Learning how to cut properly using a knife is very important. Proper usage adds to your comfort in handling a knife, increases your speed with it, and prevents injury.
Being comfortable handling sharp objects is key to many areas of your life. Children use knives and scissors to cut pictures, play dough, and other arts-and-craft paraphernalia for their various projects. Adults use knives to open boxes, letters, and files. People of all ages use steak knives and butter knives during dinner. No matter what profession you are in or will choose to be in, you’ll inevitably use a knife in various aspects of your life. Learning how to properly cut with a knife is essential to a normal, comfortable knife.
Once you’ve had enough practice using a knife, your speed increases. When cutting vegetables, herbs, or meats, you should never remove the knife completely from the cutting board. When you cut a carrot, for example, rock the knife back and forth over the board. Put pressure on the tip of the knife, then roll it back over the carrot so that the tip is in the air but the wider blade, the part closer to the handle and your grasp, is still in contact with the cutting surface. Continue rocking the blade back and forth in the same manner, pushing the carrot along the board with your free hand. For safety, be sure to keep your hand as far away from the knife as possible.
Safety is a highly important, if not the most important, component of knife handling. Much of emergency laceration cases come from people, children or adults, misusing a knife. Everyone knows logically that it’s dangerous to put knives somewhere young children or babies can reach them and harm themselves. What few people understand is what the highest danger actually comes from – having a dull knife.
It’s never a pleasant occasion to slice your hand or your finger accidentally while cutting up something for dinner. But the cut is much worse when caused by a dull knife. When your knife is sharp and you cut yourself, it is a clean, straight cut that will heal very quickly and probably on its own, depending on how deep it is. If your knife is dull, it creates a jagged cut that will need medical attention and most likely stitches. Dull knives increase your probability for lack of control. It requires more force to cut with a dull knife, which increases your chances at losing control of it and cutting yourself harder and deeper. Jagged edges of dull knives do not cut, they shred. So keep your knives sharp, keep them on the boards while cutting, and keep your fingers away from the blade.