How Long Should I Expect My Knives To Last?

How long should I expect my knives to last? Tips and techniques for extending the life span of your cutlery. Knives may actually last a very long time when used and maintained properly. Higher quality knives...

Knives may actually last a very long time when used and maintained properly. Higher quality knives often have good warranties and are well made for durable and reliable use. Cheaper knives may be available as well but are not necessarily constructed for long-term use or top quality performance.

Trish Gray is the marketing manager for Kyocera Advanced Ceramics. She travels the country doing promotional work and public relations while handling the marketing and packaging as well. Gray states, "When a traditional steel knife is made, there are actually little tiny micro pieces on the edge of the cutting edge of the blade. These get worn down when you are honing your knives; which is something that people should do with their steel knives at home." Gray suggests, "Use a sharpening rod that you can get at the store. Kyocera actually sells a ceramic sharpening rod for use on steel knives, not ceramic knives. You have to hone your knives. When you are using that, it actually helps true up the edge a little bit, but really you are going to need to send it in for sharpening periodically (every six months)."

Many fine cutlery retailers offer sharpening services to keep your knives well maintained. Gray mentions, "Professionally sharpening them (your knives) is much better and several studies have been done on hone sharpening machines and things like that. They really don't do as good of a job, not nearly as good of a job as the professional sharpening." The main reason to consider professional knife sharpening is to prevent damage that can be done to the knife blade during this process. Gray adds, "There is a precise angle at which you need to hone and sharpen knives. Also, if you are working with something a lot and you use it on a daily basis, it is going to need to get sharpened at some point. So getting into the habit of doing honing and sharpening is a great way to take care of something that you love and use a lot."

It is recommended that all cutlery items be hand washed in hot soapy water as soon as possible once use is complete. Never soak knives or other cutlery pieces in water and immediately towel dry them once they have been rinsed well. Some manufacturers of dishwasher say that it is safe to clean knives and cutlery in their machines but you should always follow the recommendations and guidelines in their booklets. Depending on how well your knives are made, the materials they contain, and the care that is given to them, your knives could last for many years. Some items are even passed down from one generation to the next and used by many family members.

It is important to look at the quality, craftsmanship and materials used when purchasing a knife or knife set. Know what you want to do with the set and how much you can afford to spend. Higher price does not always mean higher quality but there are many reputable manufacturers that offer an array of pricing options on various sets. Try to select an item or set that is right for your needs. Don't get a set of twelve knives if you only need six or eight knives. Likewise don't get a premium quality materials and features that you don't want or need. Fancy wood handles are beautiful and expensive but may not be practical or affordable for everyday use.

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