When you invest in a high-quality kitchen knife, you want it to last for a long time. Most of the brands we carry at MetroKitchen.com come with lifetime warranties, but every kitchen knife still requires a little regular maintenance to keep its blade sharp and useful. After all, you can’t slice vegetables with a butter knife. In this blog I’ll lay out a few of the easy and simple ways that you can ensure that your cutlery stays sharp for longer.
Wooden Cutting Boards
The most important part of keeping your knives sharp is your cutting board. Many people still cut on hard surfaces, like glass cutting boards. This is a big no-no if you want to preserve the edge life of your kitchen cutlery. Getting a quality wooden cutting board is essential because the wood’s fibrous surface provides a cushion for the knife edge and helps reduce wear. Also, studies have shown that wooden cutting boards from brands such as John Boos, Shun, and Wusthof are highly antibacterial compared to other materials. That’s why John Boos cutting boards are certified by the National Sanitation Foundation for commercial and home safety.
Avoiding Hard Foods
Chicken bones, egg shells, and fruit pits can all be devastating to the edge of your knife, especially if it’s made from harder steel or a ceramic material. These types of foods can actually bend, or even worse, chip the edge of your knife when you try to cut them. In my opinion, it’s best to keep around a cheap knife for these tasks so that you don’t risk damaging your $100 Wusthof knife while doing a task that you could easily complete with one that cost only $5.
The only exception to this rule is meat cleavers, which have a much different blade angle and were specifically designed for chopping bone. The edge of a meat cleaver is usually sharpened to an angle of about 50 degrees, or 25 degrees per side, which is very blunt compared to other kitchen knives. If you’ve got a meat cleaver, go for it. Just make sure that you don’t try this with a “Chinese cleaver” or a “vegetable cleaver,” because those knives are designed for chopping vegetables, not bone.
In my Knife Sharpening and Honing Guide, I outlined the difference between honing and sharpening. Without going into too much detail, honing is basically straightening out the edge of the knife. This is different from sharpening, where you’re actually removing metal from the edge of the blade. Every steel knife needs regular honing, especially if you cut a lot of dense foods like potatoes and boneless meats. The edge gets bent into one direction or another, and you need to straighten it out with a honing steel. If you do this regularly, you will rarely need to actually sharpen your knives. For more information about sharpening, honing, and how to keep your knives sharp, take a look at the “Knife Sharpening and Honing Guide” linked above. Thanks for reading and feel free to leave a comment below!