Taking care of your knife set is important to keep all of your blades in working order. Whether you use knives solely in the kitchen or you use them elsewhere as well, having a sharp knife will make cutting much easier. Here are a few tips for keeping your knives of all kinds sharp and effective.
Know What You Have
Before sharpening your knives, research what kind of knives you have. If you have plastic blades or fiberglass blades, they will be more difficult to sharpen, as they are more fragile and can even run the risk of melting. Carbon steel knives need special care as well. If you cut anything acidic, such as a lemon or a tomato with a carbon steel knife, make sure to get it completely clean afterward because carbon steel can have an intense reaction to acidic substances. If you know your knives are made of a non-traditional material, look up what special care you might need to take.
Know When To Sharpen
If your knives came with a sharpening block when you purchased them, you can use that block as often as you feel is necessary to keep your knives sharp. Simply hold the blade at a slight angle and draw the knife back toward yourself. That is the easiest way to keep your knives safe and sharp at home. Most sources recommend that you send in your knives to the manufacturer to have them sharpened professionally, or learn to sharpen them yourself, once every year.
Know How To Keep Them Sharp
There are three basic steps to keeping your knives sharper longer. The first is to cut properly. Try to slide the knife along the cutting board instead of constantly moving the entire knife up and down. The constant impact dulls the blade. Second, wash your knives by hand. Dishwashers throw your knives around during the cleaning process, leaving them damaged afterward. Lastly, store your knives separately. Knives are sharp, and knives can cut other knives. Storing them on top of each other gives them the opportunity to cut each other.
The sharpening process is best left to the professionals. It is possible to learn to sharpen knives without aid, but it is safer and easier to send them in once a year. However, if you find yourself using your knives more often than the average person, learning to sharpen them could be a good investment.