There are numerous ways how to properly sharpen a knife. The best way to sharpen a knife will depend on what things you have handy in your kitchen now. You could invest in a sharpening stone or the fancy kitchen sharpener that is available on the market today. And if you do not have them but an urgent cutting task at hand, you could use the underside of a coffee mug or ceramic saucer to sharpen the knife, albeit temporarily.
If you have landed here, it is most probably because you have a blunt knife lying inside your kitchen drawer, and you want to learn how to use a knife sharpener. Who will want to throw away their expensive steel knives because they have become blunt? Certainly not the ones that they have gotten used to!
Before we venture out to tell you how different knife sharpener work, here is a list of the four different kinds of knife sharpener that you will find when you scour the markets:
- Electric knife sharpeners
- Handheld (mechanical) knife sharpeners
- Guided knife sharpener systems (mostly put together by users)
How To Use An Electric Knife Sharpener
If you have done any reading on a knife sharpener, you will realize that the electric knife sharpener is the most popular amongst everything available.
The Electric knife sharpening tools are the easiest ones when you are wondering how to sharpen a knife at home. The best electric knife sharpener has a rotating grinding surface that is housed inside a metal or a plastic body. All you need to do is to push the knife through one of the grinding slots and see to believe how your plain, dull knife regains its edge and becomes sharp to cut like a brand new knife!
Here are the reasons why we think electric knife sharpeners are a yay!
- It’s the easiest to use. The motorized abrasives do all the work by spinning against the blade; all you need to do is to read the manual and follow safety precautions.
- You turn on the sharpener, slide in the knife, and hold int securely and pull it through the slots for desired sharpness. There is no need for you to press the knife down hard at all.
- There are alternate slots for the desired sharpness and smoothness to your knife. You can sharpen both sides of your blades.
- The movement inside the sharpener is entirely managed by spring-loaded guides that bring the knife into contact with the abrasive at the correct angle. Lesser work for you!
- The knife sharpener controls the amount of sharpening by removing a good amount of metal from the blade’s edge, making it razor sharp in minutes.
Here is why we think electric sharpeners may be a nay!
- Knives with bolsters cannot be sharpened in them because they run the risk of becoming uneven. The bolstered knife cannot be put entirely inside. Similarly, you cannot put the serrated ones as they need unique knife sharpeners for them.
- It can be expensive, putting you back by a few hundred dollars. However, the price is entirely worth it if you will use them to do all or most of your kitchen knives.
How To Use A Handheld Knife Sharpener
If you find electric knife sharpeners are turning out to be expensive for your budgets, let us suggest that you go for the manual ones.
There are two types of handheld knife sharpeners
First, where the abrasives move on non-motorized wheels and v-shaped chamber that houses the abrasive material and through which you have to put and pull the knife to be sharpened.
The working of the handheld/manual knife sharpener is much the same as the electric one only that there is no motor. As a user, you will have to put the blade in through the chambers and pull it out with a good amount of pressure. Make sure that the pressure you apply is even throughout all the pulls. Do not forget to read the user manual and follow the manufacturer’s advice on safety and precaution to be taken.
The reason that the handheld knife sharpener is yay!
- The sharpener is inexpensive when compared to its electric counterpart
- The handheld manual one has higher walls, and that is why the knife can be held steadily while driving through the chambers.
- It is easy to store as it is sleek. It can conveniently be stored in kitchen cabinets. Even in drawers!
- It’s quick, and you can sharpen all the knives in the kitchen – Yes, even your bolstered ones and the fillet knife!!
Why the handheld knife sharpener can be nay!
However, good the handheld sharpener is, there is a limit to what kind of damage it can repair. For instance, if there are too many notches on your dull blade, the manual sharpener many not be able to remove all of them. The secret mantra is to not wait for extensive dulling and damage to your favorite sharpies in the kitchen. Use the sharpener as often not to spoil your knives beyond repair.
