The paring knife has always been used in the kitchen. A balanced and healthy diet with lots of fruit and vegetables is part of the daily routine for many people. However, cutting and peeling vegetables can be a real ordeal, and above all it can take a lot of time.
But if you don’t want to cut vegetables out of your diet and want to get the job done faster, a vegetable knife is the solution for you.
In our Vegetable Knife Test 2020 we show you everything you need to know about buying a new vegetable knife. We show you the different types of vegetable knives and their advantages and disadvantages. We have also compiled some important purchase criteria that you should bear in mind when buying a vegetable knife.
The most important at a glance
- The paring knife is of course ideal for cutting and peeling vegetables. But you can also use it for fruit.
- When storing and caring for a vegetable knife, special care must be taken to ensure that the quality of the knife is not affected. Gentle cleaning and safe storage are essential.
Questions you should ask yourself before buying a vegetable knife
Before we introduce the different types of vegetable knives, we would like to give you some basic information about these types of knives.
What is a vegetable knife and what is the difference to all the other knives in your drawer?
We will answer these questions in this section. We will also show you how much a vegetable knife costs and what other vegetable cutting options it offers.
What is a vegetable knife?
A knife is a device with which you can cut vegetables in the best and easiest way. With it you can not only cut vegetables, but also peel or clean them.
First of all, the vegetable knife is of course specially designed for cutting vegetables, but it is also versatile. In this picture you can see the Sky Light vegetable knife, which has a very long blade.
The tasks that the paring knife can perform are many and varied and enable you to prepare your vegetables optimally for the kitchen.
Vegetable knives are quite short. This means that the blade is usually slightly curved. This also distinguishes a sharp knife from a versatile kitchen knife, which can cut many types of food. With blades up to 9 cm long, all types of fruit and vegetables can be cut without any problems.
What is the difference between a vegetable knife and a desk knife?
The paring knife and the desk knife are often used as synonyms. In many shops these knives are therefore sold together under one of these names.
However, a desk knife can be seen as an intermediate step between a short vegetable knife and a long knife for chefs.
A desk knife usually has a blade that is about 15 cm long, whereas a vegetable knife is only about 8 to 12 cm long. In contrast, the blade of an ordinary cook’s knife is just under 20 cm long.
The approximate blade length:
Vegetable knife: 8 cm – 12 cm
Desk knife: 15 cm
Chef’s knife: 18 cm – 20 cm
For whom is a paring knife?
Basically a vegetable knife is of course suitable for those who like to cook regularly and want to make life a little easier. If you mainly eat a lot of fruit and vegetables and also cook with them, the vegetable knife is ideal for you.
Cutting and peeling is faster, less tiring and will not be so boring in the long run. If you peel fruit and vegetables or if you like to eat potatoes, you need to consider which blade shape is best for you or whether you want to buy both.
What are the different shapes of vegetable knife blades?
Vegetable knives are suitable for all types of vegetables, but you can always choose between two different blade shapes.
Depending on the blade shape you can cut some vegetables better or peel them better.
- Curved blade: more suitable for peeling because the shape of the blade adapts better to the shape of the vegetable.
- Straight blade: more suitable for cutting vegetables into slices or cubes.
In addition to the shape of the blade, its sharpness also varies according to the area of application. It is mainly based on the texture of the vegetables to be cut.
- Soft cut: suitable for hard fruit and vegetables and for cutting herbs.
- serrated edge: suitable for cutting small slices as they are easier to remove from the knife. These include carrots, kohlrabi and cucumbers.
Victorinox vegetable knife in test
Even particularly fine cuts are no problem with the Victorinox vegetable knife. In our test, we noticed this knife above all because of its absolutely outstanding price-performance ratio. A knife that should not be missing in any kitchen at this price.
Where can I buy a vegetable knife?
You can buy a paring knife in many shops and boutiques. You don’t have to search for it for long, as it is available both on the Internet and in the usual shops.
In specialist shops
Vegetable knives can be found in many shops for kitchen accessories, for example. There you can get advice and find the best kitchen knife for you.
These knives are usually of better quality, but are also a bit more expensive to buy.
It is also easy to order vegetable knives over the Internet. Many manufacturers and dealers offer a wide range of vegetable knives.
<Lily? Otto. Lily?
How much does a paring knife cost?
The price of a vegetable knife varies depending on the manufacturer, blade shape, material and handle of the knife. Vegetable knives can be made by machine or forged by hand.
As part of a thorough price analysis, we have examined a total of 225 products in the vegetable knife category to give you an overview. You can see the results here on our chart. Use our guide to find out whether a product in a higher or lower price range is more suitable for you. Source: Self-description
Most vegetable knives are in the low price segment, between 4 and 8 euros. They are often sold directly in boxes with several vegetable knives. Many of them are also dishwasher safe.
However, as already mentioned, there are also hand-forged vegetable knives or knives made of very high-quality materials. They can cost up to 100 Euro or more. There is always a different number of vegetable knives, usually in different sizes. The price of course depends on the material and the number of knives in the set.
Most sets come with three, five or six knives. There are of course exceptions with fewer or more knives.
