Kitchen paring knives is a must-have for any kitchen. From first glance they look as though they have the same usage of a chef’s knife. It’s true they are identical in the structure of a chef’s knife and the only visual difference is that they are smaller. But kitchen paring knives are not made to be used a smaller version of the chef’s knife.

Because of the size of paring knives, they fit comfortable in your hand. This is by design, so you can have greater control and precision. The blade of kitchen paring knives is around 2 1/2 to 4 inches. This makes the paring knife ideal for slicing, detailed cutting, hulling and other kitchen work that requires a steady hand and accuracy. With a chef’s knife, a cutting board is often used. With kitchen paring knives, you hold the knife in one hand and the item you’re cutting in the other.

A paring knife is most often used for fruits and vegetables. For removing skin, a seed, creating garnishes and designs. With a kitchen paring knife, smaller items and jobs are ideal. You can use it to cut the skin of apple, de-vine a shrimp or use the point to remove the eyes of a potato.

There are different types of kitchen paring knives available. The best is type is forged and made with stainless steel. The different groups of kitchen paring knives include:

The Clip Point Parer: Effective for removing unneeded pieces from fruits and vegetables.
The Spear Point Parer: Good for light chopping.
The Miniature Boning Knife: When you need to bone the meat from small birds.
The Bird’s Beak Parer: Used for trimming sphere shaped vegetables.
The Sheep’s Foot Parer: Commonly used for paring and peeling.

To use effectively use kitchen paring knives, you must first learn how to hold the knife and the item you want to cut. Hold the knife in your right hand, if you right-handed or in your left hand, if you are left-handed. With the knife in hand, hold the handle firmly, but loosely enough for movement. Be sure that your thumb is free. Have the blade facing you. In your other hand, place item in your palm and grip it firmly. If you are cutting something small such as jalapeno, hold the item with your fingertips.

To peel, with the hand holding the knife, place your thumb on the item. Carefully, press the blade of the knife on the item and slowly peel. When peeling, pull the blade in the direction to where your thumb is resting and use the hand that is holding the item to rotate.

To hull strawberries, use the tip of the paring knife to remove the stem and carve out the core. If you want to section a lemon or orange, first get a bowl to catch any dripping juice. First peel the skin of the fruit, then cut between each piece of white membrane to divide the sections.