Knife Skills Article -
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Knife Skills

Mastering a few simple techniques will make you nifty with a knife.

From slivered stones to high-carbon stainless steel, humans have been wielding the blade since prehistoric times.

Kitchen Ninja

For certain foods, like onions and garlic, or for serious undertakings like boning chickens, a few tricks of the trade will make your blade-work quick and efficient. For in-depth advice on how best to tackle these techniques, take a look at our knife skills articles.

Knife Safety

A sharp edge and a dexterous hand guiding the blade are keys to coming away with all your digits intact. Keep fingertips straight below the knuckles and mind the thumb of the food-holding hand. When done, store knives in racks, in knife trays or safely sheathed in drawers. Never leave them at the counter's edge where they can be easily swept off.

Blade Lust

Most functions can be accomplished with a good 8- or 9-inch chef's knife or paring knife. However, it's easy to catch knife fever--the need to acquire numerous knives with different grips and blade lengths, and those designed for specific purposes (like tomato and clam knives).

Sep. 7, 2009 6:56 am
Having a Good Steel will help keep an edge on your sharpened Knife. The main reason for a very sharp knife, besides the fact that it cuts food easier, is that if you do cut your self, and you need stitches, a sharp knife will cut smoothly and allow for an easier job for the doctor to sew you up. A dull knife will tear at the flesh and they may have to remove more at the doctors office before actually being able to sew you up.
Dec. 1, 2009 9:51 pm
I agree that one doesn't need a lot of knives. My favorites are a santoku (which I prefer over a chef knife), and a paring knife. I also own a slicer. Those knives cover all my needs. I invested in an electric knife sharpener, which makes it easier to keep them properly sharp.
Dec. 2, 2009 3:58 am
A good knife should also have a blade that does not flex much. It should have a handle that does not trap food or bacteria and should retain its sharpness for many years with the help of a good steel to "set" the blade each time you use it. For me only one knife is necessary for most tasks.. a 9" J.A. Henckel chefs blade which has served me for nearly 10 years and is still razor sharp. Well worth the investment.
Dec. 8, 2009 12:14 pm
I've always admired my kitchen knifes and laugh at the poor sales men that come to the door with their Chicago cutlery and Cutco super scissors! Seriously why do I want a pair of kitchen shears to cut through a penny? Who puts a halved penny in with their soup? I have a decent set of non serrated stainless steel full steel handled knifes and I take good care of them. I sharpen then quarterly with a smooth stone and some 3in1 oil and they always cut through everything perfectly. Now don't get me started on my pans! I lust after a set of Nickel plated cast Iron pans... that would be where I spend the big money!
Jan. 21, 2010 2:05 pm
Cutco is the solution
Jun. 24, 2010 12:53 pm
i have a nice 4" cutco paring knife - the only problem is i would have to send it back to cutco & go without until the edge is re-honed. i do like a shorter chef's knife (6-8" range) for everyday chores. don't understand the draw of the santoku - have one, wish i would have just bought a new chefs knife.
Aug. 10, 2011 5:12 pm
I do have a full set of knives and use them all even the shears, I even have a full set for my camping cook box. What I've learned over the years is there is a tool for every job and cooking is no different. Don't get me wrong I believe we all have our favorites, they feel good in your hand easy to use, but when it comes time to fillet a salmon or cut the freshly baked bread the proper knife makes the task more enjoyable and the presentation much more pleasing to the eye.
Aug. 28, 2011 7:15 pm
I use one knife for just about every task in the kitchen, love my blade... Just wish I knew how to properly sharpen knives years ago would not have tossed so many of them and the comment about the cuts with a sharp knife is on the money I sliced my fingertips off not to long ago and it was a clean uncomplicated cut that required no stiches just bandages and time, with lots of pain meds....
Lowell Wolcott 
Jan. 19, 2012 3:48 am
We purchased a full set of cutco right after we were married 55 years ago and we have cooked a lot of meals and we use every piece except the whip,About four years ago I got there cheese slicer it is great,Advice to young people buy at least two good knifes and you wont be buying knifes all your life,a sharp one is safer.
Feb. 4, 2012 10:53 am
I don't want to sound like the Cutco adverts above, but I've had Cutco and several other top knife brands, and in my book you can't beat a Wusthoff knife set. Best knives in the world according to a couple generations of my family.
Apr. 28, 2012 9:56 am
Great topic! Loved the video it led to regarding knife skills as well.
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