4 Myths About Kitchen Knives That Can Hurt You

What you think you know about cutting and chopping can actually hurt you.

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1. The type of cutting board doesn’t matter.

It definitely matters. Wood, bamboo, and plastic are better for your knives than composite boards; harder boards like glass, metal, stone and ceramic will quickly destroy knives, experts say. If you receive one as a present, hang it on the wall, but don’t use it to do your food preparation.

2. Steeling sharpens your knife.

No it doesn’t. Steeling straightens an edge that has folded over. Steeling should be done after 10-50 cuts. True sharpening removes the old edge and reshapes the blade into a strong edge. Your knives need to be professionally sharpened 1-2 times per year. Use the steel in between to straighten the edge. Here’s how to correctly hone (not sharpen) with a steel.

3. It’s okay to wash knives in the dishwasher.

Never. There are so many things that can get damaged, from the knife itself to the hand of someone reaching in unaware that a knife is in there. Your dishwasher’s plastic lining can also be nicked by knives. Always wash knives carefully by hand.

4. An expensive knife is always better than a cheap knife

No, a sharp knife is always better than a blunt knife. If you rarely sharpen your knives, even your high-quality expensive ones, you open yourself up to injury. Sharpen and hone your knives as described above and take care of them by storing them in a knife block.

Adam Marr/Marr Knives, Christopher Miller/ Owner/ Industri Cafe, Mark Richmond/owner/Chefknivestogo.com, Sebastians, Tom Bolton, Kenny Chan, Mike Zollner / Zollners.blogspot.com

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Originally Published in Reader's Digest