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Paring Knife vs Santoku: Which Knife Is Better For Your Kitchen?

We all like to work with knives that are dynamic and lightweight enough for easy maneuvering. The paring knife and the Santoku have these attributes, but they are not perfect alternatives. And in this article, we will compare the Paring knife vs. Santoku and help you explore the dynamism of each knife as well as the importance of having these two knives in the kitchen.

What is a paring knife used for? 

A paring knife is ideal for intricate cutting, slicing, and chopping vegetables, fruits, herbs, and prawns. The paring knife is typically short-bladed. Usually between two to four inches long, the blade is often very sharp and delivers more precise cutting than most other big knives. It is very versatile when it comes to peeling fruits, deveining prawns, and cutting up other soft regular kitchen ingredients.  

Paring Knife vs Santoku: What is a paring knife used for?

What you should never use the paring knife for is deboning any meat. The blade is often quite thin and fragile for such a purpose. You also don’t want to cut your meat with it. While you can fillet small fish and shuck oysters with the paring knife, you don’t want to take it beyond that. There are four common designs of a paring knife, each having its advantage when it comes to cutting and maneuverability.  

The spear point paring knife is the classic paring knife design, crafted to do everything a good paring knife is known for. The Bird’s beak paring knife has a sickle-shaped blade with an extremely sharp tip for intricate decorative cutting of fruits and vegetables. This is similar to the Western-style Japanese paring knife with a less curvy blade and used for intricate decorative cutting. The fourth type is the sheep’s foot paring knife, great with cheese and making nice stripes out of soft and quite hard ingredients. 

What is a Santoku Knife best used for? 

The Santoku is the most versatile knife anyone could ever own. It is a great substitute for a utility or chef’s knife, and it is popular for its three cutting abilities. The word Santoku means Three Virtues“, and professionals have quickly identified the meaning of its ability to do the three most important types of cutting which are slicing, dicing, and chopping

Paring Knife vs Santoku: What is a Santoku Knife best used for?

Unlike the paring knife, Santoku can deal with tougher food and ingredients, and at the same time, delivers intricate cutting on fish, vegetables, and fruits. The blade is often longer and slightly tempered. Furthermore, the blade’s edges are, more usual than never, dimpled to prevent food from sticking on the surface. Also, the tip has a drop-curvy finish to aid its ability to deliver precision cutting. 

The Santoku could come in double bevel or single bevel design, which is determined by whether both sides or just a single side is sharpened. The knife is also lightweight, definitely not like the paring knife, but amazing enough to maneuver easily. Typically, a Santoku is usually between five to eight inches long

Paring Knife and Santoku Knife Features

 Paring Knife Santoku 
Length 2-4 inches 5-8 inches 
Weight Lightweight Lightweight 
Edge Flat or Curvy Flat or Granton 
Construction Hand-forged or Stamped Hand-forged 
Blade material Carbon steel, stainless steel, or ceramic High-carbon steel or Damascus steel 
Bevel Double Double or Single 

Key Differences Between the Paring Knife and Santoku Knife

It’s quite established that the paring knife and Santoku are different, but the similarities they share are quite inevitable. These similarities are revealed below:  

1. Slicing

Both the paring knife and Santoku are great for slicing fruits and vegetables. However, while the paring knife will deliver more precise cutting and achieve some decorative cutting techniques, a Santoku knife might not. 

2. Chopping

For tougher fruit and vegetables, the Santoku would deliver acute and faster chopping than a paring knife would. However, in terms of maneuverability, a paring knife is still unmatched by a Santoku. 

3. Dicing

Santoku delivers an easier and faster dicing than a paring knife, but anyone who desires a more intricate cut of a much delicate ingredient would go for a paring knife. 


The Santoku is the most versatile knife you could ever own while the nimble, short blade Paring Knife is perfect for fine cutting. If you have the choice, I recommend picking both knives. No kitchen is complete without them and they are not a perfect substitute for each other.

best types of knives

What Are The Types Of Knives And Their Uses?

As an authority on knives, the Knife Buzz team pride ourselves on knowing the true ins and outs of every blade that we can get our hands on. However, with so many blades, it can be a lot to keep track of.

That’s why we have created this ultimate knife buying guide for both novices and professionals. This guide covers all types of knives and will you help get the best tools for your needs. We have also provided some general maintenance and safety tips for beginners who are new to the knife world.

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