The Best Paring Knives

Paring knives are small, multi-purpose knives, usually with a blade of around 3 inches. The blade can be smooth, or serrated. Whether you enjoy creating gourmet meals from the comfort of your kitchen, or simply need to quickly chop vegetables from time to time, paring knives are an excellent addition to your knife collection.

We reviewed dozens of paring knives to identify the best of the best. We looked at features including the type of material the blade and handle are made from, whether or not the blade is serrated or smooth, and the durability of the blade.

Top Pick
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Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

This indispensable knife is part of Mercer’s Genesis range – providing professional quality to the home chef

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$18.00 USD

Our Top Pick, the Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife combines an ergonomic and non-slip handle with a high-carbon blade created from German steel. The lifetime warranty and over 1,300 reviews on Amazon mean that you can buy this knife with confidence.

The 5 Top-Rated Paring Knives

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallMercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife4.8
Runner UpZyliss 3.5 Inch Parking Knife with Sheath Cover4.6
Best Budget BuyVictorinox 3.25 Inch Parking Knife4.5
Best Ceramic Paring KnifeKyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3 Inch Paring Knife4.4
Best Serrated Paring KnifeMercer Culinary Millennia 3 Inch Serrated Slim Paring Knife4.8

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

We think our top pick, the indispensable Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife will soon become one of your favorite knives. Combining comfort, durability, and efficiency with a professional quality blade means this knife is suitable for a wide range of kitchen tasks.

The nonslip Santoprene handle provides not only comfort, but excellent grip, even when wet. This knife is designed to withstand both hot and cold temperatures, and will not break down from exposure to the oils frequently found in many kitchens.

The German steel blade resists rust, corrosion, and discoloration. The taper-ground edge of the Mercer Culinary Genius paring knife is designed to provide stability, sharpness, and efficiency when cutting. Mercer knives are designed for professional kitchen professionals, meaning you can be sure of a quality product that’s built to last.

Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife Key Features:

  • Professional quality
  • Single piece, fully forged blade
  • One-year warranty
  • 3.5 inch blade

Our Runner Up Pick: Zyliss Paring Knife with Sheath Cover

Runner Up
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Zyliss 3.5 Inch Paring Knife with Sheath Cover

This bright and bold 3.5 inch paring knife has a non-stick blade for easy cutting

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Taking our position as our Runner Up Pick, we have the Zyliss 3.5 Inch Paring Knife with Sheath Cover. This bright and bold knife comes in a vibrant orange color. The high-carbon stainless steel blade keeps a superbly sharp edge, but is also incredibly easy to re-sharpen when the time comes.

This knife is dishwasher safe, perfect when you’re in a hurry. Despite this great feature, it’s important to note that the manufacturer does recommend hand washing to maintain ultimate sharpness of the blade.

The safety blade guard is designed to protect the knife when in storage, but is also a very useful feature if you intend to take this knife when RVing, tailgating, or camping. The handle has a soft touch rubber grip, which reduces hand fatigue, but also allows for excellent control and precision.

Zyliss 3.5 Inch Paring Knife with Sheath Cover Key Features:

  • 5 year guarantee
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Non-stick blade
  • Safety blade guard

Best Budget Pick: Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife With Straight Edge

Best for Budget
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Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife With Straight Edge

This multipurpose paring knife, with a straight edge, is designed for maximum durability and cutting performance

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$5.30 USD

Our best budget pick is the Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife With Straight Edge. Costing just $5, it’s easy to see why this paring knife is a best seller, as well as having over 2,000 customer reviews on Amazon. The reasons for this lie in its classic yet effective design, which given that Victorinox have been crafting knives in Switzerland since 1884 should come as no surprise.

The laser-tested, tapered edge of this knife is designed to form a precise angle. This helps to maintain the sharpness of the blade, while also ensuring maximum durability and cutting performance.

This knife is nothing if not versatile – perfect for a wide range of kitchen tasks from intricate jobs such as trimming beans, to bigger jobs like quickly dicing onions. Given that these knives are designed specifically for professionals who use them day in, day out, every Victorinox knife comes with a lifetime warranty against defects in the workmanship or materials.

