Knives and cutlery can represent a substantial investment; it’s important to take proper care of your cutlery to ensure years of safe use. A sharp knife is a safe knife so a knife sharpener is an essential part of your portfolio of kitchen tools. Some folks prefer a sharpening stone while others lean toward using a sharpening steel; there are also models with crossed ceramic sticks which one pulls the knife through to sharpen plus there are several different styles of eclectic knife sharpeners.
Regardless of the method, knives must be sharpened on a regular basis to hold an edge; if you are uncomfortable or not confident about your ability to properly sharpen your knives they can also be taken to a professional for sharpening on a regular basis. When cleaning a knife it should never be placed in a dishwasher, even if it is marked as dishwasher safe. Knives should also not be submerged in water for any length of time. Most professionals clean their cutlery by wiping it with a damp cloth and then drying it thoroughly before storing.
Proper knife storage is important – if you toss your knives in the cutlery drawer they can scratch and nick one another plus it poses a safety hazard. If a cutlery drawer is your only storage option then you should invest in individual knife protectors designed to keep the blades covered. Another storage option is a magnetic knife rack – some are designed to be installed in a drawer while most are designed to be mounted on a wall. A countertop knife block is another popular storage option.