A blunt knife is anyone’s worst nightmare when they have to use it in the kitchen. For starters, you need to use more force, putting strain on your arms. It doesn’t slice through well tender produce like herbs and tomatoes, damaging the cut edges. Blunt knives also slip and have lesser grip, risking your fingers.
The Importance of Knife Sharpening
Sharpening knives is an age old concept that makes use of a variety of tools for honing the blade. There are 2 ways to sharpen a knife – manual and electrical.
The manual method uses a whetstone or honing steel rod. The automated process uses electric knife sharpeners.
In this article, we will understand how to sharpen your knife using these methods.
Whetstone or Diamond Stone
Ever wonder how you sharpen a knife using a stone? Well, the stones we’re looking at aren’t just any ordinary rock. They are special knife sharpening stones called whetstones or diamond stones. Let’s look at how to sharpen a knife using these –
- Lubricate the stone using mineral oil or honing oil. This glides the blade smoothly and prevents metal shavings from clogging the stone.
- Decide the angle at which you want to sharpen the blade. If you are new to this, then choose any angle between 10 to 30° (same for both the sides). Keep an object under the blade to hold the knife steady and maintain the angle.
- Start with the rough grit side to grate the steel. Drag the blade across the stone in the downward and outward direction. Continue until you have gone halfway through the blade’s thickness and then flip it over.
- Then move over to the soft grit side and follow the same motion until the blade is finely sharpened. Alternate one swipe on each side for the last few strokes.
Using a Honing Rod (Steel)
A honing rod hones the blade and keeps it sharp, it doesn’t sharpen a completely dull blade. It can be called as an intermittent ‘sharpness revision’ than a complete sharpening. Here are the steps –
- Hold the rod in the non-dominant hand. If you’re right-handed, hold it in the left hand. It should face away from your body and upward with the handle on the lower side.
- Hold the knife in the other hand, at the handle. Get a good grip.
- Place each side of the blade at an angle of 10-30° from the rod. (Same for both sides)
- Glide the knife on the top half of the rod. Start from the base and move to the tip. When you flip it over, use the bottom side of the top half and glide in the same manner.
- Repeat the process 6-8 times for each side to renew the blade’s sharpness before using the knife.
Electric Knife Sharpener
Electric knife sharpeners are quite straightforward devices that have the usage instructions on the box. You need to place the knife blade on the sharpening wheel at an angle between 10-30° and hold it. The device will automatically sharpen the blade. Different electric sharpeners offer different levels of thickness. Always follow the user instructions very carefully.
Now you know how to sharpen a knife using various tools. This guide and some practice will help you sharpen your knives like a pro!
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