9 best paring knives of 2021

Staff, courtesy of Zyliss

A paring knife is the smallest and lightest member of your knife set. It might not be the most eye-catching knife in your arsenal, but it’s certainly no less important than the heavy-duty chef’s knife or serrated bread knife. If you’re looking to round out your culinary blade offering with a small but powerful paring knife, here’s what to look for when buying one.

What to consider

Before investing in a new paring knife, there are a few things to consider. First of all, 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 from cucumbers, avocados and other delicate products. The size of a knife will make it more or less comfortable in your hand. People with small hands will find a smaller or lighter knife easier to use, and vice versa for people with large hands. As a general rule, the more complex the cut, the smaller the blade desired.

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 clean. Wood cannot be washed in the dishwasher and may start to break 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 the straight, serrated, and bird beak. Serrated knives are best for slicing hard surfaces like baked goods and hard sausages. Bird-nosed knives make complex knife jobs easy, like fluting mushrooms or peeling carrots. Straight-sided paring knives are the most 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, comfortable knife, it’s a lot 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 make sure there is a high-quality knife for every type of cook and home kitchen. Whether you’re looking for a heavy-duty serrated blade for slicing your Sunday bagel or a lightweight utility knife for a number of kitchen tasks, you’ll find the right paring knife on this list.

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Best all-round paring knife

Zwilling JA Henckels Twin Signature paring knife

Zwilling JA Henckels

$ 29.95

Key specs

  • Weight: 3.2 ounces
  • Blade length: 4 inches
  • Handle material: Plastic

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

Best budget parking knife

Mercer Culinary Millenia Paring Knife

Culinary Mercer

$ 8.89

Key specs

  • Weight: 1.6 ounces.
  • Blade length: 3.5 inches
  • Handle material: Plastic

This super light and affordable paring knife is a great starter blade. It has a sharp one-piece stainless steel edge that is easy to resharpen. The knife is also particularly light, making it a great option for people with small hands or for detailed cutting jobs.

  • High carbon stainless steel blade
  • Not as strong as the other options

Best Paring Knife Set

Set of 3 Zyliss Peeling and Peeling Knives

Key specs

  • Weight: N / A
  • Blade lengths: 2.25 inches, 3.25 inches, 3.25 inches.
  • Handle material: Plastic

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

  • Color coding can help maintain food security
  • May not be as sharp as other options

Best professional paring knife

Miyabi Kaizen Paring Knife


$ 119.95

Key specs

  • Weight: N / A
  • Blade length: 3.5 inches
  • Handle material: Plastic

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

  • More expensive than other knives

Best large paring knife

Wüsthof Classic large paring knife


$ 85.00

Key specs

  • Weight: 2.3 ounces
  • Blade length: 4 inches
  • 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, very sharp blade which makes this knife a good tool for peeling, chopping, slicing, etc. The handle has three rivets for added durability.

  • Sharp blade tip for starting cuts in hard ingredients
  • A larger size may not be the best for small hands

Best wooden handle paring knife

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Paring Knife

Chicago cutlery

$ 13.99

Key specs

  • Weight: 0.8 ounces.
  • Blade length: 3 inches
  • Handle material: Walnut

This pretty Chicago Cutlery wood handle knife features a comfortable and smooth walnut handle and a sharp stainless steel blade. The blade is rust and stain resistant and has a tapered edge for maximum slicing capabilities.

  • Wood may not last as long as harder materials

Best Serrated Paring Knife

Zyliss serrated paring knife

Key specs

  • Weight: 2.24 ounces.
  • Blade length: 3.75 inches
  • Handle material: Walnut

A serrated paring knife is the best tool for cutting through hard surfaces like tomato skins and tough salami. This sturdy knife is well balanced, which means you can apply less pressure for the same amount of work as a smaller knife.

  • Heavier than other options

Best Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

Paring knife Dalstrong Tourne


$ 29.99

Key specs

  • Weight: 3.53 ounces.
  • Blade length: 2.75 inches
  • Handle material: Pakka wood

This uniquely designed paring knife is super sharp and has a pointed end which is great for piercing tendons while butchering. The curved blade shape is also handy for making advanced knife cuts like decorative fruit and vegetable garnishes such as fluted mushrooms and turned carrots.

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

Best ceramic paring knife

Farberware ceramic paring knife


$ 8.49

Key specs

  • Weight: 2.4 ounces
  • Blade length: 3.5 inches
  • Handle material: Soft plastic

Ceramic is a rust-resistant, easy-to-clean blade material that is particularly useful for paring knives. Although ceramic can chip off on hard objects, in most cases you will be using your paring knife for small, soft, and flexible ingredients like food items. This knife also has a particularly comfortable easy-to-grip handle.

  • Do not use with frozen foods and other hard foods

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