Petty Knives Australia

Petty Knives Australia

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

Petty Knives Australia

Petty knives refer to small Japanese utility knives that are used for delicate or intricate work in the kitchen such as peeling or cutting small vegetables, herbs and fruits.

The Petty knife is the Japanese take on the western paring knife. It is also treated as a Japanese utility knife. In Japanese, the Petty knife is simply transliterated as ‘Petti Naifu’ in a nod to its Western provenance. It is a highly versatile knife that you can put into multiple uses in the kitchen. The Petty knife is generally larger than the western paring knife but it is smaller than the Japanese chef’s knife, gyuto, and the western chef’s knife. 

It is a very convenient utility knife to have in your kitchen. They are small knives with lengths typically varying from 80mm to 180mm. The most common lengths for Petty knives are usually in the range of 120-150mm. As a multi-purpose utility knife, you can put the Petti Naifu into a number of uses. It can be used on vegetables, herbs, fish, chicken, and fruits. Here is a rundown of some of the most common questions that users typically ask about the Petty knife. 

What is the Petty Knife? 

The Petty Knife or Petti Naifu is a Japanese utility knife or paring knife for handling small and delicate tasks in the kitchen. It is smaller than the Gyuto and the Western chef’s knife. In fact, some chefs treat the Petty knife as a smaller Gyuto knife. The knives derive their ‘Petty’ name from the French word ‘petit’ which means ‘small’ or ‘little’. 

In the kitchen, you can use this versatile multipurpose knife as an all-rounder to do all kinds of small kitchen tasks such as slicing, peeling, dicing, and mincing. You can also use Petty knives for trimming and peeling various small fruits as well as to cut herbs, vegetables, proteins, and garnishes. 

Where does the Petty Knife Fit in Your Kitchen? 

The Petty Knife is a utility knife so you can put it into a wide variety of small kitchen tasks thanks to its versatility and compact size. If you are looking for a reliable utility knife or a paring knife, you won’t go wrong with the Petty knife. 

How long is the Petty Knife?

The sizes of the Petty knives vary widely. The lengths of these Japanese utility knives range from 80mm to 180mm. The most common sizes for Petty knives which are suitable for most users lie in the range 120mm to 150mm and 80mm to 90mm clusters. The length of the blade that you choose will depend on what you want to use the knife for. If you are looking for a Petty knife for use in peeling smaller fruits and vegetables in your hand or doing some fine and intricate tip work on your chopping board, then size of 80 to 90mm would suffice. 

If you have smaller hands and find the Gyuto knives unwieldy, you can use a larger Petty knife of sizes ranging from 120mm to 150mm as an alternative to the gyuto knife, an all-rounder for cutting everything from fish to boneless meat, vegetables, herbs, and fruits. The 120mm to 150mm Petty knives will also come in handy if you have a smaller workspace in your kitchen. 

What is the typical spine width of the Petty Knife? 

Like the other Japanese chef’s knives, petty knives have thicker spines that taper off towards the edge. Typical spine widths can be 1.5mm which will taper off midway to the tip and is finally thinnest at the tip. Small spine thickness is particularly important in Petty knives as a thicker spine will feel dull when you are using this utility knife in tasks such as peeling fruits since more metal has to be pulled through the fruit being cut or peeled when the spine is thicker. You would want a slim spine width of at most 1.3mm or less to get the most efficient cuts with your Petty knife. 

What is the blade profile of the Petty Knife like

The Petty knife shares a similar blade profile to the Gyuto chef’s knife. It is no wonder that it is often regarded as a smaller version of the gyuto. The heel is taller and flatter and there is a slight curve towards the front edge of the blade that leads to the knife’s pointed tip. The flatter heel of the Petty knife will suit different kinds of chopping styles including thrust-cutting. Their slight belly leading to the blade’s tip can be used for fine rock-cutting actions. You can also make delicate cuts with the Petty knife’s pointed tip. 

What is the Petty Knife Best Suited for/What Does it Cut?

Like other utility knives, Petty knives are better suited for doing the smaller tasks in the kitchen like slicing or dicing your fruits and vegetables as well as herbs. You can also use them to do some light butchery work or to make the delicate and precision cuts.

The particular use-case will depend on the length of the Petty knife. The cluster of shorter Petty knives have lengths ranging from 80mm to 90mm and are perfect for peeling or paring your fruits and vegetables in hand. These shorter utility knives are also suited for off-board cutting as well as for making the fine and precise cuts on your chopping board like slicing herbs, garnishes, or brunoise cuts. 

The larger cluster of Petty knives lies in the size range of 120mm to 150mm. It is in these slightly longer blade lengths where these knives are most versatile. Some professional chefs and home cooks regard these Japanese Knives as a miniature Gyuto chef’s knives. Like the gyuto knives, the larger knives are multi-use knives that you can apply on different kinds of produce. They come in handy in tasks like filleting small fish, trimming meat, or to cut and dice fruits and vegetables. Petty knives can also be used for light butchery work. You will need Petty knives in a kitchen where there is little space and the knife’s small and compact size will take up little space on your board and still provide you with a versatile knife that you can use on a variety of tasks. 

What is the Petty Knife Not Suited For?

These are obviously small and delicate knives and are not suited for heavy-duty work in the kitchen. For that, you will need bigger kitchen knives.  

What is the Petty Knife’s Core Strengths?

The Petty knife is a versatile kitchen workhorse that is preferred by many line cooks working in professional kitchens due to its versatility and its small compact size.

Who Should Use the Petty Knife/Who Does this Knife Match/Does it Suit You? 

Petty knives can be used by professional chefs looking for versatile utility knives or paring knives that are compact, sharp, and relatively lightweight. Petty knives take very little space and are generally used by line cooks and chefs in professional kitchens who leverage their versatility to perform various kitchen tasks.

Petty knives will work best for chefs and home cooks who: -

  • Have limited workspace
  • Need a smaller utility knife or paring knife which they can promptly use where the Western chef’s knife or a gyuto knife would be unwieldy.
  • Have smaller hands and want a smaller and lightweight alternative to gyuto knives.

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