Once you’ve invested in a quality knife, it’s important to protect your investment by looking after it properly. Many people make mistakes when it comes to storing their knives, which in turn can lead to cut fingers and dull blades. A sharp knife is the best knife, and the following tips will help you keep it that way.
Beware of the Dishwasher
This tip is recommended by most knife guides — and it is to never, ever put your knife through the dishwasher. Most detergents used in household dishwashers are highly abrasive and eventually wear down the blade.
Another issue with dishwashers can be the agitation against other utensils during the wash cycle, which also causes bluntness. And if your knife handle is made from plastic or wood, the harsh wash cycle can cause irreparable damage by weakening or loosening joins.
The Storage Story
When it comes to storing your knife, it’s not a good idea to throw it in the drawer with your other utensils — this can quickly cause damage and bluntness, and you might just cut yourself retrieving it if you’re not careful. If you’ve got the space, try mounting a magnetic strip designed for knives on the wall, or if that’s not an option purchase yourself some knife sheaths, or a knife block with horizontal slots so the blades rest on their sides, rather than the sharp edge.
Honey — I’ve honed!
Another way to keep your knife in good working order is with a trick called honing. Different to sharpening, honing uses what is called a knife steel — a sword-like instrument found in most knife blocks. Honing looks after your knife by recalibrating the blade to remove any slight nicks and maintains a nice sharp edge. Honing should be done in between professional sharpening, and most butchers or professional knife sharpeners will offer this service if you’re not comfortable doing it yourself.
The golden rule when it comes to knife care is just that — care. Keep your fancy ‘chef’ knives away from your other utensils, wash them by hand in warm soapy water, and keep the blade nice and sharp. If treated well, a good kitchen knife will last you a lifetime!