Nobody likes to try and make dinner in the kitchen with a blunt knife. It’s time-consuming and takes a furious amount of effort and unnecessarily takes a lot of your energy. Sharp knives are the way to go, right? So why is the question “Can a Knife be too sharp?” googled and thought about so often?
Depending on the type of knife and its usual daily use, a knife can be too sharp. A sharp knife blade is essential for various reasons like hunting and cooking. But it’s not always practical to have a knife that may be too sharp.
When your knives are getting dull and it’s time to sharpen them, there are best ways to do so with each knife type. Depending on the knife you’re using and what you’re using it for you may want to know a thing or two before sharpening them. Read on to find out how sharp is too sharp for your knife.
Can a knife be too sharp?
Generally speaking, for cutting, no. When it comes to cutting foods in the kitchen a knife cannot be too sharp. In fact, the sharper the better. But that doesn’t mean every knife needs to be so sharp that it can cut through bone.
Having a knife blade that is too thin can be brittle and at risk of breaking and chipping. Imagine cutting into your food and losing the thin point of your knife somewhere in there. What a recipe for disaster.
The same goes for knives for hunting, self defense and survival. If you are in a life or death situation, the last thing you want is for your survival knife to be dull.
Can you sharpen a knife too much?
Yes, you can sharpen a knife too much. Not only do you risk slicing fingers off with extremely sharp knives, but you can also ruin the blade and shape of your knife if sharpened too much. It’s also possible that a knife can be sharpened to the point where it loses its utility altogether.
Did you know that you can sharpen a knife so much that it no longer cuts through materials? This is because each time you sharpen the knife, the metal blade becomes finer and loses its angle and shape. It won’t be blunt but it also won’t be strong and able to cut through some materials.
Knives are designed for different reasons and are used to cut or shape numerous objects and materials. Not all objects and materials are the same weight and consistency so why should a knife be?
The danger of a blunt knife
This doesn’t mean you want a blunt knife either. It just means you may want to do some research on your specific type of knife to avoid damaging it by over-sharpening or by using the wrong tool for the job. Be sure you know how to use a knife sharpener for the best results.
Kitchen knives, for example, can never be too sharp. The sharper the knife in the kitchen, the less likely you are to have any injuries. Blunt knives are the main source of common kitchen injuries due to needing to use more pressure and changing your hand-held position of the knife and the food to chop the food.
Undoubtedly, there are still numerous injuries with sharp knives, but a good sharp knife in the kitchen means cleaner and more efficient cutting practices that reduce the risk of injury.
Are there knives that don’t need to be sharpened?
Most knives will need sharpening in their lifespan. Some more than others and some hardly ever. Here’s a list of the type of Knives that don’t need to be sharpened too often, if at all:
Serrated knives are difficult to sharpen because of their style. The serrated knife doesn’t need to be sharpened as often as other knives but if it does need to be sharpened a diamond sharpener is recommended. The serrated blade offers a faster cut due to its sharp pointed teeth on the blade and is used for softer items like bread. Using a serrated knife will be less smooth than a plain edge knife.
Ceramic knives can be sharpened. But, without specialist equipment, like a diamond stone sharpener, you probably don’t want to sharpen a ceramic knife. They are brittle and if too much pressure is applied, they can break or snap easily. It’s also worth noting that ceramic knives can retain their sharpness much longer than other types of knives.
For obvious reasons, the butter knife is placed at the top of this list. Yes, it is a knife, but have you ever seen a sharp one? Butter knives aren’t usually made from the highest quality steel because the sharpness of the butter knife is irrelevant. Butter knives are for spreading, not for cutting. If you’ve ever seen a butter knife with a toothed blade, you may find you’ve also torn the bread to shreds.
Which knives can be too sharp?
The edge of a knife refers to the blade of the knife. If the blade of the knife is sharpened too much it can lose its small metal ‘teeth’. The teeth of the blade are what does most of the work when it comes to cutting objects. Some sharp knives can be useless as they don’t have teeth to “catch” on the food when cutting. This may be because they were sharpened too much and the metal teeth have been sliced off in the process.
You will probably find the blade just slips right off or feels blunt, even after you’ve just sharpened it. Knives have numerous purposes in our daily lives and activities so it’s safe to assume they are useful for countless exercises or useless at tasks they weren’t designed for. Some knives are not designed to be too sharp.
A filleting knife does need to be sharp but there is a point at which it can be deemed too sharp. Filleting a fish isn’t just about the sharpness of a knife. Filleting a fish is a skilled party trick in the way the filleter uses the blade and flexibility of the knife rather than relying on a sharp edge.
Pocket knives should be sharp enough for small emergencies, like cutting a fishing wire or a loose thread from your clothes or maybe even for opening a package. But they do not need to be so sharp that when you flip them open you risk cuts or stabs in your fingers and hands. Pocket knives are for everyday use and more general tasks, not for cooking up a storm in the kitchen or for surgery.
The best fleshing knives should have a sharp side and a duller side. The sharp side is for fleshing and the duller side is used for pushing the fat. Fleshing knives can be very hard to sharpen if they’re not high-quality steel.
Will a blunt knife effect my cooking?
There are so many different types of knives it can be hard to keep up with their names and uses. You have probably been told most of your life that knives should be sharp and now you’re reading this isn’t the case. I should probably point out that personal opinion will always be a valuable trait when it comes to your cooking or knifing activities.
Although I’ve made it clear that you do not need to over-sharpen your knives, a blunt knife in the kitchen will affect your cooking. Kitchen knives should be sharp for best results.
It’s important to have the right type of knife for the activity being carried out. Whether it’s cooking, arts and crafts or a high-utility knife used when camping or hunting, it always pays to have a high quality knife that is sharpened to the manufacturer’s specification.
In all fairness, a sharp knife will probably never be a drawback for your cooking or ability to perform the task at hand. But, an over-sharpened knife can cause serious injury just as much as a blunt knife can.