Can A Knife Go Dull Without Use?

By Ryan Leavitt •  Updated: 04/28/21 •  5 min read

Whether you’re a professional chef or a home cook, you would want your blades to stay as sharp for as long as possible.

And this means taking proper care of your knives and making sure that you don’t do anything that will dull the blade too quickly.

A question a lot of people have when it comes to their knives dulling is whether or not a knife can get dull without being used.

The answer to this is no, your blade will not get dull if you don’t use it!

However, the conditions in where your knife is stored can cause it to get dull if it rubs against other blades or materials, or if it’s stored in a damp place that can cause corrosion on the metal.

If you’ve been looking to take care of your blades, you’ve come to the right place as in this article, we’ll be talking about the things that can dull your knife as well as how you can take care of your knives and make sure the edge stays sharp for a long time.

Read on to learn more.

Can A Knife Go Dull Without Use?

As we said earlier, simply storing your knife and not using it will not cause it to get dull.

However, if you store it in a place where it can rub up against other materials, this can cause the edge to lose its sharpness.

On top of that, if your blade is made out of carbon steel, storing it for too long can cause the edge to corrode and rust, which will also reduce the sharpness of the blade.

What Are The Reasons My Knife Gets Dull?

Regular Use

Sadly, knife edges are not made to last forever.

No matter what material your blade is made out of, if you use it regularly to cut and slice ingredients, it will eventually get dull.

This is why professional chefs make sure to sharpen their knives or have them sharpened on a regular basis.

Cutting through ingredients will cause the blade to get slightly misaligned, and with enough use, it will actually cause it to lose its sharpness.

This is very natural though and is nothing to worry about as long you maintain and sharpen your knives regularly.

Improper Maintenance

This is the main reason an edge will get dull faster than it should.

For starters, if you don’t wash and dry your knives by hand after every use, this could cause them to get corroded and eventually ruin the edge.

On top of that, if you don’t store them properly and they are stored in a place where they can rub up and bump different surfaces, you can expect your blades to dull very quickly.

One of the biggest mistakes one can make with their kitchen knives is putting them in the dishwasher as the wash cycle can be very rough and cause the blade to bang around, which damages the thin edge.

Keeping them in the dishwasher also means that they will stay damp or wet for a long period of time, which is another thing that can cause your knives to dull faster than usual.

How To Take Care Of Your Knives

Hand Wash And Dry Them After Every Use

This is the most important tool to maintain your knife easily.

After you use your knives, make sure to wash them by hand with water and soap, using a non-abrasive sponge.

Once washed, make sure to dry them and store them in a dry place where they won’t bang around or rub up against other knives.

Hone Them Before Every Use

Another thing you can do to make sure your knife will retain its edge longer is honing it before every use.

A honing steel doesn’t sharpen the blade, instead, it straightens the edge which could get misaligned after some time.

On top of that, it also removes small imperfections on the edge to make sure that your knife will cut through any ingredient smoothly.

Before cutting and slicing, slide your blade against the steel a couple of times on each side and you should be good to go.

Have Them Sharpened Regularly

Lastly, if your knife still isn’t doing the trick after being honed, that might mean it’s time to have it sharpened.

Ideally, you would want this to be done by a professional using a whetstone as pull-through sharpeners can damage your knives.

But if you want to do it yourself, make sure to research the proper techniques and if you don’t do it right when sharpening, you might actually risk dulling the blade and damaging your knives.


And with that, our quick guide to knife maintenance comes to an end.

Remember, your knives shouldn’t get dull from not being used, but storing them wrong could lead to your knives getting dull faster than usual.

Over time, your blades will naturally lose their edge, but with proper maintenance and a good sharpening now and then, your knives will surely be sharp enough to last you a long while in the kitchen!

Ryan Leavitt

Hi my name is Ryan Leavitt a Marine Corps Veteran and currently an over the road trucker (Long Haul). I am no expert chef but am enjoying preparing my own meals on the road and testing all the different knives.