The One Knife to Buy Cheap

The One Knife to Buy Cheap

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Kelli Foster
Sep 16, 2016
(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

The price of kitchen knives run the gamut from just a few dollars to well over a few hundred dollars. And while it may prove worthwhile to splurge on a good-quality chef's knife, there's one knife you should always buy cheap.

(Image credit: Maria Siriano)

For Paring Knives, Inexpensive Is Best

A paring knife is an essential part of any kitchen knife set, but unlike a chef's knife, there's no reason to spend a lot of money on one. Choosing an inexpensive paring knife hardly means it's not going to work as well as its pricier counterpart. In fact, you're not likely to notice much difference between a $10 paring knife and one that's $40. It's certainly not going to work four times better.

One writer's favorite paring knife: Elizabeth's Favorite Knife: Wusthof 3 1/2-inch Paring Knife

The $10 Sweet Spot

Yes, just $10, often even less, will get you a decent paring knife. And at that price we're happy to stock up on a few. This is our go-to tool for small jobs, like hulling strawberries, coring tomatoes, and mincing shallots.

See Faith's favorite cheap paring knife in this list: How to Set Up Your First Kitchen for Less Than $300

With an average blade that's three to four inches long, these small knives should have a sharp blade and pointed tip, and feel lightweight — all qualities you'll still find at a low price. Cheap paring knives might not look as sexy as their pricey counterparts, but they get the job done all the same.

Read More: 5 More Ways to Use a Paring Knife

Like all knives, cheap or expensive, the edge of the blade will dull with use over time. This is where you have a choice to make. Along with our chef's knife, we like to get even our cheapest paring knife sharpened. This can cost about the same, or more, than buying a new knife, so for some it may prove worthwhile to simply invest in a new version or learn how to sharpen the knife at home.

Do you have a favorite paring knife? Was it a budget find?

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