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Stephen Mayo | A Sharp Knife

A Sharp Knife

April 28, 2024

I love to prepare food in the kitchen, and a sharp knife is one of my favorite tools.

It's easy to slice a tomato, core an apple, or chop a butternut squash if I have a sharp chef's knife.

But when I'm traveling or on vacation, I typically don't have such a knife and need to use whatever is on hand.

So I developed my own knowledge of the other factors that enable smooth slicing: 

  1. the amount of pressure
  2. the angle of attack
  3. the speed when sliding the blade
  4. the use of the tip
  5. and other nuances based on the type of knife (e.g. serrated, butterknife, etc.)


By adjusting these levers, I can make an ordinary knife accomplish most of the tasks I need.

I find this lesson applies in lots of situations, whether I'm taking notes, processing emails, or leading a meeting:


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