What Is a Paring Knife Used For In Cooking? Complete Guide

What Is a Paring Knife Used For In Cooking? Complete Guide

Paring knives are one of the most versatile knives in the kitchen and they can be used for a variety of purposes.

Most professional chefs use the paring knife as the first piece tool in the kitchen and that is why it’s important to know about a paring knife.

For professional chefs, the paring knife is a highly versatile tool as the small blade is perfect for cutting, sharpening, and for performing other precision work.

Many peoples are confused about paring knives and utility knives what is the difference between them, and what is a paring knife?

That why I have prepared a complete guide on what is a paring knife used for in cooking, as this can help figure out whether to go with a paring knife or not.

So, this article is going to be very interesting and informative, so don’t skip any points.

Let’s start

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What Is a Paring Knife? 

Paring knives are one of the most powerful kitchen knives, typically measuring between 2.5 to 4 inches. The small design of the blades makes it ideal for cutting items more precisely.

Most chefs use a paring knife as the first piece tool in the kitchen if they find the chef knives are too large.

The paring knife is relatively small in size, and that is why in most cases you won’t need a cutting board to use the blade.

A Pairing knife is small in size but it’s probably one of the most effective tools that you will probably need in your kitchen. The blade is designed specifically for performing a specific task.

The small tools allow you to cut, peel, dice, and score vegetables and fruits for a detailed-oriented task. The paring knife is the second top tool in the list of the best types of kitchen knives.

Types of Paring Knife? 

There are many different types of paring knives, typically based upon the design of the blade such as the tip of the blade whether it’s a single bevel or double bevel knife.

With the type of blades, there are various paring knife techniques, you can follow to expertise the blade you are using. 

Typically, the paring knife comes in two different sizes a 3 to 4-inch blade and a 2 to 3-inch blade. Usually, the shorted blade has a curved blade and it’s mostly a “bird’s peak”.

The other type of blade is long and curved. In case, you are looking to cut using a cutting board. You can also get a paring knife around 5 inches long, but most professionals prefer using a 3 or 3.5-inch blade.

Curved Tip Paring Knife Blade 

The curved-tip paring knife is a multi-design knife blade that is designed for precision and safety. The curved tip paired blades are has a narrow tip that is slightly cured.

The blades are very comfortable to use and help the chef to reduce stress and shoulder pain while cutting with the blade.

The curved tip blade gives you maximum control over the knife and helps to neatly cut even without using a cutting board. Also, it’s one of the best peeling knives for most kitchens. 

The blades are single bevel and that is why the blades are extremely sharp. Therefore, it’s important to know the necessary knife safety rules before you start using the blades.

Serrated Paring Knife Blade 

If you are thinking of cutting a variety of soft food such as bread, cakes, or soft cheese, then a serrated paring knife is the perfect blade that you must get.

You can also use the knife to cut fruits like mangoes, tomatoes, apples, etc. Because the blade has a serrated edge it an easy to cut through the skin layer.

Another advantage of using a serrated knife blade is you need less sharpening than a straight paring knife blade, and it will give you a clean cut with constant pressure and precision.

SheepFoot Paring Knife 

The sheepfoot paring knife blade has a flat and straight blade with a rounded tip, which means while you are cutting with the blade, the blade will come in contact with the cutting board.

The sheepFoot parking knives are very common and are mostly preferred by professional chefs for cutting a variety of things in restaurants.

The flat and straight single-bevel blades allow you to easily cut vegetables and fruits into thin strips, or even you can cut cheese into thin slices using the blades.

What Is a Paring Knife Used For? 

Paring knives are used for a variety of purposes in the kitchen including peeling, slicing, and chopping fruits and vegetables.

So, these are some of the main reasons why a paring knife is used in the kitchen.

Slicing & Dicing 

Although most chef uses a vegetable cutting knife for performing tasks like slicing, dicing, and chopping but the knife becomes bulkier when you are micing vegetables such as onions, ginger, herbs, and garlic.

That is why most chefs prefer using a paring knife to perform all these tasks.

You can also use a paring knife for cutting hard food such as potatoes for making french fries. To do this you just need a cutting board and a few potatoes. Now press your thumb backward handle and you can easily slice through the potatoes.


You can always use your paring knife for performing an ideal task such as peeling potatoes and apples into strips.

Before you start peeling you must make sure that you are having a comfortable control grip and do not press down the blade immediately.

To grip the knife wrap your fingers around the handle of the blade and make sure that the blade should point along with your thumb, and the thumb will guide you.

Using this technique you can peel fruits and vegetables such as apples and or potatoes. But if you are looking to cut thick food such as lime, then you can always use a cutting board for peeling the skin.


There are a lot of kitchen items that will require careful movement such as strawberries, shrimp, and even peppers and only a paring knife will help you make a clean cut.

You can also use the same method of cutting to separate tomatoes without watering the tomato. If you don’t have a proper knife for cutting cheese then you can also replace it with a paring knife.


You can also use your paring knife for coring, so to use a paring knife to scramble the pulp of an apple, you first have to insert the tip of the knife blade into the apple, then penetrate the fruit to a small angle.

Now pass the blade through the center to cut off the top cone. When you are finished a circle will appear and at that point in time you can remove the core. You can mostly use this technique for coring fruits and vegetables.


You can also use your paring knife for trimming purposes, like you don’t have a dedicated knife for cutting cheese then you can completely replace it with a paring knife.

The paring knife is sharp enough for cutting Mozzarella cheese and even the harder ones into thin slices without damaging the cheese slices.

The paring knife is also a great knife for trimming down vegetables and fruits. For trimming down vegetables you can use a small paring knife around 5 to 6 inches long.


