Can a Knife Go Dull Without Use?

Everyone knows that using knives all the time can lead to them needing to be sharpened. However, you might be sure if leaving your knives in the knife block could lead to them becoming dull over time as well.

The conditions of the storage arrangement in your kitchen can be the reason that your knives are going dull and it is important to know which kind of storage problems to avoid.

Taking care of your kitchen tools is important and you will realize immediately why the first time you don’t have a knife that is sharp enough for your cooking tasks.

The same thing applies if your kitchen scissors have grown too dull to cut anything. Caring for cutting tools requires that you plan on sharpening them at least once a year and that you take care to store them in the right way.

If you are worried that your knives will go dull without use, you need to learn more about why it might seem like this has taken place.

Vintage old knife on a wooden background

Can a Knife Go Dull Without Use?

Knives will not get dull simply because they have not been used, but it can seem like this because of issues to do with your storage situation for your knives.

You might think that your knives are getting dull over time when they are not being used but really your storage arrangement might be leading to their lack of a sharp edge.

These are the conditions that you should avoid when storing knives:

Wet Conditions

Moisture can lead to all kinds of damage to your knives because moisture can lead to rust and grime building upon the blade.

If you have inadvertently stored your knives in a location where steam can collect on them, or they have been exposed to a water leak, you will need to make sure that you correct this issue before they are permanently damaged.

This issue can arise when a knife block is placed too close to your kitchen sink or another place where moisture might get into it. You can also have this issue if you have placed your magnetic knife strip near the same sources of moisture.


Heat can cause issues with the blade of your knife and if you have lower-quality knives in your possession heat can cause the knife to separate from the handle as well.

Heat can lead to warping of the blade and in some cases, it can be accompanied by moisture that can lead to rust.

Cold is always much preferable to heat when it comes to storing knives and you should be careful about storing your knives near your oven or other locations that are exposed to excessive heat.

Kitchens offer many locations that might be warmer than they should be and you want to be sure that your knives are not placed in any of these places.

Friction Against the Blades

If you have stored your knives in a location where they are rubbing against other knives or other tools, this can cause lots of damage to them. The same is true of a knife block that is too tight for the knives that you are keeping within the block.

The friction of removing your knives from the block can create the same damage that can happen if tools are rubbing against your knives.

This is an issue that can arise when using a knife strip to hold your knives as well. If you have too many knives stored on the strip, they can rub against each other and lead to dulling of the blades.

It is always best to store your knives in a knife block that is made for them and to keep them from coming into contact with other cooking tools frequently.

There are knife storage drawer inserts that you can install in your kitchen as well. This can help with specialty knives that do not come with their knife storage solutions and it keeps knives from rubbing against one another when the drawer is being opened and closed.

Improper Cleaning Techniques

Cleaning your knives can be a big factor in their overall sharpness over time. You might have thought that you stored a clean knife but you could have put it away with food remnants on the blade or moisture that you did not wipe off.

Improper cleaning can lead to just as much damage as forgoing cleaning your knives at all.

It is important to wash your knives by hand and then dry them carefully. Be very sure that there is nothing stuck to the blade and no moisture left on the blade when you store it.

This will keep your knives from seeming to go dull without use.

How to Take Care of Your Knives Properly

As discussed above, make sure that you never store your knives dirty and make sure that they do not rub against any other items. Also, make sure that you have a honing steel to clean off burrs and other imperfections in the blades before you use your cutting tools.

Lastly, plan to have your knives sharpened at least once a year by a professional or make sure that you have the tools on hand to do this yourself.

Taking care of your knives with these tips will make sure that they are sharp and ready to use every time that you pick them up for a kitchen task.

It Can Be Easy to Keep Your Knives Sharp

Making sure that you store your knives properly and clean them correctly can make sure that your knives are in perfect condition every time that you need them.

Being sure that your knives get the right attention to their condition and storage can extend the lifespan of these tools and make your cooking processes much easier and more enjoyable overall.

Always be sure to have the right knife storage solutions in place in your home and to pay attention to how you care for your knives and you will get the full usable lifespan out of every knife that you own.

Leave a Comment