How To Use A Sharpening Steel
Have you noticed a metal rod that is mostly clubbed with your best chef knife set? That is the sharpening steel rod. You would have noticed often that what is does is honing in contrast to the sharpening of the knife. Sweeping the blade on the knife along the steel can realign the edge of the knife, making the slightly dull knife sharp again.
The correct way to sharpen a knife using the sharpening steel is given here for you
- Step 1: hold the rod vertically down on the counter, making sure that you steadily keep it, and its tip is firmly planted on the tabletop.
- Step 2: point the knife to be sharpened slightly upwards and at a convenient angle of 15 degrees from the rod.
- Step 3: Apply light pressure and slide the blade down to the length of the steel in continuous sweeping motions. The knife must be pulled towards yourself in such a way that the middle of the blade comes into contact with the middle of the steel.
- Step 4: pass the tip of the blade over the bottom of the rod touching the tabletop.
- Step 5: repeat for both the sides of the blade about 4 to 5 times
- Step 6: done!
Honing can be done as many times as possible. If you do not understand the proper way to sharpen a knife, relax! You will get the hang of it soon with trials. You will become a pro at it soon enough to realize that why didn’t someone tell you about all the best knife sharpener tools before!
How To Use A Whetstone
A whetstone can be natural or artificial stone. Most artificial stones are preferred for the sharpening of knives. They are usually made of bonded abrasives that include one of the two
- carborundum or silicon carbide and
- corundum or aluminum oxide
Here is how to use a knife sharpener stone
- Begin by soaking your stone in water for at least ten minutes before you begin to use it. next, secure the whetstone on a non-slip surface before you begin;
- Apply a few drops of mineral oil on the stone.
- Facing the knife away from you, place the handle on the whetstone at an angle between 15 to 20 degrees.
- Draw the blade down the stone in wide circular motion without altering the angle.
- Repeat several times
- Switch side and repeat the same wide circular motion
- Turn the stone and repeat the process on the more elegant side of the stone to get the satisfactory sharpness.
- It is easy to adapt to a whetstone
- It can sharpen any knife, even a bolstered one!
- It has two sides, course and the finer one and you can quickly determine what amount of sharpness you want to stop at
- It is inexpensive compared to other methods.
- It takes a lot of practice to master the tact to use it.
- Maintaining the correct angle can be tricky
- It takes a long time to sharpen a very damaged blade
A lot of homes have the whetstone by default in their modular kitchens. What they don’t know is how to sharpen a knife with a stone. We hope this tutorial has piqued your interest enough for you to go and try it. It is not tough at all if you practice a couple of times.
How Long Does It Take To Sharpen A Knife
If you are using a manual handheld knife sharpener or a whetstone to sharpen your knives, it should not take you more than 20 to 30 minutes maximum to bring your knife back to glory. We are talking about good quality steel knives. A quality steel knife can be sharpened any number of times, and nothing really can go wrong.
A cheap steel knife, we are afraid, can get damaged while sharpening, and there is nothing more than you can do than repurposing it for wax maybe or thrashing it.
If you are regularly sharpening your knives, steer away from myths that tell you that you can ruin your knives by overdoing it. The truth is that a sharp knife is an excellent knife to have. The rest all trash.
Finally, we rest our case with all the benefits that you will accrue once you learn how to sharpen kitchen knives:
- With a knife sharpener as an investment, you are no longer dependent on any outside help when your knives go blunt on you;
- A sharp knife allows you to cut food with minimum spillage on the cutting boards;
- It is easier to wield a sharp knife than a dull one
- There is also a big chance that while you are applying more effort to cut with a blunt knife, it may slip and miss the mark injuring you grievously
- There is no debating that a sharp knife cuts food evenly which also cooks better
- Finally, it is so simple to use a knife sharpener. Use your knife sharpener as often as possible to make sure that your knives do not dull beyond repair.
Did you find our tutorial blog on the different types of knife sharpeners useful? Visit us at mykitchenadvisor for more such interesting articles. And don’t forget to share your easy way to sharpen a knife on the above domain.