Low Vision Survival Guide: Sharp Knives

Having been legally blind for eleven years now and still owning all my fingers, I thought I'd share some of my ideas to help others, not just the blind ones either, to keep their fingers and still use sharp knives.

Of course the name of the game is protection, without compromising performance whenever possible. If it gets too frustrating to use, the best safety gizmo stays in the drawer. Keeping your attention on what you're doing is important as well; start thinking about whether you turned the oven on and oops...

For storage, I found some Chicago Cutlery knives in 25th anniversary boxes a few years back. Chicago Cutlery is fine, but not as good as Wustof or Henckels. The box makes it easy to store those nasty little edges where I won't accidentally encounter them while digging in the drawer for something else. Before I got those, I made little scabbards for my knives out of cardboard and duct tape. Yep, give me a swiss army knife and duct tape and I can fix anything. Use the backs of those yellow paper pads, cut strips twice as wide as the knife and the same length as the knife. Tape the side and end and there you have it. When you put the knife in, place the sharp edge away from the taped side so the glue residue doesn't get on the blade.

For using knives, I have several pairs of gloves, but my favorite are yellow kevlar knitted gloves with little blue bumps on them. I'm not sure where to get them, but try W.W.Grainger. They are an industrial supply house that carries just about everything. I can assure you these gloves do not let a blade go through them. Points will go through, so you can get poked, but not sliced. I have another gray pair called Brass Knuckle, and they work great for opening jars, but I wouldn't trust them for knives. I have another brown pair that just say vegetable on each one that I haven't tried out yet. Any of these gloves go right into the washing machine so don't worry about getting them dirty. I throw them in the dryer too, and the bumps don't melt. I think the bumps are supposed to protect your hands from hot pans, which they don't do very well, but they do make it non-slip.

For cleaning, consistency is the key. Always put the knives in the same place, which should be different from where you put other stuff. I put my dirty sharp knives behind the faucet, with the blade facing the wall. If I have more than one dirty sharp knife, the other one goes up against the wall on the right side (which for me is the dirty side of the sink). Once I wash them, they go underneath the drying rack but on top of the mat. I put them under the part of the rack that sticks up so no dishes will bump them. Whatever place you choose for your knives will work as long as you make sure nothing else ever goes there. This way you train yourself to watch for knives when you go there.

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  • Great post Carolyn. Thanks for sharing off to Facebook.

  • Top Member

    Carolyn your post are always informative. I love your tips that you gave and this will be shared on Twitter land.

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