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Dishwasher Safe Knives...is there such a thing?

The title says it all. I was just given a Calphalon set of knives for Xmas. I have washed knives in the dishwasher before and the giver asked and was assured by the salesman (at Bed, Bath and Beyond) that they were dishwasher safe. I just pulled out my 6" utility knife from the upper rack and it has quite a few rust spots on it! I am not happy. I called Calphalon and was told that their knives are not dishwasher safe after all.

So, is there anyone out there who makes good knives that you can put in the dishwasher? I don't see why that is such a big deal. So far I have not heard of them. I hate being a slave to my tools and, yes, I do not want to have to spend "a few extra seconds" merrily hand washing and lovingly drying some inanimate object. I'd rather be swilling Veuve Clicquot or something less drudgy.

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  1. Then angle for a large private income and staff to do it! Seriously, it's doubtful the opportunity cost on your time is that high. Quality cutlery requires a little TLC. If you're that strapped for time, get some cheapo knives you can toss into the dishwasher with impunity.

    1. Good quality, dishwasher safe knives?

      Not that I've seen, then again, I've never looked for them.

      Even the cheap stainless knives will rust in the dishwasher if you don't remove and dry them when the machine is finished.

      1. No. You're just going to have to spend the extra few seconds and wash them by hand. It's not like thy have cooked on grease on the blade - it shouldn't take much time and effort.

        1. If I spend 2 minutes a day washing the knives by hand, that is 2 x 365=730 minutes or 12.1666 hrs/yr washing knives. If I spend 3 minutes a day washing the knives by hand, that is 3 x 365=2,095 minutes per year or 18.25 hrs/ year washing knives. Saying, "Oh, it's just a couple of minutes a day...what's the big fuss." is not getting to the end of the thought. Time adds up. The point is to spend less time every day doing things you don' t like to do, and more time doing things you do like to do. Making a dishwasher safe knife is a lot easier than coming up with quite a few modern conveniences, I don't see why it hasn't been done. Maybe it has been, has it?

          6 Replies
          1. re: Fabienne301

            I have henkels and wustoff knives, both chef's and paring. I don't put the big knives in but do put the little ones in. No particular reason for my inconsistency, other than perhaps worrying about hurting myself on the big ones. Anyway, there is no problem with the dishwasher on those. And I am not going to be intimidated by those who say I shouldn't do what I'm doing. Everyone has their own priorities and choices in life, and it's a real drag to be lectured to :)

            1. re: DGresh

              I have Wusthoff and Henkels and they go in the DW with no problem. None.

            2. re: Fabienne301

              You need to order takeout.

              What about the time to load the dishwasher and empty the dishwasher? Take your calculator to that and see what you come up with.

              Seriously, the biggest problem is that all knives are made of steel, and even stainless steel can rust if it is left to drip dry Even flatware stainless will rust after a while, because the serrated edges tend to hold water longer at the edge than say, a spoon.

              My second point is that chef's and utility knives are sharp and dangerous, and the stitches you or your housemate will one day require at the ER is going to cost you a good chunk of time, inconvenience and pain.

              1. re: RGC1982

                My knives go in the DW at times. They aren't rusted. Why is that??? Regarding your second point, isn't someone more apt to cut themselves on a knife lying submerged in the sink than being lifted out of a DW?

                1. re: c oliver

                  Only a fool would submerge sharp knives in the sink to handwash them. I know you know better.

                  If you knives aren't rusting, you are fortunate. Maybe your knives are made of a different blend of metals, have a different finish, or perhaps you use your drying cycle while others don't. You may empty your dishwasher immediately after the cycle finishes, and others leave them in that damp environment overnight on a regular basis. Who knows exactly why. I have washed knives in the DW in the past, and rust eventually presented itself on serrated flatware knives near the edges and some utility knives I used to wash in the dishwasher. It happened on more than one type of knife from several manufacturers. I have since invested in fairly expensive knives, and I have decided that they need to be treated better. That said, go ahead keep doing what you are doing because it works for you. No reason to follow manufacturer's instructions if you have found a better way. It's your kitchen.

              2. re: Fabienne301

                Cleaning my Global (carefully) takes about a minute. Taking it from my room to the (shared) kitchen and unboxing it, then taking it back takes about another minute.

