Sometimes described as a nifty blade, a paring knife is a convenient tool to have around the kitchen. Using a large blade to peel a piece of fruit can be awkward but these knives allow you to cut with accuracy and are a common inclusion in many a kitchen drawer of cooking enthusiasts and chefs.
Whether you are removing seeds or peeling vegetables, a paring knife should be sharp and made from quality materials. You might realize that this is a bigger task than it should be, with too many products falling short of what you would expect. This is why we created our list of the top paring knives, so anyone looking to de-shell shrimp or peel an apple doesn’t have to struggle.
List of the Best Paring Knives
- Editor’s Choice: Wüsthof 4066-7/09 Paring knife (Amazon) – Review
- Most Comfortable Handle: Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife (Amazon) – Review
- Best Value: ZYLISS Paring Knife with Sheath Cover (Amazon) – Review
- Best Japanese: Mac Knife PKF-30 Professional Paring Knife (Amazon) – Review
- Best Design: Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife (Amazon) – Review
- Best Ceramic: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3-inch Paring Knife (Amazon) – Review
Editor’s Choice: Wüsthof 4066-7/09 Paring knife
When it is done right, a quality paring knife sure does look impressive. That’s what we have on our hands with this product from Wüsthof. They use a single blank of high carbon stainless steel (sounds impressive – and it is!) to forge what we consider to be the best paring knife on the market. By using specialist technology, Wüsthof ensures the blade stays sharper for longer and it made 20% sharper it makes light work of peeling tougher foods such as pineapple and can be used to chop in small, accurate segments.
Although it is dishwasher safe, they recommend that you hand wash it to prolong its lifespan which you will want to do since the quality of the blade is complemented but the comfortable handle that is made to resist fading and discoloring. A serious paring knife and an easy winner – no wonder they etched their name into the blade.
Most Comfortable Handle: Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife
For what you get in the price range, this is up there with the best value you can find. A quality paring knife thanks to the curvy Santoprene handle that has a good level of grip and feels sturdy in your palm. It is made from German high carbon forged steel and features a full tang that runs along the length of the handle which gives you better control.
We like that such a good product comes with a lifetime warranty because it is the sort of paring knife that once you get used to it, you won’t want another. It feels a little heavier than some of the other products because the handle is a little chunky which makes it difficult to use on more intricate tasks but that shouldn’t detract from the fact that this is a sharp paring knife that is made from high-quality materials.
Best Value: ZYLISS Paring Knife with Sheath Cover
For anyone on a tighter budget, you can still get a quality paring knife and this is what a good product looks like when you have around $10 to spend. It features a high carbon stainless steel blade that will stay sharp for a long time, this also makes it easy to sharpen when the time comes. The handle features a soft rubber that is grippy and comfortable for extended use and what you get for the price is impressive since it also comes with a sheath for safe storage.
Although they recommend that you hand wash it, this paring knife is dishwasher safe and comes with a 5-year guarantee. Whether you are using it to deseed a pepper or peel an apple, it is a sturdy and reliable paring knife that is fine for everyday use.
Best Japanese: Mac Knife PKF-30 Professional Paring Knife
Although this comes at a higher price than others on the list, the quality makes it good value. It has a 2mm high carbon 3.25-inch blade that stays sharp, keeping its edge for a long time. As you would expect from a professional paring knife, it is resistant to rusting and does not feel overly heavy in your hand.
Your palms will enjoy the feel of the pakka wood handle as it points the tip towards seeds or undertakes other intricate work. The handle is quite long which means you have to get used to balancing it but what you get is one of the sharpest knives on the market that can slice, peel, and de-seed with ease.
Best Design: Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife
If this was a beauty contest, it would be hard to look past the Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife. Japanese made, it is formed from a 3-ply clad blade with a core of VG-10 cobalt alloy steel with rust-resistant stainless steel on the outside. With a unique angle, it is a stand out blade that is complemented by the triple-riveted handle that feels sturdy and grippy thanks to the tacky material.
Although it is made a little different, most people comment on how easily they managed to get used to it and with a lifetime warranty, it is easy to see why they gave it a try.
Best Ceramic: Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3-inch Paring Knife
For something a little different, this ceramic paring knife stands out and has the quality to back up its reputation as being one of the best paring knives around. With a 3 inch blade, it has a rounded tip to stop it from breaking and a resin handle that is one of the most comfortable on our list and feels grippy as you cut. The blade is ultra-sharp and maintains its sharpness for 10x longer than steel blades.
