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Behind the Design: Bird’s Beak Paring Knife

Think outside the knife block with this uniquely shaped chef favorite.

By Rachel Robey
Jul 6, 2023
bird's beak paring knife peeled orange
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Reminiscent of a miniature scythe—or, according to some at Made In HQ, a “velociraptor claw”—the bird’s beak paring knife isn’t commonly found in home kitchens. Their natural habitat is found in the restaurant kitchen, where they’re used daily by chefs up and down the line to quickly trim, peel, and prep ingredients.

To encourage more home cooks to take advantage of this small-but-mighty blade, we designed our own perfect variation. Ahead of its launch on July 21, here’s what stands out.

Curved, Beak-Like Shape

birds beak with strawberries

As you’d expect, professional chefs are more discerning about their tools than we poor home cooks, and few of them would be caught without a bird’s beak paring knife—or tourné knife—in their roll. It’s speedy, nimble, and uniquely shaped—one look at this knife and you can understand where its English name came from.

A lot of cooks are intimidated by its sharp, downward curved “beak,” but therein lies its advantage over other knives. The exaggerated curvature of the blade is calculated precisely, giving you unparalleled control and a host of other benefits:

  1. It allows for streamlined handheld use, so you can ditch the cutting board and minimize time spent on dull prep work.
  2. It lets you easily follow the contours of whatever you’re peeling—even ginger—so you waste less of it.

Razor Thin (and Sharp) Blade

birds beak peeling ginger

The thinness of the blade is perfect for detail work, while the pointed tip allows you to make fine cuts with surgical precision. This is particularly helpful for tasks like hulling and coring, and makes it incredibly lightweight and easy to maneuver.

Because it’s designed to be used with the blade facing towards you, you always know exactly where that sharp edge is—which actually makes it safer. For even more control, you may want to choke up on the blade slightly. Employ a pinch grip by gently curling your fingers around the lower part of the blade’s spine while using your thumb to secure the knife.

When used correctly, it’s just as effective as a peeler—more dexterous, too.

Perfect Weight Distribution

birds beak knife trimming brussels sprouts

Finally, and arguably most importantly, is the Knife’s weight distribution. Most of the weight rests in the handle, which means the blade remains incredibly agile. This ensures you can make confident cuts that make the most of the thin, sharp, and beak-like blade, even with the most fiddly tasks.

The handle—available in our classic Made In Red, Harbour Blue, and Black as well as a new stonelike Marbled White—offsets the lightness of the blade. It has heft but isn’t heavy, so you can maintain a solid grip without running the risk of clunky, uneven cuts.

Each handle is poreless and naturally antimicrobial, which serves to prevent staining and improve sanitation. However, only the Knives featuring the Limited-Edition Marbled White handle come with engraved numbering—0001 through 1,000—right on the blade.

Ready to Shop?

Whatever kind of cook, baker, grillmaster, or mixologist you are, the Bird’s Beak Paring Knife will quickly become one of the tools you reach for most—equally useful (and speedy) whether you’re trimming mushrooms, prepping garnishes, or carving elaborate radish roses. Discover your favorite way to use the Bird’s Beak Paring Knife when it launches on July 21.