                Slicing throuch chuck steak or vegetables efficiently saves me back that time easily. I've spent about 15 minutes trying to dice steak with a bad knife before so I appreciate having the correct tools. Another point is that a sharp knife will cut through onions cleanly and won't crush them; this means you won't cry while cutting them.

                Plus it's a fact that sharpen knives are safer because you don't need to expend as much pressure when cutting; you're less likely to chop your finger off. And if you use your knife a lot, you're less likely to injure your hands from RSI or blisters etc.

                So to summarise:
                Pros: Efficiency, cleaner cuts, retaining fingers, less chance of injury.
                Cons: You have to spend a minute cleaning it.

              3. Victorinox "Fibrox" line of knives could probably take the dishwasher even though hand washing is still recommended by the manufacturer.

                1. Second the forschner recommendation, but there is no knife that will keep a proper edge if put through the dishwasher regularly. You're better off just ordering a stack of the forschners on sale and throwing them out when they get dull, as the time spent sharpening or sending the knives out to get sharpened is probably out of your realm of interest.

                  15 Replies
                  1. re: rockfish42

                    That's nonsense. The diswasher isn't going to hurt the edge of knife. Throwing it in, and having hit the other things in the silverware basket will, sure, but it's not the heat or the soap of the dishwasher that does it. If you've got non-stainless knives, don't put them in the dishwasher. If you've got unsealed wooden handle, don't put them in the dishwasher. But stainless, plastic handled, or resin-filled wood handled, aren't going to be hurt by the dishwasher.

                    1. re: dscheidt

                      From my experience and many manufacturers websites dishwasher detergent will cause pitting and spotting on the blade of the knife. The edge is more susceptible to this effect. Also depending on how hot the drying cycle is and the proximity of the coil to the knife, you may very well screw up the tempering with repeated heating and cooling cycles.

                      1. re: rockfish42

                        personally I never use the drying cycle. saves energy.

                        1. re: rockfish42

                          Any temperature high enough to affect the tempering of steel is going to be high enough to melt the inside of your dishwasher.

                          1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                            Excellent point, CtC.

                            I really wish that those who are solid that they would never put a knife in the DW but just say 'hey, I don't care what you say, I'm never going to change my mind.' It's just easier. There are somethings that aren't open to negotiation for each of us.

                            And treating a knife with "respect"? It's not a person; it's a piece of hardware for goodness sake :)

                            1. re: c oliver

                              so I'm assuming you have no qualms about putting an expensive hattori or misono knife in the dishwasher?

                              1. re: chuckl


                                Any knife that i would have qualms about putting in a dishwasher, i wouldn't have.
                                Great pristine clubs DON'T make a great cook.

                                1. re: chuckl

                                  I don't think anyone has argued at any point that all knives should go in the dishwasher and that no knife should ever not be put in the dishwasher. The OP broached the topic of Calphalon level knives going into the dishwasher...that is, mass produced, stainless steel. Not high end, handmade, often custom Japanese knives.

                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    are the dishwasher physics different for good knives and mediocre knives? If it's not, why wouldn't you put a good knife in the dishwasher? If it's safe for mediocre knives, it should be safe for good knives too, shouldn't it?

                                      1. re: chuckl

                                        Good knives often have wooden handles. Dishwashers eventually really mess up wooden handles, cheap or expensive

                                        1. re: chuckl

                                          Seriously? Dishwasher physics?

                                          No, the physics aren't different but the outcomes are. High end knives often have a higher carbon steel content than lower priced knives. The extended exposure to water and the detergent in a dishwasher can negatively affect high carbon steel in ways that they won't affect stainless steel.

                                          There's also the definition of "good" to be considered. I consider my 4 star Henckels to be good. Not the best knives going, not spectacular knives, but they hold a good edge, perform well for everything I've ever needed a knife for and I do put them in the dishwasher, repeatedly, and they continue to hold a good edge and perform well for everything I need a knife for.

                                    1. re: c oliver

                                      I think respect is the right word. My knife was expensive, so I want to take care of it, plus it's argubly the most dangerous thing in my kitchen if used carelessly.

                                      Although maybe the oven has greater destructive capability.

                                      1. re: c oliver

                                        True, it's a piece of hardware and not a person, but it's also my money! I definitely treat my hard-earned money with respect, and the same goes for investments I make with said money- from retirement accounts to nice cooking gear! :)

                                        However, that's my own preference- it might be more worth it to someone to plunk that knife in the dishwasher and replace it when the blade gets too dull.

