Knives are often the bread-and-butter of any good chef’s kit or kitchen setup. From vegetables and meats, to fruits, breads, and other items requiring a sharp edge, the knives you keep on hand are designed to make your life easier—inside and outside of the kitchen. When a knife dulls, you’ll find that you have to work twice as hard to perform even the most basic task, which is what we want to avoid.
The function of a serrated knife
Unlike knives with smooth edges, a serrated knife features a scalloped edge with teeth. These serrated blades are ideal for cutting through items with hard exteriors and soft interiors, whether it be a loaf of bread or something like a fresh orange. The thing to remember is that serrated knives operate in a similar fashion to saws: you rely on the teeth of the blade to do the cutting, which happens when the teeth catch and rip the food or object you’re working with.
When to use serrated knives in the kitchen
Using them in the right way will help prolong their sharpness. Situations where serrated knives might be dulled will not only kill the blade’s sharpness, but could cause you to even snap the blade/handle, ruin an otherwise functional knife, or hurt yourself.
When considering your knife choice, remember the following:
Serrated knives work best for tasks that don’t involve force cuts.
Serrated knives are good for making sliver cuts, especially into rigid surfaces.
To make a sliver cut you should pull the knife’s edge transversely—pulling the edge crosswise across the surface you’re cutting.
Hard and unyielding objects are best cut with serrated blades, using a sawing motion.
Aside from using your serrated knives in appropriate situations, you can also extend their life by taking care of them properly.
Serrated knife care and maintenance
It’s recommended that you hand wash your knives using a soft sponge and warm, soapy water. Although many manufacturers state that their knives can be put in a dishwasher, this can actually dull the blade. Soaking knives can also shorten the life of your knife as prolonged immersion in water may loosen their handles.
To store your knives, it’s suggested to keep them in a knife block or on a magnetic strip intended for holding knives (mounted somewhere out of the way and safe). You can also keep them in the utensil drawer insert that accommodates their length or size. Storing them loosely in a drawer can result in minor cuts when removing them, or it could dull/nick the blades.
One of the most important—and simplest—ways to get the most out of your serrated knives is by keeping them sharp. While most sharpeners are complex or challenging to use for those new to sharpening, the SELECTOOL Master Sharpener makes this task effortless and safe.
This step-by-step video will teach you how to properly sharpen any serrated blade using the SELECTOOL Master Sharpener.
Serrated knives can last for years when you observe some basic rules including using them with objects and foods they were meant for, storing and washing them properly, and sharpening them when the blade starts to get dull. Cutting with a dull blade can result in uneven or difficult cuts, injury, or a broken knife.