A lot of reviews about Kuhn Rikon paring knives read something like this: “I bought one because I loved how it looked, but it’s actually a great knife!” I myself fell for the avocado green shade, and the knife man at Sur La Table assured me I would not regret my purchase. The four-inch blade, made of high-carbon stainless steel with a nonstick coating, is great for slicing fruits, vegetables, and cheese. The best thing about this knife is that it comes with a sturdy plastic sheath, so it’s handy for picnics and camping. And the price is quite reasonable—about $10. For two dollars more, you can buy a slightly longer, serrated version.
If you’ve got little kids roaming through your kitchen, you might also like Kuhn Rikon’s Kinderkitchen dog knives, which look like puppies and are sharp enough for soft foods but not dangerous. I can’t decide whether or not cute knives are a good concept, but then I’m a neurotic Manhattan mom.