Best Paring Knife: Buyer’s Guide for Best Paring Knives

If you count yourself among those who are upright and facing the right way, then you can identify a paring knife from the knife stock in your own kitchen.

But do you know the backstory of the paring? The best paring knives did not start out as a kitchen knife at all. It is according to one online article, as a bookbinding instrument called a “couteau à parer” (a reference from 16th Century France).

Having come a long way from a bookbinding instrument, today’s parer is also called a bread knife or a peeling knife. This heavily-used kitchen multi-tasker is second only to the Chef’s knife or utility knife. It is particularly well suited for dainty duties – de-veining shrimp, peeling apples or removing the seeds from peppers and or fruits.

What Makes the Best Paring Knife?

 The market abounds with paring knife options, so how does one cope? How does one know what to buy and where to look? Well, you should start at the beginning.  The best pairing knife money can buy should offer a non-slip grip, and have a balance weight and feel in your hand. It should also have a full tang where the blade runs all the way to the butt of the knife in one, continuous piece of metal. And a blade that stays sharp and resists dulling.

What Do You Like In A Parer?

All of that doesn’t mean a thing if it is going to sit in your drawer unused. Whether you are chopping shallots on a cutting board or preparing matchstick carrots by butcher block. Julienning peppers for a stir-fry, or peeling apples “Grannie-style” for a pie. You should have a parer that you can count to get the job done without bending or breaking down. But it should also be a knife that you feel comfortable using on a daily bases.

The Best Paring Knife Guide to Top Knives

So how do you select the best pairing knife for your kitchen, anyhow? That is a good question, and, in order to answer it, we need to first define some parameters. Primarily, to answer the query, we will be reviewing classic pairing knives (spear tips). You may further investigate online for alternate sizes and variants, like bird’s beak and sheep’s food options.

Criteria In Choosing The Best Paring Knife

Also, we are going to choose items we think are models for the best paring knife based on quality, cost, value, versatility, and innovation.  We are also going to include Amazon rankings. We have also consulted rankings from Sous Vide Guy, Serious Eats, Epicurious, and others articles as well.

This list is not an exhaustive list and nor is it meant to rule out any of the new and exciting cutlery that is being produced in today’s market. After all, we are not omnipotent paring knife gods. If your favorite parer misses the cut, please don’t assume that we have a barn full of lit candles and chalk-drawn petagrams. We just want to help you choose a better paring knife.

The Best Paring Knife Comparison Table

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The Best Paring Knife Reviews

Mercer Culinary

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The first on our list is the Mercer Culinary Genesis 3.5-Inch Paring Knife with Spear Tip. This great little parer is available on  Amazon and ranks supreme with a six-star, 1,236 reviewer mark. This knife strikes a noteworthy balance between quality craftsmanship and value. It features an ergonomic “no-slip” even when wet and has Santoprene handle. It is a high-carbon no-stain forged German X50CrMoV15 steel with a super hard 56 HRC rating.

 The handle is full-tang and it dubs “the most comfortable handle in knife business.” Moreover, the blade has a nice weight (1 pound) and features “taper-ground” edge. It offers Lifetime Limited Warranty, and an NSF certification, for under $15.


  • Ergonomic “no-slip” even when wet and has Santoprene handle.
  • High-carbon no-stain
  • Most comfortable handle in knife business


  • ​Items you cut that have a tendency to stick to the blade


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This NANFANG BROTHERS Damascus Kitchen Knife Set is a unique new product. It features a molded bamboo (bamboo sawdust, rice starch, and an all natural, plant-based binder) handle. A melamine, plastic, and BPA free. The blade is  93 percent recycled stainless steel.  With a tapered knife edge that is almost 4-inches long, it is a little longer than a normal parer. The knife is a lightweight material. It weighs only a little over 3 ounces. The handle is really comfortable. It fits in your hand more like an Apple mouse than a traditional knife.


  • Natural Wooden Block handle makes cutting easy
  • Fits in your hand


  • Large handle a bit cumbersome


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The Dalstrong Gladiator Series Paring Knife with Sheath is also made with high-carbon. A hand-polished German steel at 3.75″.   It offers a “precision-crafted,” razor-sharp blaze for around $30. This paring knife has a 6-star rating from 279 reviewers on Amazon. A high-quality parer features an “imported black pakkawood” (wood-polymer composite) triple riveted handle. Plus, the blade rates 55 HRC, and the knife comes with a “PerfectFit” Dalstrong sheath.


  • Carefully tapered for improved hardness, flexibility, and minimal slicing resistance


  • Ricasso extends down to bottom of the blade making sharpening more difficult


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Yaxell Gou 3.5 inch Parer has an SG2 forged Japanese steel blade. It features a 101 layers of high-carbon carbide-powdered stainless steel for extra hardness. It is an extremely sharp blade. Corrosion free, the metal is kiln-heated and ice-hardened for a total rating of 63 HRC. The handle is canvas-micarta with full tang and triple-riveting. At a little over three ounces, the knife has a nice weight. At a prize of about $130 and rated a perfect 6 stars by 42 shoppers this is probably the only parer you will ever need.


  • Extremely sharp blade
  • It’s a double-bevel knife suitable for both hands.


