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Knife Maintenance and the Importance of Sharpening

Knives are one of the most essential tools in the kitchen.
They are used for slicing, dicing, chopping, and mincing a variety of ingredients. However, a dull knife can make these tasks much more difficult and can even be dangerous.
Proper knife maintenance is crucial to ensure that your knives perform at their best and are safe to use.
One of the most important aspects of knife maintenance is sharpening. 
wiping a knife with a cloth
Why is Sharpening Important?
A sharp knife is essential for efficient and safe cutting.
When a knife is dull, it requires more force to cut through ingredients, which increases the risk of slipping and injury. Dull knives can also damage the food, causing it to become bruised and unsightly.
In contrast, a sharp knife will make slicing, dicing, and chopping a breeze. It requires less force and produces cleaner cuts that preserve the food's texture and flavor.
Another reason why sharpening is important is that it extends the life of your knife.
Over time, the blade will become dull due to regular use. If you continue to use a dull knife, it will become more difficult to sharpen, and eventually, the blade will need to be replaced.
Sharpening your knife regularly will help maintain its edge, ensuring that it lasts for many years.
Types of Sharpeners
There are several types of sharpeners available on the market. The most common are whetstones, honing rods, and electric sharpeners.
Each type of sharpener has its advantages and disadvantages.
A sharpener will make use of various methods to deliver the end result you request. For example more sharpness or more edge retention, or even a polished edge and rust removal.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Knives?
The frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use your knives.
Chefs who use their knives daily may need to sharpen them every few days, while home cooks who use their knives less frequently may only need to sharpen them once every few months.
It's essential to pay attention to how your knife is performing. If you find that you are using more force than usual or that the blade is slipping, it may be time to sharpen it.
In Suwada we welcome professionals who bring their knives for sharpening once or twice per month. 
At first we thought once every three months is enough, but they argued that the job becomes more tiring when a blade is dull, not to mention the frustration that comes with it.
Slicing raw fish on a wooden cutting board
Knife Maintenance Tips

Sharpening is just one aspect of knife maintenance. Proper care and storage can also help extend the life of your knife. Here are some tips for maintaining your knives:

    1. Handwash your knives: Avoid putting your knives in the dishwasher. The high heat and harsh detergents can damage the blade and handle. Instead, wash them by hand with warm water and mild

      soap. Rinse thoroughly and dry immediately with a soft towel.

    2. Store your knives properly: Knives should be stored in a way that protects the blade and prevents damage to the handle. A knife block, magnetic strip, or sheath are all good options for storing your knives.

    3. Use a cutting board: Always use a cutting board when using your knife. Cutting on hard surfaces like granite or glass can dull the blade quickly.

    4. Avoid cutting frozen food: Cutting frozen food can cause damage to the blade. Thaw your food before cutting it.

    5. Use the right knife for the task: Using the wrong knife can damage both the knife and the food. 

    6. Keep your knives dry: After washing your knives, make sure they are completely dry before storing them. Moisture can cause rust and damage to the blade.
In conclusion, knife maintenance is crucial for ensuring that your knives perform at their best and are safe to use.
Sharpening your knives regularly is one of the most important aspects of knife maintenance.
A sharp knife will make cutting easier and safer and will extend the life of your knife.
There are several types of sharpeners available, including whetstones, honing rods, and electric sharpeners. It's important to choose the right sharpener for your needs and to sharpen your knives according to their usage.
In addition to sharpening, proper care and storage can also help extend the life of your knife. 
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