Once in a while I get the strange request to “Please sharpen my knife but not too sharp or I’ll cut myself.” While I understand how someone could reach this conclusion, just the opposite is true. When you have become accustomed to using a dull knife for a while you can fall into some bad habits to compensate. It’s only natural to lose respect for a knife after it gets dull. It happens slowly over a period of time, hard to notice.
Most folks are unaware of how much additional downward force they must apply to cut with a dull knife. Have you ever had a dull knife fail to bite into an onion and slide off in an unpredictable direction? A knife that does not go where it is pointed is unpredictable and dangerous.
Tips for safe handling of a sharp knife
- Always assume that a knife is sharp
- Use the right knife for the job
- Do not use more force than necessary
- The knife is either in your hand or in the block
- Steel your knife after every use
So remember, it may be counterintuitive, but a sharp knife is a safer than a dull knife.