Regardless of whether you are a home cook who cooks for pleasure or an experienced professional working in a restaurant, having a quality knife by your side is an essential kitchen gadget.
Understanding the importance and value of different types of knives makes all the difference in the kitchen. When you have the proper and sharp enough knife, you will feel confident and safe when you are preparing a more challenging dish or trying out a new recipe.
How will a sharp knife keep you safe? By reducing the chance of injuring yourself, which is a more common occurrence when using dull knives or the wrong type of knife for the kitchen activity in question. For example, instead of a bread knife, you are using a butcher knife to slice bread.
Before purchasing a knife, it is good to know what characteristics to look for so that you ensure an optimal experience in the kitchen. Choose knives that are made from quality steel, either from Japanese or German origin because of their proven longevity.
The Japanese steel differs from the German one in being harder and thus, a bit more challenging to sharpen; however, it will maintain its sharpness longer. On the other hand, German steel is quite softer and therefore, easily sharpened, but, it will not maintain its sharpness as long as Japanese steel.
Taking into account that having the right knives in the kitchen is a smart and long-term investment, this article explores the main characteristics of paring knives. Also, we will review the five best paring knives currently trending on Amazon so that you can make an informed decision in accordance with your budget and preferences.
If you are considering investing in a paring knife, make sure you check out our comprehensive review on the 5 best and most affordable paring knives on Amazon shown below.
Table of Contents
- Best Paring Knife Review
- Buying Guide
- Final Thoughts on Choosing a Paring Knife
Best Paring Knife Review
1. Victorinox 3.25-Inch Paring Knife
Victorinox’s Paring Knife with Serrated Edge & Spear Point is our first choice for the best paring knife because of its really affordable price (no more than $10) and solid performance.
It has been crafted in Switzerland since 1884 by the eminent company Victorinox and it is a knife with a serrated edge that enables effortless slicing of delicate produce with soft skin, including kiwis and tomatoes, without smashing their meat. The handle is:
- ergonomically created
- safe for machine washing
It is highly recommendable for professionals who use knives daily. And, the company offers a lifetime-long warranty for any material and workmanship defects.
Often described by users as a classic paring knife that every dedicated cook should have, this rather lightweight option (only 0.64 oz.) comes with a black handle color which is sturdy, yet flexible and maneuverable.
This is a viable choice for cooks who need a go-to tool for precise tasks because it allows for consistent and smooth cuts that will help you prepare nutritious and beautiful dishes.
However, since it is rather feathery, it cannot be used for cutting through harder veggies such as carrots or artichokes due to the fact that it lacks the sufficient weight necessary to make easy cuts.
2. J.A. Henckels Classic Paring 4-Inch Knife
J.A. Henckels’s Paring Knife is made with high-quality German stainless steel in Spain by being beaten into shape, thus, ensuring optimal durability and easy transition from blade to handle.
Even though it comes at a much higher price than the paring knife model we presented earlier (higher than $30), the company does guarantee long-lasting sharpness and flawless cutting precision thanks to the satin-finished blade.
If you are looking for a highly-balanced and comfortable paring knife and if you can afford to spend a bit more on a kitchen utensil, this is an excellent choice. The ergonomic black handle comes with a classic triple-rivet design for high comfort and balance while holding the knife.
The 4-inch blade provides quality and effortless peeling, shaping, and cutting of fruits and vegetables.
The knife was designed back in 1985 by Zwilling J.A. Henckels and the brand continues to guarantee the same design, longevity, and easy-usage today. The classic shape with curvy back and edge and center-tip style will satisfy even the pickiest of knife users.
A couple of buyers found this knife “extremely light and cheap” and one user notes that the wood split into both sides after only brief usage. Moreover, despite the fact that the company says that the knife is safe for machine washing, they still recommend hand-washing it with a light soap, which could be confusing to a lot of potential buyers.
3. Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel Paring Knife
Wusthof’s Classic Paring Knife has a new edge technology enabling each side to be sharper by 14 degrees which further doubles the retention of sharpness. The blade includes high carbon stainless steel which provides the durability of the sharpness and it is also stain-resistant with the help of the chromium in the steel.
So, do not worry about repeated use once you sharpen the knife- it will hold its edge for a long period of time.
However, since this type of steel is prone to rust, it is advisable to scour it from time to time with stainless steel pads to maintain its shine and cleanliness.
The knife has a full tang, i.e. it is considered to be a one-piece since the two handle pieces are pinned on the blade on each side; and, this is the strongest type of tang.
The triple-rivet handle has an ergonomic design with a high-impact composition that enables ideal balance and confidence in the user during any task. For a price somewhat lower than $50, you do not just get a quality product, but a lifetime warranty too.
