On this page, we’ll be discussing some of the best Japanese paring knives available for 2022. We’ve been covering the best paring knives for quite some time now and have some thoughts to share. We’ll evaluate balance, comfort, maintenance, and so much more.

Tojiro DP 3.5 - Best Japanese paring knife

Japanese knives can be found in professional kitchens around the world. They’re not outright favorites for everyone, but those who use them usually swear by them. Japanese paring knives are a more delicate, smaller version of the typical ‘Gyuto,’ or ‘chef’s knife.’

The main differences between Japanese equipment VS their American or European counterparts can be found in their weight and thickness. Japanese knives tend to be lighter with a significantly thinner edge. In the right pair of hands, this can allow for greater levels of control and a sharper cutting edge for a variety of kitchen tasks. 

Pressed for time? 

Our top paring knife right now is the Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife.

It tops the majority of online reviews and comes with the best performance overall in our opinion. It’s worth noting, however, that your preference will be determined by a variety of other factors. Check out our other recommendations and read our chef knife buying guide to be sure.

Top 5 Japanese Paring Knives

Best Japanese Paring Knives
Price
Blade Material
Balance
Warranty
#1. Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife

Editor's Choice



Price



VG10 as core steel, clad by 13-chrome stainless steel



Well balanced



Lifetime warranty
#2. Shun Premier Paring Knife 4’’



Price



VG max - 68 micro-layers of Damascus



Well balanced



Lifetime limited warranty
#3. TUO Paring Knife 2.5" Dark Knight Series

Best Bird Beak Japanese Paring Knife



Price



Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel



Well balanced



Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects
#4. Dalstrong Paring Knife - 3.5" - Frost Fire Series



Price



High Chromium 10CR15MOV Stainless Steel



Well balanced



Lifetime warranty against defects
#5. Sunnecko Damascus Paring Knife 3.5



Price



Japanese 73-layer Damascus Steel VG10



Well balanced



1-year warranty

1. Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife – Editor’s Choice

First up is this fantastic option from Tojiro. It’s a well-balanced, affordable knife that’s backed by a lifetime warranty and a ton of vocal support online – this product is recommended by practically everyone who’s reviewed it.

Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife Specifications

General
Brand
藤次郎 - Tojiro
Price Range
$45-$55
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Lifetime warranty
Most suitable for
First-time buyers of Japanese knives. Smaller, more delicate tasks
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
8.07/20.5
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
1.94/55
Blade Length (Inches)
3.5
Blade Height (Inches)
2.5
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
5
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
VG10 as core steel, clad by 13-chrome stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Not flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Sheep's foot
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
9-12°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60
The Handle
Handle Feel
Comfortable but a bit small for my hand
Handle Material
Stainless Steel
Handle Color
Black

About The Knife

The sub-$50 asking price for this paring knife makes it an excellent option for beginners or those looking to take baby steps into the world of Japanese tools. Don’t be fooled though; more experienced chefs will still find plenty to appreciate. 

The stainless-steel handle is relatively comfortable but may feel a touch too small for larger hands. The durability on offer here is exceptional when you consider the price. With a full tang and a forged construction, it should last you for many years to come. Add this to the lifetime warranty, and you’re looking at a purchase that comes with plenty of peace of mind.

Maintenance

durable. You’ll get excellent sharpness retention but will have to work a little harder once it’s time to sharpen your knife. A fine-grain whetstone should be used at a 17-degree angle to hone your blade edges. 

Wash your knife by hand with a mild detergent.

Pros
  • Excellent price to performance ratio
  • Relatively comfortable and lightweight
  • Lifetime warranty
Cons
  • The handle is a little small
  • Sharpened bevel isn’t fully even
  • May lack ‘heft’ for some

2. Shun Premier Paring Knife 4’’

This Shun blade costs a little more than the option listed above but will be the perfect choice for the right person.

Shun Premier Paring Knife 4’’ Specifications

General
Brand
Shun
Price Range
$163-$200
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Lifetime limited warranty
Most suitable for
Ideal for deveining, peeling, and similarly intricate work
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
8.25/20.96
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
4.9/138.91
Blade Length (Inches)
4
Blade Height (Inches)
1
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.62
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
VG max - 68 micro-layers of Damascus
Blade Flexibility
Not flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Western-style
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
16°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
61
The Handle
Handle Feel
Comfortable and secure grip
Handle Material
Premium Pakkawood
Handle Color
Walnut color

About The Knife

We’re huge fans of the handle on this knife. It was remarkably comfortable and felt secure every step of the way. While it costs a little more than we may have hoped, the exceptional balance of the product more than makes up for it in our opinion. 

