Signs It’s Time to Replace Your Chef’s Knife

Posted by Amanda Delatorre on

Over time and with repeated use, a chef’s knife may fall into a state of disrepair. Look out for these signs to know when to replace your knife.

When taken care of, a high quality chef’s knife will serve you well for many years, if not a lifetime.  Different steels have different maintenance requirements, but a little care and attention will go a long way to extend the life of your edge.  Despite the progress you might make in cooking knowledge and technique, having a dull old knife can hold you back.  Here are some signs it’s time to replace your chef’s knife.

Loose Rivets

In Western-style knives, the handle is attached to the blade with rivets. These might corrode or slacken over time, which causes the handle to loosen. The resulting shifting of the blade can then mire your attempted cuts in dangerous imprecision. You should seek a new chef’s knife when you notice this.  To extend the life of a knife handle, never put it in the dishwasher and keep the wood properly conditioned with oil, and wash and dry it immediately after using.

Chipped Blade

Tiny chips along the blade’s edge are natural as you use your knife and can be smoothed out on a sharpening stone.  Large chips that occur from actions like cutting into bones with the wrong knife or using it on frozen food can end a knife’s life.  Although a skilled knife sharpener may be able to restore the knife, it will likely not be able to function in the same way.  Sometimes it’s time to say goodbye and trade your chipped knife for a new one.  Use a soft end grain wood or rubber cutting board to extend the life of your edges. 

Broken or Bent Tip

If you drop your knife, twist it or use the wrong knife for the job, such as choosing a thin slicer for a hard pumpkin, you may bend or break your blade.  Some tip damage can be repaired but with severe damage and alignment problems will warrant a new knife.  A straight tip is essential for precision as it guides the motion of the knife. 

Thick Spine

Whether the result of years or sharpening or poor design, a thick spine and poor grind angle angle will result in wedging, where you cut an ingredient such as a carrot and it breaks off before you reach the cutting board.  When you see this happening it’s time to do some aggressive thinning and sharpening of the sides of the blade or pick a new knife.

If you’re in the process of replacing your chef’s knife, consider choosing a Japanese chef knife from Chubo Knives. Choosing a knife of a high standard will give you many more years of cooking enjoyment.  With a little maintenance your knives will last a lifetime.  Visit our website today to view our range of products.

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