Paring Knife: 4 Top Kitchen Tools

“For fine and detail tasks, the paring knife can’t be beat,” TOPS spokesperson Jeremiah Heffelfinger advised. “It affords more control for tasks like peeling and trimming meat, fruit or vegetables.” Enter the TOPS Dicer 3.
“For fine and detail tasks, the paring knife can’t be beat,” TOPS spokesperson Jeremiah Heffelfinger advised. “It affords more control for tasks like peeling and trimming meat, fruit or vegetables.” Enter the TOPS Dicer 3.

The Paring knife is there when you need it most, from big tasks to small. Here are options for every type of user.

Paring knives may often get overlooked in the kitchen for their flashy big brothers—chef’s knives—but like EDCs, they’re there when you need them most and there’s one for every type of user.

What Are Some Of The Best Paring Knives:

TOPS Knives Dicer

TOPS Knives embraces the paring knife market in conjunction with its Dicer line of kitchen knives. “We noticed, in the process of wanting to design a kitchen knife, that there were some amazing U.S.-made custom kitchen knives, but there weren’t many high-quality domestically made production kitchen knives,” TOPS spokesperson Jeremiah Heffelfinger observed. “This was a void that we were more than happy to fill, especially with the plan for a full line of kitchen knives in the near future.”

 The Dicer 3 has balance, a great blade steel—CPM S35VN stainless—ergonomics and looks.
The Dicer 3 has balance, a great blade steel—CPM S35VN stainless—ergonomics and looks.

A design contest between the staff of TOPS Knives in 2017 yielded the Dicer, an 8-inch chef’s knife. TOPS President Leo Espinoza designed a companion paring knife. The Dicer 3, released with the chef’s knife in 2019, that sports the same steel and handle material. The paring knife has become a popular offering as the company has filled out its culinary lineup, including bread and steak knives.

“The chef’s knife typically gets the majority of the attention, but for fine and detail tasks the paring knife can’t be beat,” the TOPS spokesperson advised. “It affords more control for tasks like peeling and trimming meat, fruit or vegetables.”

Heffelfinger said the Dicer 3 is a package that sports balance, a great steel, ergonomics and looks. When company officials designed the chef’s knife, they wanted it ground from CPM S35VN stainless steel, a material they carried over to the diminutive blade.

“We hadn’t seen many kitchen knives using S35VN and, having used the steel before on our Camp Creek hunting knife, we knew it would perform very well with great edge retention and durability,” he said. “Being a stainless steel, it is much less prone to corrosion and rust, making user maintenance just a little bit easier.”

The blade is flat ground to reduce friction in cuts, a .09-inch-thick steel that tapers to .032 inch near the tip, and sharpened to about 20 degrees to balance clean slices and durability when chopping, Heffelfinger added. It’s a blade described as a medium-to-heavy weight for a paring knife.

“We have a reputation for overbuilt hard-use tools that are able to hold up under extreme-use scenarios. We brought this philosophy with the full-tang design on every one of our Dicer line of knives,” he explained, “but we also wanted a classic feel and look for them, with a TOPS flair.”

He indicated knife enthusiasts have noticed that overbuilding and some have taken the blade far from the kitchen knife drawer.

“We have had a number of customers purchase the Dicer 3 to use as an EDC knife,” Heffelfinger said. “Due to the size of the blade, the S35VN stainless steel and smooth, contoured handles, they have attached a clip to the sheath and roll with it on their belt every day.”

Dicer 3 Specs
Designer: Leo Espinoza
Blade length: 3.5”
Blade steel: CPM S35VN stainless
Blade grind: Flat
Blade thickness at its thickest: .09”
Handle material: Black canvas Micarta® and Blue-black G-10
Handle thickness range: .1875 to .75”
Weight: 4.7 ozs.
Overall length: 7.88”
Sheath: Black Kydex
Country of origin: USA
MSRP: $200

Case Household Cutlery 3-Inch Clip Point

Sometimes it is best not to change the paring knife beloved by cooks through the decades, designs that have seen food crazes come and go: Jell-O salads, fondue pots, casseroles and avocado toast. Enter Case Knives’ Case Household Cutlery 3-inch clip point paring knife.

 Case has two paring knife blade styles: a spear and a clip point (shown here). “The clip-point version excels at chopping smaller food items because of its blade design and the blade edge, which mirrors the flat cutting surface when used correctly,” Case spokesperson Fred Feightner noted.
Case has two paring knife blade styles: a spear and a clip point (shown here). “The clip-point version excels at chopping smaller food items because of its blade design and the blade edge, which mirrors the flat cutting surface when used correctly,” Case spokesperson Fred Feightner noted.

“We use classic walnut wooden handles that have been used in millions of kitchens over time,” said Fred Feightner, Case senior marketing communications manager. “We purposely wanted these new kitchen knives to look, feel and perform like the Case household knives of old, and we feel our current offerings do just that very well.”

Case debuted the knife in 2012 while reintroducing its household line—in part by demand from its fans and also as a way to expand its brand and possibly place the knives with retailers who emphasized kitchen supplies.

Consumer advocates insisted on a simple handle design: a straight .5-inch-thick wooden handle, Feightner said. For the blade, the company turned to its Tru-Sharp™ surgical steel—the Case version of 420HC stainless—sabre ground and polished to a satin finish to resist the corrosion that can occur working around food.

