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I cut my finger.........Again

h
HotMelly Jul 10, 2009 09:26 AM

Am I the only one the cuts their finger while cutting onions, celery , peppers, or whatever. How in the heck do I stop it bleeding so I can finish preparing my dish. I would say on the average , I cut my finger 25% of the time. Anyone else ??

  1. pikawicca Nov 6, 2009 06:18 PM

    A chef friend of mine, commenting on my recent wound, says that restaurant kitchens use Super Glue. As professional as they are, accidents happen.

    3 Replies
    1. re: pikawicca
      GraydonCarter Sep 11, 2010 05:33 PM

      I'm watching Top Chef and one of the competitors cuts herself. This happens in every season, so you've got to assume that professional chefs cut themselves all the time. Either a knife or a mandolin accident.

      In some movie about a restaurant, one of the initiation rituals for a new chef was to reach over and cut their hand! I've never cut myself with a knife... just paper cuts, but I would be very angry if someone purposely reached over and cut me.

      It always gets treated more like a hassle than an injury... bandages and gloves just get in the way. The super glue trick works great to close up the skin.

      I was going to open a new topic but after searching for an existing discussion I found this one to be too interesting not to bump.

      1. re: GraydonCarter
        alkapal Sep 12, 2010 03:01 AM

        someone just cut their finger on "chopped." gyaack, the blood was oozing all around inside the latex glove he had pulled onto his hand after the cut. the guy didn't even BANDAGE it first, i don't think.

        1. re: GraydonCarter
          d
          DGresh Sep 12, 2010 05:26 AM

          yeah I cringed when I saw kelly cut herself. All that blood. Looks like my kitchen "once a season" as my son tells me.

      2. alkapal Nov 6, 2009 07:17 AM

        using my finger to wipe off the lid of a cream soup can (mushroom, for you inquiring minds), i cut in the first knuckle inside fold. idiot!

        washed, then peroxided, then applied the neosporin + pain relief, then bandaged.

        why do i do this? is that little dab of soup on the lid worth it? memory is short, for sure! ;-).

        3 Replies
        1. re: alkapal
          l
          lgss Nov 6, 2009 04:56 PM

          There are (manual) can openers that don't leave a sharp edge. Ours is a Kuhn Rikon. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jIjtjh...

          1. re: lgss
            alkapal Nov 6, 2009 06:24 PM

            oh, this was a pull top.

            1. re: alkapal
              l
              lgss Nov 7, 2009 05:31 AM

              Yes, those are dangerous. Some pull tops can be opened from the other end, some can't.

        2. JerryMe Jul 13, 2009 06:07 PM

          I once cut the tip of my finger so bad and harsh that I spent the rest of the evening w/ my finger wrapped in paper towels, w/ a plastic baggie dunked into a cup of ice water . . . WOW! Ended up, in bed that night w/ huge band aids, but evaded the ER (that nite)

          My sis was so right - the duller your knives, the worse it is. . .So! I DID finish dinner by leaving the "offended" digit wrapped in a paper towel but YOW!

          Get thee to a knife sharpener - and don't regret it.

          I don't have a mandolin. Nor have I pretended that I ever did. I eventually got a better set of knives and put a wet towel under all cutting boards . . .well, and I listen to the Grateful Dead or the Stones when I'm chopping! Ha!

          1. c oliver Jul 13, 2009 12:55 PM

            billieboy shared this video with me about the claw and pinch techniques. It's helped me hugely.

            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq0FH2...

            1. DockPotato Jul 13, 2009 02:50 AM

              My heart goes out to all bleeding fingers.

              As I type this I glance at a scar on my right palm (way too much wine) that served as an anatomy lesson years ago. Duct tape allowed me to party on.

              Here is an interesting tip. If you discover blood stains on your clothes from any misadventure, no matter how old, they can easily be removed with your saliva!

              Spit on the stain, rub the material together, rinse under the tap and rub some more. Repeat until the blood stain is gone, Truly magic.

              BUT... the saliva MUST be from the person whose blood is on the fabric. I have no idea how this works but it does.

