The last time we talked about blades, it was John that did all the talking, because the subject was right up his alley.
That was a lot of fun, so if you’re interested, make sure to check out the best pocket knife sharpener he picked out for you.
You’re stuck with me today, though, since I’m the one that knows how to pick the best paring knife out of the bunch, and honestly, I’m the only one that uses these knives 90 percent of the time.
So, are you interested in learning more? Then keep on reading! 🙂
Paring Knives: What They Are And Why You Need Them
Yes, there are several types of paring knives, and before we move on to anything else, I’d like you to get familiar with all of them, as well as their conventional uses.
It will help you get a precise view of what it is you’re looking for here.
1. Spear Tip
That is probably the type of blade that comes to mind when you think of a paring knife.
And you’re right – it’s one of the most commonly used kinds. It’s characterized by a short, yet curved blade, and it’s ideal for removing the cores from fruits and vegetables.
Of course, I wouldn’t be surprised if you told me you mostly use these to peel apples and such – it’s the first knife my boys reach for on such occasions, as well.
2. Bird’s Beak
Deserving of its name, this kind of paring knife features a sharp, inward-curved blade, with an extremely sharpened, protruding tip, which very much resembles a bird’s beak if you think about it for a second.
Every October, as Halloween approaches, my bird’s beak paring knives are the ones I want to make sure are in top shape. Why? Because their shape makes them ideal for cutting all those exciting designs on our pumpkins, that’s why.
3. Sheep’s Foot
Now, I’m not entirely sure why they’re called sheep’s foot, but just go with it – as long as we’re on the same page, it doesn’t matter what their nickname is.
Featuring a straight edge, and an entirely flat blade – from the handle all the way to the tip – with the dull side curving towards it, making the entire point round, this is the best paring knife for julienning.
When it’s time to get in there, and press the blade down, rest assured that your fingers are safe.
Note From Barbara:
All of the types mentioned above offer a serrated option, as well. So, if you plan on using it on thick-skinned vegetables and fruits, skip the straight edges, and get yourself the best paring knife with a serrated blade, instead.
How To Make Sure You Picked The Best Paring Knife?
I’m sure we can all agree that a well-informed buyer is less likely to regret making the purchase later on or have to go through the trouble of returning the product and asking for a refund.
The search for the best paring knife shouldn’t be any different – you have to know what you’re looking for, and where you’re spending your hard-earned money.
Feel free to use my list as your buying guide for the best paring knife.
You’re welcome! 😉
1. What’s The Handle Made Of? What About The Blade?
A knife is a rather simple kitchen tool, it consists out of a blade and a handle, and as long as you make sure it’s sharp, it doesn’t matter what material it’s made from, right?
There are lots of different materials at play here, all of which have their advantages and disadvantages. Let me sum it up for you:
Steel – The main issue with metal blades is that they’re prone to rust, but if you opt for a stainless steel blade, rest assured that rust isn’t going to be a problem. Don’t worry about durability, either – there’s not much that can damage a steel blade. You’ll have to invest in a good knife sharpener, though.
Ceramic – The thing about ceramic blades is that they keep their razor-sharp edge with minimal wear down, in addition to being very lightweight – I’m going to talk about weight as an essential factor to consider in the best paring knife, so stick around for that.
Wood – It goes without saying that wooden handles just look beautiful, and if you take proper care of them (which means no submerging them in water, no matter what), they’re incredibly durable, too.
Metal – The type of metal we’re talking about here is steel. Now that we’ve established that let’s move on to this material’s main advantage, which is durability. Out of the three elements here, steel is, of course, the sturdiest, most durable one.
Plastic – This is, by far, my least favorite material used for knife handles. Even though it’s affordable, lightweight, and very convenient when it’s time to clean up (just let the dishwasher do that for you), they’re not durable at all, and they feel somewhat flimsy.
Related: Learn How To Find The Best Sharpening Steel
2. Make Sure It Feels Good
There’s nothing worse than a knife that merely feels wrong in your hands.
What do I mean by that?
First of all, it has to feel sturdy. I’m not saying you have to spend a small fortune on a paring knife – even if you opt for a budget-friendly model, it has to be well-made. We’re talking about your safety here.
Having a blade detach from the handle while I was using the knife is, to this day, one of the scariest things that happened to me in over twenty years of my kitchen adventures. And because I’m talking from personal experience, I need you to understand how important this is.
Also, pay close attention to the handle’s shape. Anything that seems too thin, too round, or too smooth is out of the question – you need a grip that sits comfortably in your hand, and doesn’t slip or slide around.
3. A Paring Knife Has To Be Lightweight
Due to their nature, paring knives are mostly used in-hand, away from the cutting board. When it’s all about having control and making precise cuts, you don’t need other than lightness.
That doesn’t mean I can give you a precise “average” weight you should look for in the best paring knife – it’s all about personal preference here.
What works for you weight-wise might not work for me, and vice versa – we all have different hand sizes, after all.
Just make sure you’re comfortable with the knife’s weight, that’s all I’m asking.
A Sharp Knife Is A Safe Knife, So Make Sure You Have The Best Sharpening Stone
Most Recommended Paring Knives: Detailed Reviews 2020
1. Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife with Straight Edge, Spear Point – The Best Low Price Paring Knife
Can we even talk about quality at such a low price point?
And yes, we certainly can. I was pretty surprised at how sharp the blade was right out of the box – you won’t have to deal with the initial sharpening. Speaking of its steel blade, I’d also like to point out that it holds an edge rather well for a paring knife this affordable.
It’s very lightweight, as well, which makes it easy to maneuver – precise cuts will come effortlessly, which is the primary purpose of paring knives.
