You may not be a professional meat cutter, but maintaining a good quality knife is essential for many reasons. Anyone who uses knives over an extended period knows the frustration of trying to use blunt, dull knives. First of all, be sure to keep an eye on our Facebook page because Rusty from Minnesota Knife Sharpening stops by Hagberg’s fairly regularly to give our customer’s knives an edge. In the meantime, here are a few “tips” of the trade to help you keep your knives cleanly cutting.
Give your knives their own space.
Don’t store your knives in a drawer jumbled up with a bunch of dull ol’ spoons. All that clanging and banging with silverware and other tools will ruin the edge of good knives. Plus, you will eventually and inevitably cut yourself while rummaging in the drawer. Ideally, a magnetic knife bar near your workstation will keep your knives handy and safe from nicks. At the very least, give them their own drawer.
It’s okay to be a knife snob.
Everyone has a different cutting style. Try to be the only one that uses your knives.
Keep ’em sharp.
This is a no brainer, but for reasons you might not have considered. Yes, a sharp knife cuts cleaner and more precisely, resulting in a better-looking meal, but here are a couple of other reasons to keep your blades sharp. Dull knives are way more dangerous than sharp ones. Will a dull blade, you will use more pressure to cut. More pressure means more opportunity for error, and a slip with your fingers (or someone else’s) in the way can cause serious injury. OUCH! And sharp knives cut much faster. Whether you are prepping for the grill or slicing to serve, you’ve got better things to do with your time.
Dishwashers – good for bowls, bad for knives.
High temperatures, water pressure, and detergents used in dishwashers can eventually ruin your knife—especially wood-handled knives. Wash your knives by hand using hot water and mild soap. And of course, keep the blade and tip pointing away from you at all times.
Other safety “tips”
- If you’re not using them, keep them safely out of the way of your work area. Unwanted contact with a sharp knife can really put a crimp in meal prep.
- Don’t try to catch a falling knife. Ever! If you drop a knife. Let it fall. It’s better to resharpen a damaged blade than to get a hand stitched up.
- If you are passing a knife to someone, never do so with the blade first! Best to let them just pick it up off the counter themselves.