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Thread: What makes a good petty knife?

  1. #1

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    What makes a good petty knife?

    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

  2. #2
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    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.

  3. #3
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    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

  4. #4
    Canada's Sharpest Lefty Lefty's Avatar
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    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?
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  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by tk59 View Post
    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).


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  6. #6
    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.

  7. #7
    Senior Member NO ChoP!'s Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lefty View Post
    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.
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  8. #8
    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).

  9. #9

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    What are the grinds and spine thicknesses that are typical?

  10. #10
    Senior Member Adagimp's Avatar
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    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.

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