  • Metal is a bit too soft and it won’t hold that edge for more than one use,

Mac Knife

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Mac Knife Original Paring Knife 4-inch is probably one of the best paring knives you have never heard of. It has sold “over 25-million knives” since their establishment in the 1960’s. Gaining a 6-star achievement as rated by 22 reviewers on Amazon, this knife is loved by many, including professional chefs from around.

 This extremely versatile knife is the result of a 2mm blade that acts like a boning knife, a Chef’s knife, a utility knife. It is a paring knife all in one. The knife’s molybdenum steel holds a great edge. It is easy to sharpen, and, with dimples along the blade edge. The knife efficiently prevents food build-up along the bottom.  At around $40, there is no other knife quite like it.


  • A great knife and keeps its edge well 


  • Hand wash is recommended Not dishwasher safe 

J.A Henckels

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The J. A. Henckels International Classic 4-Inch Paring Knife bags a 5.5-star rating by 322 people on Amazon and features a German high-carbon stainless steel blade with a triple-riveted wooden handle. Established in 1895 J. A Henckels knives are known for their long-lasting sharpness, full-tang design, and ergonomic handles. Made in Spain, the Henckels name is synonymous with quality knives known for a great balance, design, and weight and are available for about $24 on Amazon.


  • Great for peeling, cutting, and shaping fruits and vegetables
  • Satin-finished blade boasts precision cutting and is finely honed for long-lasting sharpness


  • The Blade is not flexible


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The Wusthof Classic 3.5-Inch Paring Knife is also made of high-carbon German steel, and it features a forged blade with full-tang and an ergonomically designed handle. Wusthof was founded in Germany over 200 years ago, and it is still family-owned and operated after seven generations. Their classic parer feels nice in the hand and weights perfectly balance 5 ounces, which is rated 5.5 rating by 168 shoppers and you can buy at Amazon for around $50.


  • Fits really nicely in hand and has enough weight to feel secure.
  • High-carbon no-stain
  • Most comfortable handle in knife business


  • Clean this knife in a dishwasher
  • The only thing missing is a sheath so It can take in during camping.


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Think of the KAN Core Chef Knife as a paring knife with a utility knife complex. This knife is the size of a paring knife but it acts like a parer.ade of 33-layers of Damascus steel with a super steel VG10 core for ultimate sharpness. Its 60-61 Rockwell Hardness makes it hard and flexible and the 9-12-degree blade angle makes it sharp and ideal for pairing. It has a full tang, triple-riveted black pakkawood handle that is complemented with red spacers and a traditional Japanese decorative pin. This classic paring knife is handcrafted to ensure high-quality product and has a steel end cap for more balance.


  • Frequently used knives in the kitchen, designed for cutting and slicing slightly larger items


  • Tip broke after a couple of years not very heavy use.

Zwilling J. A. Henckels

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4-inch Paring Knife by Zwilling J.A. Henckels is a high-end paring knife that makes no excuses about its $200 price tag. Instead, it boasts of a micro-carbide powder steel blade, and its close association with certified Master Bladesmith, Bob Kramer. As a member of the Artisan Knife Series, this Kramer parer “outperformed every knife we’ve ever rated,” said Cook’s Illustrated.

The knife, admittedly, has an elegant look and is perfectly weighted, if not a little too heavy. In addition to the carbide powder, the steel is “ice-hardened” for a rock-hard 63 HRC rating. Plus, the linen Micarta handle resists ware like no other composite material (and gives it a unique grainy, textured look).


  • Excellent sharp knife.
  •  Handle has a more rounded shape which fits my hand well


  • It certainly IS NOT stain-less

Things to Consider When Choosing the Right Knife for You

Whew! We are almost done. But, as Columbo would so famously say over and over and over again, “there’s one last thing.” Or, a couple of last things.

When you are selecting the best paring knife for you, keep in mind these four important factors:


Hardness was traditionally achieved by add carbon to iron to create steel. The amount of carbon can vary from between 0.55% to all the way up over 1 percent.

However, carbon alone, in too great of an amount can make a knife brittle.  Modern knife manufacturers have found ways around this by “wrapping” flexible metal cores with harder materials, like other metals, carbide powders, oxides, and “ice hardening” blades. Rather than try to become familiar with all of the types of knife metals out there, instead, try to learn more about The Rockwell scale of hardness.

Wear Resistance 

This is not altogether different from hardness, and abrasive wear is more common with softer metals. While wear resistance is helped by hardness and naturally forming carbides, that same hardness can make the blade brittle.

Corrosion resistance

This is another important factor to consider in choosing a knife. The ability to resist corrosion such as rust is influenced by the amount of Chromium in the metal. However, the additives that make metal stain-resistant result in a steel that is softer than its high-carbon counterpart.

Edge Retention 

This means how long the blade stays sharp – the harder the blade, the longer it stays sharp. But in general, the more difficult it is to sharpen.

Finding the Best Paring Knife to Fit Your Cutting Needs

The perfect paring knife will, most likely, combine a little bit of all of the characteristics discussed in this blog.

To pick out the best knife for you, read reviews, test knives out when possible, and, if you really want to get old school, maybe cover a book.

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