In this blog post, I’m going to teach you how to keep the edge away from you.

Keep The Edge Away!

I started to learn about knife safety at a young age.  I might have been 7 or 8 years old at the time.  The first lesson I remember was to keep the edge away from myself.  At the time, I was helping my mom open some packages that had just been delivered.  She taught me to always cut with the utility knife going away from me.  Subsequently, lesson 1B was promptly added to my youth knife studies.  This follow-up lesson enlightened me to the notion that my other hand is also part of my body!  

Three Edge Ideas

Firstly, the edge has to be pointing in the same direction that your hand is moving in.  Secondly, the hand and arm movement away from you limits the opportunity of cutting yourself considerably.  “Yea, but what about my other hand that’s holding the bag?”  Finally, keep the stationary hand between your body and the cutting motion that is supposed to be moving away from your body.

To this day, those early lessons have stuck with me.  No Matter what I’m cutting, the safety tip I always incorporate is keeping the edge away from me.  Even something seemingly mindless as cutting a bag of dog food open will become safer when moving the knife away from you.  


Cutting a bagel in your hand?  That would be a NO!  

Seppuku (aka harakiri)?  Definitely not a fan!

Laying the knife down on the cutting board with the edge away from you?  Yes, I know it’s not a cutting action, but, absolutely, positively, keep the edge away from you.

Knife on cutting board with edge pointing away

Keep the edge away from you, even if you just set it down

Stay Focused

Interestingly, these concepts apply to most other cutting tools like scissors and pruners, as well.  Above all, the overarching principle in cutting anything has to do with being in the moment and paying close attention to your intentions and actions.

Keep the edge away

I still have all my fingers!

Mark Jensen founded Golden State Sharpening in 2010. He has a passion for making his customers happy through razor sharpness. His Scandinavian roots in sharpening and tool care are telegraphed into each piece he puts an edge on. He was born and raised in the San Francisco Bay Area where he developed his love for Jazz, Cycling, BBQ, and Peet’s Coffee.