What are the alternatives to vegetable knives?
In addition to vegetable knives, you can also choose other types of knives, which by their very nature are even more suitable for cutting certain vegetables.
Vegetable knives are not ideal for all types of vegetables. For example, to cut very smooth and round tomatoes, you must use a more suitable tomato knife or a suitable blade on the slicing knife.
For this type of vegetable, use a serrated knife, e.g. the breakfast knife, as described above.
They have small teeth with which you can cut smooth surfaces and flesh without squeezing the tomato too tightly.
center of gravity
Did you know that although the tomato is officially a vegetable, it is actually a fruit vegetable?
Tomato plants grow herbaceous and yearly, so they are a vegetable. But since we eat the fruit only after it has been harvested, it is, strictly speaking, a fruit vegetable.
If you also want to peel food, such as tomatoes, it is advisable to use a peeling knife.
They can be a good alternative to vegetable knives if you plan to buy a vegetable knife only for peeling food.
If you prefer to cut and clean different types of food, a universal kitchen knife can also serve the purpose.
decision: Which paring knife is right for you?
If you want to buy a vegetable knife, there are 3 possibilities.
They differ mainly in the type and material of the handles:
Each of these species has its advantages and disadvantages. Depending on your preferences, a different species will appeal to you. Next, we would like to make the decision for a new vegetable knife easier for you.
What makes a vegetable knife with wooden handle unique and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Knives with a wooden handle usually fit well in the hand. In addition, each handle is individual because each piece of wood has a different grain.
- <It’s in your hands.
Unfortunately the wooden handle of the knife cannot be cleaned in the dishwasher and must be washed by hand. With hot water and a mild detergent, however, this is relatively quick.
The daily use of a vegetable knife, for example with wet hands, can also change the structure of the wood. In this case it is important to care for the wood according to the instructions, so that you can enjoy this visually beautiful handle for as long as possible.
What makes a vegetable knife with a plastic handle unique and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
The plastic handle of a vegetable knife is very stable and cannot be easily scratched, e.g. if it is lying in a drawer with other knives. However, the situation is different with a blade.
In addition, the plastic is very stable and must be able to bear a heavy load on the knife and handle without breaking. Furthermore, the handles prevent the knife from slipping quickly, which makes working with them even safer.
- the connection between the cable and the blade is not as stable as with one-piece blades
- The colour and surface of the handle may change when washed in the dishwasher.
Plastic handles are often also suitable for use in the dishwasher. However, please note that the colour and structure of the plastic can change due to the way it is cleaned.
What makes a vegetable knife with a unique steel handle and what are its advantages and disadvantages?
Vegetable knives with a steel handle are normally made in one piece.
This is a decisive advantage when it comes to the stability of the knife. The handle cannot be detached from the blade because everything is made in one piece. However, steel can be very slippery, especially if your hands are still wet after washing vegetables.
- No hardware changes, even after years of us
- the material can be unpleasant on the skin because it is too cold
- When your hands are wet, you can slide on the steel
This can have a major impact on safety, as the risk of injury is increased when the blade slides. Another important feature of vegetable knives with wire rope is the durability of the material steel. Consequently, traces of wear and tear are almost invisible even after years of use.
Criteria for purchase: On the basis of these factors, vegetable knives can be compared and evaluated.
Before you buy a wooden vegetable knife, you should consider what exactly you need for a knife. To do this, we have compiled a number of criteria with which you can best compare vegetable knives.
- handling of material
In the following, we explain once again for each criterion what you need to pay attention to and what your various options are.
First of all, you must decide for yourself in which price range your vegetable knife should be placed. As there are a lot of cheap and expensive vegetable knives available, you have a lot of freedom here. But you should also remember that the price of a vegetable knife often determines the quality.
Here you can focus on customer comments. They are written by people who have already bought a knife and share their experiences with it.
If you are considering buying a new vegetable knife, you need to make sure that it is the right size for you, especially that the handle fits well in your hand and is neither too small nor too large.
A handle that does not fit well in the hand can make cutting more difficult. The length of the blade is also crucial. The vegetable knife is always between 8 and 12 cm long. This way you can tell whether it is a vegetable knife or a different type of knife.
Above we give you an overview of the knife types with their different blade lengths on the table.
Before you buy a paring knife, you should consider what you want to use it for. With a knife you can cut, peel and clean vegetables. Then you need to refine your search a little, because not all knives are suitable for every purpose.
If you only want to cut vegetables into small pieces with a beer knife, you can use a classic vegetable knife. A serving or office knife can be an alternative.
However, if you prefer to peel the vegetables with a paring knife, there are also paring knives that specialise in this area.
You can also buy a paring knife for this purpose. Most vegetable peeling knives can also perform this task.
If you plan to use a vegetable knife primarily for cleaning food, you can also use a utility knife.
The blade material
The three most popular types of vegetable knife blades are apricot steel, ceramic and stainless steel. They differ mainly in their use and quality.
Blades made of damask steel are generally very sharp. They can be used for precise cutting of vegetables. Steel is also a very durable material.
If you use a vegetable knife made of damask steel, make sure that the handle is of high quality.
