What Is Sharp? Bob Kramer Has 5 Ways to Tell If Your Knife Is Sharp Enough

published Aug 2, 2012
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(Image credit: Emily Han)

Sharp knives make cutting and prepping ingredients faster, easier and safer, we know this. But what does a truly sharp knife look like? In this short but very illuminating video, Master Bladesmith Bob Kramer demonstrates five simple tests to tell if your knife is sharp enough. (Spoiler alert: it probably isn’t.)

According to Kramer, a properly sharpened knife should be able to:

• Cut the tops off of carrots while they are being held, without the use of a cutting surface

• Cut through paper

• Slice through a rolled up magazine page

• Easily slice a tomato

• Bite into the papery skin of an onion, without sliding

Kramer also demonstrates how a dull knife performs when attempting these tasks. After watching, I’m afraid most of my knives are due for a sharpening. How are you feeling about your own knives?

Related: How To Cope With Your Parents’ Dull Knives

(Image: Emily Ho)