Once in a while I get the strange request to "Please sharpen my knife but not too sharp or I'll cut myself." While I understand how someone could reach this conclusion, just the opposite is true. When you have become accustomed to using a dull knife for a while you can fall into some bad habits to compensate. It's only natural to lose respect for a knife after it gets dull. It happens slowly over a period of time, like the clutter that accumulates in the garage, until one day you finally resolve to do something about it.
Believing that even direct contact with the edge will not result in any injury, it's tempting to get fast and loose with a knife. Also, most folks are unaware of how much additional downward force they must apply to cut with a dull knife. Have you ever had a dull knife fail to bite into an onion and slide off in an unpredictable direction? A knife that does not go where it is pointed is unpredictable and dangerous.
Tips for safe handling of a sharp knife
- Always assume that a knife is sharp
- Use the right knife for the job
- Do not use more force than necessary
- The knife is either in your hand or in the block
- Steel your knife after every use
So remember, it may be counterintuitive, but a sharp knife is a safer than a dull knife.