              5 Replies
              1. re: DockPotato
                linguafood Jul 13, 2009 03:26 AM

                that's interesting. i just recently learned that the best way to get out fresh blood stains with cold water. never hot, b/c it cooks the protein and leaves a stain. cold water works awesomely well. now where do i put all those body parts? '-D

                1. re: linguafood
                  e
                  Erika L Jul 13, 2009 10:35 PM

                  The absolute best way to get out fresh or dried blood is hydrogen peroxide. Drop or pour it onto the stain and let it fizz, then blot. Repeat as necessary.

                  1. re: Erika L
                    c oliver Jul 14, 2009 05:00 AM

                    Absolutely. I've been doing this for decades.

                    1. re: c oliver
                      Sam Fujisaka Jul 14, 2009 05:36 AM

                      After coming under fire from drive-by shooters for decades ...

                    2. re: Erika L
                      Passadumkeg Jul 14, 2009 05:38 AM

                      Funny, I never knew H2O2 for blood; just threw away the fatigues.

                2. Scargod Jul 12, 2009 08:06 PM

                  You leave a lot to the imagination. You could be young and inexperienced or you don't cook and use knives much. You do need to watch videos or get lessons and practice on easy to cut things for a while, like cucumbers or zucchini. Use good, well-balanced sharp knives that fit your hands and are suited to what you are doing. Have good lighting and a work surface that is the right height for you. Lastly, don't get distracted or drink too much when you're doing it.
                  If you get cut, keep fast setting (low viscosity) Super Glue on hand to close the wound.

                  1. shaogo Jul 12, 2009 10:49 AM

                    Only one poster above mentions the person using the knife holding the items to be cut "in the hand."

                    When I'm at someone's home and I see them cutting something in the air without resting it on a cutting board, it drives me nuts (but propriety usually keeps me from saying anything).

                    It's also contrary to some people's intuition that a sharp knife is better to use than a dull one -- some folks don't know knife skills and are afraid of the razor-sharps. It's similar to driving in rush hour traffic; it's quite often the *slower* drivers that're more dangerous than the ones who travel "with the pack."

                    9 Replies
                    1. re: shaogo
                      Sam Fujisaka Jul 13, 2009 01:48 PM

                      Homecooks the world over use their thumbs as a cutting board. The more I've been able to learn from people in remote rural areas - from home cooks, to roadside "restaurants" to streetfood stands in Asia, Africa, Latin America, the more I've been practicing cutting things against my thumb. People who do this, do it quickly and accurately! And usually with a short, carbon steel knife of weird shape (from sharpening).

                      1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                        Scargod Jul 13, 2009 02:21 PM

                        Sam, I have and do use this method from time to time, but I would add that some people have callouses and some have none. On occasion I have found my thumb cut to ribbons, but no bleeding.
                        The technique also works better with some materials than others. A carrot might be a bad choice as it will probably snap at some point and release the blade to fly into your finger. Regardless it is an art that most shouldn't be trying.

                        1. re: Scargod
                          Sam Fujisaka Jul 13, 2009 02:49 PM

                          I grew up learning classic knife skills from people who grew up with both methods - no one seems to teach anyone the thumb method. But it helps to know if you want to go side by side with old ladies in kitchens where there are no cutting boards.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                            c
                            Cachetes Jul 13, 2009 05:42 PM

                            Yes! You bring up the "thumb" method and I think of both of my grandmothers and my mother-in-law, three women who worked hard all their lives, had rough, calloused hands, and cooked up a storm. My MIL cooks for three meals a day for 14 people, and her only cutting board is a little round thing about 10 inches in diameter with a concave center. I don't ever remember seeing a nicked thumb either. I've been made soft by my cutting board. Perhaps I'll toss them all and toughen up!

                        2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                          MMRuth Jul 13, 2009 02:55 PM

                          I have to confess to doing the same and, while I am known for sustaining ridiculous injuries while cooking, none of them have been incurred while doing this.

                          1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                            jfood Jul 13, 2009 07:09 PM

                            Jfood tries like the dickens to stop this when the DNA kicks in and he starts imitating his Bubbie. But just because he uses wood cutting boards instead of thumbs does not mean unscathed fingers. He has picked out the end of a nail and the end of fingers while slicing and dicing as well as some good ouches.

                            BTW - In case anyone is interested that orange thingy in the oven gets really f'ing hot. Jfood recommends not touching with a finger.

                            1. re: jfood
                              c oliver Jul 13, 2009 07:19 PM

                              "Don't touch the orange thing" as been one of my mantras for many years, kiddo.

