Using and Storing Knives

Updated:Nov 17,2014

woman using knife to cut vegetables in kitchenLearn to use and store knives safely with these simple tips.

Make sure your hands are dry before using a knife so it won’t slip in your hand. Set a towel between the cutting board and the countertop to prevent the board from slipping. Use the right knife for the job: a paring knife for peeling and coring, a chef knife for chopping and slicing.

Chop carefully. Curl your fingers under on the hand holding the food to avoid cuts. This takes practice but will become second nature. Move your hand along as the knife cuts the food. Don’t let yourself get distracted while using a knife. If you’re handling a knife and you drop it, step back and let it fall, don't try to catch it.

Never put a knife in a sink full of water. You might forget it’s in there and cut yourself when you reach into the sink – or someone who doesn’t know the knife is there could. Don't put knives in the dishwater, because they may not be visible to the person unloading the dishwasher. Wash knives separately by hand, and dry completely before storing.

Don't leave knives loose in a drawer unless they’re in a sheath. Banging around in a drawer can ruin the edges on your knives, and can be dangerous if someone reaches into the drawer. Store knives in a knife block or on a magnetic rack.

Article copyright © 2014 American Heart Association. This recipe is brought to you by the American Heart Association's Simple Cooking with Heart © Program. For more articles and simple, quick and affordable recipes, visit