Testing Knives For Sharpness

Victorinox Cutlery 12-Inch Curved Cimeter KnifeIt seems counterintutive, but a sharp knife is actually safer in the kitchen and around the grill than a dull knife. When a knife is dull, we saw, hack or force it through whatever it is we’re trying to cut, and it’s in those moments that we lose control of the knife and cut ourselves. A sharp knife is easily controlled because it slices through meat or veg or bread smoothly and easily, and is therefore safer.

The folks at America’s Test Kitchen suggest that you test your knives for sharpness as follows: Grasp the top edge of a piece of printer paper firmly with one hand and draw the knife blade across the edge of the paper from heel to tip. The knife should slice easily through the paper with minimal effort.

Here’s a 3-second video clip showing how to do the knife sharpness test:

There are many ways to sharpen knives. One of the best electric sharpeners is the Chef’s Choice 130 Professional Knife-Sharpening Station ($150). I’ve used this sharpener for many years and it does a fine job.

Chef's Choice 130 Professional Knife-Sharpening Station

Less expensive options include the Chef’s Choice 464 Pronto Manual 2-Stage Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener ($39) and the AccuSharp 001 Knife Sharpener ($9).