                            2. re: Sam Fujisaka
                              Scargod Jul 19, 2009 04:08 AM

                              I revisited this "cutting against the thumb" technique the other night and had this sort of déjà vu moment. I could see my mother and my grandmother using this technique while working over a bowl or skillet.
                              I held half an onion in my hand and made some slices partway into it - toward my hand. I am not recommending anyone cut towards their hand, BTW! However, I did have a very sharp, thin bladed six inch slicer to do this with and it was very easy to control. Then, I let some of the onion stick out past my thumb. Using the thumb of my knife hand as a lever and hinge point, I rested it and worked it against the other thumb as I pulled up on the knife and sliced off chunks right next to my thumbs. I was not pressing the blade against my thumb with this technique. Just sort of chopping in air, right next to my thumbs.
                              I'm sure many of you have done this, especially when adding dribs and drabs to a pot.

                              1. re: Sam Fujisaka
                                pikawicca Nov 6, 2009 01:33 PM

                                I nearly sliced my thumb off the other night, trimming Brussels sprouts on my thumb. This is the way I've always done it, but I'd just sharpened my knife the day before and when I encountered a slightly tough sprout and exerted additional pressure on the knife, the little sucker went right through the sprout and about halfway through my finger. Luckily, I keep ABC gauze on hand for these (thankfully) rare occasions. Stopped the bleeding immediately, and I was able to get right back to trimming my sprouts (on a cutting board).

                            3. c
                              cimui Jul 11, 2009 05:08 PM

                              I just wrap a bit of paper towel around it and wrap it tight. One or two changes and the bleeding stops unless you're a hemophiliac or the wound is very deep.

                              I don't cut myself with my knife very often BUT I seem to take a chunk of flesh off my knuckles every other time I try to grate my parm. SO ANNOYING! I wonder if they have grating skills classes...

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: cimui
                                s
                                small h Jul 11, 2009 05:41 PM

                                Have you considered a rotary cheese grater?

                                1. re: cimui
                                  pinkprimp Jul 11, 2009 08:04 PM

                                  Similarly, I'm missing pieces of skin on my right thumb! Everytime I zest citrus (particuarly those large, slipperly grapefruits...sneaky things), I seem to add in a piece of my skin as well.

                                  The last time I cut myself, I was in someone else's kitchen cutting potatoes. I remember thinking "oh my, this knife is so dull, how am I ever going to cut anything?" Next thing you know, I'm screaming from all the blood streaming out of my index finger.

                                  1. re: cimui
                                    q
                                    queencru Jul 11, 2009 08:04 PM

                                    YES. I am a total klutz generally but never manage to have any issues with the knife. I am just slow and careful. That stupid cheese grater is my worst enemy. Yes, there are rotary varieties, but I am cheap and want the basic 4-sided one that will cheaply provide me with different options for sizes.

                                    1. re: queencru
                                      Boccone Dolce Jul 12, 2009 03:54 AM

                                      Ok- my box grater is known as 'The Punisher' - I almost always grate a knuckle when I use it. Sometimes I stab the thing I'm grating with a fork when it gets tiny, to keep my hand further away but it can be even more unwieldy that way.
                                      I've got a cute, lil food chopper but I like The Punisher for wet stuff so it actually GRATES and doesn't make juice.

                                    2. re: cimui
                                      c
                                      cimui Jul 12, 2009 11:07 AM

                                      Yeah, the rotary grater's kind of a cool little contraption. I just keep holding on to the hope that I'll learn how to grate properly someday. Getting a rotary grater would be an admission of defeat!

                                      For now, my family and friends have just learned to accept some cimui knuckle as part of my own special recipe for parmesan risotto... ;)

                                    3. e
                                      etta1225 Jul 11, 2009 01:55 PM

                                      A good knife, a good knife skills course--but right now (or then, or when it happens again), brown paper from paper bags (an old standby of my mother and grandmother--they still make them and you can get them in places that ask "paper or plastice"--just say "paper") torn into strips and wrapped around the cut seems to staunch the blood. Styptic pencils are good for nicks, but I'm not sure how they work on fingers. You can also get bandaids specifically geared to finger tips and knuckles. But take a course!

