No matter how good your cutlery may be it will not hold an edge indefinitely – all cutlery must be sharpened. This means that you need to either find a professional knife and cutlery sharpener or take on the task yourself. It may seem complicated but most cutlery can be sharpened by the average homeowner with just a bit of practice. Pinking shears and the like will always need to be sent out for professional sharpening but ordinary kitchen cutlery can generally be maintained at home.
There are various types of knife sharpeners including a sharpening steel which may be made of metal, ceramic or some other material which is often coated with a fine diamond dust; a sharpening stone or an electric knife sharpener are also very popular. Whatever style of sharpener you choose, it is important to use it on a regular basis so that you keep your knives sharp and the task does not become overwhelming.
Knives should always be stored in a clean, dry space – moisture will cause cutlery to corrode and rust which will diminish the cutting ability. Proper knife storage means that the knife blades will always be protected and blades will not come into contact with anything other than a protective surface. A knife block is one good storage options; some alternatives include a magnetic knife rack, a fitted cutlery drawer, a knife roll or individual knife protectors.
Knives should never be placed in the dishwasher even if they are marked as dishwasher safe – the heat of the wash and dry cycle can compromise the overall knife construction and integrity.