Jake from sharp and today were going to be discussing my top five tips to keep your knives razor sharp! Its easier to keep a knife to sharp than it is to sharpen it and your knives will last much longer with less frequent sharpening.
Hone your knives! Whether honing to you means hitting your knife on a leather strop, a ceramic rod, or a high grit stone (5-8k) doing this frequently will keep your knife sharper longer and and extend the amount of time before you need to hit it on the stone again. Remember when using a ceramic rod to elongate the life of your edge to be sure to be making even contact with the entire edge of the blade to the rod. Failure to keep good form with a rod can over time cause a bit of a rut in the flat spot by the heel of the knife, leaving a spot with no board contact and turning your finely sliced bell peppers into an accordion.
Use a good cutting board. At the shop we recommend an end grain wood cutting board with a softer wood like the Larchwood boards we carry. Using a softer surface for our knives is less damaging to the apex of the blade and with an end grain cutting board the knife goes between the wood fibers instead of through them. While depending on the task (I sometimes prefer a smaller plastic board to butcher meat and fish on because it fits into my sink and is easier to clean thoroughly) it is NEVER okay to use a glass cutting board. I would love to have a word with whoever came up with those.
Don't scrape the edge of your knife horizontally across the board.This will quite effectively roll the edge of your blade over leaving it duller than the one knife you used from the block set you bought at Ikea when you left for college. Instead to push ingredients around on your cutting board we recommend flipping your knife over and using the spine of your knife. Alternatively you can get yourself a bench scraper which is super useful for keeping your station clean, and also a great help when working with different dough's and pastries.
Properly storing your knives. Whether that means in the box, in a knife roll, a blade guard or saya, on a magnetic rack or stand. While I'm partial to the magnetic wall racks because I like to show off my knives, anywhere you can keep your knife safe from being banged around loose in a drawer would be a huge improvement. While were talking about a knife getting banged around, it should never but put into a dishwasher either. The water moves so rapidly that is smashes all the cutlery into each other and the high heat and detergent can severely damage the handle and cause it to crack or come off completely.
Don't cut through anything you wouldn't bite through. Japanese knives are designed to be thin, light and incredibly sharp. This means that you trade off some of the robustness of a thicker, softer german steel. Because they are much harder when put to the test against things like bones, hard candies or frozen foods you will find out (the hard way) that these ingredients will often come out on top. Leaving your knife very dull, or even worse, chipped or bent.
That's all for today folks. Remember despite following all these tips its important to remember to treat your knife the way you would want a colleague, friend, or family member treat your knife above all else. Be good to it, and it will be good to you for years to come.