                                      1. enbell Jul 11, 2009 01:40 PM

                                        I know for a fact that my knife skills could use a tune-up, But as long as I am careful I am just fine. The problem is when I get careless and distracted (which unfortunately is *far too often*) evidenced bu the fact that my band-aids and neosporen reside in my top kitchen drawer. The running joke in my family is that if I call someone about a recent fiasco resulting in injury, it has to be dinner time. None of my mistakes result in nicks or dings. Mine are always messy and painful....you'd think I'd learn my now!

                                        2 Replies
                                        1. re: enbell
                                          d
                                          DGresh Nov 6, 2009 09:07 AM

                                          where else would the bandaids be :) As I sport my latest chopping off the tip of my left index finger. I actually only do it every couple years so I'm not so bad. But it's because I can't be bothered with the tucking-the-fingers-under and I just get a little "overexhuberant". And for me, sharp knives do NOT make me safer in the kitchen. They just make it hurt less.

                                          1. re: DGresh
                                            Scargod Nov 6, 2009 12:47 PM

                                            Yes, sharp knife cuts stitch back together better and heal faster. Especially when you add a few stitches or some super glue!

                                        2. h
                                          HotMelly Jul 11, 2009 10:47 AM

                                          Do you think drinking wine while cooking would affect my skills ?

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: HotMelly
                                            k
                                            KTinNYC Jul 11, 2009 10:48 AM

                                            Not if you practiced proper technique and had a sharp knife, lol!

                                            1. re: HotMelly
                                              Caroline1 Jul 11, 2009 11:05 AM

                                              LOL! How much wine are you talking about? THAT much! Oh, yeah!!!

                                              Look, Ma, no fingers! '-)

                                              1. re: HotMelly
                                                EWSflash Jul 11, 2009 08:50 PM

                                                Welllllllll, I speak only for myself, but the statistics are indisputable. Sober? I don't cut or grate myself. Period. Got a snootful? The meal may be better and more creative, but there's no question I'm FAR more likely to shed blood. There's no question in my mind.

                                                1. re: HotMelly
                                                  Ima Wurdibitsch Jul 18, 2009 07:18 PM

                                                  LOL. This may seem ridiculous but here's what I do. I come home from work and change into something a little more kitchen-friendly. I do most of my chopping, slicing, prepping. Then, I fix myself a martini and go sit on the porch for a few minutes. When I come back in, I pretend that my sous chef has done all of my prep work. I finish my martini as I put dinner together and have the wine with the meal.

                                                  1. re: Ima Wurdibitsch
                                                    EWSflash Jul 19, 2009 12:59 PM

                                                    IW, that's genius!

                                                2. greygarious Jul 11, 2009 08:52 AM

                                                  My mother cut herself frequently, but she was always stressed, hurried, and tense. I believe that had a lot to do with it. If I find myself in similar straits, I try to remember to do a little deep breathing before doing anything dangerous in the kitchen.

                                                  1. Boccone Dolce Jul 11, 2009 08:46 AM

                                                    I don't have knife skills. I've been looking for a class, because I really want to cut better, uniform chunks and not have it take the 45 minutes it seems to take me now. I have "ok" knives but I'm in the market for a new chef's knife- the one I have is just not pleasing me.
                                                    Possibly the only thing(s) saving me are my way-too-long-to-be-a-kitchen-professional nails. They hold things up and are the first thing the knife hits if it slips.
                                                    I also go fairly slow- and have a nice big work area and a large cutting board, which helps.

                                                    1. e
                                                      Erika L Jul 11, 2009 07:56 AM

                                                      How is the lighting on the counter where you do the cutting? If you have overhead lights, is your own shadow falling over the chopping board? I installed bright task lights right over the counter, to make sure that I could see what I'm doing.

                                                      1. l
                                                        lgss Jul 10, 2009 04:57 PM

                                                        My husband and I are both klutzes. When my mother-in-law and stepfather-in-law gave us a mandolin as a gift they included a box of band-aids. We have each have a pair of the kevlar gloves.

                                                        finger guard here:
                                                        http://www.chefscatalog.com/product/20289-finger-guard.aspx?sourcecode=9W4CS4008&srccode=cii_9324560&cpncode=24-43763834-2

                                                        or kevlar gloves here:
                                                        http://www.leevalley.com/garden/page....

