We put the serrated equivalents of our favorite paring knives to the test.
Published May 1, 2015. Appears in America's Test Kitchen TV Season 16: Saucing Up Chicken and Roasting Mushrooms
Our favorite paring knives from Victorinox and Wüsthof are nimble and durable enough to handle most small-knife tasks, but we were curious about their serrated equivalents. We purchased both, plus three other serrated paring knives (priced from about $6 to nearly $60), and used them to segment citrus and slice delicate cherry tomatoes. Serrations are intended to bite into food and then carve a neat, controlled path by using a gentle sawing motion. Two knives utterly failed. Their thick, dull blades struggled to slice through orange peels. Ineffective and unsafe, they went through the flesh off-kilter and required multiple passes to get through tomatoes. But three other knives impressed us with razor-sharp serrations on thin blades that allowed testers to race through tasks neatly and safely. They easily pierced soft tomato skin, nimbly removed the peel from grapefruits and oranges, and segmented the citrus with ease. A traditional paring knife is still an essential piece of equipment for detail work like trimming silverskin off roasts, coring apples, and scraping vanilla beans, but we determined that a serrated version made some tasks even easier. Even the best straight-edged blades squish soft tomatoes a tiny bit, and serrated blades are superior for nicking off tiny bits of orange pith. We’re convinced: Our new serrated winner won us over with its pleasant heft and superior slicing ability. Our Best Buy offers a near-equal blade on a sturdy, lightweight frame, all for a bargain price.
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