Blade Runner

How to tell if your knife is sharp enough

Any chef or home cook will tell you that the most important tool in the kitchen is a good knife, and upkeep of your trusty blade is as important as owning a quality one. A dull knife is dangerous, because it requires more force to use—meaning a more forceful accident waiting to happen. It will also slow you down and cause you extra work.

If you're not sure whether your blade is sharp enough, here's a quick and easy way to find out:

Try slicing a sheet of paper with your knife.

If the knife cuts through the paper easily, it's sharp.

GIF: YouTube/America's Test Kitchen

If the knife stops at the paper's edge and doesn't cut through, it's dull.

An alternative method some chefs use to determine a knife's edge is to cut through their arm hair. As safe as that sounds, we'd rather stick to the paper method.

For a full visual demonstration of the technique (no, not the hairy situation), watch this video from America's Test Kitchen. If your knife does need sharpening, get yourself a whetstone, and in between sharpenings, use your knife honer to keep the blade aligned.