For people new to the kitchen, it can be easy to underestimate the importance of a nice, sharp knife. Every knife inevitably grows dull, but as long as it keeps cutting food, it’s fine to keep using it, right? Wrong. Using a dull knife not only slows you down, but also damages your ingredients, limits the dishes you can make, and most importantly, puts you at risk of serious injury. Need more convincing? Here’s the breakdown on why a routine visit to a knife sharpener or sharpening your knife at home is a worthy investment.
If this is your first time coming across this fact, it may seem counter-intuitive. After all, if sharp knives are better for cutting, doesn’t that also mean they’re better at cutting us? While this may be true, sharp knives are actually safer because you’re less likely to cut yourself at all. Why is this?
For one, a sharp knife offers its handler more control than a dull one. While a sharp knife will quickly sink into whatever ingredient it’s cutting, a dull knife is more likely to slip off the surface, possibly towards one of your vulnerable fingers. Also, consider the fact that you naturally have to apply more pressure to a dull knife than a sharp knife to create the same cut. When we combine these two facts, we get a recipe for disaster. Not only are you more likely to lose control of a dull knife while cutting but you’ll also have more pressure behind the stroke, making it faster and more forceful. This means you’re more likely to inflict a serious injury on yourself with a dull knife, whereas a sharp knife can help prevent such a situation from forming in the first place.
We spend a lot of time in the kitchen and we spend a lot of thattime with a knife in hand. If sharpening your knives can make that time more productive, enjoyable, and safe, why not do it? Your hands, schedule, and dinner guests will all thank you for it.
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