(This site is reader-supported. When you buy something using retail links on our articles, we may earn a small commission.)
A paring knife something you must have in the kitchen. These knives are efficient, can be used for minor tasks, and can significantly decrease the time you need to prepare a meal or many meals. Of course, you need the best paring knife to get the best results. We have come up with a buyer’s guide to help you choose the right paring knife for your kitchen.
What is a Paring Knife?
A paring knife is a small kitchen knife used mostly for peeling the fruits. It is incredibly versatile, and it can significantly improve the overall tasks. Despite the fact it is small, you can use it for multiple purposes.
One of the purposes is cutting small pieces of ingredients into even smaller pieces. A large knife would be impractical, heavy, and problematic. A paring knife is just right for this occasion.
Paring knives come in all sizes, with different features, and with different characteristics. Their size can vary anywhere between 2 and 5 inches. A good thing is a fact there are a lot of models available on the market that are easy to use, convenient, and offer all you need.
2021’s 5 Best Paring Knives Reviewed
Here is the list of top 5 paring knives available on Amazon.
- Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel
- Mercer Culinary Genesis
- Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31070-103
- Zwilling J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 31160-101
- Global GS38
Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel Knife Paring Knife
Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel is a great paring knife, and we will explain why. It is a modern, slim, and high-end unit that comes with all the essentials and all the features you are going to need. There are three main elements we must discuss separately.
High carbon steel
The primary material is high carbon steel, which is super strong, maintains its sharpness perfectly, and is durable. Although maintenance is required and it is a bit time-consuming.
Of course, if you are looking for a blade that can be used for heavy-duty operations, you will be more than just satisfied with the overall result.
The handle itself is extremely comfortable to use and feels nice in hand. We all liked using the knife for a long period, and we enjoyed in overall feel. There is no need to mention that the knife features a full tang design.
New edge technology
The edge technology features 14 degrees angle, which has an important task. It means that the blade is sharper than usual models, and it is capable of maintaining the sharpness perfectly for a long period. We believe this technology will be present on more models soon.
- Edge technology
- High carbon steel
- Value for money
- Isn’t immune to stains
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged Paring Knife – Cheap Option
This particular knife is probably the best value for money. Keep in mind that it is affordable but far from a cheap unit. It is well-made, comes with all the essentials you will need, and so much more. Let’s discuss it more.
Immune to stains
The steel is a bit special. It is a German type of steel which has been used for knives for decades. This type is resistant to stains and won’t discolor after some time. All of this means that the blade will stay like new for a long time and be easy to clean.
The blade is super strong as well, and we weren’t able to damage it while using it in the kitchen. Besides, the finish looks spectacular.
The balance of this knife is epic. It is very comfortable to use and very easy to operate. The balance is 50:50, which is an ideal rating and reserved for the best models. A well-balanced knife like this one can decrease fatigue and will make usage more appealing.
The handle is another important part of this knife. It is made from Santoprene and designed for heavy-duty kitchen use. The handle offers an excellent level of grip and capable of maintaining it even when the hands are wet. Also, it won’t get damaged after contact with oils, heat, etc.
- Santoprene handle
- Stain immune blade
- Thick for people with small hands
Zwilling J.A. Henckels 31070-103 Twin Four Star 4-Inch High-Carbon Stainless-Steel Paring Knife
The model we have here is all but usual. It is made to be the best knife of its kind and to meet the highest expectations. You can have it both in 3 or 4 inches length (the smaller is more expensive), and it is made uniquely.
57 Rockwell Hardness
The hardness is just right. It is possible thanks to the ice-hardening, which is rare technology and used for the strongest knives. This makes the blade special and capable of slicing through anything while maintaining the sharpness for a long period.
15 angle blade
If you recall, we did mention that the 15-degree blade sharpness is the best. It combines durability, excellent sharpness for a pronged period, and it will make sure you can cut it easier than ever before.
The angle in this case scenario is slightly better than similar models have. Due to the fact it is made in Germany, we believe that advanced engineering is the main reason for that. You will feel the advantage the first time when you use it.
Forged from a single piece of steel
To get the best results and the strongest knives, manufacturer experts forge this model from a single piece of steel. Add the ice-hardening, and we get the ultimate knife. It is strong and suitable for professional chefs. The blade is stain immune.
- Two sizes
- 57 Rockwell Hardness
- Forged from a single piece of steel
- Immune to stains
- Handle is slippery
- The smaller version is expensive
J.A. HENCKELS INTERNATIONAL 31160-101 CLASSIC
We all liked this knife, and we believe it may be the best paring knife on a tight budget. The tested model performed well, and it is made to look great. There are several things we should mention regarding this unit.
The steel is known as German steel, and knife manufacturers widely use it. The steel in question is strong, durable, and immune to stains. We can also add that this model presents excellent craftsmanship and looks more expensive than it is.
You can wash this knife in the dishwasher without any risks. There won’t be any discolorations, changes, or damages to either of them.
The satin finish is one of the reasons why we liked this knife. It makes it look desirable and nice. At the same time, it decreases the level of stains and makes cleaning much easier. The knife is ready to be used in a professional kitchen.
Keep in mind that the limited version of this knife is available as well. It also has a satin finish, but it is unique, and only a few of them will be made.
