Common Questions

Frequently Asked questions about owning and caring for your knife

Common Questions About Kitchen Knives

If you have questions about kitchen knives, you're not alone. Knowing which knives to buy, how to care for them, and when to replace them can be a bit confusing for many people. The good news is that with a little knowledge, proper maintenance and use, you can ensure your kitchen knives stay in great shape for a very long time. Here are some common questions we are asked regularly.  We are always here if you have more questions. Drop us a line anytime! Contact Us

A Chefs Knife is the answer, hands down. It is the most versatile shape. It can handle almost any task, from fish, meat and veggies.

In a home setting, if you cook a lot, a knife will stay sharp for 3 to 6 months. There are variables to consider. It's recommended not to cut on plates, glass, marble, or other very hard surfaces. Try not to scrape the blade to move food products. In a professional kitchen, it is recommended that knives be sharpened every 1 to 3 days. At this frequency, it's more maintenance than sharpening.

Absolutely! A sharp knife will "bite" into food products, cutting through instead of smashing them. When a knife is dull, the user tends to push harder. A dull knife might slip off the food and has the potential to cut your finger. A cut from a dull knife takes longer to heal.

Single-bevel knives are hand specific. Double bevel knives are ambidextrous. Some manufacturers put traditional "teardrop" handles on double-bevel knives, rendering them hand specific.

100% absolutely yes! The conditions of a dishwashing machine are too adverse. High heat, high-pressure jetting, and corrosive concentrated detergents will wreak havoc on handles, connection points and possibly cause rusting, even on stainless steel. It's always best to wash your knives with warm soapy water, rinse them, then dry them before putting them away.

For most knives, it's always a good idea to use a pinch grip. This means that you will choke up on the handle somewhat and pinch the blade between your thumb and forefinger. This allows for a light grip offering good control and preventing your hand and arm from fatigue. Always make sure to use the claw method with your other hand that is controlling the food.

It comes down to what is better for the user. There are pros and cons for both. High-carbon steels take a keener edge, sharpen easier (if maintained on a stone regularly), and have impeccable edge retention. But, the blade surface is very reactive to anything with an acidic pH. It takes a higher level of care and maintenance. Stainless steel knives don't require as much attention because they are resistant to rust and tarnishing. They do require sharpening more frequently.

Yes, chipped and broken tipped knives can be fixed. Typically the blades will be ground, reprofiled, then sharpened.

Once again, it is what is best for the user. Japanese knives are thinner, lighter, and harder. This means better edge retention but more fragile. German knives tend to be thicker, weightier, and have softer steels. This means more versatility, and the steel is more forgiving with very hard food products.

Sharpening is removing material from the blade, creating an edge or bevel. This creates burrs, and sharpness is all about the burrs. What's a burr, you ask? Put simply, it is "a rough edge or ridge left on an object (especially of metal) by the action of a tool or machine." They are created at the apex of a knife's edge when sharpened, then refined and ultimately lined up. The burrs then act as tiny little serrations and help a knife cut through food products easily. They are so tiny that you can't see them with the naked eye. Once the knife is used after sharpening, the blade's cutting edge makes contact with food products and cutting surfaces. This affects the burrs by bending them out of alignment. This is where honing comes into play. Honing realigns the burrs, which makes the knife sharp again.

There are different tools and implements to sharpen knives. A good pass-through sharpener can keep a nice sharpness regularly. It's important when using these to not put your body weight into them and only use about a pound of downward pressure. Sharpening stones yield fantastic results but must be used properly. It takes a lot of patience, persistence, and practice to learn how to sharpen by hand on sharpening stones.

Weight is not an indication of the quality of a knife. A heavy kitchen knife will be great for cutting large, tough vegetables, so you may want to have one weighty blade in your set. It is important that you handle a large selection of knives when you are considering your purchase. Choose the one that has the right amount of weight behind it to suit the way that you cook.

If treated correctly, any well-crafted knife will last a lifetime and can be handed down as an heirloom. What this means is never put knives in the dish washing machine. Simply use the knife, wash the knife with warm, soapy water and then dry it before putting it away. Also, never use a knife like a screwdriver or a hammer. Don't mistreat the knife and use it for things that it's not intended for, like cracking open coconuts or hacking at can lids.

Ceramic knives are 50% harder than steel and have half the weight. They stay sharp for a long time and are corrosion free. Hard translates to brittle, so be careful not to drop a ceramic knife.

Learning Center Sections

Learning Center Section: Know Your Knife

Know Your Knife

Dive deep into the fascinating world of knives, exploring their history, varieties, and the essentials everyone should know.

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Learning Center Section: Kitchen Knife Anatomy

Knife Anatomy

Uncover the intricacies of a knife's structure from tip to handle, enhancing your knowledge and appreciation for this indispensable culinary tool.

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Learning Center Section: German Vs Japanese Cutlery

German Vs Japanese Cutlery

A comprehensive guide to distinguishing between German and Japanese cutlery, highlighting their unique characteristics, strengths, and uses.

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Learning Center Section: Bevels And Grinds

Bevels and Grinds

Learn about the different bevels and grinds that give a knife its cutting edge, understanding their impact on your culinary adventures.

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Learning Center Section: Forging Techniques And Finishes

Forging Techniques and Finishes

Delve into the art of knife-making with an overview of various forging techniques and finishes that contribute to a knife's performance and aesthetic.

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Learning Center Section: Steel Types And Metallurgy 101

Steel Types and Metallurgy 101

Acquaint yourself with the fascinating science behind knife metallurgy, exploring various steel types and what makes a truly great blade.

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Chef Elan Sharpening A Knife On A Whetstone

Knife Care

Your guide to knife maintenance, ensuring the longevity and sharpness of your blades with proper care and handling.

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Learning Center Section: Knife Cost Considerations

Knife Cost Considerations

Navigate the factors that influence the cost of a knife, assisting you in making informed decisions when adding to your collection.

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Learning Center Section: Common Questions

Common Questions

Your go-to section for answers to frequently asked questions, providing clarity and guidance on everything knife-related.

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