The paring knife is a miniature version of a common chef’s knife. Paring knives are smaller in size, usually available from two and a half inches up to four inches long. They have a plain edge blade and a sharp and pointy blade tip.
The versatility of paring knives is unparalleled when compared to any knives of their size (well, let us not take Swiss Army Knives into account). They are used to perform a wide variety of small, intricate work, such as removing ribs from jalapenos, paring an apple, deveining shrimps, shaping or texturing pastry dough, skinning garlic cloves, etc.
Choosing a Paring Knife
As a smart consumer, when you are looking for a paring knife, there are some features that you need to look for. First is the materials used. Paring knives are usually thin and stiff. Therefore, I strongly recommend you to look for blades made of high-carbon stainless steel. In a more technical term, I prefer a paring knife blade with a Rockwell rating of 55 or higher. This will make sure that your blade stays sharp for a long time and your knife doesn’t break easily.
Secondly, the build or design of the knife. I highly recommend a paring knife that has a full tang, meaning the steel part runs from the tips of the blade to the opposite end tip of the handle. This will make sure that you’re in full control of the tiny beast and be able to do the most intricate cuts without injuring yourself.
Third and lastly, look for a paring knife with a good grip and make sure that it is slip-proof when you are using it.
Best Paring Knives
Best Paring Knife – Wusthof Classic Paring Knife
For all the small tasks in the kitchen, you could depend on this German forged, well balanced, highly maneuverable and perfect paring knife. The Wusthof Classic knives have always been one of my favorite knives, but they are expensive and gleam in the name of luxury. If you’re going to get one Wusthof knife that you can afford, choose this one.
This paring knife is great for peeling, slicing, dicing, and even filleting fish. The full tang and well sized bolster makes this little knife feel like an extension of your hand. You’ve got to hold it to know. Get it here.
Best Value Paring Knife – Oxo Good Grips Professional Paring Knife
At half the price of a Wusthof, this Oxo paring knife provides a similar full tang forged blade for great balance and sharpness. It is made of stainless steel, so you’ll want to keep it dry and clean after use to avoid rust, and sharpen it often to maintain the edge.
The handle is very safe, not slippery at all, so you can confidently peel and mince stuff without worrying that it’ll run away from you. This paring knife is also the perfect weight and heft to carve and trim large vegetables. Get this knife here.
Best Outdoor Paring Knife – Zyliss Paring Knife
If a handy paring knife for trips, camping, picnics and travel is what you’re looking for, the Zyliss paring knife may fit the bill as it comes with a hard plastic sheath that will protect you and the blade. This stainless steel knife with a rubber grip handle is nothing fancy and very cheap, and it works for many tasks.
Look where you’re putting your fingers when inserting the knife in the cover though, as the cover has openings there is a chance you may catch the tip of the blade in your pinky. When fully inserted, the knife is tightly sheathed so there are no worries about it slipping loose.
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