Sharpening your kitchen knives is a task that should never be overlooked as it will help lessen the difficulty of your job and will give you a safer feel.
Dull knives will require you to use up more pressure compared that of a sharpened blade – opening tendencies for slipping up to occur and the truth is, it doesn’t really matter if you have the best of all knives in the market if you don’t consider sharpening them. Nonetheless, we shall discuss how to sharpen different knives in your set rightly.
Unfortunately, a lot of people are negligent enough to not sharpen their knives on a timely manner. If cooking is what you do on a daily basis, a weekly sharpening would be needed. Otherwise, do it on a bi-weekly basis for lesser cooking activities. So, what is the best way to sharpen a knife?
If you want to learn how to sharpen kitchen knives effectively, read on for essential details that we have mustered for your benefit.
Pick a Suitable Sharpening Device
So, how do you sharpen a kitchen knife? There are many ways, really – one of which would be through a sharpening devices. A wide variety of selections are always available.
However, don’t ever think of using electric knife sharpeners for they will strip metal from your knife overly – thus, obliterating its blade. A much better choice would be handheld/manual sharpeners, but if you’re looking for the best, I suggest that you go for whetstones.
They are also called sharpening stones for kitchens knives and commended by kitchen experts due to many factoids, one of which would be the rectangular shape they have as well as the composite stone they are made of.
Basically, these two factors make a great sharpening tool along with a fine and coarse grit on opposite sides – providing you full control over sharpening.
Honing or Sharpening, should I go for both?
The answer? Of course you should! First of all, honing is one thing while sharpening is another. When it comes to honing, you have to use what is so called a honing or butcher’s steel.
It’s that elongated metal rod coming out from the knife block’s center and what you use it for is to hone your knives, not sharpen them. What difference does that make? Honing means to straighten the blade of your kitchen knife, particularly the edge to bring back it’s usability.
Frequent usage of your knife can lead it’s blade tip to curl and bend in the long run. By honing your knives on a regular basis, you can maintain the precise cutting that the edge of the blade can give off. Additionally, honing can contribute to the sharp factor, vital for any cook at home.
Read Our Kitchen Knife Sharpening Guide
- How To Sharpen a Kitchen Knife Using a Whetstone
- How to Sharpen a Serrated Knife
- How to Sharpen a Ceramic Knife
- How To Sharpen a Knife Using an Electric Sharpener
- Sharpening a Knife Through a Sharpening Steel
- Initially, soak the stone in water for a matter of 10, 15 or 20 minutes. This helps lubricate your kitchen knife upon sharpening. Get a towel and put the stone on it thereafter.
- Hold your knife using the fingers only from one of your hands that fan right across the blade’s length as it faces flat adjacent to, and upright towards the coarse part of your sharpening stone.
- Roughly 20 degrees, raise your knife’s blade, especially if it is a European-style knife away from the stone’s face (as a Japanese-style knife would require a raising angle of 15 degrees), whilst the blade’s edges faces away from where you are at.
- In a rather counter-clockwise movement, grind your knife’s blade against the stone. Apply consistent amount of pressure and grinding force until such time when you can notice a burr forming by the blade’s underside.
- Six to twelve strokes would be ideal for each side of the blade. After that, repeat the process on the stone’s fine grit part. Wipe your knife to clean and it should be ready to use again. Try using the knife on a tomato to attest its sharpness.
So, what about how to Sharpen a Serrated Knife? Well, serrated knife is used for slicing bread. Sharpening serrated knives in a timely matter is rather a requirement.
Otherwise, the occurred of shredding might transpire – thus, destroying the purpose of having a serrated knife.
The task can be done through a sharpener for serrated knives that will keep your items durable and with longevity. However, the tools used for other kitchen knife are not the same.
For a complete guide on sharpening a serrated knife, here are the following:
- Pick your choice of serrated knife sharpening tools – which are basically rod shaped innovated with a narrowing tape that can accommodate the straight-edges of your serrated knives’ blades coming from different sizes. An ideal tool would be something made out of ceramic.
- Find the bevelled edge part of your serrated knife. Serrated knives actually don’t have the same look from either sides whereas one side will have a continuous angle through the edge of the blade – while the other side will have an angle going downwards which forms the bevel. Sharpening should only be applied to the bevel.
- The rod should be placed in any of the serrated grooves or gullets. This keeps the rod in a rather shallow angle linked towards the bevelled edge. For a tapered rod, find the rod within the gullet. That way, they have the same diameter.
- Make sure to sharpen every gullet with short strokes away from your knife’s blade as a matter of precaution, running the rod by every groove. Perhaps a few amount of strokes would do. Have your fingers run through the groove’s backside as you find a burr (metal shavings). Once felt, that means the groove had been sufficiently sharpened.
- Apply the same process to all the grooves and for differently sized serrated knives, just do some adjustments that would be enough to fill up the grooves.
- Make sure to remove all of the metal shavings or burr every time you sharpen. Use a fine-gritted sandpaper or rub it against the rod’s backside (for every groove). Don’t apply too much pressure to avoid hazards upon removal of the burr.
