Now, let’s look at some universal tips for ensuring your knife lasts as long as possible:
Don’t put your knife in the dishwasher
Never. Not even once.
No matter what kind of knife you have, the high temperatures and harsh chemical soaps can really damage your knife.
It will dull your knife faster, it can cause unsightly spotting on the blade and can even cause your handle to split or chip.
Don’t use it to pry frozen foods apart
This is a common mistake.
Frozen foods are too hard. There are tools out there meant for separating that pile of stuck together chicken breasts, so get one. They’re cheap and effective.
Using your knife will almost guarantee a chip in your blade, even if it’s a small one. It can even break the tip off your knife.
Don’t use it as a screwdriver
Obvious? You’d think.
But I saw this mistake many times. Try using a dime instead. Or better yet, a screwdriver.
Don’t use it to cut through bone
Another common mistake.
Like frozen foods, bones are too hard and lead to chipping.
Bones need saws, or bone cleavers. If you have a bone cleaver (not a vegetable cleaver), you’ll notice it is heavy and more dull than your other kitchen knives.
Note: boning knives are for cutting the bone off of the meat, not cutting through the bone.
Don’t just throw your knife in a drawer
Every time you open or close the drawer, the knife will bang around with the other utensils. It will dull quickly and can scratch or chip.
For more info, check out these knife storage tips.
Frequently-used, quality knives shouldn’t need sharpening more than once per year.
Over-sharpening can drastically decrease your knife’s lifespan. Read my hair cutting analogy to find out why.
Do know your knife
Different knife types require different care.
This could be as simple as having different sharpening needs. Or, in the case of high carbon steel, it could mean requiring frequent sharpening and oiling.
Do know yourself
Maybe you’re too busy to sharpen your own knives. Take them to a pro.
Maybe you’re scared of using a honing rod. Find a multi-stage pull-through for easier honing.
Do dry your knife after you wash it
Don’t let water sit on your knife. It could get inside the handle and cause it to split.
Depending on where you live, the minerals in your water can do everything from discolour the blade to eat away at it.
Do have fun in the kitchen and keep practicing
A good kitchen knife is the home cook’s best friend.
Like everything worth buying, you may have to get used to a few new habits. But it’s worth it in the long run.