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: lgss
                                                          s
                                                          Sal Vanilla Jul 10, 2009 05:40 PM

                                                          What a good idea! My mom sliced her palm below her thumb on a mandolin and passed out from blood loss. No joke. It cut off a big slice and deep before she even knew it. Luckily she hit her wrist caller before she passed out and the paramedics came. I should get her a pair of those gloves just for regular chopping. She refuses to sharpen the knife I got for her. It is a matter of time before she tried to lop off her thumb. Only a couple years ago did we finally agree "no more cutting bagels and tomatoes in your hand".

                                                          1. re: lgss
                                                            f
                                                            fourunder Jul 11, 2009 05:16 AM

                                                            Re: the fingers guard....

                                                            if you can learn and master your fingers curled when cutting, this item is not really necessary....plus the fact, the sound of metal on metal may bother some with sensitivities.

                                                            Re: the Kevlar gloves...

                                                            the difference between these gloves and the ones designed specifically for the kitchen. is that the Kevlar gloves are meant really for bulk handling in the industrial workplace. The gloves designed for commercial kitchens, butchers and fish mongers are much less bulky and form fitting to the hands. The nubs on the Kevlar gloves may also be problematic for finer cutting or slicing.

                                                            1. re: fourunder
                                                              l
                                                              lgss Jul 11, 2009 09:17 AM

                                                              Can you tell us where to get the kitchen-use gloves?

                                                              1. re: lgss
                                                                f
                                                                fourunder Jul 11, 2009 05:07 PM

                                                                Absolutely......

                                                                http://www.restaurantsource.com/kitch...

                                                                btw...this information was provided in my first post for this thread at the top of the page....should the link not work.

                                                          2. s
                                                            smartie Jul 10, 2009 03:54 PM

                                                            apart from having a very sharp knife and using a cutting board, nobody has mentioned the importance of using the right size and right type of knife for the job. For example do not use a bread knife for an onion and a small knife for bread. Don't use a large knife to chop scallions or a tiny knife to slice your side of beef.

                                                            5 Replies
                                                            1. re: smartie
                                                              k
                                                              KTinNYC Jul 10, 2009 08:00 PM

                                                              I'll have to disagree. Have you ever seen a skilled Chinese chef use a cleaver? He can do 95% of what he needs to do including incredibly delicate work with just one knife. I don't get why one shouldn't use a big knife for small work like scallions. I do it all the time. I also use a chefs knife to peel the woody bits off of the stalks of broccoli and the like. Not a big deal if you are careful and know what you are doing.

                                                              1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                s
                                                                smartie Jul 10, 2009 08:05 PM

                                                                but the OP is not a skilled chinese chef.

                                                                1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                  Scargod Jul 12, 2009 07:55 PM

                                                                  As someone who has worked with his hands all his life, I can't agree at all. Perhaps fudge a little...by one size up or down. No fudging when you need the special-purpose knife like a cleaver or a butcher's boning knife. It's damn hard to core or trim apples, pears and peaches with an 8" Chef's knife and awfully hard to slice carrots with a paring knife. You end up holding the knives wrong and they become difficult and unsafe to use; not unlike a dull knife.

                                                                  1. re: Scargod
                                                                    k
                                                                    KTinNYC Jul 12, 2009 08:53 PM

                                                                    I agree to a point. You can do most everything with a big knife but the small knives are much more limited. If you "choke up" with a big knife you can core and trim but only if you know what you are doing. But you certainly can't make a little knife into a big knife.

                                                                    1. re: KTinNYC
                                                                      Scargod Jul 13, 2009 04:46 AM

                                                                      I have, as you said, choked up on a big knife. Funny, I almost used that term when I did my post. I have fairly large hands. When I try to use a big chef's knife for delicate work I have trouble staying away from the blade with my fingertips and the knife is out of balance and unwieldy. It is a seldom used shortcut for me.
                                                                      I have five paring knives, six Chef's knives from10" down, a Shun Santuko with Granton edge, a 6" slicer that subs for the Santuko, a boning knife, cleaver, a long bread knife and then specialty/serving knives. I seldom have to "make do" or compromise. I think it's a big mistake since they're potentially hard on the fingers.
                                                                      BTW, to answer the OP's question: In the kitchen, I might knick myself once a year, but it wasn't always that way. I'm 62 and I used to cut myself two or three times a year, but never requiring stitches. I usually handle knives for two meals a day. I cut up whole chickens, etc. and have a garden. I sharpen my knives. I am smarter... more practiced and more careful than I was when younger and I learned to use the "(Iron) claw" method. I learned it from Fritz Von Erich! Once I was working on my car and nearly ripped off the end of a finger. I pulled it together with bandaids (Super glue was not an option-I was looking at bone), wrapped it tightly with tape and finished the work so I could drive to the ER for stitches.