The use of Pakkawood is particularly noteworthy here. This material offers superior levels of heat resistance, moisture resistance, and overall durability more than most wooden alternatives. 

It also has a luxurious glossy finish that we really appreciated. The blade’s HRC of 61 also means that this knife should stay sharper longer than comparable options on the market. 

Those looking for a tool that can peel, devein, and help with similarly intricate work will feel right at home with this option. We thoroughly recommend giving it a look.

Maintenance

This knife should not be cleaned in a dishwasher. Use a mild soap/ detergent and hand-wash only. When sharpening knives with an HRC of 60 or higher, use a fine grain whetstone at a 17-degree angle. 

Less experienced cooks can take advantage of Shun’s mail-in sharpening service.

To maintain the finish on your Pakkawood handle, apply tung or mineral oil from time to time. Before applying your oil, gently clean with a soft brush to allow for an even application.

Pros
  • Exceptional comfort and security
  • Excellent hardness/ sharpness retention
  • Stunning Damascus finish
Cons
  • A little expensive
  • Not machine washable
  • Edge can chip occasionally

3. TUO Paring Knife 2.5″ Dark Knight Series – Best Bird Beak Japanese Paring Knife

This is the best bird beak Japanese paring knife we’ve found; It’s perfect for intricate garnishes that demand that extra level of precision.

Mercer Culinary UltimateTUO Paring Knife 2.5″ Dark Knight Series Specifications

General
Brand
TUO
Price Range
$23-$36
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
Lifetime warranty against manufacturer defects
Most suitable for
Decorative garnishes and incredibly intricate cutting
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
6.5/16.51
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
6.3/178.6
Blade Length (Inches)
2.5
Blade Height (Inches)
0.86
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.1
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Japanese AUS-8 stainless steel
Blade Flexibility
Slightly flexible
Tang
Partial Tang
Blade Edge
Bird beak
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
Unknown
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
Unknown
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic - balanced grip for optimum control
Handle Material
Pakkawood
Handle Color
Dark knight black

About The Knife

When it comes to ‘cheap and cheerful,’ this option from TUO is tough to beat. Don’t let the sub-$40 price tag fool you, though; this knife performs exceptionally well for the price. When working with a paring knife like this, your main priorities should be balance and grip comfort. 

The good news here is that this knife delivers on both of these fronts. You’ll have all the control you’ll need when preparing those final touches for your dish. 

One thing to note is that the manufacturer hasn’t provided information about the blade’s HRC rating. That said, the dual layers of titanium are designed to maintain sharpness and durability for significantly longer than stainless steel alone.

As this is a partial-tang knife, care should be taken when making heavier, more substantial cuts.

Maintenance

The heat and harsh detergents of most dishwashers will damage this knife. Only ever hand-wash with mild soaps. A whetstone can be used when sharpening although make sure you’ve experienced it before attempting to hone your blade. 

The design of this paring knife means that regular sharpening shouldn’t be necessary.

Pros
  • Fantastic levels of control
  • Very affordable
  • Looks great
Cons
  • Feels a little light
  • Partial tang design

4. DALSTRONG Paring Knife – 3.5″ – Frost Fire Series

A lightweight, attractive knife that’s perfect for those who prioritize speed and efficiency.

DALSTRONG Paring Knife – 3.5″ – Frost Fire Series Specifications

General
Brand
Dalstrong
Price Range
$55-$60
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
Japan
Warranty
Lifetime warranty against defects
Most suitable for
Coring, delicate cuts, fast mincing, and chopping
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
10.4/26.42
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
2.85/80.8
Blade Length (Inches)
3.5
Blade Height (Inches)
0.61
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.79
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
High Chromium 10CR15MOV Stainless Steel
Blade Flexibility
Unknown
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Spear tip
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
16-18°
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60-61
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic handle, tension-free grip, comfort, and cutting agility
Handle Material
Stainless Steel + Resin
Handle Color
White

About The Knife

If you’re used to a heavier knife for your kitchen work, this might not be the best option for you. Those who value speed and effortless cuts, however, will absolutely love the design of this one from Dalstrong. It’s built to make short work of your mincing, coring, and other jobs that need to be repeated with efficiency. 

We’re particularly fond of the ergonomic handle that allows for a grip that is both comfortable and tension-free. 

The blade of this knife is rated between 60 and 61 on the Rockwell hardness scale which means it’s comparatively hard and will retain its sharpness significantly longer than less premium options. 