If you are really passionate about the fruit on the stem and wanted the fruit to eat directly and get more benefit from the fruit then you can use a paring knife.

You can cut the fruit leaves with one slice. Now with the same process as peeling, insert the tip of the blade into the edge and circle around the fruit. Now you can turn it on and enjoy your fruit.


Well, if you have ever eaten canned mandarin having no chewy texture then that is the final result of careful segmentation. Segmentation is the process of removing the peel and pulp from citrus fruit such as oranges.

If you are looking to use clean citrus fruit for your salads and side dishes, then you can use your paring knife for cleaning the fruit.

To do this you have to place the fruit on the cutting board and cut through and remove the bark and the stems. Then hold the fruit and separate the part that is holding the segments together. You can get a very clean cut using a paring knife.


Deveining a shrimp becomes much easier with a paring knife. Paring knives are usually sharp and double-beveled which means the blade has a sharp and pointed tip.

All you need is you have to take the shrimp and find a dark line and cut through the middle portion of the shrimp. You can cut a little with the paring knife and lift the blade gently.

How To Choose a Paring Knife? 

Choosing the right paring knife is tough as there are a lot of manufacturers that make different types of knives, and choosing the best one out is always a challenging task.

When you are looking to buy a paring knife, these are some of the few things that you should pay attention to so that you get the best one according to your need.


One of the first things that you have to consider before choosing your paring knife is to look for the material of the blades. Currently, in the recent market, stainless and high carbon steel are the most popular ones.

Most professionals prefer choosing a stainless steel blade because the blades do not easily suffer from rust.

Therefore when you are choosing your knife made sure that you carefully look at the material of the blade. Usually, a knife with rust-resistant and anti-faded, and enamel coating helps to increase the durability of the blade.

Related Post: Best steel for knife making.


The thinner the blade higher the sharpness and the cutting process will be faster and safe. A sharp blade won’t get slipped no matter whether you are cutting using a cutting board or a by hand.

Before getting your paring knives, makes sure to test or check the sharpness of the blades so that you can get a clean cut.


The handle of the knife blades is also essential because with a good handle you can get full control over the blade. Most kitchen knives are made with a wooden handle for comfortable handling.

There are usually many different types of handle materials such as plastic, silicon, or polypropylene. Also, there are many patterns on the surface of the blade to increase the friction and grip of the handle.


Screws are connected to the blade and the handle for a secure installation. Therefore, you must look at the handle and screw of the knife whether they are loose or not. If you find the screw handle is loose then you should not choose the blade.

How To Use a Paring Knife?

There are two ways in which you can use a paring knife:

# By Using a Cutting Board 

When you are using a cutting board you have to use a longer blade, that looks similar to a chef knife. The blade will be more heavier and durable when compared with a regular paring knife. So it’s always recommended to use a cutting board when you are using a long-paring knife.

#Without Using a Cutting Board

When you have opted for cutting with a cutting board then you must always use a shorter paring knife, as when slicing fruits and vegetables it offers greater control.

Some of the knives might have a plastic handle while some might have a stamped blade. When you are cutting without a cutting board make sure that you use a short paring knife.

How To Care For a Paring Knife? 

You have to care for your blades properly if you what to maintain your blades. Keeping your knife blades clean and avoiding using a dishwasher as the dishwasher can ruin your blades.

It’s never recommended to wash a knife blade using a dishwasher because the dishwasher has a harsh environment and it can damage your blades.

You can also oil your knife blade at regular intervals, to keep the blades free from corrosion. Also, you can follow a guide on how to keep a knife from rusting for a better understanding.

Another essential part is storing your knife blades, as there are many different methods to store a knife, but not all of them are the correct ones.

The best way to store a knife is by using a magnetic knife strip or the under-cabinet knife storage method. There are also other methods of storing a knife such as a knife block or knife bag.

Right Way To Hold a Paring Knife 

There are many different ways in which you can hold a paring knife, but first, you must make sure that if you are a beginner it’s always recommended to wear a cut-resistant glove.

Firstly, you have to hold the knife by the handle and guide the blade by placing your thumb and your index finger on the spine. Now point the blades towards your rist and not your palm.

If you are having a high-quality paring knife it must be having a good-quality handle design. Therefore a good paring knife is ideally positioned to fit comfortably and firmly in your palm.

With a good knife, you can get complete control over the handle, no matter whether you are cutting or trimming. If the handle is comfortable then the knife should be balanced enough.

Wrap Up On What Is a Paring Knife Used For In Cooking

There are many different sizes of paring knives available and you can use any one of them. However, the smaller paring knife is more flexible and will make your task much more flexible and easier.

With a small paring knife, you can make a precise cut, as because you can comfortably handle the blade.

Paring knives are used by most chefs as their primary knife as the blades are very sharp and it’s comfortable to handle the blade which is the best part about a paring knife.

It’s always worth investing in a good paring knife, as it makes your work much easier and faster.

I hope you would have got the importance of a paring knife and why a paring knife is used in cooking. Let me know in the comment section below.

FAQ: What Are Paring Knives For

There are many different designs of paring knives and that is why most of them ask a lot of question-related and, and that is why I have answered some of the most commonly asked questions.

1. Difference Between a Paring Knife And a Utility Knife?

Usually, the paring knife is shorter than a utility knife, typically between 2 to 4 inches long and it looks like a small version of a chef knife. While the utility knife is solid all around the corners, the blades the available in both serrated and straight blades.

2. What Food Can a Paring Knife Make? 

The paring knife is a great knife for peeling vegetables and fruits. Slicing garlic or ginger into small pieces. Also to score design and patterns on the surface of the fruits or vegetables, a paring knife easily performs such a task.

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