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DevinT
11-22-2012, 12:54 AM
This is one knife that varies more than most.

What do you like?

What makes it good?

How do you use it?

I usually make some for Christmas and give them out.

Help me come up with something cool this year. Move to Panaca and you might get one.

Hoss

Lucretia
11-22-2012, 01:28 AM
I have a short and stumpy little custom parer that I LOVE. I had to have one made because I couldn't find one short enough. With smallish hands and stubby fingers I couldn't do some tricks with longer blades, like the one where you put your thumb on the stem of an apple and pivot the knife around your thumb to remove part of the core. This one is just shy of 2 1/2". The choil curves away from the handle towards the blade so there's nothing poking me when I choke up on it to do fiddly work. It's a great little knife--my favorite parer. I use it for peeling stuff, cutting out nasty bits, or on the table when there's a block of cheese that needs nibbles cut off. It's carbon damascus, so when it comes to cutting up limes I pull out a stainless parer. Both are western handles.

Now if I could find an AEB-L parer in a short and stumpy size with a western handle I'd be set...hint hint!

Crothcipt
11-22-2012, 01:33 AM
This might make you cringe. Maybe a birds beak/ sheepsfoot (I think that is right). It would be still in the same tradition, but a little different.

kalaeb
11-22-2012, 01:39 AM
Personally, I like a western "bottle" handle with a little more palm swell, 3.5 inches in length, with the first two inches being thicker and rounded on the spine with the last .5 inch stupid thin.

Chuckles
11-22-2012, 03:43 AM
I had a four inch vintage carbon sabatier parer that was the best I've ever used. I could peel carrots and ginger as fast as with a peeler and it was also great for probing temps on larger steaks. My Chef at the time borrowed it to clean artichokes and must have swept into the trash with the waste because I never saw it again. And I looked through all the garbage cans, I liked it that much. He got nominated for a beard award two months later and Wustoff sent him a 4.5 inch parer as a congrats. I saw it in the office and took it. Use it at home all the time and we call it "The James Beard Knife". It's the newer handled version and is actually a nice knife. I still miss the sab. It is still my standard bearer. Just my 12 cents.

Chuckles
11-22-2012, 03:46 AM
Don't rat on me. It's a small town and he won the f'n award.

scotchef38
11-22-2012, 08:02 AM
I have used and lost a lot of parers over the years.My favourite used to be the 3 inch henckles,4 star,the steel wasnt great but the shape and length of the blade was great.It was not well balanced though as the handle is heavy.I know have an old Hoffritz parer which is the best parer I have ever used,it is not the best steel and it has these odd black markings on the blade,but it is lazer thin,really light,comfortable and well balanced. http://auctions.findtarget.com/detail_product/290545342672/wingen/

DevinT
11-22-2012, 03:12 PM
Thanks everyone, good stuff.

Western or wa, what do you think. The posts so far tend to be western.

TK where are you?

Hoss

WildBoar
11-22-2012, 03:52 PM
I really like the hybrid handle on the parer Pierre Rodrigue made for me a couple years ago (full tang, a little less bulky then a typical western). I think wa is tough to handle on a knife that will mainly be used up off the board.

tk59
11-22-2012, 10:34 PM
I've had a few parers over the years and given away all but one. Part of it is that I've adjusted my technique and the kinds of food I eat to a 150-220 petty. The only one left is a Henckels 3" blade that I spent a lot of time thinning by hand. I thinned the entire blade...a lot. I've never liked the Japanese versions. They really aren't pointy enough. I like the somewhat worn out, triangular, pointy little knife. I like stainless for it but it would be nice to have one that holds a super keen edge well. I've spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out if I really care about balance in a paring knife and I've come to the conclusion that I don't and I might actually like the super-handle-heaviness of the Henckels more than anything. I kinda like the birds' beak parer idea because they are nice for peeling but they aren't awesome all around knives. So there you go: thin, pointy, small (20 mm tall at the heel, flatish profile, 75 mm long) and fairly substantial handle.

mr drinky
11-22-2012, 11:56 PM
I have several, and I like having my options. The short stubby parer is what I pull out for hulling strawberries and coring stuff. The regular pointy-tip parer gets every-day use. My sheep's foot gets used more with peeling and light chopping, and my slightly longer carbon petty gets used with bigger fruits.

I've posted this set of parers (http://www.lames-de-france.com/more_pictures_set-of-6-mixed-blades-of-france-genuine-olive-wood_Z46xuk.html) before, and I still love the idea. I would love a maker to offer a set of 3 or 4 paring knives.

k.

Lefty
11-23-2012, 10:30 AM
Hmmm. It depends on which crowd you're after. The twobest parers I've ever used are both Sabatier TIs; One is a Nogent (I use it daily), and the other is their standard 4" parer with the rosewood handle. However, I'm not much good with a paring knife, but I amworking on it. My MIL can peel a potato in about 3 seconds with one and I want to be that good with one. My wife is almost as fluent in the language of the parer as her mom is and they both like 3" blades with very little height and an edge that is flush with the handle.

