The Finest Petty Knives of 2022

13 min read

Straight to the Level

Whereas a lot of the petty knives we examined are nice buys, a number of stood out from the group. Our favorites are the Tojiro DP Petty/Utility Knife and Mac Knife Skilled Utility Knife. They have been sharp, nimble, and cozy to carry and use. We additionally preferred the ultra-sharp Shun Hikari 6″ Utility Knife for bigger arms. And for a extra reasonably priced choose, we suggest the sharp and swift  Victorinox 6 Inch Fibrox Professional Chef’s Knife (which is a petty knife, although it’s confusingly known as a chef’s knife). 

To say that selecting a knife is private is an understatement; for a lot of cooks (in addition to residence cooks and Critical Eats editors) a knife is one in every of their most-used kitchen instruments, and the “good” knife typically comes right down to a matter of private desire. That’s why, when reviewing petty knives, I selected to showcase a number of most well-liked fashions based mostly on completely different options somewhat than one greatest selection. 

Petty knives (that are additionally known as utility knives, to not be confused with utility field cutters; I’ll get extra into the nomenclature of petty versus utility later on this evaluate) are smaller than a chef’s knife (which often have 8-inch blades) however bigger than a paring knife (which have 2.5- to 4-inch blades); They often have blades between 5.5 and 6 inches lengthy and are nimble, versatile knives that deserve a spot in your kitchen. 

It’s price noting I’ve notably petite arms, so what I preferred might differ from what somebody with bigger arms may want. And the truth is, most of the knives I examined have been nice: many have been extraordinarily sharp recent out of the field and had nimble blades that sliced cleanly via quite a lot of produce, uncooked rooster, and even cured, dried sausage. 

The Winners, at a Look

The Finest General Petty Knife: Tojiro DP Petty/Utility Knife

This mannequin is a stunning instance of a Japanese-style (learn: triangular-shaped) petty knife that’s sharp, nimble, and tremendous comfy to carry. It deftly minced shallots; cored, sliced, and diced tomatoes and bell peppers; and tackled breaking down an entire rooster so simply, it felt prefer it was an extension of my hand.

Different Decide: Mac Knife Skilled Utility Knife, 6-Inch

mac petty knife

This knife was near-identical to the Tojiro, save for a barely completely different deal with form and a smidge wider blade. It was very sharp and nimble. 

The Finest Petty Knife for Bigger Palms: Shun Hikari 6-Inch Utility Knife

Shun Hikari Utility knife

This can be a beautiful, beautiful knife—simply take a look at the lattice sample on the blade. However it additionally had sensible niceties, too. There was sufficient clearance between the again of the blade (the bolster) and the deal with and sufficient curve to the blade to make a rocking-style chop comfy (no finger smashing). And the super-sharp blade made fast work of produce like shallots and tomatoes. It’s on the bigger aspect for a petty-style knife, with a thick, lengthy deal with that I discovered a bit unwieldy, however that might be well-suited for folk with bigger arms. The one different draw back is that it’s somewhat costly.   

The Finest Funds Petty Knife: Victorinox 6-Inch Fibrox Professional Chef’s Knife

Victorinox 6 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

No, this isn’t a flashy knife, nevertheless it is super-sharp, versatile, and has a pleasant, grippy deal with. The blade is properly curved, which made it straightforward to chop in a rocking movement. Although it’s confusingly known as a chef’s knife, it’s, for all intents and functions, a petty/utility knife based mostly on its form and measurement. 

The Assessments

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

  • Blade sharpness check: I ran every knife (proper from the field) via a blade sharpness measurer thrice and averaged the outcomes. 
  • Paper check: I used every knife to chop via a chunk of printer paper, noting if it was a clear slice or if there was any resistance or jagged edges. 
  • Tomato check: I used every knife to core and thinly slice one tomato. I then chopped the tomato, noting if there was any resistance when reducing via the pores and skin. 
  • Shallot check: I used every knife to mince an entire shallot—analyzing sharpness, agility, and if the knife may comfortably be utilized in a rock-chop movement.
  • Herb check: I used every knife to mince parsley to see if the knife was straightforward to regulate and if it might be utilized in a rock-chop movement.
  • Bell pepper check: I cored, sliced, and chopped bell peppers with every knife. Bell peppers have rubbery pores and skin and a core that requires an agile knife to chop out. 
  • Entire rooster check (winners-only): I used my prime knives to interrupt down entire chickens, seeing if the blades have been nimble sufficient to chop meat from bone and to get in between joints, and in addition if they may simply slice via slippery meat and pores and skin. 
  • Cured sausage check (winners-only): I used my prime knives to slice skinny items from a tough, cured sausage to see if the knives have been sturdy. 
  • Cleansing checks: After each check, I washed every knife by hand to see if it was straightforward to wash and if it turned slippery when moist. 

