Many of my friends who are home cooks are afraid of wielding very sharp knives, backing off in terror when they visit my kitchen, which is decked with two sharp Asian butcher knives and two European style chef’s knives. Believing that a sharp knife is more dangerous than a dull one is one of the most grotesque misconceptions among home cooks. I can’t even recall anymore how many times I’ve seen family and friends have kitchen accidents because they were using dull knives and improper cutting boards.
As referenced in Basic Asian Kitchen Tools, without a proper cutting board, you’ll severely increase the chances of having a terrible accident regardless of what kind of knife you use. The absolute biggest nightmare? Using a glass cutting board and a dull knife. This is pretty much guarantee for a bloody mess to happen. Assuming you’re off to a good start with either a decent, sturdy plastic or wooden cutting board, you now need to make friends with at least one decent quality and well sharpened knife.
Why is a sharp knife less likely to hurt you? Simple. A dull knife slips and slides on what it’s cutting constantly. Whether you’re cutting poultry, meats, fish, fruits or vegetables, but particularly so with the latter, dull knives don’t do a proper job of cutting and slicing their intended objects. Instead, your fingers will end up being collateral damage when that dull knife shows you it just doesn’t feel up to the task. A properly sharpened knife however, will not slip and slide and will do its job appropriately.
As long as you’re practicing common sense safety and not doing stupid martial arts stunts with your food, you’ll be much safer using sharp knives than dull ones. Ask any seasoned chef.