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.
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.
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