                                        In any case, I've never heard of really good knives that can survive the dishwasher, but if you're looking for that I would avoid wooden handles. The dishwasher will destroy those.

                                        I wonder if there's a reason that good dishwasher-safe knives are hard to find- i.e. that dishwashers are hard on knives?

                              2. In general, I agree with those who recommend against washing good knives in the dishwasher. A lot of things happen in the dishwasher once you close the door, and many of them are not good for knives, or more specifically the blade. The detergent is stronger than your dishwashing soap, stuff moves around and gets sprayed, and letting them sit in there wet will possibly result in some rust issues. It's all a matter of priorities. A little time spent hand washing them will prevent the rust and the damage to the blade that will require them to be resharpened or at least honed more frequently. When you add it up, you're not really saving any time putting them in the dishwasher. Having said that, "good" knives are not necessarily expensive knives. As others have said, dexter russell and forschner make good knives with plastic handles that are not expensive. They could very well rust if you don't take them out after dishwashing and dry them, although drying your knives might cut into your champagne time. You could buy several of those and if the rust and dullness of the blades begins to annoy you, toss them and buy some more. Luckily you're only dealing with Calphalon knives at this point. Stay away from really good knives like carbon steel Sabatiers (huge rust issues), Messermeister elites, Shuns, Macs, or any good Japanese or German knives for that matter.

                                1. I'm going to go against the grain here and try and answer your question as you've asked it. I've put Henckels knives (the 4 star series with polypropylene handles) in the dishwasher countless times with no problems at all. I've also put in Kuhn Rikon paring knives, a handful of Messermeister stamped knives, an Oxo Good Grips chef's knife and, actually, a Calphalon Contemporary 5 inch Santoku knife many many times and have had no issues with any of them.

                                  An aside: since the giver got assurances about the knives, I'd ask Bed, Bath and Beyond if they'll exchange the knives.

                                  One cool thing: recently, we got a new Kenmore Elite dishwasher and it came with a specific holder for knives that holds them individually and separately from everything else. The holder also keeps them from moving around so the edge doesn't get compromised.

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: ccbweb

                                    A dishwasher after my own heart...


                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen

                                      Right on.
                                      I have great knives and also ancient carbon steel knives that have concave edges from 50+++ years of sharpening.
                                      If i can place any knife safely and without danger of them banging around , into the dishwasher they go.
                                      The care of knives like the care of cast iron , has developed a silly mythology that is largely without merit.
                                      My old Chicago cutlery knives that i bought 50 years ago have plain untreated wooden handles
                                      They are run through a dishwasher at least 3-4 times a week.
                                      The handles are somewhat bleached out but the knives are undamaged.
                                      My knives and my detergent cast iron pans and dutch ovens are tools not objects to be venerated.

                                      Each to his own of course but if i had a knife or pot that required coddling OUT it would go.
                                      Life is too short to nursemaid tools.

                                      I'll swill with you if you want company!

                                      1. re: mr jig

                                        I hear you, but if you have a product that warns against certain usage, I'd maintain that it's prudent to stick to those guidelines where possible.

                                        In a way, it's as proper as cleaning your tools and putting them away properly after use.

                                  2. seems like a couple of things are going on here

                                    1) a lot of knives used to have wooden handles. repeated dishwashing of wood is generally not recommended as it strips the oils out of the wood and hastens their demise.

                                    2) a lot of knives used to be something that would be passed down generation to generation. my brother has one that used to be my grandmother's and may have belonged to her mother. not many knives in use today belonged to anyone's grandmother or great grandmother.

                                    3) many of the people posting here appear to be CAYG (clean as you go) cooks. a number of them are not. For a CAYG cook, it makes no sense at all to put your knives in the dishwasher. For the non-cayg's you might use something, rinse it, then put it in the dishwasher, or you might just leave it where it is, finish your cooking, go eat dinner then clean up everything - including the kitchen after the meal (ok, calm down cayg'ers.. it is not all that bad, probably not even fatal). These are two extremes, most of us fall somewhere in between.

                                    4. Lots of people who grew up with dishwashers don't think of anything as really being clean unless it has been through the dishwasher - we "know" that hand washing just won't get it as clean. Others "know" that the dishwasher will never get things completely clean, and believe in washing everything before putting it in the dishwasher. That (I'm sure) is the topic of a whole other thread.

