The 9 Best Paring Knives of 2023

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These knives make short work of your tiniest kitchen tasks.

<p>Real Simple / Marcus Millan</p>

Real Simple / Marcus Millan

Paring knives have a short, sharp blade that’s ideal for any type of kitchen prep that requires precision. They’re perfect for peeling fruits and veggies, but you could also use them to mince, slice, cut, and core.

To find the best paring knives that will make quick work of meal prep, we researched the best products on the market, considering blade and handle material, blade length, and ease of use/maintenance. We also consulted Rusty Bowers, a classically trained chef turned butcher who owns Pine Street Market in Decatur, Georgia and co-owns Chop Shop in Atlanta.

“When shopping for a paring knife, the most important thing to remember is safety,” says Bowers. He says that because a paring knife is used for close prep work, like trimming potatoes or hulling strawberries, your fingers are dangerously close to the blade. “Look for a 3-4-inch blade with an easy-to-grip handle, either made of wood or textured plastic,” says Bowers. “A slick handle could cause the knife to move in your hand or fall from your grip.”

Whether you’re a beginner cook or an advanced chef, we’ve rounded up the best paring knives for precision work.

Global Classic 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

Best Overall Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who want a sharp and well-balanced knife made from a single piece of steel.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a knife with a wood or synthetic handle.

This Western-style, 3.5-inch paring knife from Global is the perfect tool for all your coring, peeling, dicing and, well, just about any other kitchen task that requires a sharp, precise blade. It’s deft enough to devein shrimp and agile enough to take on seeding chili peppers, too.

The Global Classic Paring Knife is constructed from one piece of high-carbon stainless steel. The blade features convex edges with a 15-degree angle on either slide of the blade. The ergonomic handle is filled with sand so it’ll be evenly balanced in your hand while you work. That doesn’t mean this knife is heavy—far from it. It feels nice and won’t budge in your hand, thanks to the textured grip on the handle.

As for sharpness, the stainless steel blade is ice-tempered and hardened to hit 56-58 on the Rockwell hardness scale. And while the best paring knives should obviously focus on performance, we can’t help loving the look of the patterned handle.

Price at time of publish: $50

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Stainless steel

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches

  • Weight: 3.2 ounces

Farberware EdgeKeeper 3.5-Inch Paring Knife

Best Budget Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who want an inexpensive paring knife with a self-sharpening sheath.

Who it isn’t for: People who store their knives in a knife block or on a magnetic strip.

We love this exceedingly budget-friendly paring knife from Farberware. It has a self-sharpening blade cover that keeps the stainless steel blade sharp and at the ready. The blade cover contains a set of rods made from tungsten steel that sharpen the stainless steel edge as you slide it out of the sheat, so there’s one kitchen maintenance task you can keep on autopilot.

This paring knife might feel lightweight but it is more than ready for precision cutting, mincing, peeling, and more. The polypropylene handle allows for a firm grip and feels balanced in your hand. When your prep work is finished, wash the blade in mild soap and warm water—the sheath just needs a swipe with a damp cloth.

Price at time of publish: $8 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Polypropylene

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches

  • Weight: 0.32 ounces

Shun Classic 3.5-Inch Paring Knife

Best Splurge Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People willing to splurge on a durable and stain-resistant knife that is comfortable for both right- and left-handed cooks.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t do a lot of precision work and would rather spend less on a knife for occasional use.

If you do a lot of peeling and coring of fruits and veggies, you’ll want a paring knife that can keep up. This one from Japan’s leading blade manufacturer is more than ready. The durable Pakkawood handle has a classic design that will ensure a firm grip in your hand. Shun even offers free sharpening, so you can keep the layered steel blade in tip-top shape.

Why is this knife worth the splurge? It’s constructed with Shun’s special VG-MAX stainless steel, featuring 68 layers of stainless Damascus cladding. That translates to a 16-degree blade edge that resists corrosion and stains and can slice through anything with ease. Cleanup is a breeze, too, not that you have much to worry about, as this knife won’t trap bacteria. The best part? It’ll be comfortable to use whether you’re a righty or a lefty, thanks to the universal design.

Price at time of publish: $125

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: VG-MAX stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Pakkawood

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches

  • Weight: 2.3 ounces

Tojiro DP 3.5-Inch Paring Knife

Best Japanese-Style Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who prefer the hard, straight edge of Japanese-style knives.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer the natural rock of a curved blade.

Japanese-made knives have a reputation for their stellar construction and performance. They typically have a thinner, straight blade that makes them ideal for precision cuts, especially on softer foods. And not only are they more durable, but they can maintain their sharpness for longer. Plus, they are designed to be lighter and more balanced in your hand. With this paring knife from Toshiro, you might find yourself buying copious amounts of fruits and vegetables just so you can peel, trim, and slice your way through it all.