Victorinox 3.25 Inch Paring Knife With Straight Edge Key Features:

  • Lifetime warranty against defects in material and workmanship
  • Short blade for enhanced accuracy
  • Ergonomic handle
  • Multipurpose

Best Ceramic Paring Knife: Kyocera Advanced Caramic Revolution Series 3-Inch Paring Knife

Best Ceramic Paring Knife
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Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3-Inch Paring Knife

The ceramic blade of this paring knife is crafted in Japan, and is designed to stay sharp 10 times longer than traditional knives

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$25.20 USD

The Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3-Inch Paring Knife is the perfect introduction to Kyocera’s range of ceramic knives. The comfortable, ergonomic handle is designed for precise control. This is combined with a ceramic blade made from a proprietary zirconia material which is made in Japan.

The ceramic blade stays sharper 10 times longer than a traditional steel blade, meaning less sharpening and more precision. This knife is perfect for slicing fruits and vegetables with ease. It’s also well suited to delicate tasks including trimming, peeling, and mincing.

Although powerful, this knife is also lightweight and a pleasure to use. The blades are resistant to acids and rust. Bear in mind that this knife is not suitable for use with extremely hard, or frozen foods.

Kyocera Advanced Ceramic Revolution Series 3-Inch Paring Knife Key Features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • Ergonomic design reduces wrist fatigue
  • Lightweight and perfectly balanced
  • Sharp blade provides minimal resistance when cutting

Best Serrated Paring Knife: Mercer Culinary Millennia 3-Inch Serrated Slim Paring Knife

Best Serrated Paring Knife
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Mercer Culinary Millennia 3-Inch Serrated Slim Paring Knife

With an ergonomic handle and high-quality Japanese steel serrated blade, this knife makes easy work of chopping

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$7.60 USD

If you’re looking for a high-quality serrated paring knife, the Mercer Culinary Millennia 3-Inch Serrated Slim Paring Knife is the best choice for you. Every detail of this knife has been carefully thought out, from the ergonomic handle, to the textured finger points designed to provide slip resistance and grip.

The blade is made from one-piece high-carbon Japanese steel, which is stain resistant. The excellent quality of the steel also means that it’s easy to sharpen. The handle is designed to widen at the point it meets the blade, which helps protect your fingers.

Caring for this paring knife is easy too, simply wash with hot soapy water, and dry with a soft cloth. Storing in a cutlery block or sheath will help to maintain the harp cutting edge, and also prevent injuries.

Mercer Culinary Millennia 3-Inch Serrated Slim Paring Knife Key Features:

  • Available in 8 colors, including black, blue, brown, green, purple, red, white, and yellow
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • Protective finger guard
  • Brand chosen by culinary professionals

Who Should Buy a Paring Knife

Paring knives are designed to help you carry out a wide range of kitchen tasks. Sometimes a large chef’s knife can be too unwieldy for completing delicate tasks such as de-veining a shrimp, or chopping small chili as garnishes. A good quality paring knife will make jobs like this a joy, thanks to their sharp blades, which thanks to their relatively small size, are easy and efficient to use.

If you spend any amount of time in the kitchen preparing meals for you and your family, then investing in a paring knife is a decision you won’t regret. In fact, you may find that it will become your go-to knife of choice for a wide range of different chopping tasks, whether you’re slicing tomatoes to go into your pressure cooker for a delicious stew, or segmenting citrus fruit for a summery cocktail.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

This indispensable knife is part of Mercer’s Genesis range – providing professional quality to the home chef

buy now
$18.00 USD

Important Features to Consider

A paring knife should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a paring knife to suit your needs.

  • Blade material. Paring knife blades come in all different types of materials, and the one you select will impact how you care for it. Stainless steel blades are a popular choice due to the fact that they don’r rust, so are very low maintenance. Something to bear in mind is that they will need frequent sharpening to maintain a usable edge. Carbon steel blades require less sharpening, but are prone to rust if not cared for properly. They can also discolor when used to cut acidic fruit such as tomatoes. High-carbon stainless steel blades are becoming more popular, due to the fact that they combine the best parts of stainless and carbon steels. They can be more expensive though. Ceramic blades are the sharpest, as well as holding their edge for the longest without needing sharpening. They will break or chip if dropped though, so are definitely more fragile.
  • Handle material. You may have a particular preference for the material a knife handle is made from, and it can make a difference! Wooden handles are often beautifully crafted, and feel warm to use. They are harder to keep clean though, as it’s best not to allow them to get wet. Some knives are made in one piece, so the handle will be the same material as the blade. This can be a bonus as they’re easy to keep clean, but they can be slippery. Plastic handles are easy to clean and usually have a good amount of grip, but they can make the handle lighter, which can affect how it balances in your hand.
  • Serrated or smooth. Paring knives come in two blade types – serrated and smooth. Serrated paring knives are perfect for chopping tomatoes, or citrus fruit, as the serrations allow for precision, whilst providing a good amount of grip on slippery skins. Smooth paring knives are excellent for a wide range of kitchen tasks, but you will need to make sure they are sharpened more regularly.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a paring knife?