                                    But what I'm hearing in general, is that aside from wooden handles, and some types of steel, there really is nothing "wrong" with putting knives in the dishwasher, assuming some reasonable level of care is used.

                                    2 Replies
                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                      I put all my knives in the dishwasher all the time and I've never had a problem. If the wooden handles are looking dry, I rub a little oil on them.

                                      1. re: Whosyerkitty

                                        One reason that I went to DR Sani-safe as my 'everyday' knives was so that I could put them in the dishwasher. I also have some specialty knives that I handwash.

                                    2. I've been biting my tongue for a few days about this thread because if I say what is really on my mind I am going to piss off a lot of people. If the few seconds it takes to rinse and wipe a tool (knife) is too much bother, why bother to cook at all. TV dinners require no cleaning, just throw out the tin-foil. You could even use plastic cutlery. Would you have any confidence in a mechanic who only had rusted, beat-up tools. I read your math on how many hours you saved a year by not looking after your tools. Penny wise and pound foolish.
                                      Have some pride in your tools and your cooking.

                                      7 Replies
                                      1. re: billieboy

                                        That's an argument against dishwashers in general.

                                        1. re: billieboy

                                          Not pi**ed off but why would putting knives in a DW mean you don't have "pride" in them --- not that I have PRIDE in tools. If I care for any of my tools in the right way, then why do I need to do it right-er or right-est?

                                          1. re: billieboy

                                            Why is it an issue that people value things differently and have different ways of handling them? Especially in a case like this?

                                            No one is asserting that you or anyone should do anything with their tools that they don't wish to. Clearly, how you clean your knives in very important to you as a part of how you cook. That's entirely your call and I'd never question it.

                                            Something that has just occurred to me as I'm writing this and reading your question about a mechanic with rusted, beat-up tools: you must think that because I put my knives in the dishwasher that they are rusted and beat up. They aren't. I daresay if you were at my house and looking at my knives you'd not be able to tell at all that they've been in a dishwasher. If my knives came out of the dishwasher with rust spots, I'd stop putting them in there. The point isn't that I don't care about my tools or whether they're damaged, it's that I've learned that putting them in the dishwasher doesn't damage them and so do so without worry.

                                            Having pride in one's cooking is not the same thing as having pride in one's tools. In fact, if the second is a requirement of the first, I'm hard pressed to explain people who have little or nothing at all with which to work but turn out food they're proud of and should be.

                                            1. re: ccbweb

                                              Amen! I'm through with the thread. Whipping dead horse time :)

                                              1. re: ccbweb

                                                Personally speaking, it matters not to me what other people do with their tools. If they choose to place their Aritsugu Yanagi in the dishwasher, well, that's their choice.

                                                The argument against dishwashing to me really is about the forces of the water jets in the washer. They will probably be strong enough to jostle the knife around, banging the edge into the wireframed shelves and wearing down the edge.

                                                Sharpening knives is a time-consuming task that I do using three stones. I don't particularly enjoying sharpening but I do it because I enjoy a sharp knife. I prefer to preserve that edge for as long as possible so I don't have to sharpen as often. If hand-cleaning my knives helps me achieve that goal, then I'll hand clean and dry them!

                                                1. re: onocoffee

                                                  the minutes you "save" by putting a sharp knife into the dishwasher you more than lose in trying to get back the edge you lost.

                                                2. re: ccbweb

                                                  I can tell by touching the edge of your knives, they'll be really dull. Then again don't feel ashamed about that, most home cooks have terribly dull knives. Knife maintenance is rarely practiced by home cooks.

                                                  Putting knives into the dishwasher will dull knives, that is an indisputable fact.

                                              2. I think that we've gone over, and over this whole issue of knife quality and taking care of knives enough times that there is probably a consensus here - which is that we're going to have to agree to disagree. We're never going to actually agree on any single solution for everybody.

                                                We each will decide, for ourselves, what we expect our cutlery to do for us, what level of cutlery to use, and what level of care is appropriate for each of those levels.

                                                I think that the "outrage" as such, is when people say things that are inappropriate for the levels they've chosen, (E.g.- Cutco is the best knife ever, and my glass cutting board is the best there is). Or when they insist that something that may be appropriate for a lower level, ought to be good enough for all, (E.g. - the sandblasting dishwasher is good enough for my $35 Henckels, so it ought to be good enough for your $350 Hattori).

