Q: Got any tips for carving a pumpkin without cutting yourself?
Oz Says: As a surgeon, I admire great knife skills, especially Marc Evan's. He's cofounder of Maniac Pumpkin Carvers, the group that's created masterpieces for clients ranging from the Food Network to the Museum of Modern Art. One key to carving a jack-o'-lantern the gore-free way: a sharp knife. Dull ones require extra pressure and can cause injuries, while honed ones do what you want them to. You can find more insider secrets below:
1. Pick the Right Size Tools: Use a long, thin blade, like a boning or bread knife, for larger pumpkins. Sturdy paring knives are OK for smaller ones. Evan's team relies on paring knives, plus X-Acto knives for detail and linoleum cutters for areas that get scraped away. Though plastic carving tools are safe, Evan's group still prefers real knives, since they're easier to control and less breakable.
2. Hold Your Pumpkin Properly: Think about where your knife-wielding hand would go if it were to slip - and make sure your other hand isn't right there. "Otherwise, you're asking for a trip to the ER," Evan says.
3. Be Organized: A given in the OR, also smart for pumpkin carvers! Don't bury your knife under other supplies. (You won't reunite with the blade in a good way.)
This story originally appeared in the October 2016 issue of Dr. Oz The Good Life.
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