The Japanese Petty Knife: What It Is and How It’s Used

Posted by Amanda Delatorre on

Knives come in all shapes and sizes.  Many cooks use a medium to large sized chef’s knife for the majority of their cutting.  But for lots of purposes, a smaller knife is the one to reach for to make precision cuts and perform detailed knife work.  A petty knife is a good example of a knife to use in this situation. In this post, we’ll go over what you need to know about the Japanese petty knife, including what it is and how it’s used.

What Is a Petty Knife?

Japanese petty knives are small utility knives that typically measure between four and six inches in blade length, about 1-2" longer than a paring knife. This makes them great for producing cuts that are more precise than those you could achieve with a larger chef's knife. Some people also prefer petty knives simply because they’re easy to use. Somewhat like a large paring knife, Japanese petty knives come with both Western-style contoured handles or Japanese style wa handles.  Most styles come in double-bevel, meaning they are sharpened on both sides for a 50/50 balance and can be used in either your right or left hand. Petties are also available in more acute angles like 70/30, which is more suited to right hand use.

What To Use It For

Designed for dexterity, Japanese petty knives’ are great for cutting smaller ingredients with great precision or performing delicate tasks. Petty knives are the go to choice for mincing herbs, slicing vegetables and peeling fruits. The shorter blade is also great for small butchery tasks like deboning poultry and meat. 

Overall, petty knives can serve a wide variety of functions in the kitchen. Their small size allows you to perform all kinds of useful, detailed tasks in the kitchen.  Shop Chubo Knives collection of Japanese petty knives and add one to your collection.  

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