Another bonus in terms of sharpness here is that this knife has been honed using the ancient Honbazuke technique. This involves sharpening the blade vertically, then horizontally, and finally finishing with a leather stropping block. 

The result is a superior level of sharpness that should last much longer than you may be used to. 

The full-tang, well-balanced design of this option means that it should serve you very well for many years to come. It can usually be picked up for less than $50 which is an absolute steal in our opinion.

Maintenance

As with the other knives listed on this page, you should avoid dishwashers if you care about longevity. Wash with cold to moderate temperatures using mild soaps whenever possible. 

To sharpen this blade yourself, use a fine grain whetstone and sharpen it at a 15-degree angle.

Pros
  • Very agile and fast
  • Honbazuke sharpening method
  • Gorgeous exterior design
Cons
  • Quite a light knife
  • Curved design makes rocking difficult
  • Some chipping may occur

5. Sunnecko Damascus Paring Knife 3.5

A full-tang, flexible paring knife that’s perfect for peeling and fruit-related tasks.

Sunnecko Damascus Paring Knife 3.5 Specifications

General
Brand
Sunnecko
Price Range
$30-$40
Balance
Well balanced
Manufacturing Country
China
Warranty
1-year warranty
Most suitable for
Peeling, other fruit-related tasks, and jobs that require blade flexibility
Dimensions
Total Knife Length (In/cm)
7.99/20.29
Knife Weight (Oz/Gr)
3.5/99.22
Blade Length (Inches)
3.5
Blade Height (Inches)
0.91
Blade thickness/width (Inches)
0.07
The Blade
Forged/stamped
Forged
Blade Material
Japanese 73-layer Damascus Steel VG10
Blade Flexibility
Flexible
Tang
Full Tang
Blade Edge
Spear tip
Straight/Serrated
Straight
Blade angle
12-15 per side
HRC (Rockwell Hardness)
60±2
The Handle
Handle Feel
Ergonomic G10 handles that are immune to cold, heat, and moisture
Handle Material
Alloy Steel
Handle Color
Black and silver

About The Knife

The first thing to mention here is that the price to performance ratio with this Sunnecko knife is truly remarkable. If you pick it up at the right time, it can cost as little as $30. In our opinion, this represents fantastic value for money. 

This is the highest hardness rating featured on this page; this knife falls between 60 and 62 on the Rockwell hardness scale. As stated above, this means two things:

  1. The blade is very hard and sharp
  2. It will hold this sharpness for significantly longer than you may be used to 

This can be an absolute Godsend in terms of maintenance and durability. You’ll be sharpening and replacing your knife far less often than with fewer premium products. While we’re on the subject of durability, it’s worth mentioning that some users have reported that this knife can scratch fairly easily, so use it with a degree of caution. 

As for the handle, there’s more good news to share. It’s made from a glass-based epoxy resin laminate called G10. G10 is made by soaking fiberglass in epoxy resin and then shaping it into the appropriate handle shape by using heat and pressure. 

Technical terms aside, this offers a handful of key benefits: 

  • Superior moisture resistance 
  • Superior heat resistance 
  • A broad range of attractive colors are possible 
  • A comfortable feel in the hand 

The result of this material choice is a knife that’s very well balanced and easy to use. The flexibility of the blade makes it perfect for peeling tasks and other fruit-related work.

Maintenance

Sunnecko recommends using a fine grain whetstone to sharpen this knife at a 12-15 degree angle when required. Frequent sharpening shouldn’t be necessary. As with most Japanese knives, this product should only ever be cleaned by hand using moderate temperatures and gentle soaps. 
The good news is you get a handy cleaning cloth with your purchase from Sunnecko! Many users on Amazon opt for this sharpening tool for this knife.

Pros
  • Ergonomic, moisture-resistant handle
  • Excellent for peeling and fruits
  • Great hardness
Cons
  • Quite scratch-prone
  • Some find it too heavy
  • Can slip if wearing gloves

Conclusion

There we have it! We’re big fans of every single one of the knives listed above. It’s worth taking some time to reflect on what you need your new tool for. Efficient mincing and prep work? Endlessly intricate and decorative flourishes? Your needs as a chef will determine the option that’s right for you. 

In general, we’d like to leave you with the following thoughts on Japanese paring knives:

  • Always hand-wash with moderate temperatures and mild soaps
  • A fine-grain whetstone is ideal for sharpening 
  • The warranty of your product is worth double-checking 
  • All the options on this page come with some form of lifetime warranty except for the last Sunnecko knife 

If in doubt, we think you should go for the Tojiro DP 3.5-inch Paring Knife.

Post Your Thoughts