You may not think about it often, but every time you pick up a kitchen knife to prepare a meal, youâ€™re risking a trip to the emergency room. The simple task of chopping vegetables is even more dangerous for people with low vision or blindness. Along with proper training on using a kitchen knife, a finger guard can help prevent a severe and painful cut.
Also known as a knife guard or a knife finger guard, these handy devices are exactly what they sound like. Finger guards intended for kitchen use are typically made from stainless steel or hard plastic. They are designed to be worn on the fingers like a big ring and should fit comfortably. A quality finger guard isnâ€™t one of those clunky, clumsy gadgets that will live in your junk drawer until you finally decide to throw it away. Kitchen guards are ergonomically designed protective tools that reduce accidents in the kitchen.
Anyone who spends a lot of time in the kitchen, from professional chefs to kids who are just learning to use sharp knives, can benefit from using a finger guard. These safety tools also help people with dexterity problems, and the visually impaired remain safe and independent as they prepare food for themselves or their families.
Here are the four best finger guards for anyone with low or limited vision.
This set of four guards is highly recommended for beginning cooks and others who are not confident with using knives in the kitchen. Promifun guards are made of rust-proof 430 stainless steel and have a single finger ring. At around $8.00 per package, they are a good choice for someone who doesnâ€™t want to make a significant investment.
The Mad Shark 304 is an elegant gift set for anyone who needs the extra safety of kitchen finger guards. They feature two size-adjustable finger rings for extra stability made of 304 premium stainless steel. Mad Shark guards offer ergonomic 360-degree protection, too, and come neatly presented in a handsome box for storage and cost around $13.00.
Waloo guards are available in packages of one, two, or three. They have a single-finger ring. Though made from stainless steel, the rose gold option is an attractive alternative for kitchen wizards who appreciate something different. The Waloo guards are recommended for people who prefer a more lightweight cutting guard that doesnâ€™t compromise safety. The cost is around $9.00.
Instead of individual rings, the Aiboco guard has a large loop that allows users more flexibility in holding the guard. You could insert two, three, or all four fingers into the loop depending on your hand size. This product is made with food-grade plastic and has a serrated edge for extra security. The Aiboco is especially recommended for children or anyone just learning to use a kitchen knife. They are priced at around $7.00.
Using a finger guard may take a little getting used to, but once youâ€™ve adapted, youâ€™ll wonder how you ever sliced a carrot without one.
The most important tip is to follow the instructions for your specific finger guard. Different products fit differently and may come with specific care recommendations.
General guidelines for using a finger guard include:
- Place the guard on your non-dominant hand (the one you are not holding the knife with).
- Fit your fingers into the corresponding finger rings (one to three rings is common).
- Hold the object youâ€™re going to cut naturally, with the guard resting on top of the item.
- Curl your fingers behind the guard just as you would if you werenâ€™t using it.
- Slide the knife in a downward motion against the finger guard and into the item youâ€™re cutting.
Repeat the motion slowly until you feel confident using your new finger guard. Once you get comfortable with this new tool, you may find it slices your chopping time in half.
Always follow the manufacturerâ€™s guidelines for cleaning and storing your guards. Each of the items on our list is dishwasher safe and rust-proof. Some guards have a slightly sharp edge and should be stored carefully, just as you would store a sharp knife.