Tests to see if your Kitchen Knives are Sharp enough

April 17, 2016 | By

In order to get the best out of your kitchen knives, they need to be sharp enough to do the job for which they are intended. For example, a vegetable knife should be able to slice through vegetables without exerting much pressure. In the case of a meat knife, you shouldn’€™t need to saw through the meat and the edges should be clean. Unfortunately, for a knife to be sharp enough, the edge of the blade should be as thin as possible, and it is then easy for the blade to be damaged. For the best performance from your knives, you should get them sharpened and invest in blade protectors. 

First things first though — you need to find out if your knives aren’t as sharp as they should be, which you can do in the following ways.

Use paper

Fold up a piece of paper and then slice through the fold with your knife. If it is sharp enough, it should cut through cleanly and without any drag. If, however, you can feel it pulling and you need to exert pressure to get it to cut through, then it needs sharpening. Another experiment you can do with paper is to roll up a ball of paper and slice though that. Again, if you need to add pressure and the knife tears at the paper, it is not sharp enough.

Slice off the tops of carrots

Bladesmith Bob Kramer has a number of ways of proving that knives aren’€™t sharp enough. One of those ways is to slice the tops off carrots, but without placing them on a chopping board. Instead, simply hold a carrot or two in one hand and, with the other, slice across the top of the carrots. The tops should come off easily and with very little pressure. 

Test sharpness when cutting tomatoes

Another Bob Kramer suggestion is to try slicing tomatoes. If the knife you are using is not sharp enough, the skin of the tomato will tear rather than leave neat edges and you will probably need to chop and saw through the skin and pulp in order to be able to slice it. That way, you will also lose some of the juice in the tomato. When your knife is sharp, however, it will just slice straight through.

Test sharpness when cutting onions

Finally, Bob Kramer reveals that a harder test for your knife is to try cutting unpeeled onions. Because of the papery nature of the skin, you will find it hard to get the knife to bite into the onion and it will slip. A knife that is properly sharp, on the other hand, will have no difficultly in cutting through the papery skin, leaving beautifully clean edges.

You will get an awful lot more out of your knives if you ensure that they are sharp enough, and then take good care of them to avoid dulling the blades. Check out your own knives and ensure they are as sharp as they should be. 

Category: Food

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