Need recommendations for new paring knife

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scrappy

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My 83yo father lives with me. He is forgetful and bent the tip of my Wüsthof paring knife. I have straightened it to the best of my ability. While it is only slightly bent now, I am thinking about keeping it for his use and getting my own, personal knife. To be honest, I like the Wüsthof, but I am wondering if there are better options. It’s a bit boring to replace like with like.

I know people recommend a cheap paring knife, but it is one of my most used knives. Unless keeping a paring knife in good condition is a fool’s mission, I would prefer to be using a knife that gives me pleasure. I have looked at the Tojiro DP 9cm paring knife, but I have no experience of the sheepsfoot shape. Not sure what people’s feelings are about it. Any advice would be greatly appreciated :)

LOCATION

What country are you in? UK

KNIFE TYPE

What type of knife are you interested in (e.g., chef’s knife, slicer, boning knife, utility knife, bread knife, paring knife, cleaver)? Paring knife

Are you right or left handed? Right

Are you interested in a Western handle (e.g., classic Wusthof handle) or Japanese handle? Western

What length of knife (blade) are you interested in (in inches or millimeters)? 80mm/90mm

Do you require a stainless knife? (Yes or no) Yes

What is your absolute maximum budget for your knife? £130


KNIFE USE

Do you primarily intend to use this knife at home or a professional environment? Home

What are the main tasks you primarily intend to use the knife for (e.g., slicing vegetables, chopping vegetables, mincing vegetables, slicing meats, cutting down poultry, breaking poultry bones, filleting fish, trimming meats, etc.)? (Please identify as many tasks as you would like.) Chopping herbs, chopping garlic/ginger, some in-hand peeling, chopping/slicing/coring small fruit and vegetables

What knife, if any, are you replacing? Wüsthof 9cm paring knife

Do you have a particular grip that you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for the common types of grips.) Hammer

What cutting motions do you primarily use? (Please click on this LINK for types of cutting motions and identify the two or three most common cutting motions, in order of most used to least used.) Slice, draw, rock

What improvements do you want from your current knife? If you are not replacing a knife, please identify as many characteristics identified below in parentheses that you would like this knife to have.) Sharpness, nimbleness

Better aesthetics (e.g., a certain type of finish; layered/Damascus or other pattern of steel; different handle color/pattern/shape/wood; better scratch resistance; better stain resistance)? Nothing particular. I like simple design.

Comfort (e.g., lighter/heavier knife; better handle material; better handle shape; rounded spine/choil of the knife; improved balance)? Maybe lighter, but nothing particular.

Ease of Use (e.g., ability to use the knife right out of the box; smoother rock chopping, push cutting, or slicing motion; less wedging; better food release; less reactivity with food; easier to sharpen)? Simple to sharpen

Edge Retention (i.e., length of time you want the edge to last without sharpening)? Reasonable edge retention


KNIFE MAINTENANCE

Do you use a bamboo, wood, rubber, or synthetic cutting board? (Yes or no.) Yes. End-grain beech.

Do you sharpen your own knives? (Yes or no.) Yes, but only started a few days ago.

If not, are you interested in learning how to sharpen your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes

Are you interested in purchasing sharpening products for your knives? (Yes or no.) Yes. I already have a Shapton Pro 1K, Atoma 140 and a leather strop paddle
 
The small Herders have a geometry that works very well for peeling: right side flat, left one convexed, edge off-centered to the right, coming with a micro-bevel on the left side. As they are so thin it doesn't hinder with other tasks — the same geometry with a thicker blade would lead to crazy steering. You have to be well aware of it when you're going to sharpen them. This is one of the rare cases where errors can't simply be undone. If you start sharpening It as any other knife you will destroy the flatness of the right side. The trick is in sharpening the left side only and restoring the microbevel, and only deburr the right side.
 
If you want to go down the Herder route personally I really prefer center point (mittlespitz) version over the sheepsfoot. So that'd mean K1M over K1; the point is just more useful. But that is personal preference. Stainless versions exist although the carbons are quite mild in their reactivity as well.

