Small knife for peeling, mincing and precise cutting. Drop-forged carbon steel takes and keeps a sharper edge longer. Taper-ground edge. Handmade in Solingen, Germany.
Paring knives are the most versatile of small knives. Their size makes them easy to maneuver, and they work just as well for peeling fruits and vegetables in your hand as they do for on-the-board slicing and mincing. If you’re only going to have three knives in your drawer, a good paring knife should be one of them.
The carbon steel blade on this knife means a harder metal which can be ground to a thinner and sharper edge — and it will hold that razor sharp edge for a long time. However, the carbon content also means the blades develop oxidized stains and are prone to rust if not maintained properly. Despite this, carbon steel knives continue to have a dedicated following. It is simply a better cutting tool and maintaining them really isn’t that challenging.
Before there was stainless steel, if you wanted to make something sharp, you made it with carbon steel. Windmuehlenmesser has been making carbon steel knives since 1872 in the German city of Solingen, a place that has been known for blades since the Medieval era, and where sharpness of edge and quality of material is literally decreed by law.
The blade of the paring knife is 85 mm (3.34 inches) long, with a riveted copper cherrywood handle that was chosen for being lightweight and easy to move around. That, and because the grain and deep red color are beautiful.
Windmuehlenmesser knives are taper ground, as opposed to the steep and narrow bevel of industrially produced knives. The knife’s blade is a single piece of metal that seamlessly gets sharper and thinner from heel to tip, and from spine to cutting edge. This technique creates a more stable, sharper, longer-lasting edge, and is the artisanal grind that made Solingen knives famous. Today, few craftsmen, even in Solingen, still grind blades these way, but Windmuehlenmesser’s master grinder, Wilfried Fehrekampf, has been doing it for fifty years and is passing the skill down to his team of journeymen and apprentices.