                                                But it's just as ignorant, in its own way, to insist that everybody gets their lowly Wustoff hand-sharpened, and even worse, go through the incredibly labor intensive steps of hand washing, drying, and honing before storing, at the end of every day of use. Although, it may actually be that such care-taking will enhance the ownership of any level of cutlery - though at the lower levels, the benefits may be less appreciable and more people will decide that the gains are not worth the effort.

                                                Some of us get into great cutlery as part of cooking, some of us - not so much. Nothing wrong with that. My only advice to all is that everybody give themselves the benefit of using great cutlery at one time or another - just to see what it's all about and to see why others decide to put so much money and time into keeping up great cutlery. Cut up an onion and see why chefs with great blades never cry. Dice up a carrot and see just how much time you might save every night, being able to cut through hard items like hot butter. If you then decide that it's not for you, at least for the moment, great - you're making an informed decision.

                                                And if you do decide to put money into great knives, don't put them in the dishwasher - please. The cost of maintaining a great edge on a great knife is time and effort, as well as money. If you're not willing to make the time and spend the effort, don't even bother getting a great blade - you'll never be able to maintain the edge.

                                                12 Replies
                                                1. re: applehome


                                                  First of all, you really need to get to bed earlier. Staying up all hours reading this board writing these responses is not good, and I'm worried about you :) (just kidding)

                                                  What you say is good, but I don't agree that we have to disagree (although you and I have at various times, but we'll overlook that). What all this discussion really is is a difference in preferences and likes and priorities. Some, like you, really enjoy the feel of a great knife, sharpening it, honing it, feeling it slice through that carrot, etc., and it truly isn't a good idea to put knives like that in the DW because, due to their materials, it really will degrade the things about them that help you enjoy them. Fine. Others, like me, really don't get off on all that, and are perfectly happy to grab a half decent Dexter Russel knife, slice whatever it is I want to slice, then put it in the DW with everything else because it is made DW safe and because for us that's the most efficient way to get the job done given the way we like to work, knowing the DW won't hurt it a bit. Equally fine.

                                                  So there is nothing to disagree about. It's just preferences and likes. Everybody has his own, and it leads everyone to do things that fit with his likes and preferences, but won't fit with those of others. Differences are what makes the world go 'round.

                                                  My problem is when folks come here (not you, but it has shown up in this thread) and portray their preferences as absolutely valid, to the exclusion of others' preferences, and then expand that to implicitly set themselves and their ways of doing things as better than those of the next guy, making them better than the next guy, who is obviously a lazy lout or a ridiculous fool. For some reason this tendency becomes very pronounced every time the subject of knives in dishwashers comes up here, which it does regularly. It also seems to lead to a lot of confirmation bias, e.g. those who can't accept that, yes, there are good working knives that can be put in the DW and it won't hurt them at all (I have DR's that have gone through the DW at least 500 times and, trust me, they are fine).

                                                  So let's all just agree that what works for one works for one, but not everybody. My way of doing things is just as valid as your way--we all just have different priorities and preferences that lead us to different ways of doing things, but it's all equally valid.

                                                  1. re: johnb

                                                    It's always been an important tenet - perhaps the most important one here at CH, that we criticize the idea and not the person. So it is indeed a problem when someone says or implies that the other person is lazy or a fool for putting their knives in the dishwasher. But I see this as a problem in both directions - I see, just as often, someone taking what someone else is saying personally, as if they were being called an idiot, when it's pretty clear that the writer was saying that the idea was idiotic.

                                                    I don't know if we're agreeing to disagree, or just accepting that there are all kinds - I don't think it matters. Just as long as I don't think that you're an idiot for liking DR knives and putting them in the dishwasher, and you don't think I'm an idiot for spending so much on expensive Japanese cutlery and then taking so much time and effort to keep them sharp. Validity (truth) is what works. It's a relative term. If there are ultimate truths in this world, then perhaps the web, where all knowledge and all sources weigh in as equal, isn't the place we ought to be going to learn them. But then, it's kind of sad that in accepting this concept of I'm OK, You're OK, there's not going to be a chance to explore ultimate truths, to learn from masters, and a site like CH is never going to reflect any particular standard. We're going to review Chinese sushi places along with the best food at the best Izakayas. Except for the wonderful review of Taipei and Tokyo and the removal of all the wonderful Izakaya dishes post. What a great food site this is!

