Utility/Petty Knife

Utility/Petty Knife

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

A little ripper but not as small as you think at a length of 152mm or 6 inches! It is an essential knife in the kitchen. Like a nimble young roo the Petty knife is small yet packs a punch! But unlike a joey, this knife is no baby! Its size makes it easier for you to wield but as it is made with premium Japanese hard steel it is just as sharp and just as useful. Not to be confused with the paring knife, the Petty knife is a versatile workhouse and is often described as a smaller Chef’s Knife. However, it is so much more as due to its proportions it has a higher size:control ratio allowing you to carry out finer tasks like deboning a chicken.


Not to be overlooked, the Petty is one of the most used knives by professional chefs. Its name came from the French word ‘petite’ but its range of use is not at all small, the petty knife can be used for a wide range of tasks that requires more finesse and control. Due to its smaller size the Petty is often used for peeling or cutting fruit, trimming the fat off meat and even tasks like deboning chicken. Our Petty Knife has the same blade profile as the full sized Chef’s Knife so it can also be used for chopping methods like the rapid rocking technique. Its fine tip is ideal for coring fruit. Its shorter blade ensures finer wielding for tasks like removing the silverskin from tenderloins, skinning and slicing fish, and various off-board/in-hand cutting.

The Australian Joeys:

The term ‘joey’ refers to the young of any marsupial, however it’s most commonly used for a junior kangaroo or wallaby. Female kangaroos have one offspring at a time, at birth they are smaller than a cherry! But with true blue Aussie battler spirit, the little ripper will immediately crawl up its mother’s fur and into her pouch where it will spend the next eight months! The wonders of Mother Nature! As the joey grows its head and feet can often be seen hanging out of the pouch. When joeys are too young to get out of the pouch the mother roo will lick her pouch to remove dirt, urine (and other solids), what a sheila, that’s a true act of maternal love!

This knife is small like an ankle-biter with a blade length of 152mm (6 inches). However, in truth like a joey is a compact bundle of muscle, its size is its power, due to its shorter length it is far more flexible and versatile than our Big Red Chef’s Knife. Joeys although small soon grow sharp claws to defend themselves and forage for food. The Big Red Knives’ Petty Knife is the same but crafted with the same Japanese high-carbon VG-10 hard steel and sharped to the same razor-sharpness, this knife is an equal contender to slicing any tomato as its larger Big Red counterparts. A real trooper!

JOEY FACT: Joeys is the name of the Australian Men’s Under 17 International Soccer team!


Collection: Big Red Knives

Manufacturer: Koi Knives 

Made in Australia with Japanese steel

Blade steel: VG-10 Japanese hard steel core with Stainless Steel cladding

Blade length: 152mm

Handle wood: All local but varies from wood of olive trees, Shiraz grapevines from McLaren Vale (wine region of South Australia) to specially sourced wood Australian deserts. 

Handle length: 133mm

Aussie Knives by Aussies:

“That’s not a knife, THAT’S a knife” now we all know the memorable quote from Crocodile Dundee but his Bowie knife though good for hunting is not ideal for use in the kitchen. In fact, as far as Aussie knives made by Aussies go and in the words of our bladesmith Shannon “there’s nothing like it that exists.”

We are a local Australian company of two, Shannon and Ramon. Our story began in the dry Adelaide Hills with our parents, Shannon’s father was a blacksmith and Ramon has an affinity with Japanese culture as his parents met in Japan. Combined with our love for knives, cooking and making things from local materials, we came up with a unique idea of making traditional Japanese knives with an Australian twist. Since then our company Koi Knives have been making knives for several years we have made a range of 12 Japanese knives. However, many have asked us to make a range of Western knives. Initially, we were hesitant as Western knives are made with softer steel, they tend to be less sharp and also blunt quicker. Where’s our true Aussie early settlers’ pioneering spirit we thought? This is not a challenge! This is an opportunity! We decided to give the idea a fair suck of the bottled sauce and a fair crack of the whip. From there we began designing and eventually crafting this new range. Instead of western steels, we stuck with a Japanese hard high-carbon VG-10 steel as the core of the knife but designed with a Western-style grip.

Our knife shed as our HMS Endeavour, we hit the shores of our expedition with this new set of Aussie knives. The first and finest truly Australian knives are crafted here locally by your two local blokes. We sought to pay homage to our land and our native animals with this set. To create a truly unique and Australia product the shape and form of each knife was modelled after a specially chosen iconic native animal which we also emboss onto the steel at the end.


The core of the blade is made entirely of VG-10 is a type of Japanese hard steel, it is  cutlery-grade steel with a high carbon content containing 1% Carbon, 15% Chromium, 1% Molybdenum, 0.2% Vanadium, and 1.5% Cobalt. The ‘G’ in VG-10 stands for Gold, as an indicator of the premium standard of quality. This core is then sharpened to razor sharpness and then cladded with the same steel for protection and longevity. After this, we smelt three layers of sandblasted stainless steel on the top section of the blade for a gun-mental steel finish. The sandblasting also on a practical level provide micro air cavities which prevent vegetables from sticking to the blade while cutting. The final result is like the Australian landscape in a blade, from the scorching sands to shimmering shore: from the spine, the darker sandblasted steel tapers down from the grind line to reveal shiny stainless steel before a dancing line glints off the clad edge to the razor-sharp cutting edge.


These Aussie knives are part of our Full Tang Clan. Full tang is when the steel of the blade runs all the way through the handle instead of Partial Tang where the steel might end partway through. Full tang allows for more force to be applied without a risk of the knife snapping at the bolster (the base where the blade transitions to the handle). Our knives are very sharp so less force would have to be applied in any case, however, we chose the full tang design in keeping with the aesthetics of Western knives and to set this collection apart from our Japanese Koi Knives. Functionality was designed into the handle with different grips in mind to fit ambidextrously and snugly in your hand. When using a "Handle In Hand Grip" the bevel contours seamlessly from fingers to palm. When using the "Pinch Grip" the smooth transition from handle to blade forms a great comfortable position to pinch the knife.

One of the elements we are most proud of is our signature resin-infused handles crafted with local woods. Each handle is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. All the wood is sourced locally, typically in South Australia’s wine region and varies from the wood from olive trees to Shiraz grapevines, however we have even gathered Gidgee wood from the Simpson Desert. These handles are made with resin in a range of different colours, we feel very strongly about pairing certain colours to the animal that inspired the knife.


Petty Knife



After each use: 

Simply wipe down in warm soapy water, dry and place on a knife rack away from humidity. Job done!

Long term maintenance:

Big Red Knives are made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core and therefore has a higher carbon content than the average Western kitchen knives. This lends the knives their particular long lasting sharpness, however they also like to be kept dry when not in use and should not be exposed extensively to heat, hot water or ambient high humidity. They should most definitely never be put into the dishwasher or other such nonsense. Each knife was made with love, so please take care of them for us!


Knives made with a VG-10 Japanese steel core are harder at the edge, this means less honing is needed but should instead be professionally sharpened and ideally with a whetstone. Depending on frequency of use, the knife may need to be sharpened by a professional every 3-6 months for most people. We have an extensive list of sharpeners we can recommend in every state if you’d like to contact us.


Similarly, the handle was crafted with resin and coated with a polish that also should not be soaked in hot water. Extended exposure to hot water may damage the polish on the handle that is the protective shield for the wood and resin. Over the years, if the handle starts to look a bit dull a small amount of furniture polish may be used to buff back the shine.


For more information on knife maintenance please see our page: https://www.koiknives.com/pages/maintenance

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Australian "Joey" Know How