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13 Things You Didn’t Know About Kitchen Knives

How to choose, use, and care for these important kitchen utensils.

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Cutting board materials matter

Using a proper cutting board and hand washing your knives are absolutes; you’re either doing it or you’re not. 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.

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A sharp knife actually causes fewer cuts

The reason you cut yourself less with a sharp knife is because it takes less force to cut through anything. Sharp knives aren’t scary, blunt ones that need loads of force and are liable to go anywhere are. Use the right tool for the job and use it the right way.

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Learn proper cutting technique

Tuck your fingers under and use the knuckles as a guide for the knife. Watch your thumb too! Check out this video on proper knife skills before you start chopping. Here are the 32 most bizarre kitchen utensils of all time.

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Choose a knife that works for you

The best knife for your best friend may not be the best knife for you. If possible cut with a knife before you buy it to see how it feels in your hands. Chefs, beware: you might be shortening the life of your stove. 

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Don’t use a knife for anything other than cutting food

As a general rule, if you wouldn’t bite into it with your teeth, don’t touch it with your chef’s knife. Feel like a genius with these 10 smart uses for kitchen tools.

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Don’t use a steak knife for food preparation

Use a chef’s knife or paring knife, even if these are the only two knives you own. In many households, the serrated steak knives are often the only sharp knives capable of cutting at all.

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A serrated knife is not a saw

Most items can be cut in a nice slice with a single long draw of a serrated knife.

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Keep your cutting area clear

Don’t place any item on your cutting board that you don’t want to be cut.

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Don’t toss knives into a sink

Sharp knives + washing up bowls full of soapy water + unsuspecting hands = nasty surprise. Wash your knives after using, dry, and put away in a knife block, knife drawer insert, or secure magnetic rack. This is the best way to keep your knives sharp.

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A falling knife has no handle

Don’t grab for it. Just let it go and watch your feet. Also, don’t cook barefoot.

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Skip the huge gift sets

You are better off buying a couple of really good knives than a huge block set of mediocre knives. Find out the 9 ways you could be using your kitchen appliances wrong.

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Safety first

Brace your cutting board with a kitchen towel for more stability.

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The blade is for cutting, not corralling

Many people use the blade edge of a knife to corral the food to the edge of the board. Avoid using the blade of the knife to sweep things off the board, instead turn it over and use the spine of the knife to keep the working edge sharp. Don’t miss these 9 clever substitutes for kitchen gadgets.