For those who regularly need a knife for their everyday tasks, like chefs and cooks, nothing is as frustrating as a dull blade.
Blunt knives are unsafe to use as they may slip and cut your fingers. This is because you are forced to use added pressure when slicing and cutting food.
Using a sharp kitchen tool ensures that you will be able to finish your tasks quickly and efficiently, but what knife stays sharp longest?
Is there such a knife that will remain sharp even with constant use, or is there something that we can do to keep it that way?
Different Knife Blade Materials
The kind of material used for your knife’s blade plays a significant role in its performance and efficiency in the kitchen.
Below are some of the materials commonly used by artisans and blacksmiths.
1. Stainless Steel
Stainless steel is an ideal material when it comes to knife-making because of its ability to withstand the everyday pressure in the kitchen. It also resists rust and corrosion.
The high chromium component in stainless steel requires frequent sharpening for the knife to stay sharp.
2. Carbon Steel
Most kitchen knives are made from carbon steel, which is a type of stainless steel that is affordable and can hold its shape for a long time.
It is easy to sharpen but is prone to rust, stain, and corrosion. It does not contain chromium, thus the need for thorough cleaning after use.
Ceramic blades are hard, non-metallic materials that can stay sharp for a long time and is entirely resistant to corrosion.
However, it is also brittle and prone to crack when dropped. Ceramic knives need a special kind of sharpening tool, too.
Plastic blades are used in disposable knives. Since there is no way to sharpen it, most plastic knives have serrated edges.
Why Does My Knife Blade Get Dull?
The first thing that you need to understand is that your knife’s blade will not stay sharp for a lifetime.
The type of material used to create your knife is also something to consider when it comes to the blade’s sharpness and its edge-retention properties.
Whatever material your knife is made of, it will still dull in time, especially when you use it all the time.
There are simple steps that you can do to prevent your knife’s blade from getting dull too early.
- Don’t let the blade get in contact with anything harder than your knife, like stone, ceramic, glass, and porcelain.
- Remember to use plastic or wooden cutting boards when slicing your ingredients to protect the edges of your knives.
- Wash the knives by hand with warm and soapy water. Make sure to wipe it dry after washing to prevent damage to the blades.
- Do not store the knife inside a drawer along with other cutlery. The blade may chip or dull as it bumps with other tools.
- Make sure to only use the knife for its intended purpose. Do not abuse it by using it to do tasks that are not suitable for how they are made.
- Keep a sharpening steel handy to give your knife a quick swipe when it gets dull while cutting or slicing food.
On Knife Sharpening and Maintenance
The knife’s performance is reflected in the way it is cared for and maintained. An expensive knife and an affordable one is both efficient when kept sharp.
All types of knives will need sharpening when used regularly, as no knife can stay sharp for a long time.
What you will notice between a well-made product and one with inferior quality is the amount of time they stay sharp and how easy to give their blades an edge.
One other thing that you need to keep in mind is that dull knives need sharpening, but an already sharp knife needs honing to keep it that way longer.
Invest in an excellent hone and know how to use it properly, then use it on your sharp knife to maintain its edge.
Sharpening vs. Honing
Now that we have mentioned it, let’s take a quick look at what these two processes are all about.
Investing in good quality knives means that you also need to take good care of this investment for it to perform well and last a long time.
Sharpening and honing are two primary ways of maintaining the sharpness of your knives.
Not a lot of people know that these are two different processes. They are always interchanged, giving the impression that they are the same.
The sharpening process is what you do when the knife lost its sharpness and becomes dull. It works by removing materials from its edge using a sharpening apparatus or whetstone.
Honing, on the other hand, is the way to maintain the sharpness of a brand new knife or a newly sharpened one.
As you hone a knife, you polish the uneven surface of the edge, reducing resistance and allowing it to perform better.
Regular honing of the knife will keep it sharp; thus, you only need to sharpen it for at least once or twice a year.
What Knife Stays Sharp Longest?
From what we have discussed so far, we have learned that the price of the knife does not guarantee that it will stay sharp for a long time.
The brand of the knife is also not an indicator that it has better edge retention compared to those that are not popular.
What we can confirm is that most brand-new knives are sharp right out of the package, and some get dull faster than the others.
The knife’s ability to hold an edge depends on several factors, like the type of material used, the angle of its cutting edge, and how it is used.
A specific type of knife cannot answer the question of what knife stays sharp longest, as each blade is constructed differently.
The real secret for you to have sharp knives at all times is to sharpen it whenever needed and practice effective maintenance techniques.