“Petty” which is derived from the French word “petite”, refers to a paring knife or utility knife. Petty knife is the perfect wingman of chef knife. The use of a small petty knife can often be more convenient for people who feel uncomfortable using large knives.

Powerful and versatile, this knife is an essential in the kitchen. Often described as a smaller Gyuto knife, the Petty knife is a versatile workhouse knife that is not to be confused with the paring knife. However, its proportions result in a greater size to control ratio, which makes this knife difference from others.

We will explore this type of knife in more detail below.


When Western style cooking became more popular and eating meat became more common in Japan in the late 19th century, the Petty knife was invented. In addition to its roots in French knives, the name Petty is often attributed to the word “petite”, which means small in French. Throughout its history, the Petty knife has earned a place among the most used knives in any chef’s kitchen. Japanese paring knife can sometimes be mistaken for the Petty knife, but it has a longer blade.


Japanese petty knives are small utility knives. There is a wide range of sizes and profiles available for petty knives, ranging from 3 inches to 8 inches. The difference between a petty knife and a paring knife cannot be clearly defined, although petty knives are often considered to be better suited for small, delicate tasks on a cutting board, whereas paring knives are more suitable for hand-held use.


Petty knives are one of the most widely used knives by chefs. They are capable of performing a wide range of tasks that require greater finesse and control. A Petty knife is typically smaller in size than other chef’s knives, such as the Gyuto or Bunko knives, and is used for tasks such as peeling, cutting, trimming fat from meat, or even deboning chickens. Its fine tip makes it ideal for coring fruit. This knife has a short blade that allows it to be finely handled for tasks such as removing the skin from tenderloins, skinning and slicing salmon sashimi, as well as cutting off-board/in hand. We can say like this, Gyuto represents the sword, and Petty represents the dagger.