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Working in the kitchen as a cook gives you many experiences. One of the most common experiences is an instant cut from a sharp blade that cuts fruits or veggies. Getting such a wound is so common that even the professionals and experts suffer from it.
Thus, it is essential to be attentive and take precautions for protecting your fingers as well as hand. The main reason why people often end up hurting themselves while cutting veggies is the soft and spongy nature of the latter.
In other words, the speed of striking rises with time, and your finger then suddenly gets exposed to the knife’s blade once your attention is diverted. Plastic knives were introduced to keep this harm at bay.
Overview of Plastic Knives
As a protective measure, these knives are designed to safeguard your hands from cuts. They also take care of healthy cutting by keeping the rise of germs at bay. They are resistant to dirt and provide flawless cuts for both fruits and veggies.
The blades of these tools are composed of some hard plastic. This material is so sturdy that it easily cuts through soft vegetables without you giving any additional pressure.
These knives are usually disposable or reusable cutlery pieces that you get along with sets such as those of spoons and forks or as knife-only bundles. As knives are made to cut food and need repetitive motion with some force applied, they need to be more durable than any other cutlery items meant for disposing of.
Most plastic knives are made up of polystyrene, a tough and thick plastic that does not know how to bend. Further, the makers can easily handle this plastic material to make fine cutting, sharp teeth.
Top Reasons to Use Plastic Knives
There are many reasons why plastic knives are so popular and widely in use today. Following are these tempting reasons:
- Versatility: Plastic knives have multiple purposes. You, along with your guests or family members, require a knife for not only cutting eatables but also spreading butter, condiments, and soft cheese. A plastic knife of good quality can perform all these tasks satisfactorily. These knives are available in a variety of lengths, ranging right from 6.0 to 8.5-inches. Even the blades are available for up to an inch wide at the belly. A few disposable models come with short handles and long blades, which are just perfect for slicing through food. You can even find thick but short blades having long handles, a design required for cutting as well as spreading. Several models feature textured handles to ensure you the best grip. Some are even tough enough to reuse them several times without any problem. Thus, you enjoy varieties in terms of design and functionality.
- Suitable for Formal and Information Events: Plastic knives, these days, are available in a myriad of colors as well as finishes. This directly implies that you can choose them for both informal and formal occasions. Long and thin models having pearl, silver, or gold finishes tend to be chic accompaniments on tables arranged at the venues of feasts and weddings. Similarly, the bright shades of plastic knives look attractive for any events for kids. You can even have them at get-togethers, birthday parties, and anniversary celebrations. For adding patriotic or corporate touch, you can go with white, festive red and blue plastic knives. You can easily choose a model draped in a rainbow of colors for special events too. Everyday plastic knives in black and white are ideal for office lunch, family meals, and eating while traveling. Many of these knives also come with embellished, textured handles that are not only visually appealing but also ensure proper grip.
- No Rust Issue: One of the primary benefits of using plastic knives is that they stand up well against corrosive elements. This is perhaps the primary reason why they are so popular in kitchens. Many eatables are rich in acids that can lead to quick corrosion or rusting. Now, this is not an issue with plastic knives in use.
- Easy Maintenance: This is another plus point of plastic knives. Any good-quality model is reasonably easy to clean. You only need soapy water!
- Highly Affordable: Even plastics of higher quality are relatively cheap. Surprisingly, it costs trivial to get a branded plastic knife. As a fact, compostable cutleries are among the few compostable items whose costs have seen no significant drop to the plastic options. According to vivbizclub.com, at present, compostable cutlery is three to four times costlier than plastic cutlery. For cafes and restaurants having thin profit margins, it is more affordable to go with the plastic cutlery. Another reason why plastic costs so low is that it does not include its full environmental cost, such as the increased power for manufacturing and landfill space for dumping.
- Convenience: Plastic knives make life easier for those who use it, may they be chefs, customers, or waiters. Rather than washing a host of knives, they can now discard the same once they are done eating. Even those who are hosting parties or are on long trips can easily use these knives and then throw them without cleaning them. However, this imposes a severe environmental issue if the plastic material in use is not easily compostable. This is why it is sensible as well as caring to use knives made up of biodegradable plastic material. Moreover, washing knives is a quick and efficient process in dishwashers that businesses and households have.
- Recyclable: The polystyrene material is recyclable with a label of 6 in recycling circles. However, the municipality in your area should give its consent to this designation. Several municipalities do not provide consent to food-grade recyclables. Nevertheless, the main objective of disposable plastic knives is genuinely for expedient throwaways. Many makers have started making plastic cutlery using post-consumer content. Thus, several plastic knives are eco-friendly items. Further, a few are 100% compostable or biodegradable, while some contain a blend of renewable fillers such as plant starch to contribute significantly to environmental sustainability and making you a green user.
Top Plastic Knives in the Market
|SOLO Cup Company - Heavyweight Plastic Cutlery, 500/Carton||See it on Amazon|
|[100 Pack] Heavyweight Disposable Clear Plastic Knives||See it on Amazon|
|[50 Count] Settings Plastic Clear Knives||See it on Amazon|
|Crystalware Heavy Weight Plastic Knives 100/box, Clear||See it on Amazon|
|Dining Collection Disposable Plasticware Knives, 400 Count||See it on Amazon|
|Plastic Knives Medium Weight - White (1000 Count)||See it on Amazon|
While you can use a plastic knife for cutting vegetables and fruits, there are some specific uses of plastic knives. Let’s check them out!
