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Why Do Some Knives Have Dimples?

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Photo: Fortyforks (Shutterstock)

When buying a knife, there’s a lot to consider: Blade length, blade material, handle material, blade shape—there is a good bit going on, but most of us understand their purposes. But then there are blades with dimples, divots, and depressions. Why are those there? And do you need a dimpled blade?

Like all dimples, these indentations are cute, but they’re also functional. Sometimes called a “Granton edge,” they’re most commonly seen on santoku knives—the knives with a blunt front and flat cutting edge—but you can find them on other blade shapes as well (due mostly to the popularity of the santoku knife). Simply put, they’re there to keep food from sticking to your knife. By creating little air pockets between the blade and the food, the dimples reduce the amount of suction created, which helps your vegetables and whatnot fall off the blade a little more easily.

I say a “little more easily” because I have not found that the dimples make an incredible amount of difference. Potatoes—the vegetable most prone to getting stuck—still cling to blade sometimes, even with the cute little dimples. Sure, they cling less, but not enough to make me toss out my chef’s knife or kiwi cleaver and buy all new knives. So if you feel your favorite knives are doing their job, there’s little need to spring for dimples.

The best way to keep food from sticking to your knife? Pull, don’t push, the blade through the food. Planting the tip of your blade and dragging it from the front of the food, towards your body, keeps potatoes (and any other sticky food) from clinging to your blade, whether it has dimples or not. (This, to me, is great news, as I really like my un-dimpled chef’s knife and kiwi cleaver.)

 

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