Do you have any petty knives?

Does this Kramer 13 cm utility knife qualify or is it too narrow bladed ?

Does my Wüsthof Classic Ikon creme 16 cm chef’s knife qualify as a petty knife ?

I have this Wusthof too, a nice little knife and my wifes favorite, essentially. Due good size and that she can put it in the dishwasher, she says

Huh. These pictured knives aren’t what I’d considered pettys. Maybe the old K-Sab comes closest to my idea of a petty profile.

Petty definitions: confusion reigns supreme


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Yes, I didn’t state them to be petty really either, I know peoples opinions are a bit here and there about this.

“the most petty type of my knives.”

For me the most pettys of thise are the Japanese ktip that was sold to me as a petty and the nogent sabatiers.

Hi Claus,

Nope. Western manufacturers usually connect knives with the same profile with the same name–or associate it with a task–like prepping. Knives that might fit the petty name are usually called utility knives.

The first time I saw this clearly explained was by the testers at ATK.


Hi Claus,

Kramer calls it a utility knife–and I see no reason to call it a petty.


Hi Claus,

This Olympus, IMO, comes closest to being a petty, because the profile is so similar to bigger knives.


Yeah, I think it comes down to whether ‘petty’ just means small(er), or whether it’s a recognized profile (despite what a maker might call it).

Cook’s Illustrated is making its usual hash of it in discussing “petty” versus “utility”

One particular doozer is this: “Petty knives have changed very little. They’re still the exclusive province of Japanese knife manufacturers; if the model has “petty knife” in the name, it’s almost certainly Japanese.”

Again, it’s not all about what the makers call something. It’s the profile. There are many Western-made knives with even the same “small chef” profile that get called “prep knife”. And it’s highly common for the pro cooks who use them to call them pettys.

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Hi Pertti,

Do you agree with the ATK analysis (Youtube above) and the knives chosen?


Hi Ray, she seemed to say something like this:

“historically the petty and utility had very different origins, shapes and advantages… But over time the distinctions have blurred and now both can refer to a mid size prepping knife”

Or something like that. I think we are seeing the last sentence here :D.

The “top 5” in the ATK video looked like what I have thought is a petty indeed.

I have seen people calling small gyutos a petty gyuto and its fine for me, I’m not too picky here and haven’ really studied the petty history, but I would more likely say “1xx mm gyuto” myself.



what’s the difference between a petty knife and a utility knife ?

How about my Zwilling Pro 14 cm mini chefs knife - does this qualify as being a petty knife ?

Just found this article explaining the difference.


Accordning to this article, if it’s true, the only knife of the ones I’ve show here, the Meiji utility knife, does not qualify as a petty knife.

The Wüsthof 16 cm chefs knife should also qualify as a petty knife, since it’s a rather small chefs knife, yet still with the profile of a chefs knife.


by far the best discussion I’ve seen is in the ATK Youtube I posted, and they backed their analysis up by selecting and testing an interesting group of knives on kitchen tasks.

The obvious difference between your Zwilling and the knives they’ve chosen is the hardness of the steel. The knife that placed #1, the Tojiro was sg2 steel.


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So a petty knife has to be a mini version of a bigger chefs knife type knife and has to have a Rockwell larger than 61-62…am I closing in on the definition ?

I honestly only use my medium sized knives for smaller onions and not much else.
So I’ll never be a huge fan of petty nor utility knives.

Hi Claus,

My utilities are either for very specific tasks or members of a team. My most recent team has been in support of my repurposed Deba butcher knife. When I recently prepped a ribeye steak with the deba, I found some material to remove that required my change of pace Shun to cut–and use the serration to separate the waste from the meat.



Hi Ray,

I own 6 Dick knives, which I use solely as butcher and raw meat knives.
They work perfectly for all the tasks I’ve presented for them.
They are cheap and not that luxurious to use, but holy cow are they effective at cutting raw meat.

I’ve never tried a Deba, but as I understand it, a Deba single bevel is made for handling fish and not so much raw meat.

I wash the knives I use for raw meat very very thoroughly, so it suits me perfectly to use rather cheap knives for raw meat handling.
An added bonus that most western butchers world wide use either Dick or Victorinox meat knives, which proves they work admirably.

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I’ve had a Si Lawrence 7" high carbon butcher for over 30 years–and been trying to upgrade for 3 years. Bought a Victorinox butcher knife w/rosewood handle: hated it. Gave it away to a friend to use as his Chef’s knife–and he loves it.

This time I’ve tried a repurposed Deba–and it works proetty well. My American butcher knife is now a backup.


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I bought the dick with the thick plastic handles.
Fits my XL hands quite well.

They are not luxurious knives, but butchers all over the world use them day in and day out.

They just work.

And love the fact that they come in many specialised blade shapes for different sections of the animal you’re cutting.

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