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Old 08-22-2010, 02:52 AM   #11
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I've shed enough blood in the cause to comment here.

1) For beginners and non-professionals German Chefs knives are the safest and easiest to use. Graduate to Japanese or French when you feel the time is right.

2) You have to keep your knives as sharp as you can. Don't rely on other people to do it for you. Some sharpening professionals are great, some will wreck your knives. If you sharpen a knife yourself you will know exactly how sharp it is.

3)Respect is good, fear is bad.

4) Your off hand (left hand for right handers) job is to guide the knife not hold the product.

5) Your right wrist should be making a circular motion, similar to shooting pool/ - your arm/wrist is going in a circle whole your hand adjusts to make it an even cut.

6) At a microscopic level your knife is a saw, so use it as a saw not an axe. You want the knife to travel further laterally than vertically.
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Old 08-22-2010, 09:44 AM   #12
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I've had some bad cuts over the years, but honestly I'm more afraid getting in my car and facing the driving public than I am of wielding a blade for 10 hours a day. You just need to go slow, get used to using knives and focus on what you're doing. The fear will diminish as your experience level increases.

In the mean time, you might want to get a cut-resistant glove. You only need one...it's pretty tough to cut the hand holding the knife!
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Old 08-22-2010, 10:36 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by 4meandthem View Post
New to the forum but chiming in anyway.

I think good knife skills are the backbone to learning culinary arts or home cooking.The only thing you may do more of than cutting is the dishes.

I would suggest getting a culinary college textbook and study knife techniques in writing and real life scenarios.
Knowing what to do then practicing it over and over is the king. The terminology is helpful too.

"On Cooking" is a great example and will open your eyes to a lot of new things as well as classic technique.

Knowing the basic skills will allow you to develop your own skills and styles.Practice will eliminate any fear.
Speed will come with confidence.

Just my 2 cents!

Very good advice.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:15 PM   #14
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Originally Posted by Rob Babcock View Post
You only need one...it's pretty tough to cut the hand holding the knife!
Difficult, but not impossible.
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Old 08-22-2010, 03:24 PM   #15
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Difficult, but not impossible.
I've been there too.
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:25 PM   #16
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I have always sort of had a fear of butcher knives. That's most probably because of hollywood films too haha. I don't think you have to be afraid, just careful as many have already posted. Always remember, that while cooking is fun, you must always proceed with caution. For example, I have gotten burned by the steam from the teapot as silly as that is. I have also been burned by holding the sides of pots and pans because I used to refuse to wear oven mitts because I thought they were silly. They may look silly, but they will keep you safe and burn free. A lesson I learned the hard way. :/ As for knives, just be careful, and don't drop them, especially if you are barefoot!
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:27 PM   #17
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Never try to catch a falling knife. Jump back and get out of the way to save your feet!
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Old 08-24-2010, 06:30 PM   #18
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Smile

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Never try to catch a falling knife. Jump back and get out of the way to save your feet!

Agreed!
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Mudtimud View Post
I get nervous whenever I pick up the knife.... Just want to know whether you guys had the same fear, and if so, have you had ever gotten over it?
Not only do I work with novice students as a chef instructor, but I also have special education students some of whom have physical disability problems.

Since safety is always a priority, my level I students have cut resistant gloves. There are all sorts of safety gloves out there. I have a couple of ambidextrous stainless steel gloves which essentially look like something a medieval knight would wear since they're essentially steel mesh. My Hubert catalog prices these at $128.00 each.

A more affordable glove is produced by BacFighter. This is a heavy duty cut and abrasion resistant fiber that is antimicrobial for the life of the glove. It's FDA approved and meets ANSI cut resistant level 5 certification. These gloves run $21.09.

Gripguard produces a rubber coated glove with a stainless steel core for $37.39.

There are all sorts of cut resistant gloves out there. The very cheapest I've seen is produced by Hubert. It's listed as a medium duty glove and runs $15.69.

All of the gloves I've named in this post are washable.
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Old 10-07-2010, 10:39 AM   #20
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P.S. This probably won't help but in Culinary school, one of my chef instructors told a student who was timid around knives that pain was a great motivational tool for learning how to use a knife safely. I thought the comment was funny at the time, but the chef wasn't joking. Knives have the potential to cause a great deal of pain and people are biologically conditioned to avoid hurting themselves.

The sad thing about this story is that the young woman he spoke to decided to avoid the possibility of pain by dropping out of culinary school.
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