The Proper Chopping Board Can Hold Your Knives Sharper

Uninteresting knives are irritating—and fewer secure than sharp knives. And if you happen to’ve invested in a set of high-quality chef’s knives, the very last thing you need to do is uninteresting their edges sooner than essential.

The excellent news is that with correct care and upkeep, your knives’ metal edges can keep sharp for as much as a 12 months. However one thing as small as utilizing the mistaken reducing floor—even slicing a bit of fruit on a ceramic plate—can uninteresting your knives on contact.

Right here’s what you must know to maintain your knives of their finest form for so long as attainable, and the way to know when it’s time to sharpen them.

Keep away from utilizing your knives on glass, granite, marble, and ceramic

Photograph: Michael Hession

Stainless-steel chef’s knives include a manufacturing unit edge—a particularly sharp edge initially in a position to slice by way of paper. If you happen to use it commonly and look after it properly, a great knife ought to stay sharp for six to 12 months.

Good edge retention, as Wirecutter senior employees author Lesley Stockton explains, depends partially on metal composition and hardness. Measured on the Rockwell C scale, metal hardness determines the energy of the fabric and its resistance to deformation, bending, scratching, and abrasion. Respectable metal knives ought to register between 55 HRC and 64 HRC. On the upper finish of that scale, the metal is tougher, which permits it to carry the sting higher. However that tougher metal can also be extra brittle. On the decrease finish, the metal is extra malleable—so it dulls extra simply however can also be much less more likely to chip.

This issue is necessary to bear in mind as a result of any materials tougher than your blade’s metal will uninteresting your chef’s knife on contact. Keep away from utilizing your knife on surfaces fabricated from glass, granite, marble, or ceramic. These supplies are a lot tougher than metal and can weaken your knife’s edge. Even a fast slice on a ceramic dinner plate, a marble cheese board, or a granite countertop can uninteresting your knife.

Keep on with wooden or plastic reducing boards to maintain your knives in good situation. Our testers all agreed that wooden boards felt higher than plastic below a knife—and the skilled cooks Wirecutter spoke with stated they principally used wooden blocks over plastic boards. Of all of the wooden boards we examined, we discovered the Teakhaus by Proteak Edge Grain board most spectacular. Not solely did it really feel higher to make use of, nevertheless it was additionally simpler to keep up than the competitors.

Wooden boards, nevertheless, might be pretty expensive, they usually require a whole lot of care and upkeep. If you happen to’re on the lookout for one thing much less excessive upkeep—and considerably cheaper—we suggest the OXO Good Grips Carving and Chopping Board. This sturdy plastic board does a greater job of resisting warping, staining, and odors than some other plastic board we examined, and its rubber ft maintain it from sliding round as you employ it.

Don’t put your knives within the dishwasher—or a drawer

We suggest hand-washing your knives slightly than tossing them within the dishwasher. Why? You don’t need the sting to bump up in opposition to tougher supplies like glassware and ceramics.

Equally, keep away from storing unprotected knives in a drawer—this additionally makes them uninteresting rapidly as a result of they rattle in opposition to different onerous surfaces. Stick your knives to a wall-mounted magnetic strip to maintain their edges sharp, or use blade guards to guard your instruments if you happen to plan to retailer them in a drawer.

Hone your knives earlier than every use

A selection of kitchen knives of varying sizes, shown next to a honing rod.
Photograph: Michael Hession

Utilizing a honing rod retains your blade sharp for longer. As Lesley explains, a honing rod doesn’t really sharpen the blade however slightly “realigns the microscopic tooth on the sting that bend and get knocked out of alignment through the course of use.” We suggest utilizing a ceramic rod slightly than one fabricated from metal—generally, a metal rod might be softer than your knives, making it fully ineffective. Ceramic, alternatively, is 10 occasions tougher than metal and may realign the sting of your knives with out chewing up the sting. Honing can appear harmful and intimidating at first, however we’ve included a how-to breakdown in our information to the perfect chef’s knives that can assist you simply and safely maintain your knives in fine condition.

Know when it’s time to sharpen your knives

A uninteresting knife could make your time within the kitchen really feel like a drag. Prep time takes for much longer as a result of you may have much less management of the uninteresting edge, and also you’re more likely to have a tough time slicing by way of softer elements like tomato and cucumber pores and skin. Your probabilities of reducing your self are additionally a lot larger while you’re wielding a uninteresting knife, another excuse sharpening your edges each six to 12 months is so necessary.

The way to sharpen your knives

You’ve got a couple of methods to go about sharpening your knives. You possibly can ship them out for sharpening. However if you happen to’re contemplating that choice, Lesley cautions that many knife-sharpening companies might cost you a large number simply to run your knife by way of a primary home-grade knife sharpener slightly than on professional instruments like grinding wheels or whetstones. She suggests asking the chef at one among your neighborhood eating places if they will suggest a trusted knife-sharpening skilled in your space.

If you happen to plan to do your individual sharpening, think about the standard of your knives earlier than choosing a way. For prime-quality, costly knives like our choose, the Mac Mighty MTH-80, our kitchen workforce says {that a} whetstone will present the sharpest, smoothest edge. If in case you have one thing cheaper like our price range choose, the Victorinox Fibrox Professional, we advise making an attempt one among our knife sharpener picks. Simply be sure you keep away from the most affordable knife sharpeners, which may strip away an excessive amount of of the blade’s metallic.