed to be tough and also has high wear-resistance.
- CPM 4M Steel: This steel has a high carbon content at 1.42%, and it has good wear resistance.
Stainless steel knives have a high chromium rate measured at 12%, so they are extremely resistant to rust. There are stainless steel knives with low carbon content, but these are usually cheaper and can’t hold an edge well.
There are also stainless steel blades with a high concentration of carbon, and they are extremely sturdy, can hold an edge well, and are resistant to rust. The 420 steel has 0.38% carbon, while the 440A steel has 0.65% to 0.75% carbon content. The 440B steel is quite similar to the 440A, but the carbon content is higher, with a range of 0.75% to 0.95%.
You should also take note of the AUS Series, which is commonly known as the Japanese stainless steel. The AUS-6 steel has 0.65% carbon, the AUS-8 has 0.75% carbon, and the AUS-10 steel has 1.1% carbon content.
There are advantages and disadvantages to having high carbon content on a knife. For paring knives, getting a model with a high carbon content is not a bad idea as it provides more durability to your knife.
2. Blade Length
Paring knives usually have a blade length of about three to five inches. Three-inch paring knives can be used for in-hand work, so if you are peeling grapes, tomatoes, and other small fruits and vegetables, this is the best choice. If you go over the five-inch benchmark, the knife won’t be considered as a paring knife.
Your paring knives should be sharp enough to slice through small fruits and vegetables with ease and without squeezing or damaging them. Peeling the skin of fruits and vegetables would also require an extremely sharp knife.
All paring knives that you buy will come extremely sharp at the beginning. What you need to look out for is how long the knife can retain its sharpness.
4. Handle Material and Shape
The handle material and the shape of the knife should also be a part of your consideration.
There are four types of handle material used for a paring knife.
This type of handle is extremely attractive and has a warm feel to it. Wooden handles are usually riveted and sealed, and they are very sturdy as well. However, you should never soak them in water for a long time because they would expand and crack. If you need more durability, Rosewood and Olivewood would be a good material.
Like wooden handles, this type of knife handle is riveted together. It is extremely durable and resistant to water. This makes it very easy to care for and maintain.
Most Asian knives are actually made from a single piece of steel that would make the knife and handle. It is very durable as the handle is already connected to the blade.
This type of handle is very lightweight and comes in two parts that are glued together. If you want to save money on your paring knife, this is the best choice.
There are three different shapes that are commonly used right now for paring knives.
A bird’s beak is considered a trimming or tourné knife. It has a concave blade that is similar to a sickle. This shape is made for peeling, trimming, and doing more detailed knife work.
This type of knife has a slight belly on the blade.
This knife has a flat blade edge as well as a rounded spine close to the tip.
5. Stain Resistance
When it comes to stain resistance, it would depend on your choice. You can prevent stains with proper knife maintenance, but there are also some types of knives that are stain-resistant.
A paring knife blade should have at least 12% chromium to be resistant to stain. A chromium-oxide film will appear on the metal surface, and it will prevent the iron from coming in contact with water and oxygen.
6. Edge Angle
For paring knives, the most applicable edge angle would be anywhere between 12 and 17 degrees.
Paring Knife FAQs
You probably have a lot of questions about paring knives. This section aims to answer some of the most common questions that you may have about the paring knives to help you decide if you actually need one in your kitchen.
1. How long is a paring knife?
A paring knife should not be too long, and the blade should only measure around three to five inches. Paring knives are made for peeling and slicing small fruits and vegetables, so having a longer blade is not advisable as it would prevent you from accurately slicing and peeling them.
2. Are paring knives sharp?
Paring knives are very sharp because they are used for more delicate cutting and chopping work. However, this still depends on how you maintain the sharpness of your paring knife. Always follow proper usage, storage, and sharpening steps.
3. What size paring knife is best?
If you want to peel off the skin of grapes, strawberries, tomatoes, and more, a three-inch paring knife is a good choice. If you plan to chop small vegetables with a chopping board, using a long knife would do. Although a three-inch paring knife can be used for this as well, you might want something a bit longer. A four- or a five-inch paring knife will be a good choice for this.
4. How many paring knives do I need?
For most cooks, two paring knives would do. You need a short, three-inch paring knife and another one that is a bit longer. You can go for a four-inch or a five-inch paring knife. The reason why you need to have at least two of them in the kitchen is so that you can use the shorter one for in-hand tasks and the longer paring knife for when you’re chopping fruits and vegetables.
5. How sharp should a paring knife be?
A paring knife should be as sharp as you can get it to be. A dull knife is much more dangerous to use. Since paring knives are very short, they might squash the fruits and vegetables that you are chopping if they aren’t sharp enough.
If you are still asking whether or not it is worth it to spend a lot of time looking for the best paring knife, the answer is yes. It doesn’t matter if you are a professional chef or just a simple home cook; using the right paring knife can provide a lot of convenience to you while cooking.