What Is a Bird’s Beak Paring Knife, and What Do You Use It For?

The culinary assistant you never knew you needed—until now.

By Emily Borst
Jul 18, 2023
birds beak with strawberries
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Commonly found up and down the line in professional kitchens, the Bird’s Beak Paring Knife is the kitchen assistant you never knew you needed—until now. Featuring a distinct curved blade ideal for handheld peeling and detail work, this small-but-mighty knife is a must-have for anyone wishing that hulling, coring, peeling, and other small tasks could take less time.

Our limited quantity iteration of this best-kept chef’s secret launches this Friday, July 21—act fast to add this to your knife roll.

What Is a Bird’s Beak Knife?

birds beak knife trimming brussels sprouts

The Bird’s Beak Paring Knife—also known as the tourné knife—is named for its distinctive, downturned curved blade that resembles a hawk’s beak. Designed to be a handheld knife (rather than used on a cutting board), the Bird’s Beak is ideal for making quick work of prep tasks, like peeling, hulling, and coring.

The blade is curved to exact maximum precision over whatever ingredient you’re handling, so you can get into the contours of any awkward-shaped vegetable and waste less of it.

Benefits of Using a Bird’s Beak Knife

As an endlessly versatile, adaptable knife, the Bird’s Beak Paring Knife can be used in any number of small-scale applications. Line cooks and professional chefs revere this blade for the quick, efficient work it makes of peeling, trimming, hulling, and coring small ingredients—like mushrooms, string beans, or berries—in addition to its ability to handle precise detail work, like radish roses.

Since it’s designed to be handheld, it increases the control and maneuverability users are able to exact on their ingredients. The cutting edge faces toward the user at all times, so it provides a safe cutting experience where the user knows where the sharp edge is at all times. If you’ve never used a handheld knife like this before, try choking up slightly on the handle so you have more control over the blade.

Key Features of a Bird’s Beak Knife

The most defining (and easily recognizable) design feature of the Bird’s Beak Knife is its curved blade. The second most important feature of these knives is the weight distribution—most of the weight lies in the handle, ensuring the blade is incredibly agile. This is vital for ensuring precise and exact cuts, peels, and cores.

Our handle features an ergonomic design in Limited-Edition White Krion that makes for a secure, comfortable grip in addition to being both beautiful and microbial. This keeps the handle both pure white (no stains!) and sanitary.

Ideal Uses for a Bird’s Beak Knife

With a blade length of 2.72” and a total length of 7.16”, the small stature of this blade works to its advantage in a variety of applications—here’s how.

Precision Tasks

bird's beak peeling apple

The curved blade means tasks that require hacking or uneven cuts with other knives—like peeling and shaping or removing blemishes and eyes—are done with ease and precision.

The sharp edge and curved blade allow for easy, fluid peeling without sacrificing the ingredient underneath, and can often be done in one piece. This means no more hacking at an apple, carrot, or piece of ginger until it’s unrecognizable—instead, you get more of your ingredient.

Removing blemishes and eyes from produce is a necessary fate for almost any ingredient plucked from a farmer’s market, but with other knives it can be a cumbersome task. Thanks to the pointed tip and agile blade, you can make surgical incisions and remove the blemish without taking too much of the ingredient with you.

Detail-oriented Techniques

birds beak detail cuts

Techniques that demand a good deal of skill can be tricky to complete with large blades, but that’s where the Bird’s Beak comes in. Garnishes, intricate designs, tourné cuts, and any other detail-oriented technique often demands a small, agile blade like the Bird’s Beak to ensure maximum precision.

Small Scale Tasks

birds beak peeling orange

In addition to handling tasks that require detail and precision, the Bird’s Beak is designed to handle just about anything small-scale. This means that tasks that bigger knives can be clumsy—or downright dangerous—to use for just got easier, from deveining shrimp to peeling garlic or mushrooms.

Ready to Shop?

You don’t need to be a line cook to justify having a Bird’s Beak in your knife roll—you simply need to work with small-scale ingredients on a semi-regular basis. Launching this Friday, 7/21 at 10 AM ET, the Limited-Edition White Krion Bird’s Beak Paring Knife makes prep a breeze. Join the waitlist to be among the first to know when it goes live.