Petty Versus Utility Knives: What’s the Distinction?

Our favourite knives have been known as by each names (petty and utility) and had delicate variations.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

In Josh Donald’s e-book Sharp, he explains that petty knives have been created in Japan within the late nineteenth century in response to Western-style “utility” knives (to not be confused with an industrial, field cutter utility knife). Again then, Western-style utility knives have been pointed, straight knives that appeared like an elongated paring knife. The Japanese-style petty knives had a unique form: triangular blades that have been barely wider in direction of the deal with. However, immediately, many knife manufacturers use the 2 phrases interchangeably, and the variations could be minimal. 

On the whole, fashionable petty/utility knives are smaller than a chef’s knife however longer than a paring knife; most have blades that clock in between 5.5 and 6 inches lengthy, in distinction with chef’s knives, which regularly have 8-inch lengthy blades. (Paring knives have blades which are sometimes 2.5 to 4 inches lengthy.) They’re additionally a bit extra nimble than a standard chef’s knife, since they’ve a shorter blade and smaller deal with. 

We discovered some delicate variations between the knives we examined that didn’t essentially correspond with no matter they have been known as (petty, utility, or typically each); some had extra of a Japanese-style triangular blade, whereas others had a barely extra curved blade. Each types have benefits and drawbacks—however neither is best or worse than the opposite. 

I like utilizing my petty/utility knife for a myriad of kitchen prep duties, together with reducing up greens and prepping meats (like breaking down entire chickens, which the nimble, little blades are fairly good at doing; they simply slip between joints and cleanly separate meat from bone). It must be famous that the Japanese-style knives, typically, are more durable and thus extra brittle than Western-style knives. This implies they aren’t preferrred for hacking via bones (get a cleaver!) or tackling more durable produce, like watermelons or winter squash, as they may chip. 

What We Realized

Deal with Form and Materials Have been Necessary  

We most well-liked knives with handles that weren’t too giant, cumbersome, or slippery.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

A knife could be sharp, but when it’s cumbersome or slippery to carry, you may not need to use it. I most well-liked slimmer handles (my favorites have been a half-inch huge) with beveled, squared edges over cumbersome, tubular handles. I additionally most well-liked handles with butts that tapered inward on the backside of the knife; they have been simpler to grip and extra comfy to carry than ones that curved up underneath the deal with. 

Some handles have been downright cumbersome, like these on the Misen Utility Knife and Berghoff Ron Utility Knife. The deal with of the Berghoff was notably uncomfortable because it was tubular, huge, and made from unfinished wooden; I felt prefer it may splinter or warp over time and after a number of washes. Whereas the Shun had a bigger, tubular wooden composite deal with, it was clean, polished, and straightforward to grip. The deal with on the ​​Kasumi 6″ Utility Knife was a pleasant size, although the tubular form and light-weight, plasticky-feel made it slippery, particularly after washing.

The Sharper, The Higher

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

It may appear apparent, however a manufacturing unit sharp knife is a good looking factor. A lot of the knives I examined have been ridiculously sharp out-of-the field (most have been “utility razor blade” ranges of sharp once we examined them on the Edge-on-up skilled edge tester) and cleanly lower via paper, produce, and rooster. The sharpest knife, per the sting tester, was the Tojiro, which produced fast, clear cuts with none resistance. Our different prime picks (from Shun, Mac, and Victorinox) have been additionally extremely sharp, and simply sliced via all the things we pit towards them.

The Berghoff and Wusthoff, whereas they’d first rate sharpness scores, felt boring compared. The Berghoff struggled to cleanly lower shallots, splintering the shallot when slicing and mashing the allium when mincing. It additionally see-sawed towards the pores and skin of a bell pepper once I tried reducing via it. 

