Best peeler and pairing knife?

What is your favorite type of peeler, and for which kind of vegetable?

Also, what’s your favorite brand of pairing knife? What do you look for in a pairing knife blade?

Paring knife from Germany.

Peeler from Switzerland.


There are several of these peelers on the market, I have two, one Star and I believe one Rex. Both of mine have carbon blades, which stay sharp even after multiple years. They (the blades) will turn black though. The body is stainless steel. I use these peelers for everything, from apples to hard pumpkins. For me it’s important that a peeler works quickly, is sharp, and can do lots of peeling at once.

Paring knife: blade should stay sharp for a long time and should be able to get sharp again quickly using e.g. a wetstone. That’s why I have the carbon steel one, not the stainless steel one. Should feel good in the hand. For me this is the perfect paring knife, the blade is relatively long and thin, meaning I can even use it to slice produce on a board, e.g. a courgette. But it’s also small enough to do in hand cutting, e.g. an apple.

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Peeler: Rex or Star. Hard to find, but the peelers with stainless steel blades are worth the search. They cut just as well but require much less care. Drying a carbon steel peeler blade is quite a test of ingenuity. I use the peeler chiefly on carrots, potatoes, jicama, and mangos, occasionally on asparagus. As to the parer, I love the very fine point and the incredible edge the blade takes and holds.

Parer: Carbon steel Nogent with 7 cm blade.


Why only occasionally though? I always use these peelers for asparagus.

Last year I went to a nearby farmer who is growing asparagus each year. I could buy already peeled asparagus - at a price premium - but the guy looked in disbelief when I told him I could peel a pound in less than a minute.

Because some of the really young stalks are tender enough that peeling is not needed. I get wonderful vegetables at my grocery store.


Interesting, thanks. With those kind of peelers, what do you do about the craters and indents in potatoes? Do you also use a pairing knife? I know and have used stick peelers with points on the ends to gouge out those indents.

My little Henckels peeler that doesn’t rotate.

Continue peeling until the crater/indent is gone. This is also a good solution as the potato continues to have an integral shape, instead of having a hole out of it. If you look at those peelers you will see a little thingie at the upper end, on the side. That thing is meant to take out craters/indents but as I said, I just continue peeling.

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The Atlas and Star have no issues with the bumps, divots, etc. on potatoes.

I’ve been using a peeler like this for about 40 years, called “Ekco Nee Action” and it works great for me. It was handed down from a grandmother who used it who knows how long. It’s stamped with a patent granted in 1941, so it would have been covered by the patent until 1958. But it may have been made later than 1958 because companies seldom changed stamping dies just because of a patent expiration.


We’ve also got Kitchenaid and Farberware (stock image farberware below - but the KA has same design). Theoretically these should perform about the same as the Ekco but try as I might, I can’t seem to get the blades to bite consistently well into the skin of potatoes or what not. This appears to be an “operator error” problem as my family members have no trouble with these newer ones.

Paring knife is a toss-up between this Zwilling pro-S 4-inch and the little red guy in the stock photo below, which is a cheap Wusthof 3-inch. I like the Zwilling overall but if I need flexibility I’ll reach for the 3-inch. Also for long jobs it’s easier on my hand. A week ago I butchered a whole top round, about 20 pounds, using the 3-inch. It was only after I had it all cleaned up and the muscles parted out that I reached for a slicing knife to cut the steaks.


Interesting. Are you guys only peeling the woody ends? I’ve not peeled asparagus to simply have a peeled veggie. What I mean is, I’ve only used a peeler on asparagus if I wanted thin sheets for a garnish or something.

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On thickish stalks, if I peel a bit of the woody outside layers at the bottom, I can have a longer tender stalk. I would not peel just for appearance.


I’m in Europe, where white asparagus are a big thing. These you need to peel all the way to just under the head. Green asparagus I usually eat as is, or peel only when the lower stalk is thick. The woody bottom part I always cut/break off, whether green or white.


I recall it being a big deal in DE when I happened to have business there in May or June. But I always thought (and still read) that in general, the white is the same as the green, just grown without sunlight?

So I wonder what makes it tougher - maybe being covered in loose soil affects the skin? But I’ve also not seen the white version that wasn’t at least as thick as my thumb, so maybe it all just comes down to it being a heavier piece.

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I like the full bolster that is on @CCE’s Zwilling. I have both 3 and 4 inch Four Stars (which have DW safe handles).

My slicers are pretty generic… a Faberware side slicer with a floating stainless blade, and a really generic solid corer/peeler/scraper. Both work fine, but short of carrots, asparagus, and potatoes I don’t use them much as I prefer to peel fruits with a knife.

Yeah. I know some don’t like a full bolster, or don’t need one, but I do. My most common sloppy-work cut is to my right index finger, with it sliding across the heel on all my other Zwilling knives[1]. I’m not sure when Zwilling changed the pro-S to full bolster, but none of my older stuff (6, 8-in chef’s, boning, and “Santoku” style) has full bolster. But this paring knife I got sometime later (maybe 20 years?) and all the new stuff I’ve been buying for my daughters does have the full bolster. This below is an 8-inch pro-S that I got for #2 daughter (saving for Christmas) - how’s that for a fat bolster/finger guard?

[1] I guess a fix for my slipping finger is to simply not sharpen the last ~ 5 mm ahead of the heel?

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I think my Four Stars are from 30+ years ago. I have nine in my block from 10" to 3", and all have full bolsters (except for the cleaver). I have just grown so accustomed to the fit of my thumb and index finger around it, I would never consider another knife without one.

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That Ecko peeler was the first one I ever bought, in college. You never forget your first peeler …:joy:

I thought it was magical! My mom didn’t have one. She peeled with a paring knife, everything braced against her thumb, just like my grandmother did. Terrifying!


Quality doesn’t really matter when it comes to peeler and/or pairing knives.

Most peelers are cheap (quality wise), and should be replaced at least annually, if not every 6 months (depending on how often you use them).

With pairing knives, how well they function is really a function of the user, and not so much the knife itself.