This full-tang knife (meaning the blade extends all the way through the handle) has a triple-ply clad construction and a core made from VG-10 super steel. To strengthen it even further, it’s sandwiched between layers of stainless steel for premium rust resistance. With 9-to-12-degree double-bevel angles on each side of the blade, it hits 60 on the Rockwell Hardness scale. The Micarta handle (a type of composite material) has three rivets, while the bolster collar is closed to permit a full sharpening of the blade—though you likely won’t have to sharpen it all that often.

Price at time of publish: $60 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Micarta

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches

  • Weight: 2 ounces

Victorinox Swiss Classic Serrated Paring Knife

Best Serrated Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who want a serrated knife for cutting through foods with soft interiors and tough skins, such as tomatoes.

Who it isn’t for: People who want a flat-edged paring knife for fine chopping and dicing.

Most home chefs can get by with just a flat-edged paring knife. But if you need something with a little more oomph to it, this serrated paring knife from Victorinox fits the bill nicely. The serrated edge on this four-inch stainless steel blade is perfect for creating thin layers of fruits and vegetables for garnishes. It also works particularly well on foods with soft, fleshy interiors and tough skins, such as tomatoes or grapes (if you’ve ever tried to cut through a tomato with a flat, dull blade, then you’ve likely experienced squashed tomatoes and seeds and juices all over your cutting board). The handle is contoured for a firm yet comfortable grip, even when it’s wet, so you can prep your ingredients safely.

This Swiss-designed knife is made for professionals, so you’ll feel like one in your own kitchen. It also comes with a lifetime warranty against defects in construction or material. At just $10, it’s a no-brainer addition to your kitchen.

Price at time of publish: From $7 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Polypropylene

  • Blade Length: 4 inches

  • Weight: 1 ounce

Kyocera Revolution 3-Inch Ceramic Paring Knife

Best Small Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who want a small and lightweight blade that maintains its edge.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a stainless steel blade.

If you’re looking to enter the world of lightweight ceramic cutlery, you’ve got an excellent guide in this Kyocera 3-inch blade. It’s like any other paring knife in its ability to take on trimming, mincing, peeling, and plenty of other tasks, but it has a ceramic blade. What does this mean for your kitchen prep? You’ve got a lightweight, super-sharp blade that stays that way up to 10 times longer than steel blades.

The ergonomic handle is light and balanced, so your hand won’t tire even if you’re on a mission to peel all the fruit for a marathon baking session. And you’ll accomplish that mission handily, thanks to the ceramic knife which won’t look worse for wear in the face of all that juice, acid, and anything else that would normally dull a steel blade in a heartbeat. Note: The manufacturer recommends using only a Kyocera electric sharpener to hone the ceramic blade, or you could actually mail it to the company and they’ll do it for you.

Price at time of publish: $25 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: Ceramic

  • Handle Material: Resin

  • Blade Length: 3 inches

  • Weight: 0.2 ounces

Made In Paring Knife

Best Full-Tang Paring Knife

Who it’s for: People who want a durable and well-balanced knife.

Who it isn’t for: People who prefer a shorter blade.

This Made In paring knife features a full-tang design, meaning it’s constructed from one stainless steel rod that runs from the handle all the way to the tip. The result? A sharper blade that feels more balanced in your hand as you work.

At 4-inches, it is one of the longer blades on our best paring knives list, but it’s still small and nimble enough to hull, peel, core, and more. The stainless steel blade has been hardened with the power of nitrogen gas and designed in the image of Japanese cutlery, so you have a powerhouse of a knife in your hands. The blade features a double bevel with a 12.5-degree angle on each side. Choose from a resin handle that is available in three different colors or an olive wood handle that given an elevated look.

Price at time of publish: $69 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: Stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Resin or olive wood

  • Blade Length: 4 inches

  • Weight: 3.3 ounces

Zyliss 3.5-Inch Paring Knife with Sheath Cover

Best Paring Knife With Sheath

Who it’s for: People who want to keep their blade protected while stored in a drawer (and prevent accidents).

Who it isn’t for: People who want to add their knife to a block or magnetic strip.

Knife blades dull quickly when they rub up against other utensils in the drawer. That’s why a sheath is helpful. Not only can it protect your paring knife’s blade in between uses, but it’ll protect your fingers when you reach for it, too.

This bright green knife slices through all your fruit and vegetable ingredients, thanks to an incredibly sharp edge on the high-carbon stainless steel blade. The ergonomic handle is shaped to cut down on tired hands as you’re prepping for meals, plus the soft rubber non-slip grip ensures it’ll stay firmly in your hand.

Price at time of publish: $10 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Plastic with rubber grip

  • Blade Length: 3.5 inches

  • Weight: 1.9 ounces

Wüsthof Gourmet 3-Piece Paring Knife Set

Best Paring Knife Set

Who it’s for: People who want a variety of paring knives for different types of prep work.

Who it isn’t for: People who don’t find themselves doing much precision cutting.