Triangular Blades Have been The Most Nimble

The ultra-sharp, nimble triangular bladed knives have been agile and good at slipping between joints when breaking down an entire rooster.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

The 2 Japanese-style winners, from Tojiro and Mac, had triangular-shaped, skinny blades with a really slight curves. This meant that, whereas not pretty much as good for reducing in a rocking movement, they have been very nimble; I actually loved utilizing them to interrupt down chickens, since they may simply slide between joints, and between bones and meat.

Curved Blades Have been Higher for Rocking Cuts

Blades that had a bit extra curve to them have been higher for rocking-style cuts.

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

Two of my favourite knives—the Shun and the Victorinox—had barely extra curved blades, which made them nice for rocking cuts; they simply chopped shallots, herbs, and bell peppers, and my fingers didn’t graze the reducing board. Nonetheless, this identical characteristic additionally made them rather less agile when it got here to breaking down chickens, and, as famous above, I most well-liked the extra triangular-shaped blades on the Mac and Tojiro for this process.

The Standards: What to Search for in a Petty Knife

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

A great petty knife must be sharp and versatile, and simply lower via quite a lot of elements. It must also be pretty nimble, and have a grippy, strong, and not-too-bulky deal with. Whereas my prime picks fell into two classes (triangular and straight, and barely curved), every had their very own strengths and weaknesses, however all of them have been ultra-sharp, versatile knives.

The Finest General Petty Knife: Tojiro DP Petty/Utility Knife

tojiro dp petty knife 6 inches

What we preferred: This extremely sharp, nimble knife was a pleasure to make use of; it deftly cored, sliced, and chopped tomatoes and bell peppers, and slipped simply between joints when breaking down a rooster. It even lower via dried sausage simply and with out chipping. After testing, I discovered myself grabbing this knife rather than each my chef’s knife and paring knife as a result of it was the proper stability of each: nimble, sharp, sturdy and versatile, with the ideal-sized deal with for my petite arms.

What we didn’t like: The one qualm I had about this knife is that my knuckles grazed the reducing board once I did a rocking chop. Nonetheless, it was simply that, a graze, and didn’t have an effect on reducing—it was nonetheless a pleasure to make use of.

Key Specs

  • Blade type: Triangular
  • Blade size: 6 inches
  • Blade width at widest half: 1.1 inches
  • Deal with Size: 4.25 inches
  • Deal with width: .5 inches
  • Sharpness common: 107 (utility razor blade sharp)
  • Weight: 83 grams
  • Supplies: Chrome steel, carbon metal, wooden

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

Different Decide: Mac Knife Skilled Utility Knife, 6-Inch

mac petty knife

What we preferred: The blade was a hair (and I imply it) wider than the Tojiro, nevertheless it was nonetheless ultra-sharp and nimble knife; I additionally preferred the deal with, which, just like the Tojiro, inclined inward underneath the knife however didn’t curve again upwards, like another knives. 

What we didn’t like: With an identical form to the Tojiro, we had the identical quibble with the Mac: the bolster was only a little quick and the curve of the blade a bit shallow, which meant my knuckles grazed the reducing board when reducing in a rocking movement. However it’s actually the type of the knife. 

Key Specs

  • Blade type: Triangular
  • Blade size: 6 inches
  • Blade width at widest half: 1.13 inches
  • Deal with size: 4.25 inches
  • Deal with width: .5 inches
  • Sharpness common: 140 (utility razor blade sharp) 
  • Weight: 85 grams
  • Supplies: Chrome steel; wooden composite

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

The Finest Petty Knife for Bigger Palms: Shun Hikari 6-Inch Utility Knife

Shun Hikari Utility knife

What we preferred: Because it had a barely extra curved blade, this knife was nice when utilizing a rocking chop movement. It was additionally super-sharp and sturdy, cleanly and easily slicing via even powerful dried sausage.

What we didn’t like: The tubular deal with was a bit giant, and the blade wasn’t fairly as skinny and nimble because the Tojiro and Mac; it felt rather less agile once I used it to interrupt down a rooster. It’s additionally one of many costlier knives in our lineup.  

