This is a continuation of yesterday's post from Domestic Economy and household science by Robert Mann ©1878
Knives are, on the whole, the most difficult to keep in good order of all the hardware utensils of the house. They require to be very carefully cleaned whenever they have been used ; and, in order to keep the easily corrod- able surface of the steel polished and bright, they have to be rubbed with firmness and strength against a knife- board, furnished with a dressing of emery. If, however, the strength be not applied in the right way, very much of it is expended in turning and blunting the edges, and in bending and twisting the half-worn, thin ends of the blades, instead of in polishing their surfaces. The practical result of such clumsy handling is, not only that the knives are unduly worn away and destroyed, but, over and above this, that they are never fit at any time for convenient or comfortable use. It requires a very skilful hand indeed to cut a slice of bread with a knife whose edge is bent at right angles to the general direction of the blade, or to separate a mouthful of meat from a piece upon the plate, when the end of the knife turns up into the form of a bow under the slightest pressure.
Yet, all that is necessary for the avoidance of this annoying form of mischief is that the knife should be held quite flat upon the cleaning board whilst it is moved backwards and forwards, and that it should not be turned up with a sudden flourish and sweep when it is taken from the board. The movement, by which the metallic surface of the blade is carried along the board, should be firm and smooth, rather than violent, and as little abrupt as possible. The good habit, by which such handling becomes unconsciously, and as a matter of course, practised, is quite as easy to acquire as the vicious and uneconomical one which is more generally adopted, if the object to be aimed at be understood, and if attention be given to the attainment of the right method. As a general rule, however, both explanation and looking after