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Paring Knife Size

Posted by akchicago (My Page) on
Thu, Mar 16, 06 at 16:33

I feel like this is such a minor point to be spending time on, but nevertheless, I cannot decide between two paring knife sizes. I really like the Wusthof Classic paring knife. In the store, I held in my hand both the 3.5" and the 4". They both felt good. So I need to pick one. I do have small hands, but that didn't seem to make a difference when I held the two knives. The salesperson (at William Sonoma) didn't have any input to offer. So please help me tip the scales to one or the other. Thanks!

Follow-Up Postings:

RE: Paring Knife Size

I too have small hands and have the Wusthof Classic, I love the 3 1/2 paring knife. I think for the longer would make some tasks a tad more difficult for me.

RE: Paring Knife Size

I think the Spyderco Mini Paring Knife Black Sermollan ~ K09BK is the best knife out there. This is the knife I grab 9 times out of 10 in the kitchen. I am a bit of a knife collector but must admit that my 8" chef's knife, this paring knife and the spyderco serrated utility (can cut tomatoes paper thin) are the ones I grab 99% of the time. I have Santoku, ceramic, and other specialty knives but rely mostly on the three mentioned.
The sharpened side of the blade is straight, since for me most of the cutting with a paring knife is drawing the knife towards my thumb this design makes alot of sense. I have given these knives away as gifts to my cooking friends and they are always a hit.
The blade shape also makes it easy to do more intricate garnishing.

Here is a link that might be useful: Spyderco Paring Knife

RE: Paring Knife Size


I prefer paring blades that are convex rather than straight or concave. When drawing toward my thumb, that convex curve allows me to concentrate on the approaching apex. Been "surprised" by unexpected touch of straight or hooked blades too often.

Do prefer straight or concave/hooked blades for many other purposes -- just not for paring.

Otherwise suggest your size-choice based on size of your hands. In particular spend some time rolling the handle in the crook formed by four fingers as you would when actually paring. A lot of wooden-handled paring knives still have squared-off and/or slippery handles that are annoying to hold and work with when paring. I like a handle that is comfortable but also has a shape that allows me to know how blade is oriented by feel -- typically an oval shape rather than square or round and typically not wood.

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