A blade made of damask steel is very labour-intensive and consists of many different types of steel, which can also be seen from the pattern on the knife.
When you buy a damascus steel vegetable knife, you should also pay attention to the shape and quality of the handle so that the knife fits well in your hand.
Ideally the handle should be rounded so that it fits better in your hand.
For this reason these knives are usually very expensive and are often hand-forged.
If the blade of a vegetable knife is made of ceramic, this means precision and sharpness. However, be careful not to cut at an angle and choose the right cutting surface, otherwise the knife may be damaged.
The high quality of the work results in very good cutting properties that are also durable.
Ceramic blades are particularly hard and wear-resistant.
In addition, ceramic blades not only do not rust, but are also odourless and tasteless.
Before you buy a vegetable knife with a ceramic blade, you should ask the various knives what products they can cut.
Some dishes are too strong for a ceramic knife to cut.
Stainless steel blades, on the other hand, are not as sharp as a steel or ceramic knife, but can be used for more than just cutting vegetables.
A stainless steel blade is more like a utility knife. For example, vegetables can also be cleaned without any problems.
As we have written above, there are three main types of materials when it comes to vegetable knife holders.
We have described the types and presented the advantages and disadvantages of each one. Here you only have to decide which handle is best for you.
Curiosities: Things to know about paring knives
Finally, we would like to show you how you can use and clean your new vegetable knife better. Also the correct storage is very important.
Of course you should also sharpen your vegetable knife from time to time. We will also show you how to do this in this section.
What do I have to bear in mind when using a paring knife?
Of course, you must first sharpen your paring knife properly so that it can do its job.
Take care not to exert pressure when cutting. With the sharp blade of the knife you can cut vegetables without any additional pressure.
Make simple cutting movements and make sure that your fingers are far enough away from the blade, as the risk of injury is naturally greater with a sharp knife.
In this video you will find a detailed explanation of how to use a vegetable knife and how to cut and peel vegetables.
<What’s the best way to clean my paring knife?
To maintain the sharpness and texture of a vegetable knife, there are some basic things to consider when cleaning.
High quality vegetable knives, regardless of the blade material, are generally not dishwasher safe and are best cleaned by hand.
Cleaning should always be done by hand and with a mild detergent.
Highly concentrated and aggressive cleaning agents damage the blade permanently and rust can quickly form.
So be careful when cleaning if you want to enjoy your new knife for a long time.
You can rinse it under running water with a soft cloth (preferably microfibre) and a mild detergent. Then dry it off thoroughly.
Be careful not to use a scratch sponge, otherwise the blade may be scratched.
Some paring knives can of course also be washed in the dish. This varies from manufacturer to manufacturer. When buying a knife, therefore, pay attention to the information on the packaging.
How do I hold a paring knife?
Storage also plays a decisive role in maintaining the quality of your knife.
If you simply leave it loose in a drawer, it will most likely be scratched.
There are several ways to store a paragliding knife:
- Magnetic tape
Which option suits you best is of course a question of taste and depends on the space available in your kitchen.
The classic block with the knife will probably be found in almost every kitchen. Not only because they are available in different materials, shapes and colours
It protects the knives from external influences and at the same time makes something special in every kitchen.
You can store several knives of different sizes in one knife block and keep them ready for delivery during cooking.
If neither of these options is suitable for your kitchen, you can also buy a bag of knives.
It can easily be stored in a drawer, but the knives are always well protected.
Magnetic tape is another fancy way to store and display your knives.
Since they can be hung up, they do not take up as much space as a knife lock, for example.
You can also buy magnetic bars with different patterns. However, with this type of storage, make sure that the knives are not accessible to children and pets.
How can I best sharpen my vegetable knife?
From time to time it is of course important to sharpen your vegetable knife sharp enough to maintain its high cutting performance.
The more often you use it, the less sharp your knife becomes over time. However, you will notice this when cutting.
You can choose from several options for sharpening your paring knife.
First of all, it is important to say that the knife should be clean and dry before sharpening it.
stone for sharpening
The grinding wheel is best suited for the advanced mills among us. Again, there is a difference between a normal millstone and a millstone with water.
When sharpening steel, always ensure that the angle is correct. It should be between 15 and 20 degrees.
To do this, push the paring knife along the sharpening steel by bending it slightly and repeat this technique about five to ten times on both sides of the knife.
Mechanical knife sharpener
The sharpener is the most relaxed way to give your knife a new orientation. They are mechanical and therefore also suitable for beginners.
In the case of a knife sharpener, you simply pull the knife through the notches provided and the machine does the rest.
You only pull the knife towards the body, not back and forth.
How to use vegetable knives for decoration?
Imagine you have guests and you want to offer them a plate with different vegetables and sauces.
Now that you are thinking about how best to arrange the dish, you might consider cutting your vegetables into shape with a knife.
Vegetable knives are usually very sharp and can be easily cut into vegetables.
With a carving knife you can create real works of art from ordinary fruit and vegetables. (Photo source: 123rf.com / 31062181)
This makes vegetables even more appetizing and makes it more pleasant to eat.