When it comes time to purchase new cordless electric knives, take the time to check out your prospects in person. Evaluate each for comfort, balance, and ease of use. The correct choice will feel balanced and natural in your hand, be smooth and easy to clean, and have knife attachment hardware you can operate safely.
You may decide upon handling that electric knives are too heavy, which is fine. While portability and avoidance of cord-related hazards are nice, your comfort and control are more important.
Once you’ve made your purchase, be sure to read and follow the manufacturers guidelines on proper battery handling. While each model is slightly different, there are some generally applicable tips. Charge your batteries at room temperature, but not to excess. Overcharged batteries will lose their ability to hold current.
You can extend the life of your batteries, and of your knife as a whole, by following a few general guidelines. Never attempt to force your knife through bone or frozen meat, as this will put undue strain on the blades and motor. Cut with gentle, steady downward pressure at an even speed. If you feel the motor lagging, even with no obstructions, pause for a moment and switch batteries.
SELECTING THE CORRECT KNIFE
- Hands-on experience is necessary to properly select cordless knives. Without directly handling and preferably using one, you can’t be sure which make and model is best suited.
- Weight and handle size are important ergonomic factors that determine more than comfort. An inappropriately-sized unit will prove harder to control, creating a possibly dangerous condition. Grip, too, is important, as a handle too large for your hand will be tiresome and unwieldy to use.
- If possible, install and remove the blades on any model you consider purchasing. Doing so should be simple and require little force; you don’t want to struggle with one hand on a carving blade.
- A modern cordless carving knife employs rounded design and strategically placed buttons to ensure simple cleaning between uses. Make sure you select a model with dishwasher-safe blades and the fewest possible cracks or corners. The electric knives may spend months in storage between uses, so you want to be sure they are clean before you close them away.
IS CORDLESS TECHNOLOGY RIGHT FOR YOU?
- The cordless knives offers some advantage over older, outlet-powered varieties. You experience increased portability, not being tied to conveniently located outlets or hampered by cords. There is a concomitant safety advantage, as well; cords can become entangled or get in the way of your cut. When the cord is tugged unexpectedly during use or inadvertently cut, serious injury can occur.
- These knives are not without their disadvantages, either. Integrated power supplies are heavier and add weight to the unit, so you should definitely assess your handling comfort before purchasing a unit
- As a whole, reliance on battery power means your cordless kitchen knife will be marginally less powerful than plugged-in units. With proper blade selection and skilled use, however, the difference is negligible. Whenever possible, opt for laminated or high-carbon stainless knives and be sure to follow our tips for proper use, below.
TIPS FOR OPTIMUM BATTERY LIFE
- In order to get the longest service life from your rechargeable batteries, there are a few guidelines you should keep in mind.
- Always charge your batteries at room temperature, out of direct sunlight. Batteries function optimally between 68 and 72 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold batteries will not pass current as effectively, while warm batteries vent too quickly. It is entirely normal for battery temperature to increase slightly during charging or use, so don’t be alarmed if your batteries are warm to the touch after charging.
- Do not overcharge your batteries. Follow the instructions provided by their manufacturer for ideal charging times. That said, don’t forget to top off your batteries a few hours before use.
- For the most efficient use, clean the contacts of your battery and and knife gently with alcohol and a cotton swab. Do not use water. Dirt or grime on the surface of your contacts will impair conductivity.
PROPER USE OF CORDLESS KNIVES
- To make up for a slight decrease in motor power as compared to corded units, here are a few helpful things to keep in mind while using your knives.
- Cut with gentle downward pressure. You don’t need to draw your knife back and forth through the meat, as the electric knife’s reciprocating action does the work of cutting.
- If your motor sounds like it’s straining to cut through unobstructed flesh, take a moment to switch batteries. Straining increases the wear on your blades, the motor, and the blade attachment hardware of your knife.
- You can carve to the bone, but do not attempt to cut through it. Cordless units- and most plug-in models- lack the power to cut through thick bones. Trying to do so will only damage your appliance. Likewise, thaw frozen cuts of meat before you cut them. Working on frozen cuts adds the hazard of a slippery work surface to the risk of damaging your unit.