                                                              2. Caroline1 Jul 10, 2009 02:26 PM

                                                                Good grief! I've just watched about 20 youtube videos on knife skills looking for a really good one. I had NO idea THAT many chefs have pretty lousy knife skills but aren't letting it stop them when it comes to making videos! This is the best I've foind so far:
                                                                http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=arOHmH...
                                                                And she gives excellent advice: You NEED one good chef's knife! And a honing rod. She shows how to use the "claw" method to protect your fingers. And the way I was taught by a master chef many years ago (so of course I think that way is the best way) states that your blade should NEVER leave the cutting board. Even for "chopping." Buy some celery and a head of lettuce and practice dicing the celery and shredding the lettuce using a sharp and very good knife and keep your fingers curled in the claw position! Should help immensely.

                                                                I've read most of the posts up to this point and I agree that having your eyes checked may be useful. And if you don't have a good knife, give it up! I don't agree with the steel glove simply because while it can save your fingers, it can also kill your knife. Fingers heal, but it's best when they don't have to.

                                                                If all else fails, you just may be one of those people who simply doesn't have the coordination needed for using a knife safely. If that's the case, it's not your fault, but you can learn to live with it. So if the knife skill training and a good sharp knive doesn't work out, stop cutting yourself and buy one of those choppers that you pounce up and down on the handle while it safely chops things under a plastic dome. And then there are food processors. I have all sorts of blades for my very very old Cuisinart that allow me to slice from paper thin to really thick, chop, mince, shred, julienne and cut French fries. The only problem with the julienne, whether matchstick or a bit larger, is that things come out slightly curved, but better than a finger in the julienne! There are also mandolins (again, mine is a very old Benriner, and unfortunately too old to have a finger guard). Almost all current mandolins are available with finger guards. So if it turns out that you are just "genetically clumsy" do NOT give up cooking! Just get yourself some equipement that keeps you safe while you turn out great food! Happy and safe cooking!

                                                                6 Replies
                                                                1. re: Caroline1
                                                                  pinkprimp Jul 11, 2009 06:34 AM

                                                                  Aaargh the youtube lady has the Rachel Ray hand movements!

                                                                  BTW Caroline, I like your idea of buying some produce to practice the claw method. Our food and nutrition teacher taught us this technique and we had to use it while cooking in class, but I have stopped using it since. I should really practice it and use it again.

                                                                  1. re: pinkprimp
                                                                    Caroline1 Jul 11, 2009 07:47 AM

                                                                    Not what I was looking for, but (unfortunately) the best I could find! I KNOW I watched Julia Child do a whole show on knife techniques about forty years ago, but there's no trace of it on the web today. At least none I could find. I've also seen Jacques Pepin do a bit about knife techniques, but no trace. However, his knife techniques are a bit more slack than JC's were. The worst I found for someone with HotMelly's history features Hung (sp? the winner of one of the Top Chef seasons) who lifts his blade from the cutting board and uses a very rapid chopping technique best reserved for a very wide bladed Chinese vegetable cleaver.

                                                                    Many of the youtube videos suggest beginners start with carrots and potatoes. Beginners and rusty non-beginners need something more "user friendly" than those veggies. The problem with the web is that it makes everyone an "expert" and allows them to put up teaching videos, qualified or not. Ouch!

                                                                    1. re: Caroline1
                                                                      billieboy Jul 11, 2009 09:49 AM

                                                                      May I humbly recommend this video. He is an honest-to-God expert. No BS here.

                                                                      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wq0FH2...

                                                                      1. re: billieboy
                                                                        Caroline1 Jul 11, 2009 11:03 AM

                                                                        Didn't find that one yesterday! I certainly like his "claw" position better than the video I linked. His technique is classic. So far. of the approximately 30 or so knife videos I've watched, they all fail to explain the the novice that when shopping for a chef's knife, look for a distance between the heel of the blade when resting on the cutting board and the handle that accommodates your hand comfortably. These depths vary from knife to knife as well as with the size of the knife. If the distance/depth is too shallow, some may find their knuckles constantly rapping on the cutting board, which can be very uncomfortable. If you have large hands or fat fingers, this is critical!

