Paring Knife Reviews:
If you do a lot of work in the kitchen, then you know that the paring knife
is one of the most important pieces of cutlery you can have. Of course, these small knives are used for the purpose by which they were named, peeling, carving fruits and veggies, coring and so on, but also for a lot of other purposes that need to be done by a smaller knife. They come in handy when boning a chicken or when you want to make small cuts in some other type of food. Paring knives
are so well used, in fact, that they are often sold in sets because they can be worn through so quickly in particularly busy kitchens. However, just like any other product, some paring knives are better than others. We're going to take a look at paring knives which might be suitable for you based on a number of different factors including price, durability, ergonomics, handling, and length. The top brands are Wusthof
, Victorinox, Furi Rachel Ray, J.A. Henckels, Kuhn Rikon, Kyocera, Chicago Cutlery, Shun Classic. Prices range from $10 to $60.
The Most Utilitarian Paring Knives
- If you want to, you can find great paring knives
which have been designed - and are marketed for - specific kitchen tasks. You might want a smaller knife with a serrated blade, for example, for trimming. Calphalon makes a knife with a 2.5" serrated blade designed specifically for the task. However, this type of knife has several issues. First of all, that serrated blade can't be run through a knife sharpener, so once the knife is dull you'll have to replace it (which actually isn't too big a deal for most people, since paring knives tend to be quite cheap). All purpose paring knives are the best choice, and you will find these in abundance from companies including Wusthof, Shun, Viking, and others. These working knives have blades that can be anywhere from 2.5" long to 4.5". According to the site for Cook's Illustrated magazine the most popular paring knife length amongst chefs is 3.5", which allows the knife to perform all its tasks adequately.
Does Price Matter with a Paring Knife?
One of the questions you may be asking yourself about buying a paring knife is, does the paring knife price really matter that much? After all, they are all designed to do the same tasks, what is the difference between a $10 paring knife and a $50 paring knife? Well Consumersearch.com suggests that in fact price can make a huge difference, as higher pricing on paring knives indicate a product which is better engineered. This is pretty important when you consider how much a paring knife will be used in the kitchen, particularly if you are a professional cook. That's not to say that all cheaper model of paring knives are lacking however; Consumer Search as well as Cook's Illustrated suggested that the Forschner from Victorinox was a high grade but low price model. Tests showed that these knives stood up well in every test, including those for durability, ergonomics, and of course the all important utility ranges. One important thing noted by Consumer Search was that although forged steel blades on knives are generally more expensive because they are more durable, in fact with a paring knife most chefs see no real difference between forged and stamped steel blades.
Handles and Ergonomics on the Best Paring Knives
What does seem to make a difference across the board when it comes to great paring knives, though, is how the handle is made. Most professional chefs tell you to avoid handles made from smooth plastic. These are incredibly difficult for people with larger hands to use, they are not comfortable, and there is the ever present risk of a grip slipping, the very last thing you want to happen when you are wielding a sharp knife. Whether we are looking at Consumer Reports or Consumer Search, the top knife line for all cooking knives, and that includes paring knives, is the Wusthoff line. Most popular are the Classic and Wusthof Grand Prix lines. They have riveted and textured plastic handles, offering good grips and comfortable for as long as you need to use the knife. If you are a cook on the bigger side of the equation and your hands don't work well with the average sized knife. JA Henckels Four Star line offers some great, long handles that will fit comfortably in your hand. Smaller chefs be warned, though, these knives might not be the best for you and you don't want to shell out the $15 on a paring knife that you can't wield properly. You can browse the top selling paring knives online here
Best Paring Knife:
- It's hard to go against the experts in this field and the dozens of consumers who voted the Wusthof Classic 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife
as the best paring knife. The Wusthof Classic line is well respected amongst chefs and home cooks. This knife features a small pointed blade which owners say is perfect for peeling vegetables or doing any small cutting job. You get a high quality forged high-carbon stainless steel blade that is hand-honed for razor like sharpness. The handles provides the necessary strength and ergonomics for comfort and performance. Consumer comments include things like "the workhouse of the kitchen" and "excellent paring knife". Looking to spend a bit more and get the top of the line, then consider the Shun Classic 3-1/2-Inch Paring Knife
- at $60 it's the most expensive of the bunch but this Japanese paring knife is designed for chopping, peeling, paring, etc. Owners say the D-shaped Pakkawood handle is comfortable and ergonomically perfect. You get a lifetime warranty with this knife which may offset the high price.
Getting the Best Deal on a Paring Knife – 3 Paring Knife Sets:
To get the best deal on a paring knife, it is often advisable to purchase the knife within a set. This can be either a set of paring knives, or three piece knife set. Almost every knife company offers a knife set which includes paring knives as well as serrated knives and a general kitchen knife. Again, you will find that the higher end knife manufacturers such as Henckels and Tramonta have sets in the higher price range; a Henckels set will cost around $400 (Tramonta is still good quality but a much lower price at $90 per set). These companies both offer forged steel blades on their knife sets. Although as we noted this is not so important with a paring knife, when buying a paring knife in a set forged blades are important as it will come into play as far as the strength of the other knives included. We should also note that honing is generally required on all knives, with the knives made by companies like Henckels, Tramonta, Messermeister, and other forged blades requiring regular honing. That's not bad thing, though, as lower priced knife sets - including the paring knives - such as those from Martha Stewart tend to lose their usefulness altogether once they have become dull. BEST
- Go with the Wusthof Gourmet 3-Piece Paring Knife Set
- you get 3 inch drop point, 3 inch sharp point, and 2 1/4 bird's beak knives. They are dishwasher safe, but the manufacturer recommends hand washing.