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Looking after your knife

So, you have spent a considerable amount of money on a beautiful new knife. The last thing you want to do is spoil it. 

Any good quality knife (particularly a Chop knife) should outlast its owner if looked after properly. This doesn't mean wrapping it up in kid gloves or leaving it to look pretty on a shelf; knives are tools that are meant to be used. 

Here are some simple tips to make sure you get the best from your knives.

old knives

Find a good place to keep your knives. 
Ideally, knives should be stored in a knife block or on a magnetic strip so they are close at hand. The worst thing you can do with your kitchen knives is to throw them into a drawer along with other cutlery - this is dangerous and will damage your knives.

Clean your knives after every use. 
Take a soapy cloth and wipe the blade, then wash it off with hot water. Dry immediately with a soft cloth. The most important lesson here is to never put a sharp knife in a dishwasher or leave to 'soak' in hot water, seriously - just don't.

Sharpen your knives regularly. 
A blunt knife is far more dangerous than a sharp knife as often the user will be putting a lot more force into the task, making them more prone to losing control and slicing off a digit. A knife sharpening steel or ceramic rod can be bought for very little money and will ensure your knife stays razor sharp.

Use a good cutting board. 
Glass or ceramic cutting boards are useless, they will dull a knife after just a few cuts. Always use a wooden (or plastic, at a push) board when cutting. Your knives will thank you for it.

Protect your knife. 
Carbon steel will quickly develop a beautiful patina when used. This patina helps to protect from rust but a wipe with a food grade oil (olive oil will do) after use will keep the blade in perfect condition. A little oil on the handle occasionally will also help to preserve the beauty of the wood.

Caring for your knife takes hardly any time, just a little thought. Get into a good habit early on and you won't regret it. A good sharp knife is a joy to use.