                                                                        Another rule, never take your knife out of the block and start using it without honing it first!

                                                                        1. re: billieboy
                                                                          enbell Jul 11, 2009 01:41 PM

                                                                          Thank you, very useful.

                                                                      2. re: pinkprimp
                                                                        LindaWhit Jul 14, 2009 06:07 AM

                                                                        LOL! I thought the SAME thing re: the overly excessive hand movements! But not a bad video for the basics.

                                                                    2. s
                                                                      Sal Vanilla Jul 10, 2009 11:59 AM

                                                                      I did not see that anyone mentioned investing in a good chef's knife. Go, put them in your hand, pretend to cut to get the feel. My husband likes a 10" blade, I am more an 8". Talk the the salesperson. Do some research before you head out. Buy a sharpening steel and get some help learning to use it. Wash the knife only by hand and sharpen it each time you use it. It really does make prep safer and more enjoyable.

                                                                      2 Replies
                                                                      1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                        scubadoo97 Jul 12, 2009 01:14 PM

                                                                        Safer in the sense that you won't be struggling to cut through an object but unlike a dull knife a truly razor sharp knife will cut you to the bone before you know you're cut. As a consolation it will be a clean cut.

                                                                        1. re: Sal Vanilla
                                                                          jfood Jul 13, 2009 04:27 AM

                                                                          SV

                                                                          sharpen it or hone it each time? jfood thinks you may have meant the latter.

                                                                        2. viperlush Jul 10, 2009 11:18 AM

                                                                          Nope rarely cut myself, but as I write this I see a nice deep cut on my finger tip and I am reminded that my hand is not a cutting board. I have been wearing a plastic glove to cover it while cooking to keep food out.

                                                                          1. scubadoo97 Jul 10, 2009 11:18 AM

                                                                            Master the claw technique. I've finally learned to keep my fingers out of the way. Last serious injury was about 3 years ago. Nearly took the tip of my finger off.

                                                                            Super glue can help close a wound. If it's real bad don't do what I did and get to the ER for sutures. I have a hard knot of a scar inside the tip of my finger. I should know better but didn't want to stop as I was preparing for a party.

                                                                            1. Paula76 Jul 10, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                                              I was just wondering about your eyesight. I used to cut my fingers very often whilst chopping because, for some silly reason, I wouldn't put on my glasses and couldn't see properly what I was doing. I also found that some big cutting knives are not as good for onions which can be slippy so I tend to use a small, sharp, serrated knife these days and I haven't cut my finger for a long time. Hope you'll find a solution that suits you...I know how annoying and frustrating it can be.

                                                                              2 Replies
                                                                              1. re: Paula76
                                                                                greygarious Jul 10, 2009 09:59 AM

                                                                                I agree that a serrated knife is better than a dull straight blade.

                                                                                Halve all round produce, like apples, tomatoes, and onions, and lay the half on its flat side before proceeding with further slicing/chopping. With onion, cut from stem to root. Peel back the outer layer but leave it attached to the root, You can then grasp the gathered peel, to hold the onion firmly down on the cutting board while you chop. This keeps your holding hand away from the onion flesh and the knife.

                                                                                1. re: greygarious
                                                                                  k
                                                                                  KTinNYC Jul 10, 2009 10:03 AM

                                                                                  If the OP's problem is technique and not equipment than I would suggest she not use a serrated knife as a cut from a serrated knife can be much worse than a cut from a conventional blade.

                                                                              2. goodhealthgourmet Jul 10, 2009 09:48 AM

                                                                                not to beat a dead horse here, but i agree with the others. brush up on your knife skills, make sure your knives are sharp, and *pay attention* to what you're doing. if you're still concerned about cutting yourself after that, i guess you can tape your fingers or wear one of those flexible protectors...but i wouldn't recommend the gloves - personally i think they can give you a false sense of security and encourage you to continue doing it in a way that clearly isn't safe.

                                                                                in the meantime, you might want to keep a styptic pencil on hand to help stem the bleeding.

                                                                                1. ms. clicquot Jul 10, 2009 09:47 AM

                                                                                  I used to cut myself on a pretty regular basis until I got decent knives, kept them sharp and improved my knife skills. It's been years now since I last had an accident. Knife Skills Illustrated: A User's Manual by Peter Hertzmann is a good primer that has detailed instructions for both left- and right-handed cooks. There are lots of recommendations on these boards for knives and sharpening as well. Good luck - your fingers will thank you!

