Knife Care

Ceramic Knife Maintenance

 

Following a few simple rules will result in your ceramic knife staying sharper and lasting longer.  When you first buy your knife it is sharp and looks great – wouldn’t it be great to keep it that way?  The following is list of Do’s and Don’ts for proper ceramic knife maintenance.



KNIFE CARE

DO
  1. Cut on a wood or plastic cutting board to avoid chipping
  2. Hand wash with warm, soapy water
  3. Allow knife to air dry
  4. Store your knife in its safety cover or a knife block when not in use
DO NOT
  1. Drop ceramic knife on hard surfaces
  2. Cut on stone, marble, metal or glass
  3. Cut frozen food or bones
  4. Use the knife for work that requires twisting of flexing the blade
  5. Apply force to the side of the blade (eg. smashing garlic)


KNIFE MAINTENANCE + STORAGE

  • Store in a knife block / sheath / tray or on a dish drain
  • Use care when storing and removing the knife from a knife block to avoid tip damage
  • Storing any knife upright  (sharp edge up) or sideways in a knife block reduces wear to the knife edge


KNIFE WEAR

All knives will dull over time.  Harder metals like high carbon steels, titanium and carbide tend to hold their edge longer than cheaper steel.  Ceramic blades are harder than any metal – in fact harder than anything except diamond.

Ceramic will stay sharper longer than metal blades with proper knife maintenance.  Over time and extended use micro abrasions or nicks will appear on the ceramic blade’s edge.  This is part of the normal process by which all blades dull over time.  The presence of microchips does not mean the knife is dull – it may continue to cut well for some time after that.  If the knife becomes too dull to use it is time to use a diamond sharpener.  Diamond is the only material harder than zirconium so be sure you or the professional sharpener has one.  The role of the sharpener is to first smooth the microchips on the edge of the blade and then hone a new, sharper edge.  Larger chips and broken tips can often be corrected by sharpening as well – for these it is best to seek out a professional.

PARING KNIFE

What is a Paring Knife ?

The paring knife blade is at its best when working in small spaces.  Peeling apples, de-stemming strawberries or turnips, deveining shrimp, and seeding bell peppers are just a few of the jobs a paring knife excels at.  Its short and thin blade allows for exceptional control that it so important when manuevering in tight spaces.  The sharp tip is also useful for removing potato eyes and other such tasks. A paring knife has a shape profile similar to a chef knife but on a smaller scale.  It is an essential knife to have in the kitchen when intricate cutting jobs present themselves.



PARING KNIFE SHAPE

The ideal paring knife is short with a sharp tip.  Shorter blades are easier to manuever, especially when moving in a circular motion.  A sharp tip allows for easy piercing of tough skin on vegetables or fruit.  The blade can be straight or curved.  For general use a straight blade is preferred as it is more versatile.  Curved blades are ideal for peeling onions or shallots but less effective on straight cuts.  Once you get comfortable with a straight blade there is no need for a curved blade paring knife.



PARING KNIFE SIZE

Paring knifes come in different lengths.  The shortest length (3″ or 7.5 cm) is the essential length to have.  Its size and perfectly balanced shape – combined with the benefits of lightweight ceramic blade – give it special practical and ergonomic advantages.



WHEN TO USE A PARING KNIFE

At its best in tight spaces and when circular motion is required.  Use it for de-stemming, de-seeding and removing blemishes with precision.  Its agility is its strength which makes it ideal for taking apart shrimp or peeling and pitting an avocado.



BEST PARING KNIFE

When looking for the ideal paring knife look for one that fits comfortably in the hand.  This is important in order to manipulate the blade effectively with intricate jobs like peeling cherries or olives.  The D-grip handle on the Kikusumi Paring Knife is ergonomically designed for the hand.  The second point is the blade should be short enough to manipulate easily – remember the longer the blade the more difficult it is to manouver..  3 inches (7.5 cm) is the ideal length of the blade.  The Kikusumi Paring knife is the go-to knife for de-stemming and cutting small fruits and vegetables into beautiful shapes.