Top Rated Paring Knife Reviews
In case you are unfamiliar with the term, I will quickly explain what a paring knife is before we move on to my reviews of popular paring knives. If you have ever purchased a knife set, you may have noticed that one of the knives is substantially smaller than all the others. Chances are that was the paring knife.
The paring knife (also known as a peeling knife ) is a small knife used for small tasks. Small as they may be, many of these tasks are quite important in adding the final touches to your meal. For example, paring knives make it much easier to create the tiny julienned matchstick carrots which liven up a summer salad. From tiny rose-shaped strawberries to large, carved Jack-O-Lanterns, paring knives are also extremely helpful in carving intricate designs into fruits and vegetables for display purposes.
To bring you the best paring knives on today’s market, I spent hours scouring the internet to see which knives were the most popular. Sales were not my only criteria, however. I also factored in consumer ratings and my own list of good paring knife qualities.
My goal in creating this entire website was to make it easier for you to find the kitchen knives and accessories you are looking for. My goal in creating this particular section of this website was to make it easier for you to locate the paring knife which best meets your needs.
In order to achieve these goals, I have included a Top Three choices section, as well as a list of five honorable mentions. As you will learn from my “Different Types of Paring Knives” article, there are three popular types of paring knives available on today’s market. My Top Three choices on this page were purposely selected to include one of each type. The honorable mentions section contains all of the other most impressive, popular knives I found during my research.
Top Three Choices
I created this website, bringing you information and opinions about many popular knives, to save you time in having to find that information yourself. To save you even more time, I have gone through and selected my Top Three paring knives on the basis of their popularity, the reviews they have received from actual consumers, and the way they stack up against the checklist of important qualities I created through my research.
If you would like to see that checklist, have a look at our Buying Guide. Of course, I encourage you to read all of the reviews on this page. You may find that one of the other top contenders fits your needs better than one of these Top Three knives.
In the Top Three section of most of the pages on this website, I selected a “Best in Class”, a “Best Value”, and a third equally-impressive knife. For this particular page, I have done something a little different. Since there are three major types of paring knives (see our Types of Paring Knives page for more information), I decided that it would be best to assign a top spot for each of those types. Here, you will find my top choices of Spear Tip, Sheep’s Foot, and Bird’s Beak paring knives.
Best Spear Tip
Wusthof Classic 3.5-Inch Paring Knife
From what I can gather, spear tip paring knives are the most common and most popular type of paring knives. The majority of the paring knives I found in my research and the vast majority of the popular paring knives I came across were spear tips. The overwhelming amount of spear tips made it very difficult to select one for this position. Still, after much deliberation, the Wusthof Classic 3.5-Inch Spear Tip Paring Knife emerged as the winner.
What set this knife apart from the others was a conglomeration of impressive features. There was no one thing which made me look at this knife and say “That’s the one.” This Wusthof simply checked off all of the boxes in my checklist of what constitutes a great paring knife. It appears to be weighted well, which gives the user ultimate control. It is well put-together and features a triple-riveted full-tang blade which will not come apart in your hands. Its high carbon stainless steel will stay incredibly sharp, is rust resistant, and has been forged for extra strength.
A good spear tip should be able to perform the tasks of a sheep’s foot and a bird’s beak knife to a passable quality. Of course, a sheep’s foot and a bird’s beak will perform their specified tasks better than any other knife, but a spear tip should be designed so that it is multi-use. Additionally, a good spear tip should be able to core fruits and vegetables with ease. This knife is beautifully shaped and features a strong blade and tip for all your coring, peeling, and chopping needs.
Best Sheep’s Foot
Dalstrong Gladiator Series
This Dastrong was one of the very few sheep’s foot paring knives I came across in my research. Although there are plenty of sheep’s foot knives on the market, my research focused solely on popular knives. Apparently, sheep’s foot knives aren’t all that popular. I think that this may have something to do with people either not knowing how to use a sheep’s foot knife or opting to use larger knives for the same purposes.
Still, of all the sheep’s foot knives on the market and the fact that very few came to my attention as being quite popular, this one coming up as a popular choice among consumers speaks volumes to its quality. My own opinions about this knife are similarly positive. I found that its shape was perfect for meeting all your slicing and julienning needs.
Unfortunately, this knife did fall short in its applicability as a baguette cutter (another popular use for sheep’s foot knives). I am a fan of using small serrated sheep’s foot knives to cut through my tough, crusty baguettes but found that the lack of microserrations on this blade would make that a difficult task.
Still, this small knife is impressive, especially in terms of how well it is built. It is beautifully pleasing to the eye, but mostly it is functional. This knife is incredibly sturdy, featuring a full-tang blade and three metal rivets holding the blade and dark wood handle together. The 18-degree high carbon blade will slice through almost anything with very little effort on your part and will stay sharp for much longer than any stainless steel competitor.
Best Bird’s Beak
Wusthof Classic 2.5-Inch Peeling Knife
I absolutely love this Wusthof Bird’s Beak knife. I want to begin by stating that it doesn’t have the typical appearance of a bird’s beak paring knife, but that I actually find its atypical shape more appealing. Many bird’s beak knives feature a beak with an extreme hook. Although this hook is what allows you to use a bird’s beak knife for carving, it can also be dangerous if you place too much pressure on it, as it could snap off.
I love that the beak of this knife is slightly understated. Not only does it look elegant with its sweeping curve, it is also more firmly attached to the rest of the knife while still allowing you the ability to carve.
As with all paring knives, a big part of what I believe constitutes a quality knife is its strength. In order to earn a place in this Top Three, a knife must be sturdy and well-built. This one is no exception. It features a full-tang blade triple riveted into its synthetic, dishwasher-friendly handle. The high carbon stainless steel blade is strong, sharp, and dishwasher friendly (though I would recommend hand washing it).
