At first glance, the shape of the classic paring knife seems to make sense. A great big curved chef's knife is for cutting, hacking, and chopping large things, so to cut, hack, and chop small things, I'd want to use a small version of a chef's knife, right? The thing is, I don't use a paring knife for cutting, hacking, and chopping. I use it for peeling, brunoise-ing, thin slicing, and generally performing the type of precision knife work that a large chef's knife is simply too thick and bulky for. There's a fundamental difference between the type of tasks performed by a chef's knife and a paring knife. With this in mind, I went shopping for a paring knife with a new set of criteria.