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Did butternut squash dull my new Global chef knife?

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I bought a new Global chef knife about a week ago, and then used it a few days later to cut up butternut squash. The next time I went to use the knife, it was so dull, that it was a struggle to get it to cut a red pepper.

Since I wear rubber gloves when peeling and cutting butternut squash, due to the film that used to cover my hands, I figured that maybe the same film is on the knife and that's the problem.

Does this make sense to anyone? Has anyone had a similar experience? Any idea how to clean the knife properly, or do I just sharpen it already?

Thanks!

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  1. The squash dulled your knife. In effect at least. The problem is not a film. Cleaning it won't help it get sharper. You could try steeling it in hopes that the edge is merely folded over and not demolished. Likely needs a full sharpening though.

    Why'd it dull so fast? A butternut squash is very hard - this is a problem itself, and especially twisting or wiggling the knife while trying to get through it can be hard on a knife edge, especially a thin, acute edge made from hard(ish) steel like the Global. Hacking chops would also be rough on a Global. Even more so, it probably wasn't the squash flesh that dulled your knife so much as your cutting board. People wind up using a lot of force to get through the squash and then bash the knife's edge on the cutting board, dulling a thin edge quickly. I'm wondering if you cut the squash on a glass or ceramic surface. I would expect such a surface, along with the force required to cut a squash would destroy a knife's edge very very quickly.

    In the future, focus on using smooth, controlled strokes while cutting squash. And if you use a glass or ceramic cutting board, replace it.

    11 Replies
    1. re: cowboyardee

      Can you use a bread-knife to cut squash?

      1. re: Soop

        Yes, but you'll often wind up getting a bit stuck, or wedging the squash (splitting parts of the squash rather than cutting it). If that's not an issue for you, it works quite well.

        Advice, ironically from Chow itself on the matter:
        http://www.chow.com/food-news/54731/h...

        Personally, I just use a large thin, sharp straight-edge knife and take my time.

      2. re: cowboyardee

        Thanks for the info. I have got to say that I'm pretty shocked and wish I'd known about this beforehand. I also do use a glass cutting board, but have been doing so for years with cheaper knives, and never had a problem. For amateurs like myself, the Global knives really should come with some kind of warning. If I wasn't so honest, I'd just return it.

        1. re: CarNut

          The Global knife is not defective and it's a wonderful tool once you learn to use it appropriately. It just needs to be resharpened. My feelings are that the knife is less important than one's ability to keep it sharp. People who buy expensive knives and don't know how to sharpen it or are unwilling to send it to a real professional are wasting their money. I would rather have cheap knives that are as sharp as I need than an expensive dull knife. It's not rocket science to learn to sharpen. For those who don't want to learn free hand the EdgePro is an excellent home sharpening system. I bought my EdgePro before I purchased better knives. To me that was the right progression.

          Getting rid of that glass cutting board is your first step to better knives.

          1. re: scubadoo97

            "It's not rocket science to learn to sharpen."

            True, but considered that many people do not even know how to cook... I agree. Glass cutting board is bad for two reasons. First, it is bad for the knife, as it dulls the knife. Second, many foods easily slide on the glass surface. Slippy foods plus sharp knife is a bad combination.

            1. re: scubadoo97

              "For those who don't want to learn free hand the EdgePro is an excellent home sharpening system. I bought my EdgePro before I purchased better knives. To me that was the right progression."
              _______

              I happen to think you're right - that an expensive (but very effective) sharpener is a totally reasonable purchase before even worrying about getting a nice knife. But I've found that for most home cooks, this is a very very hard sell.

              1. re: cowboyardee

                Yeah I know it's a hard sell but to me it's like getting a commercial range and not knowing how to cook. Just half ass backwards.

                1. re: scubadoo97

                  "Just half ass backwards"

                  Maybe, but that also means we are a very well off population. People get to afford things which they don't even really need. Think positively.

            2. re: CarNut

              Using a high end knife on a glass cutting board?

              1. re: JayL

                Yikes!

            3. re: cowboyardee

              "Even more so, it probably wasn't the squash flesh that dulled your knife so much as your cutting board. People wind up using a lot of force to get through the squash and then bash the knife's edge on the cutting board, dulling a thin edge quickly."

              Agree.

            4. This thread is funny... You're lucky you didn't break your delicate Global and take off a fingetip.

              IME, butternuts call for a heavy cleaver, if not an axe. If you don't think the Force is with you to swing it, put the edge where you want it, and drive the cutter through with a cudgel or mallet.

              Cutting a butternut with a knife is asking for trouble.

              3 Replies
              1. re: kaleokahu

                I do it all the time. I've had fine success with my Hiromoto gyuto, my CCK large Chinese Cleaver, and my old Forschner chefs knife, all of which are quite thin (OK at least I worried a bit about using the Hiromoto). Heck, I even once competed in a squash-themed cooking competition where I must have spent most of an hour just cutting through squash. Minus the normal minor wear and tear of an hours hard use, my knives were fine.

                Not that there's anything wrong with tapping your way through with a cleaver, but a good sharp chefs knife works fine with a little practice. And a wooden cutting board.

                1. re: cowboyardee

                  That's good on you. MOST folks aren't as dextrous or careful as you must be. Butternuts and acorn squash tend to roll when you bear down on them with a knife--even a thin, sharp one. And when they do, the knife isn't going straight down anymore, and anything can happen.

                  Our $9K knife buddy Bob Kramer did me a big, convex grind heavy (3/8) cleaver before he made it big, but a small hatchet would also do (hard to chop your fingers off if all of them are on the handle).

                  You could probably do it with a Swiss Army picnic knife, too.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    That's not a bad point - I am a young male of reasonable strength with no physical handicaps. I don't have to use so much force as to lose control of the knife. Pick whatever method works for you. And if anyone feels they can't control their chefs knife as they cut a squash, the cleaver or bread knife methods are good and safe alternatives.

              2. I use my serrated peeler to peel the squash and then I can cut it easily with a chef's knife.

                3 Replies
                1. re: Leepa

                  Excellent idea. I take it you don't bake or roast squash "on the halfshell" much, which is my default.

                  1. re: kaleokahu

                    No, I rarely do that. But when I do, I microwave it for a bit and then cut it. Just enough to soften up the flesh and skin. Then I can roast it in the oven.

                    1. re: Leepa

                      Now THAT is a great idea, and obviates the need for the axe. Thanks!

                2. No matter how many nice knives you have, you NEED one beater knife

                  And it was probably thwacking the cutting board that dulled it.