1. A knife is the most used piece of equipment in the kitchen.
2. Edge maintenance is required (not just sharpening).
3. Sharp knives are safer than dull knives.
4. If a knife is not going to be maintained, then it should not be sharpened to a high level (the sharper the knife, the more important maintenance is).
5. It is important to fix/repair the geometry of the knife before sharpening.
6. The 4 components to knife performance:
a. The quality of the knife
b. The way it is used
c. The way it is maintained
d. The way it is sharpened
7. A Dressing Rod is to your knife edge as a comb is to your hair (ceramic is the best). It needs to be used regularly.
8. A Dressing Rod does not sharpen a knife; it straightens or dresses the existing edge.
9. Use a Dressing Rod when the edge is misshaped (rolled). Use your fingernail to test this.
10. A Diamond Rod is not a Dressing Rod, it's a Honing Rod (same as stone or grinder) used to sharpen.
11. The handle is for getting the knife out of the drawer/block, not used for cutting. The proper method to holding a cooks knife and some other knives is the Pinch Method.
12. Cooks, Santoku, French, Chef, Nakiri, Gyuto, and Vegetable Cleavers (any knife designed to cut, dice, or chop on a cutting board) use the width of the blade to safely protect your fingers.
13. The function of a Paring Knife is to “pare,” (to work into your hand) not cut, dice, or chop.
14. The crooked cutting of a serrated knife works to your advantage on melons.
15. The cutting surface is at least as important as your knife. Wood and soft plastic is best.
16. Sharpening is an alternative to replacement.
17. Manufacturers goal in steel quality and knife design is re-sharpen ability and wear resistance.
18. Knives made before the 1960s were much softer and easier to sharpen – and faster to dull. Examples: Carbon steel French Knife and a Chinese Vegetable Cleaver.