The Petty Knife

The Petty Knife

Posted by Ramon Elzinga on

An essential knife in the kitchen, like an Olympic gymnast the Petty knife is petite, powerful and packs a punch. Not to be confused with the paring knife, the Petty knife is a versatile workhouse and is often described as a smaller Gyuto knife. However, it is so much more as due to its proportions it has a higher size:control ratio. If the Gyuto is the sword, than the Petty is the dagger.

One of the most used knives by chefs, the petty knife can be used for a wide range of tasks that requires more finesse and control. Due to its smaller size compared to the other chef’s knives such as the Gyuto or Bunko knives, the Petty is often used for peeling or cutting fruit, trimming the fat off meat and even tasks like deboning chicken. 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 salmon sashimi, and various off-board/in-hand cutting.

The Petty knife originated in the late 19th century Meiji era Japan when Western style cooking was celebrated and eating meat became more commonplace. It was developed from the French office knife couteau d’office, and the name Petty was often thought to have derived from the word petite. Since its inception the Petty knife has gained its place as one of the most used knives in a chefs kitchen, essential for finer tasks. The Petty knife is also sometimes referred to as the Japanese paring knife, but unlike Western paring knives it is longer in length.

The Australian twist on Japanese tradition:
In the dry Adelaide Hills, as the bright noon reaches its zenith and the sun glints off the rippling bevel of the meticulously crafted blade the first of the Koi Knives was born. It was a unique idea made in the unique timezone (UTC +9:30) of South Australia. Traditional Japanese knives made with Japanese steel but with the highest Australian craftsmanship. A company created by two school friends Shannon and Ramon, they sought to create a quality Australian product.

After the Gyuto knife, the Petty knife was one of the first knives made by the duo. It forms part of the three Japanese Knives Starter Collection along with the Gyuto and Bunka Bocho knives. Petty knives can vary significantly in size, often ranging from 75mm to 210mm. The Koi Knives’ Petty has a blade length of XXmm with a similar blade profile to the Gyuto, this was especially formulated for optimal control and versatility, whilst also retaining the familiarity of use from the Gyuto. Like other Koi Knives the Petty is made with high-carbon Damascus Steel (AUS10), its higher carbon content lends its crisp sharpness yet being a form of stainless steel it is more durable than traditional pure carbon-steels.

Koi knives’ signature handles:
Pairing tradition with new innovation is the resin-infused local woods that make up the unique Koi Knives’ handles. Each handle is one of a kind and cannot be replicated. The wood is sourced locally in South Australia’s wine region and varies from the wood from olive trees to Shiraz grapevines.

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:
Koi Knives are made with Damascus Steel (AUS10) 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 Damascus Steel 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.

The Petty Knife

For more information on knife maintenance please see our page:

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