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How to Choose the Right Paring Knife

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2020-07-17
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How to Choose the Right Paring Knife


The small blade of a paring knife allows you more dexterity and precision than a chef’s knife can provide. Many chefs consider it the second most important knife to own besides the chef’s knife. For mincing smaller alliums like shallots, cutting up small fruits, and trimming vegetables, a paring knife is frequently a better choice. Its small, pointed tip is also great for testing the tenderness of meat or vegetables.

 

Not sure what to look for when buying a paring knife? Our buying guide has all the information you need to help you find the best paring knife for your kitchen.

 

Considerations when choosing paring knives

 

Stamped vs. forged blades

 

The two types of knives are made in different ways, which results in the distinctions in their characteristics. A forged knife is usually made from one single piece of steel. It is heat treated, and hammered/pound into its shape. A stamped knife, meanwhile, is cut out from a large sheet of steel.

 

Forged knives are typically thicker and heavier than stamped knives. Most of the time, they come with a full tang running all the way through the handle, and a bolster in the middle, which adds even more weight and more balance to the knife.

 

Stamped knives, meanwhile, due to their thinness, are more flexible. They’re also more lightweight, and usually come without a bolster. Stamped knives are usually more affordable than forged ones.

 

Full Tang

 

Full tang knives also often have a bolster because it contributes to the blades counterbalance and tends to be close to the knife’s overall balance point. The thickness of the bolster often represents the thickness of the original piece of steel from which the blade was created. A full tang distributes weight more evenly along the knife, contributing to better balance, which can increase your level of confidence because it’s easier to manipulate.

 

Different Types

When you go to buy a paring knife, you’ll generally have a choice of four different types:

 

1. Spear point/spear tip paring knife

Often called the “classic” paring knife, with its smooth, short and outwardly curved blade. 

Best used for: Peeling, slicing and coring fruits and vegetables

 

2. Bird’s beak paring knife

Bird's beak paring knives feature a thick concave blade that's usually stronger than other paring knives.

Best used for: Peeling and coring fruits and vegetables, trimming, delicate decorative work.

 

3. Sheep’s foot paring knife

Sheep's foot paring knives have a fully flat blade edge and a rounded tip.

Best used for: Julienne cutting (chopping vegetables and fruits into long, thin strips), cutting soft and hard cheese

 

Handle design

 

The quality of the handle is also an important feature that you should take into consideration. A knife that slips around in the hand while you using it is a very dangerous tool. A good paring knife has a handle that’s ergonomically shaped so it has an ideal place for you to position your thumb while keeping a secure, comfortable grip.

 

Something with a non-slip coating is ideal. The handle should be thick and feel comfortable in the hand. Thicker handles are easier to control as you can get a firmer grip on them.

 

The Balance

 

A paring knife that has a balanced feel in your hand will generally provide the best performance. An unbalanced knife will make you work harder.  If it feels uncomfortably weighted toward the back of the handle or toward the blade, then it probably isn’t for you. 


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STEINBRUCKE KNIVES are committed to deliver German top quality knives to world wide. With the enthusiasm to provide customers around the world the highest quality knives at an affordable price, the group based in Munich always built the knives with highest performance material and unique quality control process.
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