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Prevention of cuts to finger - mesh glove?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 

I did a search of "injuries" but the best discussions seem to be in the Professional section, where I am not supposed to post.

 

On Dec. 31st I was cutting vegetables too fast & carelessly with a new sharp knife, and sheared off a nice segment of the nailbed of my left hand middle finger.  I could not function with my hand for over a week as it was pretty bad. To make things even more exciting, I have never bled like this in my life and I was so scared, but got it to stop eventually.  To this day, the nail still hasn't grown to the finger tip.  Anyway, this is what I am leading up to:

 

I simply don't want this to happen again.  So I have been looking for one of those mesh gloves that I saw a professional sandwich-maker using at the supermarket deli section and was wondering if anyone here uses those things.  What is your opinion? 

 

I asked some cooks and they all smirked and snorted and said they never use such things; everything is my fault, blah, blah.  That is true, but **** happens. I guess the woman at the deli was using one because she was forced to by some rules & regulations.

 

P.S.  I hope I am posting in the correct place. 

post #2 of 11

The safest, quickest, and cheapest solution is to learn the "claw grip" for your off-hand, grip the vegetable with your thumb and little finger with the three intervening fingers, pointer, middle, and ring, curled down on top of the vegetable, forming a "wall" with the second joints of those fingers for the knife blade to press against and the tips of those three fingers curled under so the fingernails rest on the vegetable.

 

See: http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/knifeskills/ss/knifegrips_3.htm

Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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Chef,
Specialties: MasterCook/RecipeFox; Culinary logistics; Personal Chef; Small restaurant owner; Caterer
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post #3 of 11

I'm with you Wyan!  Being a musician my fingers are my livelihood.  I try to chop slowly and carefully but you're right, things happen and nobody means to cut themselves when they do.  I'd be interested in this glove you speak of.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #4 of 11
Thread Starter 

Pete, thanks for the illustration of the claw grip.  I have of course seen this briefly here & there and it looks awkward to me, but I imagine that it's doable with a bit of practice.  Not brain surgery.

 

Koukou, if you look on the world wide web for "finger protector - metal mesh glove" you will get a whole load of results.  The problem, as usual, is that the best ones, the ones that apparently feel most natural when wearing, are over $100.  Yes, if you play music, you better protect those fingers. You can chop everything real slow but sometimes you just aren't thinking, there's a distraction or some mental stress in your life,  you know...that's when the fun happens!

post #5 of 11

I'm with Pete and think that learning the right way to use your off hand (claw, combined with "cut and retreat") is the best way for most people to prevent injury.  Also, if your prep includes anything besides cutting, a mesh glove is impractical. 

 

The most important thing to remember about the claw, is that no finger, expressly including the thumb, points to the knife.  It's almost impossible to cut yourself while chopping if you do that. 

 

BDL

post #6 of 11
Thread Starter 

It is true, there is no excuse for not learning the safe way.  I'd like to mention, tho, that the mesh glove would be even more necessary when using a mandoline slicer or (I have one) a Feemsters Slicer.  I mean, it's so nice & sharp but I get a case of the nerves using it. 

post #7 of 11

Look up Youtube videos on knife skills. You will notice a technique chefs use when cutting as someone else described a ''claw.'' It will feel really weird to do at first, and you won't like it, but once you keep doing it you get better at it and it feels comfortable. 

post #8 of 11

Early in my career I worked at a place that required the use of the mesh gloves when using a knife, period.

Fireable offense if caught without one.

This did nothing for my knife skills, in fact it promoted sloppy skills.

Those gloves are good for one thing imho, and that's wearing one while cleaning an electric slicer or other such equipment for added protection.

They are not puncture proof and you can cut through them eventually.

How do I know?

I used a glove that had a small hole in the thumb, and sliced into mine pretty deep, the worst cut I've had.

As others have said, practicing your technique is the way to go.

Also, get your mind around cutting yourself, burning too.

It's going to happen.

 

Proper skills and a sharp knife will minimize the occurances, but everyone gets careless occasionally.

Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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Knowledge is knowing a tomato is a fruit. Wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.
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post #9 of 11

I cut meat daily, and bone out poultry and large fish. I can tell you that for butchering purposes they are great. For other things they are not. I have 2 , one made from Kevlar(like bullet proof vest) and one from stainless steel link

I use the steel one for large pieces meat, ie chucks, hind and forequarters the kevlar for smaller things. The kevlar one absorbs blood from meat where chain one does not.(thus not as sanitary). Do not develop a false since of security using them because on a straight puncture cut with the knife , you will get cut, but not a slice type cut..

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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post #10 of 11

The best way to avoid cuts is not only to develop your knife technique, but to train yourself to "always keep your eye on the blade."

Cuts often happen when you are working and a sudden distraction occurs-"Hey Joe, where's the gorgonzola?" or a hotel pan crashes to the floor just as you are chopping away.

One distracted look up from what you are doing, and under the blade goes your finger.

 

Once I learned to stay focused on the blade, my fingers never went under it-thus, no more knife cuts.

That doesn't protect one, however, from the cutter on the cling wrap or the sharp edges of new hotel pans. Ouch!

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www.foodandphoto.com

Liquored up and laquered down,
She's got the biggest hair in town!

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post #11 of 11

Sorry don't quite agree with keeping eyes on blade. Many of the guys I work with including myself could hold a converstion with you while making eye contact and not get cut. In fact one day we had a contest who was fastest blindfolded .The trick is keep those fingers rolled under. Do this and you wont get cut from Chefs French Knives while mincing, shredding , diceing , or chopping .When sliceing  meat or cheese another story then keep eye on it.

Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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Chef EdB
Over 50 years in food service business 35 as Ex Chef. Specializing in Volume upscale Catering both on and off premise .(former Exec. Chef in the largest on premise caterer in US  with 17 Million Dollars per year annual volume). 
      Well versed in all facets of Continental Cuisine...

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