However, Pierre is making my wife a custom parer with his "standard profile" and bulletproof materials.she almost made me keep that beautiful dammy with mammoth ivory parer I had for sale. So, in my mind, because it's a cross between what I like and what she likes (she's a parer expert), I say something very similar to that one.

DevinT
11-23-2012, 10:11 PM
Thanks for the help. I have a new design, just need to get my foot better so that I can try one.

Hoss

tk59
11-23-2012, 11:15 PM
Awesome! If you can't find a home for one, let me know. :)

ecchef
11-24-2012, 12:39 AM
11672

A little late, but the bottom one is my fave.

tk59
11-24-2012, 01:21 AM
The blade on the bottom one is almost exactly my Henckels right down to the bolster that needs a little grinding.

Lefty
11-24-2012, 07:06 PM
That Harner looks perfect to me!

Get better soon Hoss!

ecchef
11-24-2012, 07:36 PM
Too handle heavy. Blade's OK though.

Lefty
11-24-2012, 08:04 PM
Hmmmmm :)

DevinT
11-24-2012, 09:31 PM
Prototype: 1.5mm thick, 16mm tall, 3 inch blade, 4 inch handle.

This one is san mai with carbon core and mountain mahogany.

The handle and spine are straight with each other, it looks off in the pic.

I made this one sitting down, prefer standing.

Hoss

DevinT
11-24-2012, 09:57 PM
more pics

ecchef
11-24-2012, 10:07 PM
If the tip was rounded, that would make a damn fine clam knife!

For a parer, I would prefer a little choil or half bolster so my finger wouldn't ride up the sharp edge.

DevinT
11-24-2012, 10:33 PM
This is the first one I've ever done with out a guard/bolster drop. I think that I'll put some jimps on top and bottom to prevent slipping. This one is very comfortable. Choking up is very nice with this design.

We'll see. Lefty's mother in law won't buy one that is not flush. I think she might be right.

Hoss

heirkb
11-24-2012, 10:49 PM
I personally like a little more blade height for the reasons mentioned plus sharpening ease and longevity.

kalaeb
11-25-2012, 12:30 AM
Dang, san mai paring knives for christmas, I need to move to Panaca. Maybe they need a burger place.

tk59
11-25-2012, 11:46 AM
+1 to ecchef and heirkb and then you might have to start the slope on the spine earlier.

Burl Source
11-25-2012, 08:28 PM
Dang, san mai paring knives for christmas, I need to move to Panaca. Maybe they need a burger place.
Maybe a Burger, Wood and Rehandling place. Can't be too many of those in Montana.
But......I'm going to have to wait for the global warming to kick in. Too dang cold there right now.

Devin,
Cool little knife. I like it.

Mrmnms
11-27-2012, 01:15 AM
I used to have a couple of paring knives with flattened bulbous handles that fit completely in the palm of your hand. Made in France, received as gift I lots of knives to choose from when people visit, remarkable that virtually every one pick up one of these to try. Sadly , someone forgot to let go of one of them(3.5 inch blade), I still have one left if you're interested in an image

RobinW
11-27-2012, 02:04 AM
11672

A little late, but the bottom one is my fave.

I'm with ecchef on this. Bottom one, loose the bolster replace with some jimps. I like the triangle very pointy shape.

DevinT
11-27-2012, 08:49 AM
I used to have a couple of paring knives with flattened bulbous handles that fit completely in the palm of your hand. Made in France, received as gift I lots of knives to choose from when people visit, remarkable that virtually every one pick up one of these to try. Sadly , someone forgot to let go of one of them(3.5 inch blade), I still have one left if you're interested in an image

Yes please, I would love to see a pic or something.

Hoss

heirkb
11-27-2012, 01:44 PM
Why does everyone love the pointy profile so much? My physics knowledge is fading and weak, but wouldn't a slight curve make push cuts (like when peeling) much easier? That's I think the reason I like to choke up and peel with the curved area before the tip.

My ideal handle would be a wa-estern like you've done in the past Hoss. Has the feel of a western handle, which I prefer only for paring knives, but the lighter weight of a wa so the knife doesn't want to slip out into your palm if you use a light grip (which I find essential unless I'm looking to have some soreness in my hand). In fact, I think I'm going to try a wa-estern conversion on my paring knife, leaving the bolster intact but making the rest of the handle hidden tang.

DevinT
11-27-2012, 02:02 PM
I'd love to see a sketch(s) of what you're describing.