Now, let’s talk about the not-so-great aspects of this cheap, straight edge blade:
As I expected, the handle is the core of all problems. First of all, it’s plastic, and you know how I feel about that.
I could even look past the fact that it’s plastic if it were a bit larger – but it’s not. The final result is a knife that feels flimsy and not well-made, at all.
- It holds an edge well
- It comes sharpened and ready to use right out of the box
- It’s very lightweight and comfortable to maneuver
- The knife is dishwasher safe
- It’s affordable
- The handle is too thin
- Plastic handles aren’t very durable
- It feels flimsy
The Mercer’s paring knife is a step up from the previously reviewed model, as it’s still relatively affordable, but it offers some higher quality features. Here are some of my prime reasons for deeming it as a serious candidate for the title of the best paring knife, at least in the lower price range.
First off, the knife comes already sharpened, and ready to use out of the box – I performed the paper cutting test to make sure it did, so trust me on this. The manufacturer used high-carbon steel for the blade and paired it with an ergonomic handle.
The result is a well-balanced, easy to handle paring knife, even when it’s wet.
Oh, and one more thing:
I know looks aren’t an essential factor for everyone, but I like it when my knives look good on the knife block – and this one does, indeed.
The only disappointment I’ve had with this knife is that it developed small – but noticeable, at least to me – chips on the blade pretty fast. I have to be honest with you:
I expected it to last way longer than it did.
- The blade is high-carbon German steel
- The ergonomic handle provides an excellent grip
- It feels well-balanced
- The knife comes already sharpened
- It will look terrific on your knife block
- Excellent value for the price
- The blade developed chips relatively fast
3. J.A. Henckels International CLASSIC 4″ Paring/Utility Knife – Feel Like A True Chef While Using This Paring Knife
The third model on the list and another strong candidate for the title of the best paring knife is a knife by J. A. Henckels. The first thing worth mentioning is the fully forged construction. What does that mean?
It means it’s made out of a single steel bar, or, put shortly: a one-piece knife.
What this ensures is a seamless transition from the handle to the blade, and virtually no danger of the entire knife falling apart in your hand. Durability above all else, if you ask me.
Since I mentioned the edge, it’s made of German stainless steel, so don’t worry about rust or discoloration.
Oh, did I forget to mention it’s dishwasher safe? Clean up will be a breeze.
The only real problem I had with this paring knife is the handle. It seems to be a popular theme with me, huh?
All jokes aside, though, even with its ergonomic shape, it feels almost a bit too narrow.
Of course, that might be a perfect fit for someone who has small hands – but for others? I’m not so sure about that.
- Fully forged (one-piece) construction
- A seamless transition from the handle to the blade
- Made from German stainless steel
- It holds an edge well
- The ergonomic handle ensures balance and a comfortable grip
- It’s dishwasher safe
- The handle might be too small for some
Featuring a forged one-piece high-carbon German steel, and an ergonomic pakkawood handle, this high-quality, razor-sharp paring knife is one of my personal favorites.
Thanks to the bolster, the handle acts as a perfect counterweight to the blade, which makes for a very well balanced knife.
Oh, and let’s not forget that it comes with a sheath that is not only water resistant but stain resistant and BPA-free, as well.
And might I just add that it feels unbelievably luxurious, too? If you want a knife that will make you feel like a real pro, this is the perfect choice for you.
The only “issue” here is the price. I went back and forth on this; should I label this as a disadvantage? You do get what you paid for, after all. But since it’s pretty much the only “issue” I’ve had with it, I’ve decided to classify it as a con – it’s just not the best choice for everyone’s budget, which sucks because it is one of the best paring knives out there, period.
- Forged from one-piece high-carbon German steel
- Ergonomic pakkawood handle offers maximum maneuverability
- Comes with a water and stain resistant sheath
- Feels very well balanced thanks to the bolster
- Looks very professional
- Comes with detailed directions about different uses
- It’s a bit pricey
What you get is one drop-point, one sharp-point, and one bird’s beak paring knife. All at a fairly reasonable price, too. Amazing, right?
The blades are all high-carbon, stainless steel, and since they’re pretty thin, they’re an excellent choice for all those precise cuts you need your paring knife to make.
Keep in mind that, while the knives are labeled as dishwasher safe – which is a huge plus for anyone who doesn’t like the clean-up part of cooking – the manufacturer states that it’s recommended to wash them by hand.
Now, I know what you’re thinking:
There must be a catch – they can’t be all perfect.
And to be honest with you, they’re not.
The first thing I’ve noticed – keep in mind that this was more of a disappointment than an actual problem with the knife – is that the red WГјsthof logo located on the handle isn’t engraved. It’s a sticker, one that will probably fall off after a couple of washes.
Another issue is the handles. They just don’t seem very promising quality-wise, at least to me, and I know my paring knives very well.
- All three knives have high-carbon, stainless steel blades
- They come sharpened right out of the packaging
- Thin edges are great for precision cutting
- They’re dishwasher safe
- Budget-friendly 3-in-1 deal
- The red WГјsthof logo is just a sticker
- The handles aren’t very promising
So, What’s The Best Paring Knife?
I have to be honest with you:
It was a hard decision to make – all these knives are excellent representatives of their type.
But after much deliberation, I finally decided that the DALSTRONG Paring Knife – Gladiator Series Paring Knife is, by far, the best one out there. Sure, it’s pricey, but it’s worth every penny.
If you decide to take my advice and get this one, trust me, you’ll notice what I’m talking about the first time you feel it in your hands.
How do you feel about my choice?
I would like to hear what you think, so feel free to leave a comment below!
Last update on 2020-08-09 at 10:23 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API