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Am I using or Holding my knife wrong, causing a callous?

Discussion in 'Kitchen Cutlery & Tools' started by FOG2, Mar 31, 2018.

  1. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    I have developed a callous at the base of my fore finger. I cook for a living and as such use my knife all day every day. I wonder if this is a normal hazard of the job or am I holding or using my knife incorrectly?
    Pics of the callous and my pinch grip below.
    20180331_185903.jpg 20180331_185959.jpg
    I use a 10 inch, Mundial wide cooks knife. I have ground the spine to round it as I 1st thought that the squareness of the spine was causing the callous, but it isn't whats causing it.
    Anyone have ideas on this?
    protourist likes this.
  2. Danke42


    Feb 10, 2015
    A callus is usually OK by me but maybe it'll cause issues for you. I look at them as protecting my skin.

    They say that it's typical of using chef's knives. Have you talked to folks in your industry?
  3. jc57

    jc57 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 28, 2012
  4. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Danke I have not.
    JC, thanks for the link! It seems I need to spend some time there.
  5. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Fog, it’s real simple. I see this all the time with my Chef clientele . When sharpening I knock off the sharp edges on the spine of knife .. you can do it with sandpaper on a block. Radius the spine so it’s round. Problem solved!
  6. tim37a


    May 18, 2010
    He said he had already rounded the spine. You might try smoothing the spine with higher and higher grits but I think it is simply a hazard of the job.
  7. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Tim I suspect you are correct.
  8. jakescott7

    jakescott7 Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 2, 2015
    comes with the territory. every cook i know has it. better than the blister, thats for sure.
    GABaus and FOG2 like this.
  9. Rhinoknives1

    Rhinoknives1 KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jul 1, 2013
    Fog, There Is diff with it causing a blister or a callious!! I have callouses,, Unless your skin is brittle, you should only have a callious ,, not a blister..If the spine is properly rounded..
    Last edited: Apr 30, 2018
  10. Justin Carnecchia

    Justin Carnecchia KnifeMaker / Craftsman / Service Provider Knifemaker / Craftsman / Service Provider

    Jun 4, 2011
    Thats how you know your a cook.
    Well, that and low pay, long hours, lots of cuts and burns...
    FOG2 likes this.
  11. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    I now believe that me being (heavy handed) with the knife is the cause.
    Instead I need to let the knife do the work instead of using my muscles to do it.
    The callous seems to be getting smaller the more I use the less muscle technique. Tho I doubt it will go away.
    As was mentioned before it's a result of the job.imo
  12. tump


    Feb 2, 2013
    I have had mine for 30 yes just part of the biz
    FOG2 likes this.
  13. Lapedog

    Lapedog Gold Member Gold Member

    Dec 7, 2016
    Exposing skin to repeated contact tends to cause calluses. It is likely from that and a different knife might just give you a callus in a different spot.
    FOG2 likes this.
  14. cnm123

    cnm123 Gold Member Gold Member

    Sep 7, 2015
    I've had a callous like that for over 20 years, like jakescott said, better than a blister.
    You might want to try a heavier forged knife (like a Henkels or Wustoff )instead of those lighter ones like Mundial and such. I find it's actually less fatiguing to use a heavy knife and let it do the work.
    FOG2 likes this.
  15. Colum Black-Byron

    Colum Black-Byron

    Jun 16, 2018
    I got more callouses from the knife handles (am a chef). I found the rounder handles were better for it.
    FOG2 likes this.
  16. emjay4248

    emjay4248 Gold Member Gold Member

    Oct 8, 2016
    one of the main reasons it is happening to you is because your knife does not have a bolster. When you use the pinch grip as you are in the pick you don't the bolster to protect your hand. The problem with the bolster is that it gets in the way when you sharpen the knife unless you are sharpening by hand on stones. You can get some excellent chef's knives from China that are easy to get razor sharp. and most of them are available either way. I have quite a few Chefs knivea from a $14 dollar Mercer to a $350 Bob kramer by Zwilling Henkels. I use different things, when I want to cut something super thin I use my Shun Classic, when I am chopping parsley I use my Victorinox fibrox without the bolster so that it cuts to the end of the blade. If you need any more help or have any questions you can P.M. me.
    FOG2 likes this.
  17. FOG2

    FOG2 Gold Member Gold Member

    Nov 1, 2007
    Emjay thanks for the info!
    What would you recommend in a knife similar to my 10in wide blade Mundail thats
    No more than $50
  18. Loosechange

    Loosechange Basic Member Basic Member

    Jun 20, 2018
    A7753960-D898-4B20-88CA-E2FD63880432.jpeg I’ve had one of those for so long that when I shower I can peel part of it right off and more is still underneath. I cut all day long with a Fujiwara gyotu and I found that a good way NOT to get that callous bigger... keep your knife very very sharp. My blade is a 70/flat so the blade is very thin and sharp at the edge

    You ask nothing over 50... if you save 30 more bucks a Fujiwara is a damn good basic knife and it’s aus-8 steel. And it’s full tang and bolster

    I will always get the callous but not as bad if the blade is sharp. Callous in the kitchen is just a war trophy something that part of the trade
    I’ve been cooking from high end to casual for over 20 years and I don’t think you are holding it wrong

    You have more control over the knife the way you have it however I would suggest get s knife with a bolster to protect that bottom finger

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