Paring knives are an essential part of any well-stocked kitchen. They have a small blade, usually around 3 inches in length, and can have a smooth or serrated cutting edge.

What are the uses of a paring knife?

There are many different ways to use a paring knife, in fact you can think of them as a small, multi-purpose knife. They can be perfect for delicate tasks which would be too difficult with a larger knife. These can include removing the seeds from chili peppers, cutting small items such as salad onions, and peeling hot potatoes.

How do you use a paring knife correctly?

The technique you use will differ depending on what you’re cutting – but it’s vital that you’re always in control of the small, but sharp blade of your paring knife. Make sure you have a good grip of your knife, and that it feels balanced in your hand. If you’ve selected a paring knife with a heavier, weighted handle, then it may take a while for you to adjust to the new feeling, so take your time until you’re fully comfortable.

Using a chopping board to start with is a good idea, before moving onto more delicate tasks such as segmenting a citrus fruit, where you would usually hold the fruit in your hand and use your paring knife to remove individual segments of the fruit.

When do you need a serrated paring knife?

A serrated paring knife will make quick work of certain tasks such as cutting tomatoes and peppers. Removing the white pith from citrus fruit will also be much easier with a serrated paring knife.

Other Paring Knives We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Mercer Culinary Genesis Forged 3.5 Inch Paring Knife

This indispensable knife is part of Mercer’s Genesis range – providing professional quality to the home chef

buy now
$18.00 USD

We looked at 20 other paring knives. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best paring knives list, they’re still the best of the rest and and each is still a great option for your kitchen. The information you need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Ceramic Paring Knives

Alpha Inspirations Ceramic Paring Knife

Alpha Inspirations Ceramic Paring Knife

This stylish black ceramic smooth paring knife will stay sharp for years without ever needing sharpening.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Includes safety blade cover
  • Easy to clean due to non-porous properties of ceramic

Cuisinart C59CE-3PR Elements Open Stock Paring Knife

Cuisinart C59CE-3PR Elements Open Stock Paring Knife

This knife combines new advanced blade technology with an ergonomic handle designed for comfort.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 inch blade
  • 5 year limited warranty
  • Break-resistant blade

Farberware Soft Grip Handle Ceramic Paring Knife

Faberware Soft Grip Handle Ceramic Paring Knife

The soft, non-slip handle of this paring knife is designed to help you achieve precise cutting with the immensely sharp ceramic blade.

Key Features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • Dishwasher safe
  • Includes safety cover

MOJO-HOME Ceramic Rainbow Blade Paring Knife

MOJO-HOME Ceramic Rainbow Blade Paring Knife

If you’re after a fun and functional paring knife, then the iridescent rainbow blade of this knife is bound to catch your eye.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Lightweight and ultra-sharp
  • 60 day manufacturer’s warranty

Vos Ceramic Zirconia Paring Knife

Vos Ceramic Zirconia Paring Knife

The zirconia ceramic blade of this knife is twice as hard as a steel blade, meaning it will retain its sharpness for much longer.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Resistant to rust, acid, and oil
  • Lifetime guarantee

Serrated Paring Knives

Dalstrong Serrated Paring Knife – Gladiator Series

Dalstrong Serrated Paring Knife - Gladiator Series

This knife combines outstanding craftsmanship with premium materials for a razor sharp and precise blade.