                                                  2. re: applehome

                                                    well said applehome. for me the "cheap" cutco knives were a big upgrade from the drugstore knives I had before that. One thing i did notice from that upgrade was that it took me a little while to appreciate that they were better knives. Oh sure, they cut better right away - but so did the cheap knives when they were new. But over the next couple of months I realized that I was able to do a much better job of getting things cut the way I wanted them cut, and it was not due to an increase in my knife skills.

                                                    I am curious how someone would get a chance to try a great piece of cutlery, last time I checked they store didn't let you take it home for a test drive.

                                                    1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                      Re your last sentence, I had had the same thought. But it's probably for the best that I NOT try a $350 knife. I might fall in love :)

                                                      1. re: KaimukiMan

                                                        It would be best to be from a friend who's into knives and who would trust you to not put it in the dishwasher. My brother and I swap out or just allow each other to cut up an onion when at each other's houses - mainly to show off our latest toy or to show how incredibly sharp we got a particular blade. Having it for a while allows you to get a sense of how long it will stay sharp before needing to be sharpened.

                                                        Sharpness is very important - being able to tell how sharp something is and to be able to sense and use that sharpness is critical. I mean - if you can't do that, why get into good knives at all? I don't go along with testing on hairs or paper or even shaving. I use the method demonstrated by Murray Carter and just put my fingers on the blade and my thumb on the heel and move my fingers a bit. With the right pressure, you will immediately feel the grab of a truly sharp edge. If it slides, then it's just not sharp enough - so it will not break your skin (with the right pressure - which comes with practice). But then, if it passes that test, I dice something, like an onion. It's all about sensing the resistance - or rather the lack of it. The satisfaction one gets from an effortless pull (or push) can be very gratifying - or not. If not, then don't spend the money.

                                                        Honestly, a super-sharp knife won't make your food taste any better, just more fun to make - but only if you appreciate that kind of fun. The only exception to that is sashimi and raw meats in general. There, the utlimate sharpness will make a difference in the quality of what you serve - its texture, and how long it will stay fresh.

                                                        1. re: applehome

                                                          Actually a sharp knife will make your food better. Try this experiment. Cut a slice out of a potato with both a so-so sharp knife and a scary-sharp one. Now leave them on the counter and see which one turns brown first.

                                                          1. re: billieboy

                                                            Absolutely true - which is why it's so critical with meats and fish served raw. One could argue that it's less critical with the potato, which is cooked in some fashion after cutting. Not that I'm arguing - I mean - you're preaching to the choir. But in the true spirit of compromise, so that we don't call people who are willing to accept lesser forms of food with lesser forms of cutlery, idiots, let's all agree that the *idea* that it's not enough of a difference to matter to most, has merit.

                                                            1. re: applehome

                                                              As Mohammad Ali (or was he still Cassius Clay) once said..."Different strokes for different folks.

                                                            2. re: billieboy

                                                              But is that really better? Even if they turn brown at different rates, what does that tell us about the potato for its intended use (presumably to cook and eat, not to look at and exclaim over its relative whiteness). What is the meaning of better? Maybe the potato that turns brown quicker also will taste better for some reason. I don't know. Maybe it will to person A but not to person B.

                                                              Not to make too much of this, but it exemplifies once again that, in all of us, our particular (and unstated) background preferences, experiences, and beliefs heavily color not only our view of things, but our conclusions about things, and what we think of as true, while others with different preferences, beliefs, and experiences will find something else entirely to be true.

                                                              Isn't philosophy fun!

                                                              1. re: johnb

                                                                But if you understand the science, the biology, behind the difference, you would not think that the blunter blade is as acceptable. There is cellular level damage being done and this accelerates the spoilage - bacteria have more material to work on. A sharper knife creates less damage and spoilage occurs slower. This is not philosophy, but science.

                                                                Admittedly, in some cases, bacteria is a good thing. We want the flavor and the effects of bacteria. So I suppose that it is possible to philosophically maintain that cutting with a blunter edge is preferable. But I don't think that's the case in terms of the arguments heard here. I hear only that it is easier (in the sense of overall care) to cut with a blunt edge, and that it is not worth the extra work to maintain a sharper edge. People who want to cause cellular damage for culinary reasons do so with salt and meat hammers.

                                                                For me, the effects on vegetables are pretty meaningless - even those I eat raw, cutting cucumbers and tomatoes for a salad, for example. But people who go buy a chunk of tuna and bring it home and then cut it up with their Cutco 440A with eversharp scalloped edge - and I've had this served to me - and the person of course, took care that the tuna sashimi warmed up to room temperature after cutting... well that's a culinary disaster in so many ways - including a possible health disaster.

