5 Common Mistakes that Lead to Dull Knives

Honing steel Proper care of your kitchen knives will lead to them staying sharper much longer. Unfortunately, there are many simple mistakes people make that lead to quickly dulling knives. Here's 5 of the most common, and solutions to avoid them.

1) Storing Knives in the Kitchen Drawer

Kitchen knives that are stored in drawers dull very quickly. This is because the blades jostle against each other whenever the drawer is opened, leading to nicks and dings in the knife blades.

Proper Knife Storage

There are two preferred methods for storing knives. The first is a knife block, as long as the slits are horizontal and not vertical. The better method is to use a magnetic storage strip like the T&Hproducts Magnetic Knife Holder. This keeps them secured and prevents them from becoming nicked or bent from hitting each other.

2) Putting Knives in the Dishwasher

Many people wash their good kitchen knives in the dishwasher. This is bad for several reasons. First, like in a drawer, the knives get jostled against each other and other silverware, resulting in nicks and bending of the blade. Second, the chemicals in most dishwasher detergents can react with the handles and steel of the knives which can result in corrosion and discoloration of the knives.

Proper Knife Cleaning

Clean your knives promptly in the sink, by hand, without the use of harsh chemicals. Dry them and put them away right after you wash them. This will ensure that your knives stay sharp between uses and won't discolor.

3) Ignoring the Honing Steel

Many people are intimidated by the honing steel and avoid it because they don't know how to use it. The honing steel doesn't sharpen the knives, but it straightens the blades and removes nicks and dings from them.

Proper Honing Steel Use

The honing steel should be used almost every time before you use your knives. It only takes 30 seconds and will keep your knives sharper for much longer. Here is a good demonstration of properly using a honing steel.

4) Using Glass Cutting Boards

There are lots of pretty looking glass cutting boards and people tend to buy these for their looks. However, cutting on these boards quickly dulls the knives because the glass is harder than the knife blade, causing the blades to bend and flatten.

Proper Cutting Boards

To avoid dulling the knives on the cutting board you should use a bamboo cutting board. There are many options, but Amazon.com sells a Premium 3 Piece Bamboo Cutting Boards set and a single Greener Chef's Organic Bamboo Wood Cutting Board for reasonable prices. Note that with any bamboo cutting board, it needs to be periodically oiled to keep up its quality.

For a less maintenance, a plastic cutting board is another good option for the same general price range. The OXO Good Grips Utility Cutting Board is a solid selection that you can use for years to come.

5) Never Professionally Sharpening Them

Many people use their honing steel regularly and take good care of their knives and think that is enough. Honing steel does not sharpen the blade so their knives slowly become duller and duller.

Proper Knife Sharpening

The best way to get super sharp knives is to have a professional sharpen them for you every 6 to 12 months. For most knives this is inexpensive and will make a huge difference. You can also sharpen your knives yourself at home using either an automatic or a manual knife sharpener, though we recommend still having them professionally sharpened every few years.