Slice of Life: Tips to Keep Your Knives in Top Shape

The best knives work as an extension of ourselves. Chefs should be able to blast through a dinner service at a breezy, brisk pace without a second thought. Unfortunately, just like us, even the best kitchen equipment gets worn down over time. Extend the life of your knives with these repeatable, easy to pick up tips.

  • Knife storage is integral to the life of your gear. While knife blocks are hugely popular throughout the industry, they have their drawbacks. Importantly, any water that gets trapped in the block can gather bacteria or rust your knives. Also, even bone-dry knives can become dull when stored blade first. To prevent this, consider purchasing a side-mounted knife block, knife roll, or magnetized strip. 
  • Along with storage, appropriate knife maintenance is key to making your equipment last. Naturally, routinely sharpening your knife is a good idea because it improves the overall effectiveness of the blade and minimizes the risk of accidentally damaging your knives during cutting.
    • Pro Tip: To determine if your knife needs to be sharpened, try running the entirety of your knife on a cutting board. If you feel any vibrations or suspect a knick, you should resharpen.
  • Overexposure to water can also be detrimental to your gear. Always wash your knives by hand with soft sponges to prevent damage. Additionally, never run a knife through the dishwasher or let it soak in the sink; both of these can lead to nasty problems like rust, premature cracks, or general damage. 
  • If you can help it, always stick with a wooden cutting board when working in the kitchen. Plastic boards are a good second bet, but they can be breeding grounds for bacteria if they aren’t thoroughly and routinely washed. Whatever you do, stay away from metal or marble cutting surfaces; they can quickly dull your gear and put you at risk of injury. 
  • As always, proper handling procedures should be implemented anytime you use knives. Be good to your gear, and it’ll be good to you.