If you have ever wondered “does cutting cardboard dull a knife?”, you’re at the right place. Cardboard, same like other paper products, needs to be carefully cut to prevent dulling or damaging the blade.
Namely, cardboard is made using recycled materials and it’s heavy and thick. So, slicing through it may potentially dull a thinner blade.
Unlike some other paper materials that are claimed to help sharpen a dull blade by cutting through them, cardboard isn’t the best option for it due to the risk of damaging the blade.
Cardboard has a lot of substance and thickness that the blade will be faced with and it will cause the blade to get damaged quicker than it would if you cut with it through a less thick material.
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Unlike some other types of paper like a newspaper which is a method used by the Japanese to sharpen blades, cardboard doesn’t offer the same advantages. Cardboard is a paper-based material, but it’s a lot thicker than the standard paper we use for writing.
This added thickness increases its solidity and makes it suitable for box making and other packing materials utilized for a variety of products.
Below, read the factors that influence how a certain paper affects the cutting blade:
- The thickness
The thickness of the paper influences the ease with which a blade cuts through it.
The thicker the paper is, for example, cardboard, the larger the filler particles and other materials that affect the difficulty of the sliding of the blade through it.
On the other hand, a thinner paper like a newspaper is much less damaging to a blade and some also promote it as a quick sharpening method. This is because it’s a softer paper with a lower density.
- The weight
A thicker paper is denser and weighs more because of the high amount of fillers and other added materials it contains.
Therefore, heavier paper can easily make a blade duller. This is why cardboard isn’t a good choice if you’re looking to preserve your knives.
The thinner papers are lighter and therefore less damaging to blades when you’re cutting with them.
It’s normal for distinct types of paper to have a different impact on blades. It all depends on how many fillers and abrasive synthetic materials are included in the paper.
Other factors are the paper’s weight and thickness that we discussed previously.
Generally speaking, there are three types of paper that you can come across regularly. These are coated paper, printer paper, and newspaper.
- Coated paper
This paper is glossy and seems like it’s been coated. This is true. It contains a lot of fillers and clay.
With this in mind, it can grind away blades pretty fast and it’s an even worse option than printer paper. But, there are other coated papers that aren’t full of fillers and clay, but only have a protective coat for glossiness.
This paper is still bad for the blade, but it’s less damaging than coated paper with fillers.
- Printer paper
This paper is made from organic pulp, but it still does have a lot of filler and extra materials. This increases the abrasion level and can cause dulling of the blade if it’s used to cut through it regularly.
This paper is more damaging than some other option that contains fewer surplus materials. However, this is the most general paper you’ll likely come across often and it’s among the least harmful to blades.
This isn’t to say that it’s recommendable for the blade but rather less damaging than other options.
This paper is made with single-use in mind and has only enough strength to hold up when you flip a page. It’s really thin paper and it’s most commonly made of recycled materials.
Being thin and lightweight, it may not be as damaging to the blade as other paper.
Still though, since it’s made of recycled stuff, it may contain particles of metal, plastic, etc. that may end up hurting your blade more than you may know if you use it too often.
There are excellent everyday objects you can opt for when you need to give your blade a quick sharpening. Here are some of them:
- A coffee mug
Ceramic coffee mugs are a common object in households and they can help you give your knife a quick edge sharpening.
Turn the cup upside down and then run the edge across the base’s rougher part. When you’re done on one side, do the same with the other side of the blade.
White sandpaper isn’t the most common kitchen object, but it does come in handy when you need to sharpen a blade.
Use the coarser grit to sharpen the blade and then finish with the finer grit.
- Nail file
You may not always have sandpaper at home, but a nail file is practically a staple in households. And, it may also help you boost the sharpness of your blades.
To do it, run the edge against the emery part and keep a steady angle. Nail files are awesome when you need to polish blades prior to use or if you don’t own a honing rod.
Despite some knife users claiming that there are easy ways to sharpen a blade using paper, this isn’t the whole truth. In fact, when it’s not done properly or with the wrong type of paper, the blade may become dull or get damaged in another way.
Cutting cardboard can dull a knife if you’re doing it too often and not carefully. Otherwise, it shouldn’t be an issue if you’re doing it from time to time.
This is because cardboard is a thicker type of paper that contains added materials that impede the whole process of cutting through it with a knife, resulting in damage.
On the other hand, some thinner types of paper like newspaper may be less harmful to your knives due to their lower weight and lower thickness. To preserve your blades, it’s always better to sharpen them with an actual knife sharpener and to avoid using the blade with thick types of paper!