We've all done it at one time or another, and maybe even felt some guilt about it -- we're talking about knife abuse. When we finally take the plunge to buy a good-quality knife for our cooking, at first we always take extra care to keep the blade sharp, wash the knife carefully by hand and stow it safely away. As time goes by though, we start taking our knives for granted, throwing them in the kitchen sink or, even worse, putting them in the dishwasher. It's those little, seemingly insignificant moves that can ruin your knives.

There's nothing worse than a dull, damaged knife -- you might as well be cutting with a plastic one. Just take a look at what a damaged knife looks under a microscope, and you'll never treat your knives with disrespect again. Browse our slideshow below to see some of the things you might be doing wrong.

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Putting Knives In The Kitchen Sink
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What Not To Do: Don't leave your knives in the kitchen sink. Not only is it dangerous for whoever washes the dishes it's also bad for your knives -- the blade can get scratched or worse, the tip can bend or break.

What To Do: As soon as you're finished using your knife, wash it, dry it and put it away in safe place (see the next slide).

Image courtesy of Ignotus the Mage, Flickr.

Check back in next week for tips on how to keep your knives sharp.