Knife Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

Knife Etiquette: Dos and Don'ts

Knife etiquette refers to the proper and respectful way to handle and use knives in various settings. Whether you're dining in a formal setting, using a knife for culinary purposes, or engaging in outdoor activities, adhering to knife etiquette ensures safety, respect, and consideration for others. This information page outlines some essential dos and don'ts of knife etiquette to help you navigate different situations with confidence and courtesy.


  1. Use knives for their intended purpose: Knives are tools designed for specific tasks. Use them accordingly and avoid using them as makeshift tools or toys.

  2. Choose the appropriate knife: Select the right knife for the task at hand. Different knives are designed for specific cutting techniques, so using the appropriate knife ensures efficient and safe cutting.

  3. Hold the knife correctly: Grip the knife securely but not too tightly. Position your fingers on the handle, away from the blade, and use a proper cutting grip for control and safety.

  4. Keep the blade pointed away: When not actively cutting or using the knife, point the blade away from yourself and others to prevent accidental injuries.

  5. Store knives safely: When not in use, store knives in a designated knife block, sheath, or protective cover to prevent accidents and ensure they remain sharp.

  6. Maintain and sharpen your knives: Regularly clean, maintain, and sharpen your knives to keep them in optimal condition. Sharp knives are safer and more effective to use.

  7. Pass knives handle-first: When handing a knife to someone or receiving a knife from someone, always pass it handle-first to minimize the risk of accidents.

  8. Respect personal space: Be aware of your surroundings and avoid swinging or gesturing with a knife when others are nearby to prevent potential harm.


  1. Don't play with knives: Never use knives as toys or engage in careless or playful behavior with knives. They should always be treated as serious tools.

  2. Avoid leaving knives unattended: Never leave knives unattended, especially in areas accessible to children or pets. Store them safely or keep them within your direct sight and reach.

  3. Don't use a dull or damaged knife: Using a dull or damaged knife can lead to accidents. Regularly sharpen your knives or replace them if they are beyond repair.

  4. Refrain from using a knife as a pointer: Avoid using a knife to point at something or gesture while speaking. It is safer and more respectful to use a finger or an appropriate non-threatening object.

  5. Don't place knives inappropriately: Avoid placing knives on the edge of a table or countertop where they can be easily knocked off and cause injury. Always place them on a stable surface or use a knife block or sheath for storage.

  6. Avoid cutting on unsuitable surfaces: Do not use knives on glass, ceramic plates, or other hard surfaces that can damage the blade or cause it to slip unexpectedly. Use a suitable cutting board or surface for safe and effective cutting.

  7. Don't use someone else's knife without permission: Always ask for permission before using someone else's knife, whether it's in a professional kitchen or during a meal. Respecting personal belongings is crucial.

  8. Never run or walk with an open knife: Running or walking with an open knife poses a serious safety risk. Close the blade and securely sheath the knife before moving around.

Following proper knife etiquette demonstrates respect, consideration, and safety-conscious behavior. By adhering to these dos and don'ts, you can handle knives confidently and responsibly in various settings while promoting a safe and harmonious environment for everyone involved.