Though the company promotes long-term sharpness of the blade as the major value, according to one customer, the knife became dull very easily and quickly after purchase.
4. Kuhn Rikon Colori Set of Three Paring Knives
Kuhn Rikon’s Set of Three Paring Knives comes with a yellow, red, and blue 4-inch paring knives and matching sheaths for the optimal protection of the blade, but for your fingers too. If you are not into the classic black or gray knife models, this colorful, bright, and vibrant set is for you.
The playfulness of the set must not fool you- these are pretty powerful paring knives with top performance- no matter if you are in need of some thin cheese slices for your sandwiches or finely-chopped veggies for your salad- they will deliver!
The blade is made from non-stick Japanese stainless steel that provides high sharpness and durability. Since the blade is non-stick, the food will not remain on it, but it will slowly release from it as you cut and thus, it will make the process more enjoyable, neater, and easier.
This set is the perfect option for camping or other adventures because of the convenient sheaths that keep you safe from potential injuries. At a price lower than $20, you get three highly versatile paring knives that are safe and fun to use.
Kuhn Rikon is a Swiss family firm that has been present and appreciated in the world of cooking since 1926 and constantly satisfies its customers with their innovative products that help users enjoy while preparing food.
Despite claims for optimal durability of the blade’s sharpness, several customers claim that the blade went dull after a short period of usage.
5. Zelite Infinity 4-Inch Paring Knife
Zelite Infinity’s Paring Knife from the Alpha Royal Series with Japanese Super Steel has superb edge retention and it is resistant to stain and corrosion. You can have the 4-inch option for less than $60 and you will get:
- a visually stunning design
- top-quality performance
- a modern knife
- minimal slicing resistance
- full tang
- premium Japanese materials
Even though you may not be a professional chef, this knife will make you feel like one, without any
This may not be the most suitable option for you if you are on a tighter budget and because of the fact that the package says “Made in China” despite the company promoting the knife as if it is made in Japan. Some users find it to be a below standard knife with poor durability and sharpness.
What Is a Paring Knife?
Culinary Lore describes a paring knife as a small type of knife and a specialty one, i.e. it is used for particular tasks. Some chefs consider it to be the second most important knife after a chef’s knife.
Why Do I Need It?
Paring is an activity of cutting away external surfaces or eliminating ends of fruits and veggies. With the help of this knife, you can easily peel off the outer layers of fruits and veggies and further prepare and cut them.
Some of you may think that a peeler will do the job and therefore you will not need this knife; however, imagine using it for tomatoes or oranges? Not a good option, right? A paring knife gives you so many different opportunities, from removing fruit cores to hulling strawberries.
The Main Properties of Paring Knives
A typical knife for paring has a robust and short blade and its length may vary between 2 to 4 inches. The cutting edge may be curved or straight.
Culinary Lore emphasizes that this is a light knife which easily fits in the hand and it is ideal for tasks requiring a smaller knife; for example, cutting near the core of an avocado or a peach because the chance for cutting yourself is much smaller than if you go with a heavier and larger knife option.
When it comes to the length of a paring knife’s blade, they come in two different sizes, i.e. 3 to 4 inches or 2 to 3 inches. Even though having the two sizes is great, if you want to go with one of the two, opt for a larger blade so that you can also use it on a cutting board (in addition to holding it aloft), remove fat from meat, and cut veggies.
Do not choose paring knives with overly rounded blades (opt for straighter blades) and with too sharp tips because this will make hulling and coring more challenging.
Beneficial Uses of a Paring Knife
Having a quality paring knife by your side will ease so many different tasks in the kitchen and enable you to be precise, especially when it comes to the following ones:
- Cutting the kernels off of cobs
- Eliminating potato eyes without removing too much of its skin
- Slicing cured sausages and cheeses
- Removing membranes and seeds from the chili
- Deveining shrimp and prawn
- Scraping vanilla beans
Final Thoughts on Choosing a Paring Knife
With certainty, you can find the best paring knife for you should you choose any model from this list. Customers have high praise for all of them and they are products of companies that have long been a part of the knife industry.
If you can spend more on a paring knife and if you want a stunning design, Zelite Infinity’s 4-inch paring knife or Wusthof’s paring knife with new edge technology will satisfy your taste.
Nonetheless, if you are new to the world of paring knives and if you do not want to spend a small fortune, you can choose the Victorinox or Kuhn Rikon models. They will not cost you more than $20, but will still ensure blade sharpness and longevity.
If you are a fan of knives made from German steel and of classic triple-rivet designs, Henckels’s paring knife will not disappoint you.