7 Best Paring Knives for the home cook

Paring knives are the smallest kitchen knives, and every multi block of knives purchased will include this small and handy multi-functional knife. It is perfect for peeling and for precise cutting as well as slicing delicate ingredients and for carving fruit and vegetables. 

paring knives

This short-bladed knife might not be as versatile as a chef’s knife, but it is easy to pack for outdoor excursions or for a picnic. A paring knife is usually very affordable so don’t miss owning one!

Our overview will help you identify the most suitable knife for your needs.

List of best paring knives

Things to consider before buying 

The handle

Most knife handles are made from stainless steel, wood or plastic. It is important that the handle on the knife has good grip, and ergonomically shaped handles are often easier to grip. You also need to make note of the length of the handle and if the grip surface is non-slip or textured.  Different brands have different colours and finishes and although a certain colour is not essential, we understand that it is desirable for some to work with attractive and matching utensils.

The blade

The blade should be sharp and make cutting through fruit, vegetables and other ingredients effortless.  From curved blades to serrated blades, most are commonly made of high-carbon stainless steel or ceramic. Traditional straight blades are best for cutting and peeling and carving knife blades are shaped like a bird’s beak.  Serrated blades are great for pastry and bakery tasks.  Choose a style best for your cooking needs and note it is best to wash knives by hand to retain sharp blades.

Price and Warranty

Nowadays, high-quality utensils usually come with a manufacturer’s warranty, and this is worth considering when making your choice.  Although this is not an important factor for everyone it does mean protection of your investment and does emphasise the product quality.  Low-cost knives are unlikely to come with a warranty and will not be as durable but shouldn’t be overlooked if they are within your budget and suitable for your kitchen needs.    

Overview of best paring knives

This knife is made with high carbon forged steel from Solingen, Germany. It is stain-resistant and resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. It is comfortable to hold and is angled to stay stable when cutting. There is a limited lifetime warranty.

As with all knives, it is recommended to hand wash for blade edge and surface care.

Related: How to choose the best knife block

Best value – Victorinox 4-Inch Swiss Classic Paring Knife with Straight Blade, Spear Point

Although this paring knife is said to have a straight, short blade, it is slightly angled, and keeps sharper for longer ensuring durability. It works well for all small cutting and peeling jobs.

The Swiss classic handle provides a sure grip and easy handling, even when wet.

There is a lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship.

Related: How useful is a spiralizer

Best comfort – Wüsthof Classic IKON Paring Knife, 3.5-Inch

Made in Germany, a Wüsthof knife never disappoints. This brand manufactures knives with reliable grips and excellent cutting performance. The handle is made of synthetic material and suitable for wet and dry use. This knife has a bolster which will allow you to balance and sharpen the full length of the blade. 

Related: Best cutting boards

Best Japanese – Zelite Infinity Paring Knife 4 Inch – Alpha-Royal Series

Japanese knives, in our opinion are visually the best-looking knives with refined styling and design. Besides its look, this knife blade made from high carbon stainless steel is razor sharp and stain and rust resistant. The non-slip handle is quite heavy in comparison to other paring knives and a little short if you have larger hands, but still easy to control.

On Amazon, we noted only one dissatisfied customer, and this complaint was easily rectified as Zelite replaced the knife due to their 100% satisfaction and money back guarantee.  

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Best ceramic – Farberware Ceramic Paring Knife, 3.5-Inch

Ceramic stands the test of time and is rust-proof and easy to clean. The soft-grip, non-slip handle of this paring knife is comfortable and suitable for small and precise cutting, and even dishwasher safe if put in the top rack. The ceramic material is slightly heavier and care should be taken when cutting frozen food or other hard items such as nuts, cheese, or hard fruits as the blade may chip or break. A limited lifetime warranty is a bonus.

Best serrated – ZYLISS Serrated Paring Knife

We love a serrated paring knife! It is perfect for cutting tomato skins or other tough surfaces without additional pressure. In our experience, serrated knives retain sharper edges and are long-lasting. The safety blade has a sheath which means safe and easy storage and an option to easily take this knife on a picnic or a camping trip.

Best Set – ZYLISS 3-Piece Peeling & Paring Knife Set

This set contains a bird’s beak style knife, a serrated knife and a straight edged knife which will cover all your small cutting requirements. The serrated knife is for use on soft skinned fruits, bread and tough surfaces.  The straight edged knife is great for peeling and cutting, and the bird’s beak knife is ideal for carving and more delicate cutting. Zyliss offer a 5-year guarantee.

Highlights of the best paring knives

As you have seen, paring knives are typically smaller than any of the chef’s knives. And they can be used for lots of purposes so they are very handy.

But if you are looking for something specific for shucking your oysters, a specialised knife made for removing oysters from their shells would be really helpful.

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