Knives go through the wringer in the kitchen and can quickly become dull, which doesn’t just make chopping harder, it can also be dangerous.
With that in mind, here are five little hacks that could help you keep yours sharper for longer.
Sharpen Without a Sharpener
If you don’t own a sharpener, don’t worry, because there’s a handy tool sitting right in your cupboards that’ll do the trick just fine.
That’s right, a porcelain plate or mug can actually work just as well as a DIY knife sharpener!
Put your plate or mug upside down and you’ll see the rough, unglazed porcelain which the plate or mug usually sits on.
Simply take your blade and slide it in one direction against this rough edge at a 20˚ angle, repeating several times on both sides of the blade (here’s a video demonstration from Reactions).
Best of all, you can rinse off the knife, chop up your food and serve it up right off that same plate!
Use the Other Side to Transfer Ingredients
When most people are done chopping up their ingredients, whatever they may be, they usually use their knife to brush them into the pot or pan or wherever they need to go.
However, doing this and especially doing it regularly, can damage your knife and make it go dull.
Instead, simply flip it over so that you’re transferring the ingredients using the other side of the knife, to help it last just that little bit longer.
Find a Safe Storage Solution
The way you store your knives can have an impact on them, simply throwing them into a drawer will lead to rough knifes and lots of cut fingers.
There are a number of safer knife storage solutions such as a magnetic knife strip or a proper knife block.
If you do use a magnetic strip, be sure not to slide the knives off them, as this could also damage them. Instead, grasp the handle and twist, so that they pop off easily.
For more information on the safest ways to store your kitchen knives, check out this post from The Cook’s Measure.
Keep it Simple
Don’t go waving a sharpening steel about in mid-air when you’re trying to sharpen your knives, as you won’t be able to get anywhere near a good enough grip on it.
You need to adequately support the steel so that you can properly control the angle of the knife.
Instead, hold it down on a countertop, making sure you don’t hold it at an angle. Hold it straight up at a right angle, anchored on the counter and keep your sharpening simple, running it at a consistent 15 to 20˚ angle.
Choose the Right Knife
Which type of knife you choose in the first place will have a big impact on its longevity.
Japanese knives are usually made from very high-quality metal, although it is softer, meaning it needs much more looking after.
We spoke to Kitchen Knives, who said: “Western blades generally hold their sharpness for much longer and you can still get a high-quality product.
“Spending a little bit extra to begin with, so that you don’t have to spend more getting them sharpened in the long run isn’t a bad idea.”