How to not cut off your fingers

Dec 1, 2017 | Cooking Tips

Using A Knife

How to keep all your fingers.

 

On tv it looks really cool seeing all these chefs and cooks chop shit really quickly. The thing is they have been doing it for years, their knives are razors, and they know proper technique (even if they aren’t using it in the name of looking cool).If you try to chop and cut as fast as them you will lose a finger. Of course, the more you do something the faster you will be. And, if you know and follow the proper techniques, you can chop as fast as them…or at least faster than you do now. 

There are three main things to think about when using a knife.

  1. Don’t be scared of it. You are in control.
  2. Take your time.
  3. Use proper techniques to prevent injury.

 

Being in control of your knife is pretty much the most important thing. The key to good knife control is to choke up on the handle. Just like a baseball bat. You want to find the balance point of your knife (it will be on the blade just above the handle).

To find the balance point of your knife lay it on it’s side. Pick it up and try balancing it on your index finger. Adjust the knife placement until it is balanced. This point will be on the blade likely ½ an inch or so from the handle.

Find that point and pinch it between your thumb and index finger. Wrap your remaining three fingers around the handle with a gentle grip. This position gives you the most control over your knife. Don’t believe me? Try it. Hold your knife back on the handle and cut something. Now try my way. I’m serious. Go do this right now. The rest of this post can wait.

If you did just go use your knife you know that I am right.

Keeping your fingers

The key to keeping all your fingers is knowing where to put them. Specifically, you don’t want to put them under the sharp part of your knife. 

Stand your hand straight up on a cutting board so only your fingertips are touching the board. Now bend your hand, keeping your fingertips in place. Place the sharp edge of your knife on the board. Now, put the flat side of your knife against the flat tops of your fingers maintaining contact with both your fingertips and the knife edge to the board. If you did this right your knife should be flush against your fingers. This is how you limit the possibility of cutting yourself. You use the back of your fingers as a guard while keeping your fingertips out from under the knife blade.

The secret is to be conscious of where the knife edge is in relation to your fingers at all times. You will still likely cut yourself once in awhile, but more than likely they will just be knicks and not the ends of your fingers.

There are three other things to keep in mind when using your knife.

  1. When cutting vegetables like carrots, celery, etc. cut them into manageable sizes before attempting to slice or dice them. You want pieces that you can comfortable control with your guard hand while maintaining control of your knife with your knife hand.
  2. Square surfaces. When possible with round or misshapen things so that there is a flat edge you can lay on your cutting board. This will prevent the item you are cutting from wobbling around and it makes cutting a lot safer and easier.
  3. Sharpen your knife. If you don’t have a sharp knife everything I just told you is moot. A dull knife is much more dangerous than a sharp knife because it slips off of things rather than cutting into them. You don’t have to use a sharpening stone to sharpen a knife. It doesn’t have to take forever. There are a few items below that will work very well for you and will keep your knives sharp at home.  I can’t stress how important it is to have sharp knives. Seriously!!

Use the above tips to chop, slice or dice just about anything without losing your finger tips. 

Ben

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