Dull knives are extremely dangerous and a huge pain to cook with. Here’s a budget-friendly way to keep them sharp, safe, and awesome.

If you like this post, you might like my other Frugal Kitchen posts!


This post may contain affiliate links. Read my disclosure policy here.

I received a knife sharpener from Zulay Kitchen to try and review. All opinions are my own.

For the longest time. I only had a steak knife and a paring knife. It was this cheap plastic set that Chris bought when he moved into the glorified shed that served as our first apartment together.

I didn’t move in with any knives of my own (besides a bread knife that was a wedding gift), and we were broke as a couple of kids can be, so I made due.

They were terrible, but they worked.

Kinda. I cut my fingers a lot.

Later, I got a hand-me-down set from my parents (that was their wedding gift!) and a nice Santoku knife for Christmas.

Knives grow dull very quickly when you use them. And if you’re trying to cook any amount of food at home, your knives are probably already dull.

Here’s something I have learned in the years since: sharp knives make cooking fun and 1000% less dangerous.

I got a little carried away in the video.

Using Dull Knives is Dangerous

Did you know that using a dull knife is more dangerous than using a sharp knife?

Think about it. A dull knife is more likely to slip, slide, and move unpredictably while it tries to cut whatever we’re cutting. A sharp knife, while sharp and dangerous, is more predictable and easier to control.

No one likes to struggle while cutting an apple. When I had dull knives (most of my adult life) I hated cutting even apples and peppers. Because my knives couldn’t even cut through the skin, and I ended up with a lot of half-cut chunks of pepper.

The first time I bought butternut squash in bulk (in order to save money). After struggling to wiggle my biggest, “sharpest” knife through the skin, I sat back, horrified. We had 25 lbs of hard winter squash in our kitchen, and I wasn’t sure I could cut through any of it.

(You can actually cook winter squash whole – thank goodness)

butternut squash

Speaking of dangerous, picture my attempts at hacking away at that butternut squash with my super dull knife. I may have used a hammer. The squash may have gotten lodged so hard on the knife blade, that it looked like a turkey leg, and I wondered if I was going to get my knife back.

Actually, you don’t need to picture it, because I reenacted it in this video for you. I almost cut my face off. Enjoy.

Sharp Knives Reduce Onion Tears

Did you know that using a sharp knife to chop onions reduces the release of that tear-inducing chemical? This is because a sharp knife actually slices through the onion instead of crushing it on its way through.

When I use a sharp knife to cut onions, it’s no problem. But if it’s even a little bit dull, I weep. Now I’m crying, can’t see, and I’m handling a sharp knife. Potent mix.

Less muttering under your breath, less tears, less cut fingers.

Not to mention, chopping vegetables with a sharp knife is extremely satisfying. Add that to garlic sizzling in a little oil on the stove, and I’m in heaven.

Hard to look cute while wrenching a dull knife from a winter squash.

Budget-Friendly Way to Keep Knives Sharp

When I was tired of endangering my family and my fingers in the kitchen, I started researching ways to keep knives sharp. Some places said to higher a professional knife sharpener once a year. Some said only an electric knife sharpener or whetstone would work.

At this point in my life, I don’t have knives that are worthy of a professional knife sharpener. I tried a honing rod, and it didn’t really help my knives that were already dull. But I didn’t want to waste my money on an at-home knife sharpener that didn’t work.

So Zulay Kitchen sent me one to try. I was worried it wouldn’t actually sharpen my knives.

knife sharpener

I’m converted.

After using their little handheld knife sharpener, not only are my knives sharper, safer, and easier to use, but the sharpener is really small and stores easily in our minimalist kitchen.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly way to keep your knives sharp, this is it.

Check the video above for how to use it and watch me almost cut my face off with my dull knife!

It won’t sharpen your knives as well as a professional will. But if you’re like me, maybe you don’t yet have knives that are worthy of a professional.

Zulay Kitchen: Budget-Friendly, Quality, Kitchen Gadgets Online & Amazon

I’ve always struggled with buying kitchen appliances and gadgets online or on Amazon.

What if it doesn’t work? Can I trust this budget-friendly brand? Returns are a pain.

Zulay Kitchen is a small company that is highly-rated on Amazon for their great products, budget-friendly prices, and fantastic customer service. I have several Zulay Kitchen products now and they are fantastic. Check them out here!

Zulay Kitchen

Keep Your Kids Safe

Because I’m a huge advocate of working myself out of a job, my kids do a lot of cooking. We focus a lot on knife safety. But the reality is that if my knives are dull, my kids are more likely to accidentally hurt themselves while learning and practicing valuable life skills. I don’t want that to happen – heaven knows I’ve hurt myself enough. I use this budget-friendly way to keep my knives sharp.

(Get a free video on teaching kids knife skills here – they can just watch it with you! Seriously, this is our most-used kitchen skill)

What You Can Do Now:

Are you good at keeping your knives sharp?

If you found this post helpful, let us know! Leave a comment, share it on Facebook or Pinterest, and follow us on Instagram or YouTube for more!

Slash your grocery budget and feed your family real food! Get simple, frugal, real food menu plans every month for FREE in the Cheapskate Cooks’ 1-Min Email. Get the next one here.