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Top 10 Myths About Knives That Are Totally False!

There is a lot said and presumed when it comes to knives. Whether you are a serious collector or a newfound enthusiasts for these elegant and stunningly practical tools, you may have heard many theories and myths about knives. To help you on your way to become a true master and collector of knives, we are busting 10 common myths and misconceptions!  

Myth #1: Harder blades remain sharp for longer

This myth is part true, part false. While hardness of the blade does play a part in sharpness, it does not define it. In fact, blades that are too hard can be brittle and therefore unusable in certain cases. Excessively hard blades often chip easily and can become jagged and dull. They can also lose their real edge and are not known to be resilient.

Myth #2: You can sharpen a knife with magnetism

Magnetic sharpening steel can realign the molecules in the metal blade and sharpen the edge. Sounds logical enough, right? While this is a popular myth, it is only a myth. It may seem scientifically sensible to actually restructure the steel into its original position but it ignores the crystalline nature of the alloy itself. A blade is not comprised of loose molecular masses but a tightly knit crystalline lattice that does not react heavily to magnetic exposure. This means that magnetic sharpening steels perform the same functions as an ordinary sharpener and cannot generate enough magnetic field to actually change the structure of steel.  

Myth #3: Certain knives don't need sharpening - ever!

You may have heard this one ads. Many brands like to claim that their knives never need to be sharpened. Sure, this sounds great but it is hardly the truth. What makes these knives different is that they are serrated. This means that even if the blade has become dull and old, it possesses the same clean cut properties. However, there is no knife that will not benefit with a good old sharpening routine. These types of knives, while still high on performance, can greatly benefit with regular maintenance and sharpening.  

Myth #4: Dull knives are less dangerous and sharp knives

When you think about it, you may agree with the logic behind a dull blade being less lethal or dangerous than a sharp one. However in practicality, this is not true. It is understandable that the logic behind injury caused by a knife is its ability to cut and simply put, a dull knife does not seem like the effective option. What makes dull knives equally if not more dangerous than sharp knives is the plain force applied to accomplish cutting. With the increased necessary force to make a cut, dull knives can cause its user to lose control and dramatically increase chances of injury to self or others.

Myth #5: Sharpening steels can re-sharpen knife blades

There are many who assume that sharpening stones and other similar tools actually create another edge on the blade. While it may seem logical, it is not true. These steels only maintain the existing edge in a dull and blunt knife. It is interesting to note that when a blade edge wears over time, it actually folds over and with the help of steels, you can reshape the edge by simply unfolding it. However, frequent folding of the knife can weaken the steel and leads to the same results and repeating bending a piece of metal back and forth. So when you are sharpening the blade, you are also weakening it.

Myth #6: It's not a good sharpener if there are no sparks

Seeing sparks fly when sharpening knife is a common sight. However, you should not expect all sharpeners to let out sparks in order to be effective. In fact in most cases, the presence of sparks can actually show signs of a damaged blade as each spark represents a small splinter of the metal eroding from the surface.

Myth #7: Stainless steel knives cannot maintain their edge

When it comes to stainless steel knife, a common complaint is its softness compared to iron. While this concern was true decades ago, it is not the same today. There are many ways through which you can keep your stainless steel knives in top shape. The main cause for the softness in the stainless steel alloy is the composition of chromium. Today, better suited alloys are being developed for knives, making stainless steel a great material for blades.

Myth #8: Knife quality is proportional to cost

If you think that the most expensive knives are the best in quality, you are wrong. Do not confuse a large price difference between two brands for the same knife as a gap in quality. What makes the real difference is the brand name and how much customers are willing to pay for it. This is the same reason why high quality knives remain practical and useful with expensive antique pieces are not. While it is not wise to purchase the cheapest knife, it is important to understand that cost isn't everything. Quality matters.

Myth #9: Forged knives are better and stronger

Let's settle this - forged knives are not better or stronger than production. While legend and history may be on the side of special forged armour, there is no indication of strength. Owing to the high production quality and advanced technologies, production knives are just as strong as forged knives and are designed with great accuracy and functionality.  

Myth #10: Blade hardness depends on the type of steel

It is a common misconception that the type of steel used in making a knife blade determines its hardness and strength. This is false. The steel type has no bearing on the final strength or hardness of the blade but only the heat treatment of the steel makes the real difference. Hardness of a knife is measured with the Rockwell scale and ideally fall between 54-60 Rockwell. Few companies choose to go beyond this range of hardness as the steel can become susceptible to cracking if used with force. So instead of choosing a knife solely on the Rockwell unit, find one that balances quality and hardness.