                                                          2. re: KaimukiMan

                                                            Find someone in your area that has top quality cutlery.

                                                            Whenever you find yourself in the Los Angeles area let me know, the wife and I are always open to company.

                                                        2. Applehome, JohnB,

                                                          I've truly enjoyed reading your discourse, that said I find value in both points of view and agreeing to disagree really does seem the best solution.

                                                          I collected antique and vintage butcher equipment and cutlery for years. After meeting my wife and our moving in together, I decided to sell off my collection, keeping the finest cooks cutlery for every day use. My kitchen knives are all forged carbon steel made between 1860 and 1960.

                                                          I put the same time and care into keeping my knives as I put into maintaining the plane irons and chisels I've made furniture with.

                                                          The wife doesn't like using my carbon steel knives (read washing and drying them after each use into that), so we have a set of Boker stainless knives that she uses, or abuses depending on your point of view. She'll use a knife then set it down and walk away, only to put it in the dishwasher the next day and run the machine.

                                                          I spend more time removing rust from her knives than I do polishing the stains out of my knives.

                                                          It seems to me, the two of you have brought it down to the heart of the matter... Nothing is right for everyone! We all have an idea of what works best for us, regardless of convention and/or peer pressure.

                                                          What I love about open discussion of topics like this, it allows me the opportunity gain the opinion and views of people I may have never talked to about whatever the subject is.

                                                          1. Dear Fabienne301,

                                                            I completely understand your gripe. I'm not one of those that finds meditation in dish washing. I just wanted to let you know from (quickly) browsing some of the replies below that the Wusthoff Classic knives are NOT dishwasher safe (though the company will not outright state that). We recently got a dishwasher for the first time and only a month later nearly all of our almost new knives had hairline cracks in the handles. Wusthoff reported this was likely due to the heat of the dishwasher. They will however replace the knives at no cost, and recommend hand washing the new ones.

                                                            1 Reply
                                                            1. re: swensosk

                                                              good post, i'm impressed with Wusthofs customer service

                                                            2. So the question was, does a dishwasher-safe knife exist.

                                                              And so many of the answers are, "I know of at least one knife
                                                              that is not dishwasher safe."

                                                              That's like someone asking if apples taste good and everybody
                                                              telling him that they once had an orange they didn't like.

                                                              1 Reply
                                                              1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                I disagree. It's like asking if apples taste good and people replying that they have had bad apples. There are examples of what people think are dishwasher safe knives, including the Dexter-Russell knives that johnb recommends. It's pretty clear that people (including the op) understand that the majority of knife manufacturers recommend keeping their knives out of dishwashers, and that a significant number of people here think that's a good idea. Others disagree - but I don't see anybody else thinking that this is apples and oranges.

                                                              2. I've never had a problem with putting any knife in the dishwasher as long as it's not carbon steel and has a waterproof (not wood) handle. Heck, we even put cheap wood-handled ones in and they come out fine.

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: BobB

                                                                  Over time, the water, heat detergent will not be kind to wooden handles and can rust or discolor some metal. Why is it so hard to wash and dry a knife that you just used, while it's still in your hand?

                                                                  1. re: sandih

                                                                    You could make that argument about any flatware. Why do you put your spoons and spatulas in the dishwasher?

                                                                    After many years of dishwasher cleaning, our Henckels and other everyday knives are still 100% fine. Wouldn't put the good Sabatiers in there, but that's because they're carbon steel and they rust if you so much as look at them moistly. ;-)

                                                                    1. re: sandih

                                                                      This is another argument against dishwashers in general.
                                                                      Fascinating how that keeps happening here.

                                                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                        Hey, you want to come over and wash all my dishes for me, you're welcome. Until then I'm sticking with the dishwasher!

                                                                        1. re: BobB

                                                                          You seem to have missed the "re: sandih" over there on the right side of my note. We are quite in agreement.

                                                                  2. This thread has brought out such repressed animosity that I'm beginning to wonder if
                                                                    there's maybe some Freudian thing going on. Along the lines of:

                                                                    He: "What?!? Put my ten-inch steely sword of finely-honed danger into a dishwasher?!? Never!"
                                                                    She: "Honey, stop worshipping the damn thing and just get it clean."

