Congratulations on the purchase of your brand new kitchen knife! You have taken the first step to make cooking easier and more enjoyable. A good knife will help you chop and chop like a pro. But don't stop there – a good knife deserves careful maintenance, such as sharpening and honing.
After a few weeks of use, new blades will become dull, requiring more pressure to cut. This extra resistance not only mutilates meat and vegetables; it is a potential hazard to your fingers.
Keep your knives new and your fingers safe with this cutlery sharpening and sharpening guide.
Disclaimer time: I call it obvious, but knives can hurt you. Even if you don't intend to maintain your own blades, you should handle them with care. The smallest office knives can cause a major injury in a flash. Always use extreme caution and caution when using these sharp tools ̵
Honing and Sharpening: Know the Difference
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they are actually different. Honey refers to the straightening of the existing edge of a knife. Over time, and with normal use, the edge of a blade will bend or bend slightly from its original position.
When you sharpen a knife, you bring the pointy surface back into place. It is a gentle solution, but if done often it can prevent more serious blade damage.
The most common way to sharpen a knife is with a sharpening steel. These cheap tools ($ 10 to $ 30) are essentially steel bars with a handle. The surface of the bar is coarse and scrapes a knife over the bar (at the right angle), on both sides pushes (grinds) the edge back into place.
Grinding is the practice of aggressively polishing a blade to reshape the cut. You only have to do this for very boring knives. Pieces of metal are actually shaved away. Therefore, grinding a metal blade requires material that is harder than steel: stone or ceramic. It is also why you should sharpen often, but rarely sharpen.
Hone your knife
A sharpening steel, which many professional chefs and cooks rely on, is a common tool for sharpening kitchen knives. Using a sample correctly, however, takes practice to get right, so don't be discouraged if your initial results aren't obvious. Here's how to sharpen your knife:
Start by placing the end of the steel bar on a flat surface (table, counter, cutting board).
Then, while holding the steel handle with your non-knife hand, place the heel edge of your knife on the steel. Make sure the blade is between 15 and 20 degrees – relative to the steel bar. Also let your fingers rest (hold the knife), safely on the knife handle (behind the heel)
Now drag the knife down along the steel. At the same time, gently pull the blade towards you. The movement should go from the back of the blade to the tip. Keep the same angle during your stroke. Repeat this action three to four times. Do the same on the other side of the knife.
Sharpening the Blade
To reshape your blade, you need a harder tool. The old way is with a whetstone. The good news is that whetstones are relatively affordable. You can find them for $ 15 and $ 20.
To start, place a square damp paper towel on a flat surface. Rest the sharpening stone on it, it will prevent it from sliding. Wet the knife with some water. This reduces the friction. Now place the knife on the stone (the coarsest side), at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. The tip of the blade should face away from you. Place your fingers on the flat side of the blade (except your thumb). Your thumb remains on the handle.
Drag the knife in circular motion over the whetstone, making sure the angle remains constant. Do this three to four times. Turn the blade over and repeat. Then follow the same procedure, but on the smoother side of the whetstone. Your once boring kitchen knife should now have a sharpened edge.
Read more: The best knife sharpeners of 2020
You can also use an electric sharpener. The process is much the same, with the added benefit of speed. Instead of whetstone, these products have both honing and grinding slots. Dragging a knife through the slots accomplishes the same task.
Grinding wheels rotate in the slots and they are spring loaded. This means that they automatically have to polish knife edges at the correct angle. Be sure to follow the instructions in the manual carefully. Improper use of electric sharpeners can damage the blade edges. Common mistakes are turning, pressing down or pausing the blade stroke as you pull them through the sharpener slot. This can cause excessive grinding (loss of too much metal), or result in an uneven edge.
Expect to pay a little more for a motorized pencil sharpener, between $ 30 and $ 40 (via Amazon). The company also sells a line of kitchen knives, under the same EdgeKeeper brand, with covers designed to "sharpen" their knives every time you use them. Most likely they are taunting and not sharpening their knives, but it is useful nonetheless.
It sounds crazy, but. Turn a ceramic mug over so the bottom is facing up. Place it on a flat surface. There must be a ring that is raised and unglazed. The surface of the ring is rough and harder than steel. Use it like you would a whetstone. But keep in mind that if things go bad, you can scrape and mess the knife edge to no avail. Try this on a cheap knife, not fancy cutlery.
Call the pros
For some, sharpening cutlery is too much of a hassle. Many premium knife brands such as Mac offer sharpening services (Mac brand only). With costs ranging from $ 5 to $ 14 per item, it's reasonable too. Still, you have to send knives back to their factory. That means you have to miss it seven working days.
Some local supermarkets and supermarkets also sharpen your knives – and often for free. Usually you can ask this at the butcher shop, preferably during off-peak hours. Like any untried sharpening method, give it a try on a knife you could live without first.