Key Features:

  • 3.75 inch blade
  • Blade made from German high-carbon steel
  • Award winning design

Kuhn Rikon Colori Serrated Knife

Kuhn Rikon Colori Serrated Knife

If you prefer to use separate knives for raw meat, vegetables, and fruit, the color coded plastic of these knives will appeal to you.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Available in 3 colors – yellow, red, and green
  • Super sharp Japanese blade

Victorinox 3.25 Inch Swiss Classic Paring Knife

Victorinox 3.25 Inch Swiss Classic Paring Knife

The short blade and ergonomic handle of this Victorinox serrated paring knife combine to provide excellent accuracy and precision.

Key Features:

  • 3.25 inch blade
  • Available with 6 different blade colors, including black, red, green, orange, pink, and yellow
  • Lifetime warranty

Wusthof Classic 3-Inch Serrated Paring Knife

Wusthof Classic 3-Inch Serrated Paring Knife

The forged, hand-crafted blade of this knife is a unique and versatile design.

Key Features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • Lifetime guarantee
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade

Zyliss Serrated Paring Knife

Zyliss Serrated Paring Knife

The ergonomic, soft handle of this Zyliss knife is combined with a high-carbon, stainless steel blade.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Safety blade guard

Paring Knife Sets

Kuhn Roki 4-Inch Nonstick Colori Paring Knife, Set of 3

Kuhn Roki 4-Inch Nonstick Colori Paring Knife, Set of 3

Once you discover how versatile paring knives are, you may well want more than one! This set of 3 from Kuhn Roki is the perfect addition to your kitchen.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Protective safety sheath included
  • High-carbon stainless steel blade

Rada Cultlery Paring Knife Set

Rada Cultlery Paring Knife Set

This stylish set includes 3 paring knives of different lengths, with brushed aluminium handles.

Key Features:

  • Lifetime guarantee
  • Includes peeling paring knife, regular paring knife, and heavy duty paring knife
  • Made in USA

Victorinox 4-Piece Set of Swiss Classic Paring Knives

Victorinox 4-Piece Set of Swiss Classic Paring Knives

This set of Swiss classic paring knives from Victorinox will soon become a kitchen staple thanks to their razor-sharp blade.

Key Features:

  • 3.25 inch blade
  • 4 different colored handles
  • Lifetime warranty

Zyliss Black Ceramic Paring Knife Set

Zyliss Black Ceramic Paring Knife Set

The hardened ceramic blades of this knife set will maintain their sharp edges for long lasting use.

Key Features:

  • Includes 2.25 inch blade, and 3.25 inch blade
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Dishwasher safe – hand wash recommended

Zyliss 3 Piece Paring Knife Set

Zyliss 3 Piece Paring Knife Set

The high-carbon, stainless steel blades of this 3-piece set provide excellent and long-lasting cutting power.

Key Features:

  • Set includes 3.5 inch smooth paring knife, 4 inch serrated paring knife, and 5 inch utility knife
  • 5 year guarantee
  • Includes protective sheath covers

Paring Knives with Wooden Handles

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition Paring Knife

Chicago Cutlery Walnut Tradition Paring Knife

Featuring a walnut wood handle with 3 rivets, and a full metal tang, this high carbon, stainless steel knife provides stability and comfort with traditional styling.

Key Features:

  • 3 inch blade
  • Hand wash only
  • Lifetime warranty

DESLON Paring Knife

DESLON Paring Knife

The high quality, German steel blade of this paring knife is combined with a traditional wooden handle.

Key Features:

  • 2.95 inch blade
  • Hand wash only
  • Cold forged blade for added durability

Japan Bargain Stainless Steel Paring Knife with Sheath

Japan Bargain Stainless Steel Paring Knife with Sheath

This eye-catching knife has an attractive light colored wooden handle made from oak wood, and a matching wooden sheath.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Made in Japan
  • High-carbon Japanese stainless steel blade

Maestro Cutlery Volken Series Professional Paring Knife

Maestro Cutlery Volken Series Professional Paring Knife

This full-tang knife is finished with a beautiful, sleek handle made from black wood for a unique finish.

Key Features:

  • 3.5 inch blade
  • German high-carbon stainless steel
  • Double-riveted handle

TUO Cutlery Paring Knife with Pakkawood Handle

TUO Cutlery Paring Knife with Pakkawood Handle

The polished pakkawood handle of this knife has a stunning grain pattern, which combines with a high-carbon stainless steel blade for ultimate performance.

Key Features:

  • 4 inch blade
  • Ergonomic handle design
  • 100% satisfaction guarantee

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