Sharpen Your Knife Skills

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How to Sharpen Your Knife Skills

The two most useful knives are:

  • Chef knife
  • Paring knife

Chef Knife

Use to cut and dice fruits, vegetables, meat and fish.

To hold the chef knife:

  • Make sure the knife is sharp.
  • Place your thumb on the inside of the handle.
  • Place first finger on outside of handle, and last three fingers under handle.
  • With your other hand, hold what you are about to cut.
  • Make sure all your fingers are standing up facing down to prevent getting cut. 
  • Cut down through food onto board and push blade out forward.  Down and through.

Paring Knife

Use for cutting, slicing and peeling smaller things like garlic or strawberries.

To use the paring knife:

  • Make sure the knife is sharp.
  • For slicing:
    • Place fruits or vegetable on cutting board.
    • Place knife near one end and push it straight down as you slide the blade across.
  • For peeling:
    • Hold food with your first finger and your thumb.
    • Hold paring knife in your stronger hand with three fingers.
    • Place first knuckle of first finger against dull side of knife blade.
    • Place edge of knife at the top of food below your finger.
    • Cut into food just a little bit, putting knife between the food’s skin. 
    • Peel skin downward toward thumb.
    • Repeat until all the skin is removed. 


This material was funded by USDA’s Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program – SNAP. This institution is an equal opportunity provider.