It feels lighter than what you might be used to and although this is good in some ways, there is something to be said for feeling the weight of a quality knife. However, this is one of the easiest blades to clean and doesn’t stained is resistant to rust.
Paring Knife Guide
It doesn’t matter if you are a budding chef or someone who takes their cooking seriously at home, a paring knife can be one of the most important blades in your kitchen drawer. Whether you are de-shelling shrimp or deseeding peppers, you’ll want a product that can be used on some of the more laborious as well as the intricate tasks.
This is made a lot easier when you find a quality product and the best paring knives differ greatly from the cheaply made imitators. Because of this, we have created the following guide. It details everything you need to know before you purchase so you can enjoy the benefits for a long time.
What To Look For In A Paring Knife
Because it is used for close up tasks such as de-shelling and peeling, you want to know the handle is reliable. Not only should the grip give you the confidence to work your way around an apple without it slipping but the materials need to be comfortable to hold. Depending on what your preference is, some people like the feel of a wooden handle whilst others prefer the grip of a rubber or plastic handle.
Sometimes you can find yourself using a paring knife for long periods which is why you will want it to be a sensible weight. A product that weighs too much is usually one with an oversized handle. When it looks on the thick side, be sure to check the weight before buying.
Easy To Clean
The better the quality of the blade, the less susceptible it is to staining. Also, some products are dishwasher safe which can make them easy to clean although this can impact how long the blade stays sharp and is not always recommended.
If you do wash the paring knife in a dishwasher, be sure to remove it when the cycle has finished and dry it so it is not left in the steam for a long time which can corrode the knife over time.
Some paring knives are known for having razor-sharp blades from the first use and to stop yourself from having to get the sharpening kit out before you even use the knife, make sure the company is known for producing sharp blades that stay that way for a long time.
Anything in the way of a warranty or money-back guarantee is important when you are spending money on a paring knife. The more expensive knives certainly feel like an investment and when they come with a lifetime warranty or money-back guarantee, it can make it a risk-free purchase.
More important with this type of product since you are working with food but also because you want it to last as long as possible. A lot of products on our best paring knives list are made from stainless steel and are resistant to rust. A lot of the time this will also make them easy to clean without worrying about compromising the quality.
Although this isn’t as common as some might like, you can pick up a paring knife with a sheath to ensure it is safe when you put it away. This might save you from a nick when rummaging in your kitchen drawers, these blades can be very sharp remember.
Let’s face it if you love the idea of a quality paring knife, a large part of what will sway you is in the design. Some come in elegant shapes whilst others are simple in their design. Whether you want something a little more understated or one that is just a little different, there are plenty of options.
Common Paring Knife Materials
Although high carbon stainless steel is by far the most common (so we’ll start with that first), take a moment to consider some of the other materials you will find when looking for a quality paring knife.
High Carbon Stainless Steel – They retain their sharpness for a long time and are known for being hard wearing and resistant to corrosion which makes them a popular material for paring knives.
Stainless Steel – Although they can be quick to dull they are one of the more affordable materials but expect to have to sharpen it from time to time.
Carbon – Expect a carbon paring knife to stay sharp for a long time and never rust or corrode. The best will be reistant to staining but they can break if you try using them on hard material or food.
What Can I Use A Paring Knife For?
Because they have so many uses, a paring knife is a popular inclusion in any kitchen. Just some of the common uses including peeling fruits and vegetables, de-seeding, de-shelling, slicing, prepping, and just about any intricate kitchen task.
The convenience is in the small blade, perfect for small jobs.
What Makes A Paring Knife Safe?
First of all, to ensure your safety, do not buy a cheap product or one that seems too good to be true. There are more than enough imitators on the market so its best to not give them your money.
When you buy a quality paring knife, the handle will be held in place securely with strong rivets to make sure it is capable of being used with enough force without it breaking. This is important because they are designed to be sharp – this is why you need a handle with a reliable grip to make sure you don’t drop it at any point.
With so many great products on the market, a paring knife should be high on the list of priorities for any cooking enthusiast. When you want to hone your skills, it makes peeling a lot easier, not to mention they can look great when you buy one from a reputable brand.
Without having to break the bank, you can pick up a reliable paring knife that lasts for many meals.