Key Specs

  • Blade type: Curved
  • Blade size: 6 inches
  • Blade width at widest half: 1.25 inches
  • Deal with Size: 4.5 inches
  • Deal with width: .75 inches
  • Sharpness common: 200 (utility razor blade sharp) 
  • Weight: 120 g
  • Supplies: Chrome steel blades clad with high-carbon, high-chromium stainless-steel; wooden composite

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

The Finest Funds Petty/Utility Knife: Victorinox 6-Inch Fibrox Professional Chef’s Knife

Victorinox 6 Inch Fibrox Pro Chef's Knife

What we preferred: This was a sturdy, user-friendly knife with a fantastically grippy deal with that was nice for quite a lot of hand sizes. I used to be additionally impressed with how sharp it was; it aced reducing via rubbery tomato and bell pepper pores and skin and, because it has a extra curved blade, it made chopping straightforward. 

What we didn’t like: Whereas this was a super-sharp, sturdy, and all-around nice knife, it wasn’t fairly as versatile and nimble because the extra triangular-shaped knives; I had extra bother finagling it between joints when breaking down an entire rooster. 

Key Specs

  • Blade type: Curved
  • Blade size: 6 inches
  • Blade width at widest half: 1.2 inches
  • Deal with size: 5.25 inches
  • Deal with width: .75 inches
  • Sharpness common: 148 (utility razor blade sharp) 
  • Weight: 79 grams
  • Supplies: Chrome steel; plastic

Critical Eats / Grace Kelly

The Competitors

  • Togiharu PRO Petty: Whereas eerily similar-looking to the Tojiro, I discovered this knife a bit much less sharp. I additionally didn’t love the butt of the deal with, which curved upwards underneath the knife and was barely much less comfy to carry.
  • ZWILLING Professional 5.5″ Final Prep Knife, inch, Black/Stainless Metal: Whereas I preferred the curved form and skinny blade on this knife, the tang on the deal with caught out and was uncomfortable to carry. It was additionally barely much less nimble and sharp when breaking down a rooster; it snagged on the slippery pores and skin. 
  • Wüsthof Traditional Ikon Utility Knife: This knife has a standard utility knife form, and to be trustworthy, I wasn’t positive what to make of it; it felt like an extended paring knife (that wasn’t notably sharp) with the deal with of a steak knife. The hardly curved, straight blade was not good for chopping of any form, and it wasn’t sharp sufficient to cleanly lower something. 
  • Berghoff Ron Utility Knife: This was a clunky knife with a boring blade that struggled in our checks. The deal with was additionally a significant disadvantage, because it was rounded, chunky, and un-finished—I may see it getting mildew or splintering over time. 
  • ​​Kasumi 6″ Utility Knife: The largest disadvantage to this knife was the plasticky feeling, ultra-light deal with; it didn’t have a pleasant heft to it, and was slippery when dry and really slippery when moist.
  • Misen Utility Knife: Whereas this was a pleasant (and sharp) knife, the blade and deal with have been a bit too cumbersome and chunky (it was additionally the heaviest knife in our lineup); it felt like a miniaturized chef’s knife greater than a petty/utility knife and wasn’t tremendous nimble.


What makes a petty or utility knife completely different than a chef’s knife?

A petty/utility knife is shorter than a chef’s knife—the blade often clocks in between 4.5-6 inches lengthy, versus a chef’s knife which often has an 8-inch blade. The opposite distinction is within the form of the blade: most petty/utility knives have much less of a curve than a Western-style chef’s knife.

What can I take advantage of a petty/utility knife for? 

Petty/utility knives can be utilized for most of the identical duties that you’d use a chef’s knife for: mincing shallots, chopping herbs, reducing scallions, and even breaking down entire chickens. They’re agile and small knives, making them nice for exact cuts. Nonetheless, since most petty/utility knives are extra delicate than a chef’s knife, we wouldn’t suggest utilizing them on hard-to-cut or giant elements like winter squash or watermelons, or to chop via bone (a cleaver is your pal in that occasion).

What’s one of the best ways to sharpen a petty/utility knife? 

To actually get your blade freshly sharp once more, we suggest utilizing a whetstone. In between sharpenings, you should utilize a honing rod to maintain your knife in good condition.

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