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Fat Guy

If you must cut yourself, maybe a dull knife is better

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Dull knives cause more mistakes and very sharp knives are less forgiving of mistakes. I'd still rather use a very sharp knife for cooking.

That's been my experience as well. I've had some nasty cuts from dull box cutter blades slipping, and I change them pretty regularly now. Same thing with my kitchen knives, they are regularly sharpened these days. Whenever I've gotten a little slice it has healed quickly and easily. Thankfully I haven't had anything more than minor mistakes, though.

My box grater must be pretty dull by now, but I don't know if that's a blessing or a curse. I just caught my knuckle the other day when grating some beets, and you couldn't tell where I stopped and the beets started. When all was said and done it was not as bad as it initially looked, maybe the dullness saved me this time.

Oh yes, get cut by the box grater grating cheese EVERY time. Microplane, no.

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I'm a pretty clumsy person generally but I maybe barely nick off the end of a fingernail once every 6 months. How are you people able to cut yourself with such alarming frequency?


PS: I am a guy.

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I actually do find dull knives less dangerous. I can't count the number of times I've, um, brushed myself with a dull knife that bounced off instead of cutting into my finger the way it would have with a sharp knife. I do handled sharp knives and dull knives differently, naturally. I'm slower with dull knives, since I have to "saw," but I'm probably a bit less careful. With sharp knives I definitely make sure my hands are dry, fingers are out of the way, etc.

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I've found that the most dangerous thing is a change in the sharpness of the knife. If I let my knife get really dull before sharpening it, or dull it by doing something like cutting up cardboard, the unexpected feel of an abrupt change in sharpness either way makes it more likely I'll cut myself. Of course, a (newly) razor sharp knife gives a cleaner, deeper, cut.

Seconding all this. I always seem to cut myself if my knife has gotten a little dull and is suddenly razor sharp (same thing happens to me with shaving razors). Keeping the knife consistently sharp is, of course, a very good way to avoid this. I do think that the cut tends to be cleaner and hurt / scar less with a very sharp knife. That said, I have also been thankful some of the times I've cut myself that my knife wasn't sharper at a given time.

I think the expression about a sharp knife being safer refers to the fact that it's less likely to slip or require undue amounts of pressure. But you do need to use it correctly to avoid getting hurt; following good technique and keeping your digits out of harms way is the most important thing, whether your knife is razor sharp or not. While this may not guarantee you'll never cut yourself, it will at least minimize the chances, and reduce the damage to your fingers when you do happen to slip up.

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There is also this factor perhaps:

Skillful chefs most likely have sharp knives and therefore you will find that they don't cut themselves as often as those who are not as skillful and use dull knives.

dcarch

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