Traditional blades should be honed every time you use them. This involves using a honing steel -- you stroke the blade along the steel on each side of the blade as if you were trying to lightly cut the honing steel. Approximately a 13 degree angle to the steel is desirable. You are not sharpening the blade, although the end result is the blade cuts better. As you use a knife, you put pressure in different ways and at different angles over different parts of the blade. This starts to bend, warp, and curl the very edge of the blade, on a microscopic level. This results in a mis-aligned blade -- the blade is no longer "true". Honing simply pushes the blade back into alignment. It takes perhaps 30 seconds of your time, tops. That 30 seconds will quickly be regained as you prepare your evening meal by providing a sharp, honed knife that is a pleasure to work with. Think of honing your knife like brushing your hair, and sharpening your knife like getting a haircut. You brush your hair every day to align it in its proper place, but eventually it gets unkempt and you get your hair cut. Same with your knives -- you hone them each time you use them to ensure the blade is aligned, but eventually it becomes dull and you get it sharpened.


The worst place for your knives are loose in a drawer somewhere. They bounce and knock around each time you open and close the drawer, as well as being potentially dangerous. Knife blocks aren't much better. Many knife blocks have vertical slots, and most people store the knives edge down in these slots. This is bad for the blade. Storing them blade up is better, and blocks with horizontal slots are better still, as it distributes the weight of the knife over more area. The best place for your knives is on a magnetic rail. A decent magnetic rail is easy to install, provides quick access to your knives, and holds your knives very securely.

Cutting boards

Glass cutting boards are evil. Glass is too hard and will quickly dull a knife. The same with marble. Wooden cutting boards are okay, although can harbor bacteria, and must be washed by hand. Plastic cutting boards are excellent -- they are cheap, provide a good cutting surface, and can easily be sterilized in the dishwasher.