Knife Care

     Knives are very important tools in your arsenal.  They need to be treated with care.  Below is a few tips that everyone can use to get the most out of their cutlery.  You don’t have to have “high end” knives.  You can do very well with almost any non serrated knives if you take care of them.  Although, better quality knives are usually easier to sharpen, and hold their edge longer.  To prolong the edge on a sharp blade, always use a cutting board. 

Cleaning:   Never put knives in the dishwasher.  The heat can cause the rivets to expand and contract causing the handles to loosen.  Never leave a knife in the sink.  Wash with a sponge with the blade away from you.  Dry with a towel on a counter and fold over the flat blade, and slowly slide the knife with gentle pressure on top of the towel.  Wash, dry and properly store knives when done.

Storage:  Knives should be stored one of three ways.  A knife block, a wall mounted magnetic strip, or a knife bag are the preferred devices.  These will keep the blades protected from banging around in a drawer, and keep your hands safe.  More people are switching to the magnetic strip mounts for access-ability.  They can be found at most retailers. 

Sharpening:  Keep knives sharp.  Under normal use knives need to be sharpened once or twice a year.  Please do not buy the $10 hand sharpeners.  They just grind the edge off you blade.  Professional sharpening is available and recommended.  I have mine sharpened about twice a year by a professional, about $4 per knife average.  After each use, run the blade on a steel.  A steel is a surfaced rod used to align and sharpen the edge of a knife.  I run mine about 3 times on each side of the blade.  This keeps the knives ready and sharp for the next use.

Handles:  If your knives have wood handles, they need to be oiled.  I use the same bottle of mineral oil that I oil my cutting boards with.  I put some oil on a folded paper towel and apply liberally.  After I oil the last knife, I wipe off excess oil starting with the first knife oiled.  I oil mine about every 3 months or so.  If they seem a little dry, I give them an oiling.

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