                                                                    The gender lines are apparently not so clearly drawn, and I'm not sure where to go
                                                                    with it from here, but anyway ....

                                                                    4 Replies
                                                                    1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                      ha! FWIW I am in the "DW no big deal" camp and I have two X chromosomes :)

                                                                      1. re: Chuckles the Clone

                                                                        You know what Chuckles? You may have hit the nail on the head. Men are "usually" anal about their toys and women, as a rule, couldn't care less.
                                                                        The solution is to ban dishwashers. Make them illegal. hee hee.

                                                                        1. re: billieboy

                                                                          I certianly never indicated that you shouldn't put anything in your dishwasher. When you're finished using your knife, just turn to the sink, give it a rinse and dry it with your towel...done. It is not the same thing as putting flatware in the dishwasher. Not all knives are made of the same metal and some will not last as long. I am not against dishwashers, just preserving what you spend a lot of money on.

                                                                          1. re: sandih

                                                                            I think you misunderstood Sandi. I'm with you. The few seconds you (not you but the OP) saved not rinsing/drying the knife is lost in the resharpening or the trip to the store to buy a new one. Look after your tools and they will be good to you.

                                                                      2. If you have a carbon steel knife you can't use the dishwasher because by the time it cycles and dries, it will be ready to start rusting. If you have a wood or natural fiber handle its also a no no. However, you won't hurt a stainless steel knife with a rubber or fibrox handle in the dishwasher. The water doesn't get hot enough to effect the temper. The biggest problem is the blade coming into contact with other silverware. You need to make sure it is in a rack by itself or where nothing can hit the edge.

                                                                        Now this may stop you from putting expensive cutlery in the dishwasher because most of the really nice knives have some kind of fancy wooden handle. My Spyderco Santoku has been through the dishwasher hundreds of times and is fine.

                                                                        1. Not sure if this will make you feel any better about your BBB Calphalon set however I just returned my set in less than a week for the same reason. I was online today reviewing knife sets when I stumbled across your article. I originally thought that the problem was due to the fact that the 17 pc set had German steel for the primary knives and Asian steel for the table knives. --Noted by an asterix on the box and not noticed by me until I went to re-box the set.... and the salesman also assured me that they where the best knife set he ever used... as well as DW safe. Nothing but non-sense.... although the knife set was nice for the couple times I used it.

                                                                          Regardless of the non-DW and CAYG fuddy's on here I am for simplicity like yourself. Most of the people on here have been fairly unrealistic about their response to your post. Normally I don't reply however I felt the need to based on some of the people indicating that you should eat frozen dinners if your so conscious of time. For myself I'm a solid DW user with little time for clean up. -- That's for my maids; and no that doesn't mean my GF.

                                                                          Frozen dinners are so bad that I can't think of anyone who I'd buy them for, and eating out has just gotten overly old besides being a serious time waster. Heck you even need a knife to open some of those TV dinners anyway. ;) ...and lookout because I don't know of any restaurant that hand washes their steak knives. :)

                                                                          All in all, you might want to consider the Global-Knife.com. I read a lot of articles talking about the type of materials, forged, stamped, etc and found this one-piece stainless steel knife to have extremely high reviews. One thing to note is that they don't say that it's dishwasher safe however since it's made of all stainless steal I'm going to give it a shot.

                                                                          Good luck and I hope that you find what you're looking for.

                                                                          3 Replies
                                                                          1. re: jdraggi

                                                                            I won't put Global knives in a dishwasher since the company considers doing so as inappropriate use and void the warranty. Just because a knife is made of stainless steel, it does not mean it is dishwasher safe. Shun VG-10 is a stainlesss steel, but VG-10 is not very "stainless". One cannot just group all stainless together. If all stainless steels are the same, then there is no point to buy a $300 SG-2 stainless steel knife vs a $10 420 stainless steel knife.

                                                                            If being dishwasher safe is very important to you, then probably Wusthof and Henckels knives are better choices for you. I know Wusthof steel has good corrosion resistant. Dexter-Russell have several lines of knives which are good for that as well.

                                                                            1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                                                                              rule of thumb: if your knives cost more than your dishwasher, they probably don't belong in your dishwasher.

                                                                              1. re: chuckl

                                                                                rule of index finger: if you are going to talk about knives and dishwashers, you need to include dishwasher detergents -- which differ markedly from brand to brand -- in the discussion.