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Old 11-23-2008, 09:15 AM   #1
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How to hold a kitchen knife?

I never gave much thought on how to hold a kitchen knife until, while helping out in my sister's kitchen, I kept ending up with cuts on the index finger of my knife hand. I eventually discovered that I was resting my index finger on the back of the blade and the false edge of her knives are sharp enough to draw blood. I was told that this method was a bad way to hold a knife. Unless you are working with faulty equipment, what is wrong with it? For me it seems to make the blade and extension of my finger.

I have since switched to a sabre grip, but now I understand that a pinch grip is better (although it seems to me that a pinch grip would tire your hand quickly).

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Old 11-23-2008, 10:00 AM   #2
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Many use the pinch grip. There's nothing wrong with it if it's comfortable for you. As someone suggested in another thread, file away the sharp edge on the spine of the knife so your fingers will be more comfortable.
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Old 11-23-2008, 10:14 AM   #3
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I've been liking that pinch grip, although I notice I don't use it for everything. Last night I cut up some bell peppers two different ways and when I did the method where you basically slit and roll the pepper open, holding the knife on its side like a fillet knife to clean it out, I found I held the knife by the handle only with my thumb on the spine.
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Old 11-23-2008, 05:00 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jet View Post
I never gave much thought on how to hold a kitchen knife until, while helping out in my sister's kitchen, I kept ending up with cuts on the index finger of my knife hand. I eventually discovered that I was resting my index finger on the back of the blade and the false edge of her knives are sharp enough to draw blood. I was told that this method was a bad way to hold a knife. Unless you are working with faulty equipment, what is wrong with it? For me it seems to make the blade and extension of my finger.

I have since switched to a sabre grip, but now I understand that a pinch grip is better (although it seems to me that a pinch grip would tire your hand quickly).
Try breaking down 50 pounds of potatoes with your original grip and you'll find out - you won't be able to use your index finger for anything for a week.

Apart from the strain issue using the index finger along the blade reduces the amount of control you have over the knife. Your grip is strongest between your thumb and index finger, so if your knife twists or comes across something unexpected (eg some sinew inside a piece of meat) you are much more likely to lose control of the blade at which point the fingers of your guide hand start getting very nervous.

The pinch grip -v- sabre grip debate at the end of the day comes down to what works for you. I use a pinch grip for the vast majority of my work, but there are certain jobs where I switch to a sabre grip, the most noticeable is when using a boning knife to trim/debone large cuts of meat
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Old 11-27-2008, 01:34 AM   #5
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I find that with larger knives, I prefer the saber grip. The pinch grips works for smaller, precision cutting. But, it all boils down to personal preference. Use whatever is comfortable for you.
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