The Damascus steel knife is the oldest tool, tool, and household blade, to which we have long been accustomed. However, do not forget that a knife, even a kitchen one, requires the right attitude. If safety precautions and rules for handling blades are not followed, you risk injury or damage to the tool itself. Let’s talk about how not to cut yourself, wielding the sharpest blade,e and make sure that the knife does not lose its cutting properties for as long as possible.
Safety rules when using a Damascus steel knife
The history of a knife is not only the evolution of its shape, blade,e and sharpening techniques but also many years of experience in use, based on which safety rules were formed that are relevant to this day. We list recommendations for working with a knife that will help avoid injuries and cuts:
1. Do not cut towards yourself.
It is convenient to act this way when you need to chop or peel small fruits and root crops, cut off the rope, adhesive tape. However, it is highly unsuitable for handling heavy objects. Also, do not cut while resting the object being cut on the thumb. If you still cannot do without it, take the knife away from you.
2. Do not use dull knives.
The duller the blade, the more force you need to apply, the more likely the knife will slip and the cutting direction will change unexpectedly. Paradoxically, the risk of cutting yourself with a sharp knife is lower than with a dull one. A sharp blade is maneuverable, and its movement is much easier to control.
3. Do not throw the knife on the table or in the sink.
Always put the knife in a certain place while cooking. Otherwise, it is possible that you accidentally cut yourself while trying to grab nearby objects or foods.
4. Do not leave on the edge of the countertop, on a towel, etc.
It is especially important to follow this rule if there are children in the house.
5. Do not store blade up.
Open storage on a magnetic holder or stand is acceptable, but the tip of the blade must be pointing down.
6. Do not touch the cutting edge with your fingers.
Someone washes the blade with their fingers to check its sharpness. If it is very sharp, cuts cannot be avoided.
7. Don’t brandish the knife.
And if you pass it to someone, then the handle is forward. Also, do not try to catch a falling tool.
When working with tourists, households, hunting knives, such as kukri, it is important to follow certain safety measures. For example:
- move only in the sheath, put on the belt or in a pocket without a cover;
- do not work with a knife, using the body as support (when cutting a carcass, for example);
- Work with electric wires and devices is not permitted;
- Do not throw from a height or to another person unless the blade is sheathed.
It is worth observing the rules for handling a knife, the task of which is to preserve the life of the blade and extend the sharpness of the cutting edge. Here are the main recommendations:
1. Use only for its intended purpose.
Each blade has its specialization, so you don’t need to cut frozen meat with ceramic, try to chop greens with bread, and even more so open cans with a kitchen knife. At best, the result of the cut will be unsatisfactory, at worst, the knife will simply break.
2. Provide care.
High carbon steel knives should be washed by hand and wiped dry after each use.
3. Store separately from other instruments.
When in contact with other devices, the blade may be scratched or tiny chips will form on it, which will lead to a blunt or damage to the cutting edge.
4. For long-term storage, treat the blades with special compounds.
Otherwise, stains and corrosion may appear on the blade.
5. Do not leave in high humidity conditions.
Do not store blades in a pool, sauna, bathroom, above the stove, or sink. Set aside a dry compartment in the kitchen set or a stand on the countertop for knives.
6. Do not correct each other.
This method was used in the past for mild steel, stainless steel knives. Solid high-carbon materials are destroyed by such exposure.
7. Sharpen only with special tools or in a workshop.
It is important to follow the original manufacturer’s sharpening angle and use stones of suitable grit.
Manufacturers of knives with a worldwide reputation, such as Damascus1, care about the safety of consumers even at the manufacturing stage. The correct geometry of the blade, special sharpening methods, the shape and size of the handle, anti-slip coating, the presence of bolsters, protrusions, and other details provide additional protection for the cook’s hands and ease of use of products.