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View Full Version : What makes a good petty knife?



JMJones
01-25-2012, 10:07 AM
What do you like in a petty, say 140mm blade length? Profile, grind, weight, handle...ect. I am already set on steel choice, so not really looking for that.

Thanks

John

tk59
01-25-2012, 10:09 AM
I seem to gravitate toward heavier, flat-profiled, pointed, thin-tipped 150-ish pettys with relatively flat profiles and 30-ish mm tall at the heel. I hardly use the handle, really. In my opinion, it should simply not be grotesquely large.

El Pescador
01-25-2012, 10:45 AM
Steel choice might be chosen but in addition to everything TK59 has written, steel choice is a biggie. Pettys tend to be neglected compaired to gyutos or "big" knives. They tend to see more acidic foods like lemons and limes. I am using a powered steel Blazen 150mm Petty. I have used blue #2 white and other carbon knives but this works best for me right now.

Pesky

Lefty
01-25-2012, 11:02 AM
I agree with both of these guys.
To me, there are two types of pettys: small gyuto pettys and parer pettys. For me, I prefer a small gyuto petty, because they do wonderful fine work, and in a home setting are basically all the knife you really NEED. (This of course hasn't stopped me from acquiring multiple gyutos, chef knives and a couple cleavers).
I guess what i'm getting at is that you need to decide what type of tasks you want the petty to carry out. Is it a board knife, or an off the board knife, or even better yet, a knife that can miraculously do both and do both well?

Marko Tsourkan
01-25-2012, 11:03 AM
I seem to gravitate toward heavier, flat-profiled, pointed, thin-tipped 150-ish pettys with relatively flat profiles and 30-ish mm tall at the heel. I hardly use the handle, really. In my opinion, it should simply not be grotesquely large.

I am with you on the handles (and everything else). :)

ejd53
01-25-2012, 12:01 PM
I don't have a Petty per se, but one of my old knives is a 6 inch Henkel that is 30mm tall and I find it very handy. Handle wouldn't be a big deal, as I use a point grip on it most of the time.

NO ChoP!
01-25-2012, 12:07 PM
I guess what i'm getting at is that you need to decide what type of tasks you want the petty to carry out. Is it a board knife, or an off the board knife, or even better yet, a knife that can miraculously do both and do both well?

I think anything that is considered an "off the board knife" should be solely a parer; short blade- sub 100mm and a rounded heel. Handle comfort will matter greatly here.

As for a proper petty, I would go no less than 150mm, since most of the useful action will be a slicing motion. They are not used to rock/chop, so a flat profile is preferred. A pointy tip is handy. I also prefer a more stain resistant petty, as they are often left lying around, and not actually used for sole prep purposes.

unkajonet
01-25-2012, 12:24 PM
What pesky, tk & lefty said. My 2 favorite petty knives are the Heiji semi stainless 150 & Devin's 52100. Very similar in profile, both clock in at 150mm heel to tip. The Heiji is a little thicker at the spine, Devin's is more of a laser (I can't recall the exact measurements right now. The DT is a little over 1mm thinner at the spine, IIRC).

JMJones
01-25-2012, 01:03 PM
What are the grinds and spine thicknesses that are typical?

Adagimp
01-25-2012, 01:15 PM
150ish mm in length, heel height can be really variable depending on how you plan to use the petty but between 25 and 35mm seems like the sweet spot for me, light, thin (~1mm at spine/heel), flat grind, pointed tip.

I use a petty primarily for cutting up small and delicate stuff, so for me the thinner the better.

tk59
01-25-2012, 03:30 PM
What are the grinds and spine thicknesses that are typical?Grind doesn't matter as much as a gyuto, for example but as long as the tip is pretty thin, I think you're okay for most things. I like my Heiji a lot but I definitely don't use it sometimes because it is so thick. I also like my very thin Gesshin Ginga (Ashi) but it feels wimpy sometimes. I definitely use my cheaper, less cool Masahiro more than either. I also have a 155 or so Carter that is basically a miniature funi that is too tall for what I like to use a petty for. For the record, I prefer 180-220 pettys for most non-gyuto tasks.

wsfarrell
01-25-2012, 04:42 PM
My 2 favorite petty knives are the Heiji semi stainless 150 & Devin's 52100.

Devin did a petty in 52100? I thought they were all in AEB-L.

WildBoar
01-25-2012, 04:47 PM
Devin did a petty in 52100? I thought they were all in AEB-L.That was an ITK/ group buy batch a couple months back. I was fortunate to get in on it, Man, I love that knife!

It could not be more different then the CPM154 petty Pierre made for me last year. I'll have a couple more pettys to use for comparison in the next week or two. They will both be carbon, but the profiles, etc. will differ.

mindbender
01-25-2012, 10:02 PM
That was an ITK/ group buy batch a couple months back. I was fortunate to get in on it, Man, I love that knife!

It could not be more different then the CPM154 petty Pierre made for me last year. I'll have a couple more pettys to use for comparison in the next week or two. They will both be carbon, but the profiles, etc. will differ.

Agreed. I have a major OCD case w/ DT's 150mm petty in 52100. Can't stop sharpening that laser over and over.