- For Big Events: Plastic knives are preferable for hosting a big event or social gatherings. After all, metallic knives can prove to be an expensive affair. However, plastic knives help you save loads of money. Their compostable property is a boon for the environment too. So, why would anyone spend a fortune on costly knives that also demand significant maintenance tasks? Most plastic knives are durable and protect your delicate fingers. They seriously do not need any additional pressure to have perfect apple slices.
- For Electrical Works: Plastic does not conduct electricity. Thus, a plastic knife is a wise choice for keeping electrical hazards at bay.
- For Opening Letters: It is a fact that plastic knives are usually sold as letter openers. If it is getting difficult for you to find plastic knives, it is vital to know that they are commercially available as letter openers. They are small enough and shaped well for use as boot knives. Knowing this helps to select the right model. These knives are typically composed of composite plastic materials and are superb even for opening boxes, sparring, and being used in other light-duty applications. They have a minimally effective cutting edge due to which it is ideal as a blunt trainer for schooling general knife safety.
- For Self-Defense: It is not a joke but a serious note! Today, there are a few very tough plastics available. While this fact does not make plastic knives comparable to steel counterparts, it convinces that the previous ones are reliable for self-defense.
- For Cutting Brownies: Yes, this is true! This is something that only plastic knives can do for you. While breaking a freshly baked brownie into uneven pieces does not make it less delicious, using a plastic knife allows cutting it cleanly without splitting it unevenly. These knives are naturally non-stick and do not tear your sweet recipe while slicing it. They usually possess a smoother surface that is less porous than those made using stainless steel. Plastic knives, usually made from oil, are not going to make you feel so slippery upon drying. However, brownies contain oil due to which it is wise to glide your finger along with the flat knife surface post cutting. Plastic is generally made from oil due to which the material can be somewhat slippery. This is the reason why a few plastic cutleries feel oily even if you wash them thoroughly. Of course, you will have to wait for the brownie to cool before applying the knife for getting perfect slices. This means you need patience! After making each slice, wipe the blade and go for the next slice. If a metal knife is what you have, you need to dip into cold water or apply some non-stick edible spray before making each slice. While it will help, it does not work as good as plastic.
- For Preventing Discoloration: It is true that metal knives instantly react with veggies to turn their ends rusty brown in a short while once they are stored. On the other hand, plastic knives keep them fresh and green for a longer time. This is because unlike metal, plastic does not oxidize veggies due to which the edges do not turn brown. Thus, plastic blades are in use for the primary purpose of preventing vegetables from being discolored from the blade. They are usually serrated and are less sharp due to which some force for cutting is indispensable. A serrated edge is ideal for slicing lettuce and avocados without making their edges brown. You will easily find plastic lettuce knives on sale. Even kids can use them; they are safer than their metallic counterparts.
Packaging of Plastic Knives
Plastic cutlery is meant to be convenient as well as economical. Keeping this in mind, the makers make them available in different package sizes for different purposes or events.
The house owners can easily find a bundle of 50 or 100 pieces. For businesses such as caterers, banquet hall owners, and restaurants, packages or containers are offering 500 to 1,000 knives.
Knives are also made available in presentation trays or dispensable containers so that the users, such as guests or family members, can take one when required. Most packages available commercially can hold 100 knives.
Overview of Plastic Handles
Plastic handles are not only an integral part of plastic knives but also of other knives. They are the most popular handles, as they are durable as well as easy to clean. Although durable, exposing them to extreme temperature fluctuations over time may cause them to crack.
Just as the steel handles, the plastic ones carry the risk of slipping if not coated with an anti-slippery substance. However, makers do texture these handles to make them less slippery than those steel ones. It is easier to do this texturing.
Plastic handles are lighter than their steel counterparts. A well-balanced knife with one such handle has a steel bolster or an end cap. There are also molded plastic handles, which are easier to care than wooden equivalents.
These knives do not absorb germs and debris due to which cleaning them is a breeze. On the flip side, model plastic handles become brittle with time and slippery if used with wet hands. There are more types of plastics from which handles of knives are usually made. These are as follows:
- Polypropylene: Easy to clean, textured grip, economical, and distinct white color
- Polyoxyethylene (POM): More durable and more resistant to high heat as well as water absorption than polypropylene
- Santoprene (Mix of Santoprene and Polypropylene): Non-slip, comfortable grip, resistant to kitchen oils, cold settings, and hot surroundings
- Nylon: Easy to clean, durable, and economical
- Resin: Lightweight and cozy to hold
- Fibrox: Resistant to slippage, dishwasher-safe, and even NSF listed
- Proflex Poly Resin: NSF-listed, no-slip grip
- Styrene: Cozy, lightweight, strong
A plastic knife aims to reduce the risk of a finger injury and discoloration at the time of cutting vegetables. It is resistant to rust, economical, biodegradable (some qualities), and is convenient to use.
Hi, I am Jay. I am the creator of Knife Guides, your one-stop site for everything related to knives. I am a computer engineer by profession, knife aficionado by passion. Here I work with a group of people who’ve always had a passion for knives and blades. Over the years we’ve kind of become experts and decided to share our knowledge and ideas. I am also an avid hiker and enjoy offshore gamefishing.