- Sharpen up all straight-edged parts. Sharpen the length remaining if the knife is partly serrated using pretty much any sharpening tool or a whetstone. Additionally, never use the sharpener for serrated knives by the blade’s straight portion.
Sometimes we confused how to Sharpen a Ceramic Knife ? Because we could not understand the difference ceramic vs steel kitchen knives. The razor-like sharpness of ceramic knives have always been a choice of many.
If you want to quickly do ceramic knives sharpening, here are the details:
- In sharpening ceramic knives, the initial step is to put the diamond type sharpener on top of a flat and stable platform such as countertop or table.
- Tuck the heel of your knife into the groove for sharpening while holding the sharpener firmly. Have the knife pulled backwards to your body upon pressing it softly towards the grove.
- Reiterate everything for 7 times. Apply little pressure as the knife passes through the sharpener.
- You can also facilitate silicone carbide or sandpaper that is wet or dry. Just rub your ceramic knife softly without having to cut the sandpaper and make sure to do rub by the fine-gritted part for at least 20 times on each side of your knife.
With all of the above given, you should be able to sharpen your kitchen knives more effectively here on.
By following this guideline probably, you wouldn’t have to purchase a knife set that much often anymore — because learning how to sharpen your knives help maintain quality, durability and longevity.
Though we have mentioned earlier that electronic sharpeners are not really recommended for sharpening, it really depends on how you use them. Perhaps with the proper conduction, these sharpeners can actually be of great convenience.
By picking a good electric knife sharpener, you should be able to remake a sharp edge in no time.
As a guide to properly do sharpening using this tool, here are the following details:
- After turning on the machine, insert your knife’s blade into the first available slot to fully sharpen the blade’s right edge. Pull the blade toward your direction – ensure the area with the closest proximity from the handle firstly gets in contact with the wheel of the sharpener.
- Have the blade drawn throughout the sharpener. Do it with slow steadiness to your direction. Drawing the blade should be done with a rate of around 2 inches for every second. For instance, a typical 8-inch kitchen knife should require about four seconds before pulling through. Remember to not push your knife’s blade to the electric sharpener’s slot. An adequate amount of pressure can ensure enough blade and wheel contact.
- Now, you will need to have the curvilinear part going to the blade’s tip, too – just life up the handle to do so. The edge should be kept within the sharpener in a parallel position towards the counter. Never forcibly push the tip to the wheel – just keep the curve guided so it can maintain an equivalent smooth and secure wheel contact just as the other areas of the knife.
- Equally sharpen up blade and after sharpening the blade’s right edge, go for the left edge immediately. For every stage, sharpening one side after the other in a rather immediate manner is necessary to ensure that lopsidedness would not occur to the edge.
- In most cases, you can sharpen by having the knife drawn once per stage. However, consistently check for any signs of progression or better yet, have passing standards that when once met, permits advancement to the next stage. If you need some final touch ups, you don’t really have to deal with the first stages anymore and skip to the last part.
- The blade must be drawn throughout the stages left with the application of the very same style or technique that of the initial stage.
Honing or sharpening steels are usually part of the package when purchasing a good set of knives. However, they don’t always have instructions attached. As you may know, appropriate handling and frequent application of a sharpening steel can make your kitchen knives sharper for a longer period of time.
So, here are the details on how it helps and how to do it right:
- So basically, honing or sharpening steels work best once you recognize some dullness, nicks and pits on the edge of your knives’ blades – which make it a good additional for professional resharpening.
- Hold the steel firmly within your hand. Alternatively, hold it up onto a counter top. Either way should do well. As a matter of safety measure, it would be best to put the steel’s tip right by a cutting board whilst the steel is held by you vertically.
- Have the bottom or the heel of the edge of the knife onto the steel supposing that you are actually cutting right through it.
- Ideally have the knife on a 22 degree angular position – which is considered to be a general criterion. However, you have the option to slightly lessen the angle, especially for a much sharper edge. For a more solid or durable knife, raise the angle a little bit more.
- Smoothly have the knife run down along the steel, pretending that you are actually getting a stick whittled. Drag your knife down and up towards you. Make sure to end with the knife’s tip right by the steel’s bottommost part. Retain an equivalent angle while you have your hand pushed and pulled away gradually from the sharpening steel in order to hone from the base through the tip evenly.
- Reiterate the entire process after flipping the knife as you hone your knife’s other side. Do it for 3 to 6 times on every side. Always verify the sharpness and if needed, repeat the process until you have achieved the ideal level of sharpness. Quality, solidity and current conditions of the knife’s blade should be the best determinants of the utmost stroke count required.
- Using a paper or kitchen towel, wipe thoroughly to clean the blade. Shun from adding up any sort of metal filing that could have been a product of honing as it can be of great hazard to your recipe.
- First of all, be reminded that it is just a honing steel and therefore will not entirely sharpen your dull knives – but then again benefits to that factor. Such steels are meant as maintenance devices to better protect or sustain the sharpness of a blade to avoid degrading its cutting edge.
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