I'm a Shopping Editor, and I Won't Cook Without This $11 Paring Knife

You need the right tool for the job.

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HENCKELS Dynamic Paring Knife
Photo: Amazon

Despite multiple moves and working out of a slew of teeny New York City apartment kitchens, I've hung onto the same Henckels paring knife for years. At this point, the label has certainly faded—and it's waxed and waned between super sharp and terribly dull—but it's a mainstay in my cooking, the knife I reach for only second to my trusty chef's knife.

I first received the Henckels 4-Inch Paring Knife as a gift, and it was one I initially thought I would have no use for. After all, what need would I have for a tiny knife that would hardly help me carve through coarse vegetables and slice through hunks of meat? But as I developed my culinary skills, I realized just how integral this $11 knife became in my cooking repertoire.

The tasks I use this paring knife for are certainly less than glamorous, but equally important in the cooking process. I'll reach for it to peel delicate fruits, slice through slabs of cheese, and score air pockets in sourdough bread. At its core, this dainty knife is designed for controlled, detailed slicing—the kind that would be otherwise impossible with a bigger and heavier tool.

HENCKELS Dynamic Paring Knife
Courtesy of Amazon

To buy: Henckels 4-Inch Paring Knife, $11 (originally $15) at amazon.com

Now for the specs: The paring knife is wielded from high-quality stainless steel, complete with a precision-stamped blade that makes for a super strong and durable knife. The blade is finished off with a satin polish and a full tang, making it easy to maneuver. It's comfortable to hold thanks to a handle designed with finger grooves. Although the knife is technically dishwasher-safe, I've found that the blade and handle hold up much better if you wash it by hand (just scrub it with some soap and water).

I'm hardly the only one who's fallen in love with this knife, with other Amazon shoppers noting it "slices great" and is "very sharp" straight out of the box. One reviewer even wrote: "This is my new favorite knife."

Long before I snagged this paring knife, I had resorted to using a long, clunky utility knife to handle all those delicate and dainty tasks—and it simply never ended well. As the trite saying goes, you need the right tool for the job, and this Henckels paring knife is just that. For an affordable $11, you can grab one (or even two!) of these paring knives from Amazon and let your cooking be seriously transformed for good.

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