With one exception, every time I've ever cut myself in the kitchen was due to a dull knife. The duller the knife, the more force you have to exert to use it and the higher the number of cuts it takes to get the job done.
Of course, many would say the simple solution is to just keep your knife sharp, but that's a task much easier said than done. Most people don't know the first thing about how to correctly sharpen a blade, and that's assuming they even have a sharpener.
So, what can you do about your dull knife situation if you don't know how to sharpen it, or don't have the right tools?
It might sound silly at first, but the unglazed ring around the bottom of a ceramic coffee mug is very similar to the surface of a sharpening stone and makes a perfect substitute in a pinch. Just hold the blade at about a 45-degree angle and run it from butt to tip along the bottom of the cup.
If you don't have any mugs that will work, a bowl, plate, or any other ceramic piece with an unglazed area will do just fine. Just make sure the knife you're using has a smooth blade, not serrated. Check out the video from The Red Ferret for more details.
Once you've mastered this little trick, you're sure to want to step up your sharpening game. This awesome, in-depth tutorial by WonderHowTo member Dustin Courts will teach you how to make your knife as sharp as the devil himself.
Sharpening stone image via Dennis Wilkinson