Paring knife vs. Peeling knife: We finally know the difference.


A good quality set of knives is what many professional chefs say is the most crucial equipment to have in your kitchen. But if you’re using your knives interchangeably, then I would advise taking a step back and look if you are working with them the right away as each knife is intended for different and particular tasks.

Check out here the best kitchen knives you can buy.

Even though it may be possible to peel veggies with a paring knife, also known as a tourné knife, the peeling knife was designed for it, and thus it would ease your task, and you would able to perform much faster. Due to the somewhat rounded edge that covers the larger surface area it simply peels with much less effort and risk.

As a home cook or professional, it is not uncommon to have sets of more than a dozen various types of kitchen knives in use at once.
Is it complicated to have so many knives? It can be, and maybe it is to some. But does it need to be that way?

That entirely depends on you and the time you are willing to put and the level of accuracy and perfection you want your food to be.

If you are using a knife explicitly created for a task just makes every cut much faster and easier, saving you the trouble but making you more time for other tasks, then you are on the right track.


But, most people, even those who rarely cook at all, most of the time have at least 3 different knives for various uses—sometimes even more. I know someone who has 5, and that person is a vegan who only cuts veggies.

And since everyone has or will probably have more knife, it shouldn’t hurt to know more about knives and how to use each and single one of them in the way they are intended for.

What is a paring knife?

If making garnishes is something you love for your foods and drinks, the paring knife is a must-have. It is an extremely versatile kind of knife as its small and short-bladed knife used for intricate mincing, dicing, cutting, and peeling.

Paring knives typically have edges that range between 2 ¼” and 4 ½”, and there are several types of styles of paring knives. The most popular styles include the sheep’s foot, spear point, and bird’s beak, named after the appearance of the point. It has a blade that resembles a smaller, duller version of a chef’s knife.

This knife should not be used for any hard cuts since its lightweight, and you might need to use more force to use it, which inevitably will lead to accidents.

What is a paring knife used for?

The small but mighty paring knife is used to cut, chop and slice fruits and vegetables, and it also can be used for many other kitchen tasks, it does all the finer work a larger chef’s knife can’t.

Despite their small size, paring knives will make light work of more difficult tasks, while still being maneuverable enough to carry out delicate tasks like peeling, trimming, and removing seeds from fruit and veg, deveining shrimp, or creating delicate garnishes.

Ideal for:

  • Peeling and cutting small fruit and vegetables
  • Slice through hard cheeses
  • Deseeding fruits
  • Deveining prawns
  • Cutting vegetables & herbs such as garlic

Not ideal for:

  • Preparing or slicing meat, including carving & deboning
  • Cutting larger and tougher vegetables, such as pumpkin or other squash
  • Slicing bread

What is a peeling knife?

A peeling knife is actually a specialized type of paring knife, it is known as the bird’s beak knife, it has a pointed tip that curves downward (sometimes upward) and from side to side (towards the blade).

This knife usually has a straight, extremely sharp edge and sturdy, ergonomic handles, both of these attributes help prevent slipping while doing peeling work, which makes the process much safer.

What is a peeling knife used for?

A peeling knife is primarily used to peel vegetables, cut decorative garnishes (such as rosettes or fluted mushrooms), slice soft fruits, or to remove skins and blemishes and is used to make a specific cut called “tourné,” especially with root vegetables such as potatoes. It’s also sharp enough to slice through tough skins easily.

Ideal for:

  • Decorative garnishes
  • Remove skins and blemishes
  • The “tourné” cut

Not ideal for:

  • Cutting through meat
  • Cutting through anything tough like bone
  • Cutting larger and tougher vegetables, such as pumpkin or other squash
  • Slicing bread

Do you need to have both of them?

Although these two knives look almost similar with small differences, they also might be used for the same task in many ways. They are, however, still different. And should also be used for the purpose they were created for.

Even though you can peel with a paring knife does not mean you should. Even though you can do the same with a peeling knife as you would with a pairing knife does not mean you should.

But when it comes to choosing between buying both of them or simply use one of them. I would probably go for the paring knife.

In the end, it can do the same and more, but you would need to struggle just a little for some tasks. If you make sure, your paring knife is very sharp. I think you are in no need to buy specifically a peeling knife. But if you own both of these knives. Then I would, without a doubt, suggest using both of them.

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