How Do Butchers Maintain Their Knives?

If Knives are the most important tool of your business, it makes sense to keep them in great condition. Just like we service our cars, we need to service our blades as well. Not just professionals, but any individual who uses knives or blades, knows the frustration when using blunt knives.

Here are some rules that we follow, for our knives to deliver clean, sharp cuts and to stay in good working condition.

1)  Never store these precious tools in a drawer with other instruments. Not only will you compromise on the safety of your hands while searching for what you’re looking for, but you will also ruin the sharp edges of the knives with all the bumping and crashing into each other. We recommend using either a vertical wooden storage base for your knives or a magnetic knife bar on your kitchen benchtops.

2)  “A blunt knife is a bigger menace than a sharp one”

This is true when it comes to the safety of the person using it. On the off chance that you are working with a blunt blade, you will require more force for a simple cut. If the blade slips you run the risk of cutting a hand, thumb or finger. Working with a sharp blade makes work easier and cutting cleaner and more precise.

3)  Buy the best quality knives which you can afford. There are cheap knives available in the market, but they won’t stay sharp long, remember, you get what you pay for! Rather than sharpening your knife frequently and wasting money, we recommend saving a few dollars and buying a quality knife that will last you longer, some can last a lifetime with proper care.

4)  Do not use a dishwasher to clean your blades. If the handles of your knives are made out of wood, they tend to loosen up in the dishwasher and will loosen and eventually break. Also, the blade might knock into other cutlery which will cause damage. Plus, the temperature variations and strong detergents also cause damage to your precious knives. We recommend hand-washing your knives with warm water and mild soap.

5)  Sometimes, all your knife needs is honing, not sharpening. Honing is re-fixating the centre on the edge of the knife. While using any knife, there will be pressure on one side, which can dull the edge because it’s not centred. This is when honing steel comes into the picture. Rubbing the blade on honing steel puts the edge back to the centre.

6)  Always work on wooden boards or surfaces while cutting. This makes sure that your knife stays in a healthy condition. Avoid cutting directly on metal or marble workstations.

7)  When you’re a professional, there might be times when you will have to use a knife for 8 to 10 hours a day. Make sure the handle is comfortable and your balance is right. We recommend handling the blade for a few minutes before you buy a knife. If it causes discomfort within minutes, you can only imagine what it will do after an hour.

8)  Different Knives have different purposes. There are knives available for each purpose like boning, slicing, chopping, mincing, filleting, etc. Do not use a knife for a purpose it isn’t made for. It will damage the blade in no time.

9)  Get professional help to sharpen your knives. Proficient blade sharpening organisations can fix chipped or blunt edges. Gourmet specialist knives, butcher blades, and scissors can all be sharpened. Each piece is finished by hand considering the individual attributes. You might be a brilliant culinary specialist or butcher, however, you may require an expert sharpener to keep your edge in supreme condition. Make sure that these professionals are using water-stones or oil-stones to sharpen your blades. You might be a fantastic gourmet expert, butcher or expert client, however, you may require an expert sharpener to keep your edge in supreme condition.

10) Some Miscellaneous Points:

– It is better to keep sharp knives that aren’t regularly used, away from your workstation.

– Do not attempt to catch a falling knife.

– Never pass a knife to someone by the blade. Make sure you put it on a flat surface and let that person pick it up.

– Lastly, with all precautions, make sure you enjoy the process.

While it’s a profession for some, it might be a passion for someone else.