- Dishwasher safe
- German steel
- Rivets on the handle
- The limited version is expensive
Global GS38 GS-38-3 1/2 inch, 9cm Western Style Paring Knife
The last model on our list is special. It is completely different than all the others we saw and it has something interesting to offer. Yes, we will go in depth with this model as well.
The handle is specially designed for this blade, and it looks fantastic. It is stunning to look at and to hold in your hand. If you want to have a knife that stands out from the crowd, this is a model for you. On the other side, we have a bit slippery problem.
The length is just right for most users. The knife isn’t too long to too short and can be used for all kinds of operations in any kitchen. Most of us liked using it for smaller applications and peeling fruits.
We must add that the knife is made from stainless steel. A high-quality version is used, and it makes the knife feels stronger than it is. Maintenance is as low as possible, and the sharpness is above average.
The knife was able to maintain its sharpness exceptionally well, and we were able to sharpen it within seconds.
- Sharpness is excellent
- Steel quality
- Perfectly forged
- Slippery handle
How to Choose the Best Paring Knife for Your Kitchen
Source: JD Hancock
To get the best paring knife, you need to know what to look for. Not all knives of this kind are the same, and they come with different features. Unless you are a professional chef and you have been working with paring knives for decades, you need this buyer’s guide.
In the guide mentioned below, we will address all the primary, less-known, and even strange features you need to consider when purchasing a new knife of this type. After that, we will present you five models so you can see why and how we ranked them.
Take into consideration that each of these factors will have a significant effect on the comfort, sharpness, and the usability of a paring knife. This translates into the fact you need to consider all the factors so you can make the right choice.
The steel of the blade
Perhaps we are too direct, but there is a reason for that. A paring knife must be made from steel. Yes, there are other variations on the market, but they should be avoided. They can’t last very long, the blade is weak, and the sharpness is poor.
When choosing a new knife, you need a blade made from high-quality steel. This factor is the same for all knives, and it is the most important of them all; that’s why we will discuss it first.
There are two valuable options. You can either get a model made from stainless steel or high carbon steel. There are a few differences. Stainless steel is more affordable, easier to maintain, and looks nice for some of you.
The drawbacks are sharpness retention. It will require frequent sharpening, which isn’t as time-consuming as in the second case scenario.
A second option is high carbon steel. It is sharper, stronger, and more complicated to maintain. These knives are usually made for professional kitchens and for those who will use them 12 hours per day.
If you are looking for a paring knife to use occasionally, go for a model made from stainless steel. If you want the best paring knife to use it every single day, go for a model with high carbon steel.
The type of knife
There are two main types when it comes to the overall design of the knife. You can go for a full tang or semi tang unit. They may look the same, but they are entirely different!
A semi tang model will have a blade that is partially inserted into the handle. They are the most affordable type, and they are the ones you need to avoid. There is a perfectly good reason for that.
Handle, and the blade will be under a lot of pressure when using the knife. In a case of semi tang, the blade can become loose and even fell off. We all hate that, and it means that you will need to replace the entire knife.
Full tang refers to the design when the blade is present through the entire handle. It is super strong, and it can withstand all kinds of stress. All professional chefs use full tang knives so you can get a clear idea of why it is recommended.
Most of these knives are sharp, but there are a few differences. Some of them are razor-sharp, and they are the first ones to choose from. Razor sharpness will make sure you use your new knife as easily as possible and to complete the kitchen tasks in less time.
We will mention the models that are perfect in terms of sharpness. If you are looking for a unit by yourself, make sure it features razor sharpness.
A handle can be made from plastics, metal, or composite materials. Those made from plastics should be avoided, and they are reserved for cheap models. We won’t recommend them because they usually feature semi tang design!
Metal and composite handles are ideal. The composite types are lighter yet very durable, but they don’t look as nice as metal variations. Metal handles are the strongest of them all, and they look stunning. We prefer this material.
The shape of the handle
A handle must be as comfortable as possible to use. You can see that some models have perfectly round, while others have contoured handles. Flat handles, alongside round handles, are uncomfortable and slippery. As such, you should avoid them.
The best handle will have D-shape and/or dents for your fingers. It won’t be slippery even when wet.
The length of these blades varies between 2 and 5 inches. We like models that are 3-4 inches in length. They are compact, the most functional and easiest to use. They are also excellent if you want to use them for a long period.
The edge angle is the angle under which the blade is angled. These days you can get all kinds of blades with all possible angles. However, the best choice is 14 or 15 degrees, and it should be applied to both sides.
A blade under this angle is exceptionally sharp, and it will cut through anything like through butter. The sharpness retention is stunning as well, and all of this converts to the easiest usage.
Thanks to the new technology, some paring knives are immune to the stains. This can make a massive difference, and it makes cleaning so much easier. Of course, it is still reserved for the best of the best knives of this kind, and it adds value and increases the manufacturing cost. We recommend a model with stain resistance.
Wusthof Classic High Carbon Steel is the best paring knife, in our opinion. The edge technology is stunning and makes this unit perfectly sharp and able to maintain sharpness well. The handle is comfortable, and the entire knife is well-balanced. Last but not least, it is made from high-quality, high carbon steel. The knife gets 5 out of 5 stars, and we proudly recommend it for all users.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.