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sharpening and caring for your kitchen knives

Pumpkin Carving — Best Knives for a Pumpkin Carving Party!

pumpkin twins
I bet when most of us think about pumpkin carving, we tend to picture a big long kitchen knife. And we picture taking that long hefty knife and punching through the thick orange pumpkin shell and carving out a face. And that’s OK, but the fact of the matter is there are lots ways to do it. You can use awls, keyhole saws, and even melon ballers. But if you want to keep it simple—for example, if you’re planning a pumpkin carving party and want to give each guest their very own tool—how about supplying inexpensive paring knives?

  • They’re much more maneuverable than a chef knife or ilk
  • They’re safer, especially for kids. Not as much blade to get into trouble.
  • They’re cheap—you can supply a handful without a huge cash outlay.
  • They’re pretty sharp. Fresh out-of-the-box newer blades can guarantee greater sharposity.
  • They’re not scary—won’t intimidate those who are not sure they want to carve in the first place.

Here are five bargain-price paring knives (or sets) that could work well for pumpkin carving. They’re compact and lightweight and some models are selling at highly reduced prices on the Sur La Table website.

Kuhn Rikon 3 Piece Specialty Paring Knife Set
Kuhn Rikon® 3-Piece Specialty Paring Knife Set
BUY NOW @ Sur La Table: $15.99 /
Amazon: $29.95

Victorinox Swiss Army 3-Piece Paring Knife Set
Victorinox Swiss Army® 3-Piece Paring Knife Set
BUY NOW @ Sur La Table: $14.95 /
Amazon: $13.22

Wusthof Silverpoint 3 Piece Colored Paring Knife Set
Wusthof Silverpoint 3 Piece Colored Paring Knife Set
BUY NOW @ Sur La Table: $19.95 /
Amazon: $19.95

Kuhn Rikon Farmers Market Serrated Paring Knives
Kuhn Rikon Farmers’ Market Serrated Paring Knives
BUY NOW @ Sur La Table: $11.95 /
Amazon: (set of 3) $31.95

pumpkin carving - top off
My wife, Cathleen, ending up being the one to beta-test two of these knives . . . because you know what I realized halfway through this post? I don’t actually enjoy carving pumpkins. I like opening them up and I like scraping out the seeds and goosh. Fun! But when it comes to drawing on, and carving out, the jack-o’-lantern face, I tighten right up. I’m afraid I’ll mess up. Please, please don’t make me do that.

Anyway. . .she tested out the Kuhn Rikon and Victorinox on a small pumpkin. Pumpkin size is significant. Because, she said, while the Victorinox was nimble for a smaller pumpkin, she would be worried about it’s flimsiness on a larger pumpkin with thicker walls. She’d be afraid of snapping the blade. So stick with diminuative pumpkins with Victorinox, and you’ll do fine.

The Kuhn Rikon carved quite well and was much more solid. And because the blade is firmer and thicker than the Victorinox, she would have no qualms about using in on a larger pumpkin. Plus, carving a larger pumpkin would only make the Kuhn Rikon even easier to navigate than it already was.

pumpkin carving - finale
So . . . for those of you who get a kick out of pumpkin carving and love hosting pumpkin carving parties, go to town with these paring knives! And let me know how they work for you. . . :)

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An Edge in the Kitchen
by Chad Ward

Mastering Knife Skills
by Norman Weinstein

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