The Top Three list of popular paring knives simple may not appeal to you. Perhaps you are looking for something more versatile or less expensive. Maybe you would prefer a stainless steel option. Perhaps you are in search of a specific aesthetic appeal. Whatever the reason, if you would like to continue your search for a paring knife, I have included a list of five more impressive knives in this section.
Victorinox Swiss Classic 4-Inch Spear-Tip Paring Knife
I believe that the popularity of this Victorinox paring knife can be most attributed to the popularity of the Victorinox name and the budget-friendly price of this knife. However, I must say that while I do not find this knife to be overly impressive, I can understand why someone looking for a budget-friendly knife may select it.
I would be hesitant to suggest using it for coring an apple, as its blade does not appear to be sturdy enough to handle the pressure and the resistance it would have to endure. Another downside to this knife is its lengthy four-inch blade; I am tempted to refer to this as a utility knife instead of a paring knife for that reason. If I were using this knife, I would be concerned that I wouldn’t have much control over it. Smaller knives, such as those with a 2.5 to 3.5-inch blade are much easier to control, making it easier to make precision cuts and safer to use on a cutting board.
Overall, I believe that this paring knife would make an excellent addition to the kitchen of someone who intends to use it for rather basic tasks, such as peeling an apple or a peach. It is also well suited to someone who lives a busy lifestyle, as this stainless steel blade and plastic handle are very dishwasher-friendly.
Mercer Culinary Genesis 3.5-Inch Paring Knife with Spear Tip
This strong, sturdy spear tip paring knife came very close to making it into the Top Three. If there had been more than one slot available to a spear tip knife it would definitely have been there. The fully-forged, high carbon stainless steel blade of this knife is strong enough to withstand the pressure of chopping, slicing, peeling, and coring. The full-tang blade offers extra weight in the handle for better balance and is triple riveted to keep it secured to the external handle.
The handle, while completely metal inside, is covered with a santoprene coating. This coating creates a soft, comfortable, slip-free gripping area. The handle is also heat-resistant, meaning that it will not burn your hands or melt easily when placed near heat. The handle has also been formed into a bulky, oval shape which allows you to get a good grasp for those more difficult tasks.
Victorinox Forschner 3.25-Inch Spear-Tip
Much like the other Victorinox on this list, this paring knife appears to be little more than a basic knife for basic uses. Its lack of a full-tang blade or end cap means that it isn’t well balanced and may come apart if placed under too much pressure. The blade itself appears rather flimsy so I would be hesitant to suggest using this knife for coring any vegetable or fruit. Stick with the very basic use of peeling and try not to venture far from that realm.
This isn’t to say that this is a terrible knife and that you shouldn’t consider purchasing it. It is obviously popular for a reason. I believe the reason is that many people do not need a knife built to core vegetables and fruit. Some people are simply in need of knife built for peeling and slicing. In fact, many of those people are in need of a small peeling and slicing knife which can be thrown into the dishwasher for a fast and easy cleanup. Those people will be satisfied with this basic, stainless steel knife and its plastic handle.
B-Chef 3.25-Inch Spear-Tip Paring Knife
Marketed as a camping knife, this basic spear tip paring knife offers slightly more strength and function than some of the other affordable options on this list, but still is not built for the arduous task of coring any sort of vegetable or fruit.
Constructed of stainless steel and BPA-free plastic, this B-Chef knife is completely dishwasher safe and will stand up to the elements while you are camping. Of course, it has its uses outside of the campsite and there is nothing stopping you from using it at home. That is, unless you are looking for something a little more high-quality. This knife is not full tang and, thus, should not be placed under much pressure and will not be well-balanced in your hand.
Its plastic handle, while slightly textured, may become slick and slippery if used with wet hands. The BPA-free plastic sheath which comes with this knife is extremely well-fitted to ensure that your knife stays put during transportation. I suggest this knife for those who are in search of something transportable who plan to use it only for basic peeling and slicing.
J. A. Henckels International Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife
This spear tip paring knife features a four-inch blade which I find reminiscent of a utility knife. I do wonder if the length of this blade would make it difficult to control when working away from a cutting board and worry that it may interfere with your ability to perform intricate tasks.
Still, the triple riveted, full-tang blade is rather impressive. It offers a good amount of weight to the handle, bringing the knife into a more controllable balance. The high carbon stainless steel it has been constructed from is bound to stay sharp for a satisfactory amount of time, is strong enough to withstand the pressure of more arduous tasks, and is rust-resistant for your convenience. Though I do not recommend dishwashing this particular piece, its rust-resistance means that you will not need to be as vigilant with washing and drying it as you would need to be with a regular high-carbon blade.
This knife’s plastic handle concerns me for two reasons. First, it is squared, which is bound to make it difficult to grasp comfortably and firmly. Second, it doesn’t appear to be well-textured, which may mean that it will slip from your hands while you are working.
It’s In Your Hands
Despite all of my wonderful opinions and advice, the choice of which paring knife to purchase is ultimately yours. You may decide that one of the knives on this list fits your needs perfectly. You may decide that you actually require the abilities of more than one knife. For example, you may find that a spear tip knife would be perfect for the apples you core on a regular basis and that a sheep’s foot better suits your julienning and baguette-cutting needs.
Whatever decision you make, I am happy to have had a part in assisting you in coming to your final conclusion. If you are still unsure about which paring knife is best suited to your needs, take a moment to check out our Different Types of Paring Knives page, as well as our Paring Knives Buying Guide.