Hoss

heirkb
11-27-2012, 04:06 PM
I'll post one up tonight. It's basically a western handle with a regular bolster but then has a hidden tang so that there is less metal in the handle. I'll also post a parer profile I like. The only flat one I've used was hard to peel with and I always assumed it was because of the physics of a flat vs. curved edge. If any of you have heard of the guillotine technique in straight razor shaving or if you've heard people say they prefer a smiling razor, it's the same idea withrehearse to cutting performance (I think). Man, I wish I wasn't so rusty with physics so I could offer a more technical explanation. I'll post some pictures, though.

heirkb
11-27-2012, 05:32 PM
Ok so check this thread for now: http://straightrazorplace.com/shaving-straight-razor/60537-analysis-scythe-guillotine-cuts-spoiler-they-same-thing.html

It makes sense to me in terms of my experience with shaving and peeling. A curved edge is always angled a little off from a straight push-cut relative to your direction of movement, so it's always doing a guillotine type movement, which means it is always slicing a little while also push cutting. That's what I would think at least...

convis
11-29-2012, 11:26 PM
in my small amount of experience i second the flush edge/ handle. For peeling, tourne ect it makes sense to me, or even an edge slightly in from the handle. I think it puts the edge at the center of your hands rotation and makes it much easier to do smooth curving cuts and or follow the contours of something. if that makes sense.

Andrew H
11-29-2012, 11:31 PM
This is my favorite: http://www.amazon.com/Victorinox-Cutlery-3-25-Inch-Paring-Polypropylene/dp/B0019WXPQY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1354249799&sr=8-1&keywords=victorinox+3.25+paring+knife

heirkb
11-30-2012, 05:07 PM
in my small amount of experience i second the flush edge/ handle. For peeling, tourne ect it makes sense to me, or even an edge slightly in from the handle. I think it puts the edge at the center of your hands rotation and makes it much easier to do smooth curving cuts and or follow the contours of something. if that makes sense.

It does make sense, but I personally wouldn't want to pay custom knife prices for a paring knife that'd have a much shorter life (and be harder to sharpen). At that point, I'd get a Victorinox.

DevinT
11-30-2012, 05:51 PM
heirkb, I would still like to see a sketch of a parer from you.

Hoss

heirkb
11-30-2012, 06:23 PM
Hoss, sorry about the delay.

I don't think I can draw the idea I was trying to describe any better than what was shown in that SRP thread. I did draw some handle pictures and marked some areas of the profile on my paring knife that I think relate to what I was describing earlier.

So with the first picture, I marked the area on a wa handle that is typically annoying with a star. That gap from ferrule to emoto (thick to suddenly thin) is annoying and why a western handle is nicer on a paring knife IMO. On the other hand, the western handle has the full tang, which makes the handle too heavy IMO. The wa-estern would have the comfortable transition of the western handle and the hidden tang of the wa handle so that the handle could be light, making it easy to hold the knife with a much lighter grip. This is all my personal preference, but it sounds like a few other people here also like the smoother transition of a western handle while also liking lighter handles. BTW, in the last three handles marked wa-estern, the top and bottom are two different shapes, and the middle is just showing either one from above to show the lack of a full tang. I don't know how a coke bottle handle would feel, but maybe it'd be even nicer.

The second picture is my current paring knife. The edge profile is fairly similar to the one you made, but just had a little more heel height. It has a flat spot, which is the area near the heel that I marked but also has a curved area that I like to use (which I also marked). Somehow I think the curve in the edge causes the knife to always be cutting with a guillotine stroke everywhere where the edge is contacting the food, kind of like a smiling razor would theoretically cut hairs if hairs were as wide as a potato. Again, I could be wrong, but I feel that this makes it easier. That's why I like a profile like the one you already made but with added heel height for longevity. If it's stubby, which is another thing I like, then it's not at all difficult to choke up and use the tip area of the knife even if it has a little height at the heel.

Just to add, there seems to be some variability in preferences as with any knife. Some like the narrower, longer profiles and I don't think I'm all that crazy about them. They don't feel quite as nice in my hand when I'm peeling. Just wanted to add this to emphasize that although I think there may be some physics (or not) to the whole guillotine stroke thing, these are my personal preferences.

http://i709.photobucket.com/albums/ww92/heirkb/photo2-15.jpg
http://i709.photobucket.com/albums/ww92/heirkb/photo1-17.jpg

Chuckles
12-01-2012, 01:03 AM
I really like where this is heading.
I agree with heirkb about the heel.
I also think the prototype is on its way to being something very special.

Can't wait to see more! :doublethumbsup:

stevenStefano
12-01-2012, 11:32 AM
Wasn't there another parer thread a while ago? I remember posting a couple of pictures in it. This is my favourite profile, my Global. Can't fault it at all

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/55200245/IMAG0280.jpg

DevinT
12-02-2012, 01:09 PM
Thanks everyone for your thoughts on parers. Parers seem to be diverse but not too complicated. I'll probably make a couple of different kinds to match a broader base of customers.

Hoss

El Pescador
12-23-2012, 04:54 PM
Any updates Devin?