I have to admit that on my cheap ones I've always completely ignored the geometry Benuser mentioned without any real problems... :D
 
I recently bought a petty from Harner on IG… Cost me just 125 usd, it’s stainless, and has a nice burl handle that I was able to pick. He will also grind it how you want it (ie, thin BTE or otherwise)
I hear a lot of good things about Harner knives, but living in the UK, shipping and tax really increase the price.
If you want to go down the Herder route personally I really prefer center point (mittlespitz) version over the sheepsfoot. So that'd mean K1M over K1; the point is just more useful. But that is personal preference. Stainless versions exist although the carbons are quite mild in their reactivity as well.
Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve never used a sheepsfoot-style knife before, so not sure what the pros and cons are. Glad to hear the steel is not too reactive. I only have to look at my CCK cleaver and it rusts.
You have to be well aware of it when you're going to sharpen them. This is one of the rare cases where errors can't simply be undone. If you start sharpening It as any other knife you will destroy the flatness of the right side. The trick is in sharpening the left side only and restoring the microbevel, and only deburr the right side.
As a complete sharpening novice, this makes me a little nervous. What’s the edge retention on the K1 like? I’m wondering if I might have to get someone to sharpen it for me, at leat initially.
 
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I hear a lot of good things about Harner knives, but living in the UK, shipping and tax really increase the price.

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ve never used a sheepsfoot-style knife before, so not sure what the pros and cons are. Glad to hear the steel is not too reactive. I only have to look at my CCK cleaver and it rusts.

As a complete sharpening novice, this makes me a little nervous. What’s the edge retention on the K1 like? I’m wondering if I might have to get someone to sharpen it for me, at leat initially.
Nothing to get nervous about. If you ignore the geometry the performance as a peeler might be very slightly affected, that's all. Perhaps you may get a cheap Herder Buckels breakfast knife to start with instead. About sending out: very likely the sharpener will ignore the geometry as well. It will shine, but be twice as thick and have lost unnecessary few millimetres of width.
 
Nothing to get nervous about. If you ignore the geometry the performance as a peeler might be very slightly affected, that's all. Perhaps you may get a cheap Herder Buckels breakfast knife to start with instead. About sending out: very likely the sharpener will ignore the geometry as well. It will shine, but be twice as thick and have lost unnecessary few millimetres of width.
I did wonder whether a sharpening service would Be a good idea. Sharp and correct are not necessarily the same thing. Are there any non-Herder knives worth considering, for the sake of comparison?
 
My wife has the 135mm “Blue Clouds” version of this one and loves it. She has a tendency to cut fruit directly on a plate so the VG10 is perfect for that application - it stays reasonably sharp for quite a while under those abusive conditions, and isn’t affected by citrus. VG10 is a bit more work to sharpen than carbon steels, but in a tiny little petty/paring it’s hardly any extra time at all.

The tang was slightly proud of the scales in a few places but a few mins with sandpaper has it reasonably smooth now. Hard to complain too much at this price point. Note the damascus finish is purely decorative (but pretty).

https://japanesechefsknife.com/collections/paring/products/jck-natures-gekko-series-paring-80mm
Also available in a lower height version.
https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...res-gekko-series-ge-1spm-paring-80mm-3-1-inch
 
https://www.knivesandtools.co.uk/en/pt/-boker-cottage-craft-paring-knife-130499.htmInexpensive, quite well made simple carbons. Haven't tried this very one. Could be a good candidate for your first sharpenings.
Thanks. I started sharpening three days ago. I’ve been working with my CCK 1303 cleaver. I’ll take a look at this knife.
Of the readily available parers, the Shun 3.5" Classic is among the best "Department Store" brands.

If you want to step up to the best, Harner. Take the one time shipping hit, it's worth it.
Thank you. Shun knives seem to get a lot of love here, although some say they are overpriced. I’ll look at prices her in the UK. As for a Harner knife, I can’t find a website. Do you know if there is one?
Mac PRO is worth a look.
I’ll check one out. I think they’re easy enough to get here in the UK. I appreciate the suggestion.
My wife has the 135mm “Blue Clouds” version of this one and loves it. She has a tendency to cut fruit directly on a plate so the VG10 is perfect for that application - it stays reasonably sharp for quite a while under those abusive conditions, and isn’t affected by citrus. VG10 is a bit more work to sharpen than carbon steels, but in a tiny little petty/paring it’s hardly any extra time at all.

The tang was slightly proud of the scales in a few places but a few mins with sandpaper has it reasonably smooth now. Hard to complain too much at this price point. Note the damascus finish is purely decorative (but pretty).

https://japanesechefsknife.com/collections/paring/products/jck-natures-gekko-series-paring-80mm
Also available in a lower height version.
https://japanesechefsknife.com/coll...res-gekko-series-ge-1spm-paring-80mm-3-1-inch
Thanks for the links. I shall investigate further. I’m a sucker for handles like that. I find them comfortable in the hand. That said, I don’t think I’ve ever used a knife with a Japanese handle. When you mentioned cutting fruit on a plate, my toes curled slightly. Haha. How times have changed. I would have happily been doing that myself a few months ago, or using a granite block 😬
 
Harner has a FB page, not sure if there's a website. I'll post link later (on cell now)

Herder gets a lot of EU love, I've never tried one.
 
