Blades are damaged primarily by buckling – compressive force, from being pressed into
a hard object, such as bone, ice, or a hard cutting board – and by bending, from sideways pressure. Both of these tend to roll
the edge of a blade, due to metal’s ductile nature.
Blades may also be damaged by being corroded by acid (as when cutting lemons or tomatoes) or by high temperatures and corrosive chemicals in a dishwasher.
If a knife is used as a scraper, a pry-bar, or encounters hard particles in softer materials, there may be a sideways load at the tip, causing bending damage.
Blade damage is avoided by:
- using an appropriate blade for the task – a thinner blade for more delicate work, and a thicker blade whenever a thinner blade is not required (e.g. a thinner blade might be used to cut fillets, butterfly steak or roast for stuffing, or perform Mukimono, while a thicker one might be used to slice or chop repeatedly, separate primal cuts of poultry or small game, or scrape and trim fat from meat or hide, as these actions would be more likely to cause unnecessary wear on a thinner blade.)
- using a soft cutting surface,
- straight cutting, with no side-to-side movement,
- immediate cleaning.
- oiling (with food grade oil if appropriate)