Once you have sharpened your kitchen knives, keeping them sharp is as important as the sharpening itself. The normal wear and tear of just using your knives will dull them over time but a few simple tips can keep those edges sharp longer.
Use the right cutting board.
The choice of cutting boards can dramatically improve your knife’s ability to hold an edge. The best choice for keeping your knives sharp is a wooden cutting board. The wood is soft enough that it does less damage to your cutting edge. The best cutting boards have the end grain facing up in a butcher block style. This style is durable but allows the knife to slide between the vertical wood fibers.
The next best cutting board surface is the plastic cutting boards. These cutting boards are relatively easy on knife edges and are practical to use. Unlike a wooden cutting board, the plastic boards can be tossed into a dishwasher to sanitize it. These cutting boards are also available in many sizes and are priced economically.
The last choice in cutting boards would be the glass or marble cutting boards or cutting directly on ceramic plates. These cutting surfaces are just too hard for knives. Constant chopping and slicing on these boards will dull even the highest quality kitchen knives.
Properly Clean Your Knife
The process of cleaning your kitchen knives often results in unnecessary dulling. The biggest culprit is the dishwasher. In a dishwasher, the knife edges are much more likely to come in contact with other silverware or ceramic dishes. This banging around will cause small imperfections in your knife edge and dull it over time. The solution is to wash your knives by hand. Washing knives by hand also saves the handle material from the soaking and the high heat of a dishwasher. When washing knives by hand, avoid the temptation of soaking your knives in your cleaning water, in addition to possibly damaging the wooden handles, sharp knives are not something you want lurking in your cloudy dishwater. In addition, after your knife is properly washed, it’s important to dry your knife thoroughly before putting it away.
Storing Your Knives
Storage is another unnecessary culprit in dulling knives. A knife block or other knife holders are a last, but important step in maintaining sharp knives. Without proper storage, your knives can end up in a drawer where they can get banged around and dulled. Sharp knives can also expose you to unnecessary risk of cutting yourself while rummaging through your drawers.
Proper Knife Usage
In order to keep your knife sharp, it is also important to avoid using it as a pry bar, hammer, screwdriver or any other tool. Knives should only be used for their intended purpose… cutting!