Clean Them Carefully and Store Them Safely
It is not necessary for your knives to go through the dishwasher instead simply run them under a hot tap with some dishwashing liquid, dry them and put them away.
Quality knives have a higher ratio of ‘steel’ than normal stainless. This helps with sharpness and edge retention but also means that knives can be susceptible to surface rusting and degredation when left wet or stored damp so always make sure your knife is totally dry after washing.
Most handles are also not dishwasher safe, particularly those made of wood, resin or with a laquered finish. In fact, dishwasher powder is so corrosive that we don’t recommend dishwashing any of our top quality non-stick pans, knives, etc.
Purchase A Decent Sharpener and Use It Regularly
When you make your investment in a great kitchen knife consider purchasing a matching steel or sharpener. Maintaining your new kinfe’s edge will make use more enjoyable and safer too (as a dull knife is a dangerous knife!). Run your steel across your knife a few times before each use, making sure that you are sharpening to the correct angle depending on whether your knife is German or Japanese (Milly’s staff can guide you through this when you’re buying your knife). There’s also a great tutorial here from Wusthof for German knives:
If you’re not confident using a steel then you may like to try a pull-through sharpener, which is literally as simple as it sounds. And those with specialty Japanese knives will need to use a whetstone.
Use a Wooden Cutting Board
While a marble, glass or porcelain surface can be lovely for serving and may seem more hygenic, it is not kind to your knives. Always use a wooden or resin chopping board so you are not damaging your knife’s edge.
Storage is Key
When storing your knives you want to protect both them and yourself. Having them knocking around in the “tools” draw is going to make for some close calls with finger tips and have your well-honed knife edge bumping around with ‘un-savoury sorts’ in the mish-mash of tools. A knife block or magnet is the best way to keep your blade protected, however a strong sheath or knife-roll will do the trick as-well.
Take It to the Professionals
Over time you’ll find you can no longer achieve a perfect edge using your steel. This indicates that it’s time for the blade to be re-cut and this is a job best done by a professional. We have a sharpening service that is run through our Ponsonby store on Thursday mornings, he does our own knives and we highly recommend his work. It’s only $9per knife and they’re effectively as good as new.