                                                                                  1 Reply
                                                                                  1. re: ms. clicquot
                                                                                    b
                                                                                    blackoak Jul 12, 2009 09:59 PM

                                                                                    Or Jacques Pepin's book 'Complete Techniques' which combines both his books 'La Technique' and 'La Methode' into one volume. It has plenty of easy-to-follow pictures illustrating various types of knife techniques and food prep.

                                                                                  2. c
                                                                                    Cachetes Jul 10, 2009 09:41 AM

                                                                                    Agree with posters above - that's not a good accident record, and one that could land you in hot water soon. You shouldn't be cutting your finger at all, and if so, only rarely.

                                                                                    I think a knife skills class is right on. I don't think it's the knife or at least solely the knife, b/c 25% is still high.

                                                                                    Tuck your fingertips!

                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                    1. re: Cachetes
                                                                                      sebetti Jul 10, 2009 02:37 PM

                                                                                      I don't know...I have had some horrendous near misses when forced to use my MIL's knives. Really dull knives are almost impossible work with and are VERY dangerous.
                                                                                      (and yes, we bought her new knives as a holiday gift and yes the new knives live in the basement storeroom, packed away, and never to be found.

                                                                                      1. re: sebetti
                                                                                        Ima Wurdibitsch Jul 10, 2009 06:03 PM

                                                                                        I had to buy my mother knives. I love to cook for her and Dad but it was awful using their knives. Fortunately, they love the knives and they hold a place of honor on the counter.

                                                                                        1. re: sebetti
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          Cachetes Jul 10, 2009 06:13 PM

                                                                                          Yeah, I thought about it after and I think you are right. And if someone doesn't know a lot about knives (or is like my friend, who is scared of knives and for some reason thinks dull ones are safer), they may not recognize just how dull they are.

                                                                                      2. f
                                                                                        fourunder Jul 10, 2009 09:40 AM

                                                                                        Mimi and KT are correct.......but I have another solution which will 100% stop you from cutting yourself accidentally ever again.....

                                                                                        http://www.restaurantsource.com/kitch...

                                                                                        The money you save on first aid products will pay for this item easily.

                                                                                        4 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: fourunder
                                                                                          c
                                                                                          Cachetes Jul 10, 2009 09:42 AM

                                                                                          Do you use that? Does it slow you down?

                                                                                          1. re: Cachetes
                                                                                            f
                                                                                            fourunder Jul 10, 2009 10:09 AM

                                                                                            Glad to say I do not have to......but I can see where it would slow you down the smaller the item becomes, e.g., like a clove of garlic. Granted this item is more geared for commercial applications where speed and quantity preparations are necessary, but I would not discount it for the home chef.....especially around holiday time where the comfort level is changed and the amount of items needed to be prepped in an already unusually hectic kitchen when you can easily be distracted.

                                                                                          2. re: fourunder
                                                                                            PattiCakes Jul 11, 2009 02:01 PM

                                                                                            I am a quilter as well as a cooker. We use rotary cutters a lot -- think pizza cutter on steroids and extra sharp. They have an attraction for finger tips. I use something called a "klutz glove" sometimes when I am using the rotary cutter. Used to think they were stupid until I spent one Saturday in the ER.

                                                                                            1. re: PattiCakes
                                                                                              l
                                                                                              lgss Jul 11, 2009 03:00 PM

                                                                                              http://www.thecrazyquilter.com/Items-...

                                                                                              Here's a link for the klutz glove. I sew a lot and quilt some but haven't used a rotary cutter for fabric due to my klutziness.

                                                                                          3. m
                                                                                            Mimi Jul 10, 2009 09:30 AM

                                                                                            Sounds to like you need to go to a knife-skills class or sharpen your knife.

                                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                                            1. re: Mimi
                                                                                              k
                                                                                              KTinNYC Jul 10, 2009 09:34 AM

                                                                                              Mimi is right. There really are no other answers. It's either technique, equipment, or both.

                                                                                              1. re: Mimi
                                                                                                viperlush Jul 10, 2009 04:29 PM

                                                                                                Or the OP is just clumsy and unlucky :)

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