The best way to test whether a knife is sharp enough for the job at hand is to use it. If it is not possible to make a clean cut fast, the knife will need sharpening.
Testing if a knife is sharp enough
A kitchen knife, for instance, should enable you to cut vegetables cleanly with next to no downward pressure. A skinning or filleting knife should make it possible to cut quickly and without the need to saw through your meat, while a wood-working knife should be able to cleanly cut wood fibres without crushing them or leaving any marks.
Another way to test if a knife is sharp
Holding a sheet of paper vertically and trying to cut it is another great way of determining whether a knife is sharp.
Basically, if your knife is sharp, it will cut the paper cleanly when using a slicing motion, whereas a dull knife will cause the paper to crumple underneath it. A razor-sharp knife, by the way, will make a clean cut through the paper by simply pressing it down onto the paper’s edge, without having to slice at all.
Why knives should be sharp
Dull knives can make cutting tasks very difficult and dangerous, too. Having to put excessive pressure onto a knife in order to cut something, for example, can easily result in the hand pressing down onto the knife slipping down and onto the blade. Even a dull blade can cause serious cutting injuries under these circumstances.
Excessive pressure may also cause a blade to snap, which again can lead to injuries by cutting if pieces of the blade are catapulted into the user’s hand, arm of face, for instance.
Knives at work
Both dull and sharp knives are responsible for many accidents at work. Keeping knives sharp and knowing how to use and store them safely is of utmost importance if knife-related work accidents are to be avoided.
Employers are responsible for their workers’ health and safety. This responsibility (or duty of care) includes providing the right tools, including sharp enough knives for the work and training employees in the safe use and storage of such tools.
Breach of duty
If you were expected to use dull knives or other unsuitable tools and were subsequently injured at work, your employer may be in breach of his duty to protect you against work injuries and liable to pay you work injury compensation.
We, Accident Advice Helpline, can help you make a successful industrial injury claim. For more information, call us now on 0800 689 0500 from a landline, or 0333 500 0993 from your mobile.
Date Published: April 6, 2016
Author: Accident Advice