The company has two paring knife blade styles. While the spear point slices and dices with ease, Feightner confided, “The clip-point version excels at chopping smaller food items because of its blade design and the blade edge, which mirrors the flat cutting surface when used correctly.”

It’s a knife Feightner says, despite its size, can hold up to kitchen tasks most anywhere. As he noted, “We think our paring knives are perfectly weighted so that intricate work is as easy as tougher jobs around the kitchen and at the barbecue pit.”

Household Cutlery 3-inch Clip Point Paring Knife Specs
Blade length: 3”
Blade steel: Tru-Sharp™ Stainless
Blade grind: Sabre
Handle material: Walnut
Handle thickness at its thickest: .5”
Overall length: 6.75”
Weight: 1.7 ozs.
Country of origin: USA
MSRP: $27.99

V Nives Emerald Paring Knife

Mike Vellekamp, owner and founder of V Nives, indicated his company has recently entered the world of kitchen knives, too. At his house, the 8-inch chef’s knife is most often used to prep food thrown in a wok or barbecued.

 The green handle—an exclusive color for V Nives—of the Emerald Paring Knife is injection molded around the blade tang.
The green handle—an exclusive color for V Nives—of the Emerald Paring Knife is injection molded around the blade tang.

“However, for day-to-day utility in the kitchen, the paring knife is definitely a must have,” Vellekamp said, adding the genre of blade is “optimal for intricate cutting, mincing, slicing and dicing fruits and veggies, deveining prawns/shrimp, and cutting herbs.”

And what V Nives offers won’t be the type of model found moldering in grandma’s cutlery drawer: the angular and green-hued Emerald Paring Knife. Vellekamp said it’s an example of a modern, innovative kitchen implement.

“DiaFire actually developed the knife,” Vellekamp said. “We have a close relationship with the brand, and we are the exclusive distributor for the Americas. We chose their kitchen products because of their dedication to innovation and quality.”

The Taiwan-made blade is 1/16-inch thick and flat ground from 8Cr13MoV stainless steel. “This is a great blade steel because it holds an edge very well for its intended uses, it’s highly corrosion resistant and it’s very easy to resharpen,” Vellekamp noted.

The green handle—an exclusive color for V Nives—is injection molded around the blade tang, making an ergonomic handle that runs between .417 to .645 inch thick. It’s a grip Vellekamp calls tough and light. And while he and other knife enthusiasts will tell you it’s a terrible way to treat your most important tool in the kitchen, the handle can survive a trip through the dishwasher if the, er, less knife enlightened put it there.

“These knives are a perfect example of high value at an affordable price,” Mike said, “and I believe it is a perfect complement to the modern kitchen.”

Emerald Paring Knife Specs
Blade length: 3.5”
Blade steel: 8Cr13MoV stainless
Blade grind: Flat
Blade thickness at its thickest: .059”
Handle material: Nylon and fiberglass injection molded
Handle thickness range: .417 to .647”
Weight: 4.25 ozs.
Overall length: 8.15”
Country of origin: Taiwan
MSRP: $42

Bradford Knives Blue G-Wood Paring Knife

Brad Larkin of Bradford Knives said a wise knife collector once told him that any good chef’s knife needs a paring knife sidekick. As a result, he’s happy with the Washington state-based shop’s flagship paring knife.

 Brad Larkin of Bradford Knives said the handle of the company’s Blue G-Wood Paring Knife is designed to be held in a surgical-like pinch grip. He indicated the result is a lightweight knife focused on fine cutting.
Brad Larkin of Bradford Knives said the handle of the company’s Blue G-Wood Paring Knife is designed to be held in a surgical-like pinch grip. He indicated the result is a lightweight knife focused on fine cutting.

“It complements our chef’s knife so well and we do find that customers seem to enjoy a ‘set’ of kitchen knives as opposed to our EDC knives, which are very carefully built around specific daily uses,” Larkin explained. “In the kitchen you need to be ready for a quickly changing, dynamic environment, and our hope is that the paring and chef’s knives can accomplish these mission-critical chores.”

Over the years, Bradford has released different versions of its paring knife. Recently, the company issued a limited run of handles made from blue G-wood, a composite of G-10 and wood veneer. Stainless blade steel choices are edge-holding, corrosion-resistant AEB-L or tough M390.

Bradford, which is known more for its tactical and EDC models, returned to its culinary roots with the paring knife. The first edged tool it made was the Gatsby, a steak knife.

The company’s paring knife features thin blade geometry—just the way Bradford Knives prefers it. The .09-inch-thick blade has a distal taper. “Our process allows for a full flat grind. It does produce a very mild hollow-grind effect,” Larkin qualified, “but it is hardly worth mentioning.”

The handle is designed to be held in a surgical-like pinch grip. Larkin said the result is a lightweight knife focused on fine cutting, such as making fruit twists for cocktails, for instance, though it could be considered a medium-weight model compared to most paring knives.

“A paring knife can be the best for overall utility, especially considering our blade size is larger than the typical paring blade and it shares design elements with our chef’s knife,” he opined. “It’s a real slicer!”

Blue G-Wood Paring Knife Specs
Blade length: 3.8”
Blade steel: Choice of M390 or AEB-L stainless
Blade grind: Full-height flat
Blade thickness at its thickest: .09”
Handle material: Blue G-wood
Handle thickness range: .2 to .55”
Weight: 1.8 ozs.
Overall length: 7.5”
Country of origin: USA
MSRP: $129

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