Good quality kitchen knives will last for a very long time , but only if they are looked after in the correct way. If you are going to spend good money on a quality kitchen knife, or perhaps a set of knives, you need to know how to look after the knives – if they are going to last and serve you well. A good set of knives from a top manufacturer like Sabatier knives, Global or Wusthof will last you a very long time, but again, only if they are looked after correctly.
Knives need to be sharpened on a regular basis. Sharpening knives by using a steel will be sufficient to keep the blade sharp, however, sometimes a whetstone may be required to fully sharpen a knife. It is important to have a knife steel among your kitchen equipment.
Sharpening a knife with a knife steel or rod is an easy task but may require some practice. For best results, place the blade of the knife against the steel at an angle of around twenty degrees. Then slide the blade of the knife along the whole length of the steel, exerting a small amount of pressure, and repeat for both sides of the blade. Test the knife for sharpness and repeat until the knife is sharp enough to use.
If the knife requires more than just a knife steel to sharpen it, then a whetstone may be the answer, although this is a little harder to use. Ensure that the whetstone is moistened with oil, and use it in a similar way to a knife steel, holding the edge of the blade at an angle of around 20 to 30 degrees and rubbing against the stone.
When cutting with your knives always use a wooden or plastic cutting surface. Glass and ceramic surfaces are very hard and will blunt or even damage the knife edge.
Cleaning your knives is also important. Never put good quality knives into the dishwasher, as this will harm the blade and the handle. Detergents and the movement caused by a dishwasher can damage the knife edges. A quick rinse in hot water with some dish soap, right after use, and followed by a careful dry will be sufficient to maintain the quality of your knives.
Storing your knives can be done using either a knife block or a magnetic strip. Do not simply put your knives in the draw with all the other cutlery. This is not a safe place for sharp knives to be, and will likely cause damage to the blades when the knives come into contact with other kitchen utensils. A number of manufacturers sell sets of knives together with a knife block or wallet. For example, a Sabatier Knife set, consisting of five to seven knives, is sufficient for most culinary tasks.