5 Ways to Ruin Your Kitchen Knives

Avoid this 5 things to keep your kitchen knives sharp

A kitchen knife is a home chef’s most important tool. Whether you are slicing vegetables, cutting meats, or chopping herbs, having a sharp kitchen knife is essential for preparing delicious meals.

Just as important as the knife itself is proper knife care. Misusing a knife can cause it to become dull, ineffective, and even dangerous. Here are five common ways people misuse kitchen knives. Avoid them all to help ensure that your knife remains in the best possible condition.

1. Use for Non-Cooking Tasks

Leave the kitchen knife in the kitchen

While it may be convenient for opening packages, cutting tape, or other household tasks, your kitchen knife isn’t designed for that and could easily be damaged. Leave your chef’s knife in the kitchen and get an inexpensive utility knife for all those other tasks.

2. Use A Steel or Glass Cutting Board

A hard surface will blunt your knife quicker.

Cutting onto a glass, steel, or stone surface is a quick way to ruin the edge of your knife. These surfaces are often harder than your knife edge, so will blunt or damage your knife. It’s much better to use a wood or plastic cutting board that will allow your knife to stay sharper for longer.

(Author's Note: My boss told me that steel cutting boards didn't exist. I proved him wrong, but we both agree you shouldn't use them.)

3. Soak in the Sink

Reaching into murky water filled with sharp edges is also a bad idea.

Soaking a knife in the sink can cause all sorts of damage. It can cause high-carbon steels to rust. Wooden handles can swell and crack. If the knife is in the sink with other utensils, they can blunt or chip the edge. As soon as possible, wash your knife, dry it, and put it away.

4. Use the Dishwasher

Putting a knife in the dishwasher shares a lot of the same problems as soaking your knife. The long wash cycle, high temperature, and jostling of utensils will damage your knife. Hand wash your kitchen knife with soap and warm water, dry it, and store it properly.

5. Store Loose in a Drawer

You're more likely to cut yourself while reaching for a knife this way.

Putting your kitchen knife loose in a drawer with other utensils is bad for your knife and potentially dangerous for you. Having the knife rattle around with other utensils will damage the edge. If you need to root around in the drawer to pull out your can opener and your sharp kitchen knife is in there too, you’re risking cutting yourself.


Have you been guilty of doing any of these five things? If you have and realize youa sharpener for your blunt kitchen knife, our article How to Pick the Best Method to Sharpen Your Kitchen Knives will help you pick the kitchen knife sharpener that best suits your needs.