No matter how sharp a blade is, the cutting edge can easily be damaged with improper use. Here are the do’s and don'ts of knife care:
Use a clean dishtowel immediately after washing your knives to dry them as 'air drying' may cause rusting.
Remember to always keep the blade facing away from you during food preparation, washing and drying. A simple trick to keep your cutting board from moving around on the counter top is to place a damp cloth under the board while preparing food.
Always keep your kitchen knives sharp - it may seem counter-intuitive but a dull knife is dangerous. They cause us to press down and push harder on the knife with more force than should be applied. When this happens, accidents occur by increasing the chance of slipping or flipping from your hand. When knives are kept sharp and used properly, accidents are minimized.
Don’t leave your knives in the kitchen sink. Not only is it dangerous for whoever washes the dishes, it’s also bad for your knives — the blade can get bumped causing burrs or nicks. As soon as you’re finished using your knife, wash it, dry it and put it away in a safe place. Always keep your knives out of the reach of children.
Don’t store your knives in the utensil drawer. Throwing your knives in any drawer, mixed with other kitchen utensils, is one of the worst things you can do to your blades. The blade can easily get nicks or burrs from being jostled around in the drawer every time you open it. You also may get injured while searching for other utensils.
Always wash your knives by hand. The dishwasher might be convenient, but there’s a high risk that the blade will get damaged during the wash cycle. Dishwashers also damage the handles due to the extreme heat and steam generated during the wash cycle.
Don’t leave your knives to dry in the dish rack. The blade can easily get burred or chipped from being jostled around with other utensils, plates and glassware. Dry your knife immediately after washing to prevent rust and bacteria from forming and put it away.
Maintaining the Edge
One way to maintain your blade’s edge is with a steel or honing rod. Many knife sets come with a steel, but few people know how to use them properly. Steels are not meant to sharpen the blade but to help extend the life of the cutting edge by realigning the burrs created during use. While honing rods are great for everyday maintenance, they do not have any serious sharpening ability.
Most knives nowadays are made from high-carbon stainless steel, a material hard enough to maintain an edge. High-carbon steel blades, the type that can stain and rust if not properly cared for, can also be sharpened effectively and hold an edge for long periods of time.
The plain, soft, stainless-steel blades commonly sold in some grocery and discount stores are virtually impossible to sharpen. This is because the factory uses fine profiling wheels specific to the factory to cut small serrations into the blade so they act more like a saw than a fine cutting edge. We can however de-burr the serrated edge using a special sharpening compound. This method will improve the cutting/sawing ability of these low quality blades. See our price list for de-burring a serrated blade.
Always cut on cutting boards - not on your counter top. Marble, granite or any solid surface is too hard for the blade and may also damage your counter top. Stick with wood or plastic cutting boards. Do not use glass cutting boards - they will damage the blade's edge very quickly. Whenever you remove the food you are preparing from your cutting board, use the back of the knife blade rather than the cutting edge. This will ensure that the knife edge stays sharp longer.