Why do knives get dull?

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There are various reasons that make knives dull.  One basic reason is actual bending on the knife edges.  These bends may not be noticeable by the naked eye and happen at the microscopic level.  The sharp edges of knives make them very thin and actually susceptible to bending.  If these edges were not thin enough, then they wouldn’t be sharp at all.  Knives that are regularly used for example may get some bending on the edges from slicing different food items or materials.  As with many other objects, the sharpness of the knife edges may also undergo regular wear and tear.  Over repeated use in slicing various food items, contact with different surfaces may actually bend the edges little by little over time.  constant pounding on the chop board or slicing through meat products with bony parts are some of the regular activities that may contribute to the bending of the knives’ sharp edges making them dull over time.

Knives will also get dull through regular exposure to grit from various food items.  Some fruits, vegetables, or even meat products have some loose dirt or sand and when these come in contact with the knife’s sharp edges, it may cause some bending on some parts.  Over time, the bending will involve a bigger area and this will make knives duller.  There is also the case of chemical changes that may take place when the knife comes in contact with various substances.  Various food items contain different kinds of chemical and some of these may actually cause erosion on the edges.  These chemical changes may take place very slowly but once the edges are partially bent, they need to be sharpened back in order to prevent further dulling.  Chemical-related dulling may also happen if the knives are frequently washed with strong detergents.  Whether they are washed manually or machine-washed, some chemicals on cleaning products and detergents may also contribute to some form of bending on the knife’s edges.

Author: erwin

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