America's Test Kitchen LogoCook's Country LogoCook's Illustrated Logo

Why I Love My Serrated Paring Knife (and You Will, Too)

I use this inexpensive little knife almost as frequently as my chef’s knife. (And it makes a great holiday gift.)

Published Dec. 3, 2021.

I test kitchen equipment for a living so I’ve had a lot of discussions about what home cooks really need. Air fryers? Maybe. Watermelon slicer? No. Serrated paring knives? Yes. 

Some people say that serrated knives aren’t necessary if you keep your chef’s knife and paring knife sharp. That’s true—but there’s a big IF in that sentence. How many of us keep our knives sharp? And even if we do, good serrated knives make things much easier. All those sharp teeth bite into food, allowing you to glide through squishy produce or crusty bread with ease.

Victorinox Swiss Army 4” Serrated Paring Knife

This slim and lightweight knife is both comfortable in hand and incredibly effective. And it costs about 10 bucks.  
Buy Now

When I tested serrated paring knives, I put five models through a variety of tests. A couple were so dull and clunky, they cut crooked. No thanks. Two models were excellent. Of them, I actually prefer the bargain-priced Best Buy: the Victorinox Swiss Army 4” Serrated Paring Knife. Its handle is slim and lightweight, so it practically disappears in my hand.

This is an essential quality for any paring knife because you often use them for detail work in the air, off of the cutting board. I use it to remove the stems from strawberries or tomatoes. It nimbly maneuvers around the exterior of oranges, separating the peel from the fruit, and makes it easy to segment the fruit. I hate wasting food, so I love that this knife leaves very little citrus behind.

Sign up for the Well-Equipped Cook newsletter

Shop smarter with our ATK Reviews team's expert guides and recommendations.

You can use it for any small, delicate or crunchy food that you don’t want to squish. It’s great for cutting lime or lemon wedges for drinks (pair it with our favorite bar board) or slicing a baguette. If you have young kids, you can halve a bunch of grapes in a few seconds. It’s also adept at slicing dense salami or summer sausage. 

This little wonder costs about 10 bucks and has stayed sharp after years of almost daily use in my kitchen.

Want to be a smarter shopper and become a better cook? Start a free trial to access all of our rigorous, unbiased product reviews.

This is a members' feature.