Petty Knife vs Utility Knife : What Are The Differences?

Having a knife that suits all your kitchen needs is challenging. At times you may need to use a chef’s knife to perform various hard tasks, while other times, you may as well need a smaller petty or utility knife to peel your orange.

The petty and the utility knives perform small and light tasks. These two knives are preferred for these tasks due to their small blade sizes ranging between 5- to 7- inches.

Petty and utility knives are both midsized blade knives that may seem similar but have some differences in their design and materials used. In this article, we go deeper into comparing the petty knife vs the utility knife in their various distinguishing features.

What Are Petty Knives?

What Are Petty Knives

Petty knives draw their origin from the Japanese style of the utility knife, which was introduced to the Japanese by the Westerners in the late 19th century. The word petty borrows from the French word petit, which means small.

The petty knife was developed in the Japanese chef’s knife style with a straight triangular-shaped edge. Key features of the petty knife are; a triangular blade with hard thin metal and a small edged angle, making it a simple kitchen knife to perform some light tasks.

What Is Kitchen Petty Knife Used For?

What Is Kitchen Petty Knife Used For?

The petty knife strikes a balance in your kitchen by providing a uniquely designed blade that performs chores that a chef’s knife and a Gyuto knife may not fit to do. A petty knife is larger than the western paring knife and is well suited for the midsize blade tasks.

When it comes to petty knives, it’s good to categorize them into small and large petty knives. The small, petty knife is best used for

  • Paring fruits at hand
  • Slicing and dicing fruits and vegetables
  • Light butchery tasks for precise chopping
  • Portioning ingredients
  • Deboning poultry
  • Removing the skin off of meat

Large petty knives are often taken as medium-sized Gyuto knives. It can perform the majority of the small petty knives’ duties. Due to its larger blade size, it is used to filet and fabricate fish and cut big meat chunks.

What Are Utility Knives?

What Are Utility Knives

Utility knives are small-sized with retractable blades used to cut open boxes. The kitchen utility knife is a kitchen designed to perform simple activities such as peeling fruits and cutting small open fruits.

The kitchen utility knife is designed with a sharp, strong blade allowing it to function as a versatile cutting tool for slicing fruits and vegetables, cutting meat and dicing vegetables.

The long narrow blade gives the knife a wider thin edge for precision cutting.

What Is Kitchen Utility Knife Used For?

What Is Kitchen Utility Knife Used For?

The kitchen utility knife is a multi-purpose knife in the kitchen; this blade performs most of the tasks. The hardened blade enables easy cutting. Some of the tasks include;

  • Chopping vegetables
  • Peeling fruits
  • Slicing or dicing the vegetables
  • Light butchery tasks are not an exemption as the blade is hardened and strong to cut through small bones
  • Cutting bread loaves and sandwiches while preparing for breakfast.

Petty Knife vs Utility Knife: What Are The Differences?

Petty Knife vs Utility Knife: What Are The Differences?

These two blades share a lot in common. However, there are differences in the handle and blade designs, as seen in most images. For a better comparison of these knives, let’s look at specific aspects that have distinguishing factors.

Blade Design

The petty knife blade borrows much from the Gyuto blade but has a triangular, straight-edged heel. This design makes it ideal for cutting and slicing veggies.

On the other hand, a utility knife has a longer and narrower blade that makes slicing cheese and sandwiches easy.

Handle Design

The handle material and design will greatly determine the knife’s comfortability. Handle design is aimed at offering a firm grip.

The petty knife uses the round, octagonal or D-shaped Wa-handles based on one’s taste, while the kitchen utility comes with a premium grade handle designed with different materials from wood and steel.


High-carbon stainless steel is the most common material for making the kitchen utility knife due to its hard and strong nature that is resistant to corrosion, while the petty knife is made of very hard steel with a metal hardness ranging between 50 to 60 HRC.

These two materials are preferred due to their strength and hardness to facilitate cutting.


The petty knife is sharper than the utility knife due to the blade material. Carbon steel is sharper than hard steel.


Due to the sensitive nature of the petty knife made from high carbon stainless steel, it has a higher maneuverability degree than the utility knife. The higher the maneuverability degree, the sharper the cut.


The prices of the two knives vary with size and design. Within $10 to $100, you can get a petty kitchen or utility knife. However, utility knives will always be cheaper.


Despite the proximity in their similarities, the utility and the petty knives have some distinguishing features from the other three main knife types. They share and greatly borrow ideas in a unique style, making them one of the most preferred blades in the market.

We highly recommend having at least one of these knives in your kitchen cutlery. Take great care while using these knives to avoid injuring yourself.

Be keen to purchase a high-quality utility or petty knife for your kitchen purposes.

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