Harner has a FB page, not sure if there's a website. I'll post link later (on cell now)

Herder gets a lot of EU love, I've never tried one.
Thanks for the heads-up. I’ll check them out on FB :)
 
After reserching the suggestions I’ve been given here, I decided to go with the Herder K1. The fact that it was readily available from a UK seller at a good price sealed the deal. Fortunate, as Brexit seems to have limited choice. Oh well, my new knife is ordered. Really looking forward to receiving it. Thank you to everyone who made suggestions and offered advice. Appreciated, as always 😀
 
Herder, Shun, and Mac Pro are all good options. I ultimately chose the Mac Pro over the other two.
 
Herder, Shun, and Mac Pro are all good options. I ultimately chose the Mac Pro over the other two.
This may sound strange, but I considered the Mac Pro, but the ugly logo really put me off. As someone with a background in graphic design, it would have bothered me. And on a small knife, I would have been staring at the logo way more than I would have liked. I know, call me superficial!
 
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Thanks for the recommendation. Is that the K1 rather than the K1M? Also, is it not carbon steel?
K1 or K1M is just a matter of preferences. I have K1 and a cheaper carbon one.

the K series have longer edge retention and better Fit and Finish.
the K1/M has a stainless version but even their Carbon steel is not super reactive. it will patina if you leave an acid for more than 5 minutes.
 
K1 or K1M is just a matter of preferences. I have K1 and a cheaper carbon one.

the K series have longer edge retention and better Fit and Finish.
the K1/M has a stainless version but even their Carbon steel is not super reactive. it will patina if you leave an acid for more than 5 minutes.
Thanks for the explanation. I can’t wait for mine to arrive. I have never used a sheepsfoot knife before. I’m curious to see how I like it.
 
This may sound strange, but I considered the Mac Pro, but the ugly logo really put me off. As someone with a background in graphic design, it would have bothered me. And on a small knife, I would have been staring at the logo way more than I would have liked. I know, call me superficial!
Actually I'm totally with you on this. Some ugly logos can really turn me off on a knife... It's like some manufacturers don't realize how much it can degrade a knife! Could actually be worth an interesting thread on its own!

I wouldn't worry about the reactivity on the carbon version of the K1 if its anything like my K5 - K6. Yes it's still a carbon that you don't want to leave sitting, but mine were so low in reactivity I even wondered for a while whether they didn't give me a stainless knife instead. The steel they're using is one of the easiest carbons; as long as you don't leave your knife sitting dirty after prep it's totally no problem.
 
Actually I'm totally with you on this. Some ugly logos can really turn me off on a knife... It's like some manufacturers don't realize how much it can degrade a knife! Could actually be worth an interesting thread on its own!

I wouldn't worry about the reactivity on the carbon version of the K1 if its anything like my K5 - K6. Yes it's still a carbon that you don't want to leave sitting, but mine were so low in reactivity I even wondered for a while whether they didn't give me a stainless knife instead. The steel they're using is one of the easiest carbons; as long as you don't leave your knife sitting dirty after prep it's totally no problem.
That’s really good to know. My only other experience with carbon has been my CCK 1303 which now has rusty fingerprints on the KU finish from where I inspected it out of the box. I clearly have demon sweat.

Yes, logos matter. If I’m spending $$$ on a knife, I expect it to look good. The Mac logo makes my eyes bleed, especially on a paring knife with such a small blade. And whoever it was at CCK who thought it was a good idea to replace the distinctive Chinese script with some English and a QR code should be banned from working with branding, in any capacity, for any employer, for life. It beggars belief.
 
I love my miyabi 7000d 13cm, a bit thinner respect to the tojiro, it's vg10 and available on Amazon. With time logo will disappear, but stunning knife anyway.
 
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I love my miyabi 7000d 13cm, a bit thinner respect to the tojiro, it's vg10 and available on Amazon. With time logo will disappear, but stunning knife anyway.
Just Googled it. Didn’t realise it was a Zwilling knife. Yes, it will look better without the logo. Very unusual handle. I like the way it looks. Comfortable?
 
The handle is quite slender, but i find it comfortable although i have big hands, it's quite similar to a wa handle.
Tomorrow i can provide some pictures, but i think that you can see it live in a decent shop if you search a bit.
 
Yes, I looked at several different photos. I was just wondering how it felt in the hand. Thanks.
 
For comparison is near to a tojiro dp and a takamura migaki 150
 

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Keep in mind that damascus knives are a little more difficult to keep with a decent finish, but in this case a light refinish with sand paper and finger stone are sufficient.
 
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