This three-piece set features a 2.25-inch peeling knife and two 3-inch knives, one with a straight edge and one with a clip point (the latter is intended for trimming and slicing small produce, such as garlic cloves and herbs). All told, you’ve got a lot of functionality when it comes to mincing, coring, slicing, and more.

The handles have three rivets for durability and will stand up to staining and fading. The high-quality stainless steel blades are super sharp and will stay that way while keeping corrosion at bay. The three-piece set comes with lifetime limited warranty, so you’ll keep your kitchen skills sharp for years to come.

Price at time of publish: $90 

Product Details:

  • Blade Material: High-carbon stainless steel

  • Handle Material: Polypropylene

  • Blade Length: Peeling knife: 2.25 inches; straight paring knife: 3 inches; clip point paring knife: 3 inches

  • Weight: Peeling knife: 1 ounce; straight paring knife: 1.3 ounces; clip point paring knife: 1.3 ounces

Final Verdict

The Global Classic 3.5-Inch Paring Knife cut through the competition thanks to its ergonomic design and super-sharp stainless steel construction. For a more budget-friendly option, the Farberware Edgekeeper 3.5-Inch Paring Knife retails for a fraction of the cost and comes with a self-sharpening sheath for easy maintenance.

How to Shop for Paring Knives Like a Pro


All but one of the paring knives on our list are made from stainless steel, the exception being the Kyocera Revolution 3-Inch Ceramic Paring Knife, which has a ceramic blade. Rusty Bowers, a classically trained chef turned butcher, says both are good options for the home chef, but he prefers stainless steel because it’s easier to keep it clean and free of rust. Ceramic is light and rather attractive for a utensil, but it chips easily, says Bowers. You might see some knives labeled “high-carbon stainless steel”—this refers to stainless steel blades with slightly higher carbon levels for increased hardness (although all steel contains carbon).

Blade Length

Most paring knives have 3.5-inch blades, though the ones on our list range between 3-4 inches. A shorter blade will typically allow for better precision, so consider what type of kitchen prep you’ll be doing and purchase accordingly. Not sure what you’ll need? A paring knife set might be the perfect option.


Bowers recommends looking for paring knife handles made from wood or textured plastic so that you have a firmer grip. Your fingers will be dangerously close to the blade, so you don’t want anything too slick that will cause them to slip—especially if your hands are already damp or oily from working in the kitchen.


“Only butter knives go in the dishwasher,” says Bowers. Knives with sharp blades will get dull quickly when they bang up against other utensils and are exposed to harsh detergent and heat. “All your sharp knives should be treated with love and respect,” he says. This means wash them by hand with a soft sponge to avoid scratching, then dry with a clean towel. You should store knives in a knife block, on a magnetic strip, or a knife roll, but not in the drawer (unless you have a sheath). Not only can they get dull in there by bumping up with other utensils, but you run the risk of cutting your hand when you reach in to grab something.

Questions You Might Ask

What is a paring knife used for?

The short, sharp blade of a paring knife is used for more precise prep work in the kitchen. It’s a go-to for peeling and coring fruits and veggies, but it’s also a good knife for seeding and mincing, as well as deveining shrimp.

What is a serrated paring knife for?

“Think of a serrated knife as a mini chainsaw,” says Bowers. In that light, it may or may not serve a purpose in your kitchen. He says it’s great if you often find yourself slicing tiny loaves of bread or perhaps peeling thick skins off of veggies, but you typically won’t need one for everyday kitchen prep. “A straight-edge paring knife is more useful for delicate, handheld work,” he explains. If you don’t want to purchase a serrated paring knife, a steak knife can work in its place for slicing larger produce, such as tomatoes.

How do you sharpen a paring knife?

“A sharp knife is a safe knife, so check the blade before each use to see if it needs attention,” says Bowers. If you’re a pro chef, sharpening stones and whetstones are the way to go, but they’re pricey and take up a lot of space in the kitchen for home chefs. Instead, he suggests using a honing steel or some of the other, more reasonably priced pull-through options available. But if you don’t use your paring knives that often, Bowers suggests using a coffee mug as a sharpener.

Take a regular mug and flip it over on your kitchen countertop, using a damp towel to secure it in place. “The abrasive ring on the bottom of the mug is coarse like a sharpening stone,” Bowers explains. Holding your paring knife blade at a 20-degree angle, slowly move the blade in long, even strokes, sliding from handle to tip; repeat on both sides of the blade. Then, wash and rinse both the knife and the mug when you’re done.

Related:The 8 Best Chef’s Knives of 2023

Take Our Word for It

This article was written by Barbara Bellesi Zito, a freelance lifestyle writer based in Staten Island, New York. To compile this list of best paring knives, she researched products from top brands, considering blade and handle material, blade length, and ease of use/maintenance. For expert advice on what consumers should know when purchasing paring knives, she consulted Rusty Bowers, a classically trained chef turned butcher who owns Pine Street Market in Decatur, Georgia and co-owns Chop Shop in Atlanta.

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