Petite chef knives are great for cutting smaller fruits, dicing vegetables, and mincing smaller meat portions in the kitchen. They are also the ideal chef knives for cooks with smaller hands or those who aren’t comfortable with a larger knife.
A standard petite chef knife usually measures less than 8 inches, preferably between 6-7.5 inches. That allows for better balance, grip, and versatile use where a regular chef knife isn’t preferred.
So, continue reading to find more use cases for a petite chef knife and my recommended picks.
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What Size of Chef Knife Is the Best?
An 8-inch chef knife is considered the kitchen standard since this length can handle a wide range of activities and works well with most users.
However, the best chef knife size depends on individual users, the operation, and their preferred knife handling mode. Thus, chef knives smaller than the standard 8 inches can also be considered.
Still, I’ll recommend that everyone has one 8-inch chef knife in their kitchen and learn how to use it, even after getting a chef knife.
What Are the Best Petite Chef Knives on the Market?
I was surprised to find multiple brands offering knives in this size range. Unfortunately, most were just created for marketing and didn’t bring any actual value.
For the ones I reviewed and picked, find out what they did better and differently below.
|Price & Discounts
|Wusthof Classic 6’ Chef Knife
|Great for right- and left-hand use; Full bolster for improved safety; Good edge retention; Full tang + riveted handle; Made in Germany
|Check on Amazon
|Zwilling Professional “S” 6’ Chef Knife
|High carbon stainless steel
|Full tang with rivets; Full bolster; Ergonomic handle for smaller hands; Made in Germany
|Check on Amazon
|Shun Premier 6’ Chef Knife
|VG-Max stainless steel
|Japanese chef knife; Lightweight and nimble; Premium Pakkawood handle
|Check on Amazon
Wusthof Classic 6’ Chef Knife – Best Petite Chef Knife for Right and Left-Hand Use
Wusthof’s petite chef knife is sharpened on both sides of the edge, so it’s excellent for double-handed usage.
Besides that, I like that the manufacturer included a full bolster for improved knife safety. This makes it possible for users with bigger hands to rest their thumbs safely or press in to make deeper cuts with the knife.
Not that you’ll need to do that plenty of times, though, given the sharpness of the knife blade itself.
The signature Wusthof steel formula comes with this knife for good edge retention and durability. Still, you’ll have to take good care of the blade.
For example, it’s officially stated that this knife is dishwasher safe, but I’ll NEVER take it to the dishwasher if I were you. If in doubt, look at this knives and dishwashers guide to know why.
With that out of the way, this remains one of the finest German petite chef knives you can buy. Especially if you want a double-handed usage knife.
Zwilling Professional “S” 6’ Chef Knife – Best for Cooks with Small Hands
Zwilling’s Professional “S” 6’ chef knife is preferred for cooks with smaller hands. I chose it over the Wusthof above for smaller hand cooks because the handle here is thinner without feeling flimsy.
Thus, it’s more ergonomic for smaller hands.
However, before getting this blade, know that the core steel is high carbon stainless steel.
Of course, you get
- Superior cutting ability
- High edge retention rates
- Improved durability
- Smoother knife overall operations.
Still, you need to know how to take good care of a high-carbon stainless steel knife. Even though Zwilling mentioned that this is a no-stain and non-rusting steel, I prefer to defer to my knowledge on this core steel.
That said, I like that this twin knife is one of the made-in-Germany models, not those Zwilling outsources to China. Although the same quality control is claimed across both locations, I prefer the German-made ones.
So, if you’re in the market for a petite chef knife that’ll fit your smaller hands, this is the one.
Shun Premier 6’ Chef Knife – Best Petite Japanese Chef Knife
My in-depth review of Shun’s Premier line shows that they’re great knives and from a reputable brand too. Thus, I wasn’t going to pass up choosing this well-made Japanese chef knife.
Of course, it’s not a santoku but a proper chef knife made in Japan. However, you shouldn’t get this knife if you’re not big on extra knife designs and aesthetics.
Fortunately, I’ve never seen this impact the quality of use of these knives.
Another selling point for this knife is its weight or lack thereof. Such nimble feeling is a trademark of Japanese knives, but you might not like it if you want a weightier knife. In that case, you should prefer any of the other two above.
Lest I forget, Shun uses its signature VG-Max steel here. It builds on the success of the VG10 steel to add more corrosion resistance, sharp edge, and improved edge retention.
Still, you’ll have to take good care of this blade like you would a high carbon stainless steel knife.
With that out of the way, I have no major gripes with this knife.
Do You Need a Petite Chef Knife?
That’s a decision you’ll have to make by yourself.
If you find regular chef knives bigger for your hand, get a petite chef knife to improve meal prep. Likewise, you’ll need a small chef knife if your standard-size chef knife is too big for cutting, mincing, dicing, and chopping operations in the kitchen.
In that case, I’ll recommend the Wusthof 6-Inch Chef Knife for its sturdiness, ease of use, durability, and impressive edge retention.