Petty Knife vs Paring Knife : What Are The Difference?

Petty Knife vs Paring Knife : What Are The Difference?

It doesn’t matter if you are a professional cook or someone trying to get by in the kitchen. You need to use a knife now and then.  There are a variety of knives for your daily needs. Paring and petty knives are two of the most popular ones.

The main difference which we can see easily between these two is the size.  A petty knife is larger than a paring knife. The other interesting subtle differences can make you choose one over the other. These finer margins can give you the extra edge in your kitchen.

Petty Knife

Petty Knife

This is a flexible all-around tool for cutting small to medium objects. A petty knife is a common utensil in the kitchen. Usually, the blade is between 6 to 10 inches long. It’s long enough to serve as a filet knife, boning knife, and even a chef’s knife. 

A petty knife is created for moderate tasks like peeling, dicing, and mincing herbs and vegetables. It can also be used for shaping, slicing, and chopping. Some chefs use it for sushi preparations. You can try and put decorative garnishes with it as well.

Types Of Petty Knife

Types Of Petty Knife

There are a few sizes of petty knives to choose from for your kitchen. Each size will give you the comfort and usability for cutting easily.  There are no hard and fast rules about the length of petty knives. Usually, they are smaller than chef knives and larger than paring knives.

  • 75-100mm: These are as small as they come. The blade is so small that you can maneuver it easily. This is best for amateurs and young people. You can even cut vegetables and fruits in your hand with these.
  • 120-135mm: You can go through fruits and vegetables easily with this size. This can be used on chopping boards with ease. Chunks of meat can be trimmed and cut.
  • 140-150mm:  Don’t worry about vegetables or fruits of this size. It can easily handle chicken or medium-sized steaks. This is the best size to trim fat and skin. Joints and bones shouldn’t be a problem either.

Paring Knife

Paring Knife

To understand easily, a paring knife emulates a very short version of a petty knife. Usually, they are 3-4 inches long. Its small size is meant to make routine activities like peeling, trimming, and slicing easier and more accurate. You can say it is the second most important knife in your drawer.

As paring knives tend to be small in size, you can take them easily with you. Be it a picnic, lunch gathering, or a regular day at work. Having a paring knife with you will help you without any hassle. A conventionally paring knife is not that expensive either. You don’t have to break the bank to get a decent knife.

Types Of The Paring Knife

Types Of The Paring Knife

All paring knives might look the same to you. Trust me they are not the same. There are a few types of paring knives.  Generally, you will find four types of paring knives to choose from. Each one has its own merits.

  • Spear tip paring knife: This might be the most common design. It comes with short, smooth, and outwardly blades. You don’t have to put too much pressure to cut through medium objects.  This is ideal for peeling and slicing fruits and vegetables.
  • Sheep’s-foot paring knife: You chop fruits and vegetables into thin, long strips. It comes with a straight blade and rounded tips. Which means the point of the blade touches the chopping board. A smooth and flat blade helps cut soft items like cheese and bread.
  • Western-style Japanese paring knife: It looks very similar to a spear tip paring knife. But this has a less curved blade. You can feel more in control with this knife. Best used for intricate cutting, decorative garnishing, and carving.
  • Bird’s- beak paring knife: This is a unique-looking blade. It comes with a concave, sickle-shaped blade. The tip is very sharp, which helps in carving. It is also ideal for peeling, trimming, and decorative works.

What Is The Difference Between Petty Knife And Paring Knife?

What Is The Difference Between Petty Knife And Paring Knife?

Let us look at some vital points about these knives. It will help you to know about them. You can also compare them easily and buy the one which suits your needs.

Build Quality

Stainless steel is a reliable material for a paring knife.  The handle can be made from plastic or wood. The best paring knives have a perfect balance in your hand.

On the other hand, the grip and handle are important for a petty knife. The blade is usually very sharp. A wooden or carbon handle can be found for a  good grip.


There are mainly four types of paring knife blades. Generally, the blade is 3-4 inches long. Western-style Japanese, spear tips, bird’s beaks, and sheep’s feet are commonly found. Each one has its own area of expertise.

Petty knives come in a variety of sizes. 65mm to 180mm is found on the market. The best sizes are ranging from 120mm to 180mm. The carbon steel blade is a bit expensive. Stainless steel is a bit easy on your pockets.


Don’t let the size of a paring knife fool you. This small but useful knife can be used to slice, chop and cut fruits and vegetables. The compact, sharp blade is ideal for cutting, sharpening, and other intricate tasks. It is commonly used to peel and trim fruits and vegetables.

The petty knife is suitable for minor chores like dicing and slicing vegetables. It is used for peeling or off-board cutting. They are also used for precise work and to make the garnish. It can also be used for shaping, slicing, and chopping. Some chefs use it for sushi preparations.

Best for

A paring knife is best for deseeding fruits and cutting herbs and vegetables. It is also good for cutting and peeling small fruits and vegetables. Deveining prawns and garnish can be made as well.

The ideal job of a petty knife is general kitchen chores. A petty knife is perfect for slicing meat, bagels, and buns. It can also perform cutting sandwiches, vegetables, and herbs very well.

Final Takeaway

A single chef’s knife is not enough for your kitchen. It is important to know about the tools which you will use in your everyday life.

An enthusiast or chef understands what they need. I hope this will clear your doubts and give you an insight into these two knives. There are Some key differences that will help you choose your perfect blade. Trust me, a good knife will always help you in the long run. Choose the one which suits you the most.

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