Sharpening is the forceful polishing of a knife to restore its edge. This is only necessary for really dull blades. Metal shavings are removed throughout the process. As a result, sharpening a metal blade necessitates the use of a material harder than steel, stone, or ceramic.
When a knife is dull, you have less control and the knife is more likely to slide off the food, making cooking more dangerous than it should be.
Knowing When To Sharpen Your Knives
A dull knife will typically cut, but it will take considerably more power and energy than a very sharp knife. Here are a few methods for determining a blade’s sharpness.
Examine the edge of your knife to determine its sharpness. Hold the knife completely straight, then slowly tilt it to the left and right, searching for regions where the light catches on the edge.
Any light-reflecting edge is dull, and the edge has been eliminated or pushed to the side. Any damage can also be seen visually. You are sharp if you can collect light over the full edge.
The paper test is another technique to see how sharp your blades are. To do so, take a piece of paper and hold it as you slide down the knife.
If it’s sharp, it will slice the paper neatly and effortlessly with simply the weight of the knife. It will generally be ragged or slip straight off if it is dull. If you cut the entire length of the edge in a single stroke, you can also detect any jagged or missing regions.
Using A Honing Rod
While honing steel aids in knife slicing, it does not sharpen a knife. When you cut food and bang it onto a hard cutting board, your knife’s minuscule teeth go out of alignment and honing steel straightens and smoothes them, giving you the impression that your knife is sharp.
Use your dominant hand to hold the knife and your non-dominant for the rod. Raise the rod’s tip above the handle. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the rod, keeping your fingers away from the blade.
Swipe the knife along the top of the rod, starting at the knife heel and going toward the tip, using your arm, hand, and wrist.
Repeat this on the bottom of the rod with the other side of the knife blade. A revolution is a pass over the top and bottom.
Before utilizing your knife, you should make six to eight rotations. Begin gently at first to get the motion down. The more you train, the faster you will get. If you cook daily, your knives should be honed at least once a week, but you may do it whenever you choose.
Replace your honing steel when it begins to wear down. Also, after honing, wipe the knife and steel to remove any particles that have fallen off.
Using A Sharpener
Electric sharpeners may appear to be the preferable option, but they are most likely the worst instrument for sharpening a knife. Electric sharpeners remove much too much metal from the blade, damaging it and weakening it over time.
A whetstone (sharpening stone), is the recommended instrument for sharpening knives since it provides you total control. They are long, rectangular blocks that have a fine grit on one side and a coarse grit on the other.
How To Use A Whetstone
Place a rubberized shelf liner or moist paper towels under the whetstone to keep it in place, then lay it down coarse side up.
Place the handle end of your knife on a whetstone at the angle of your blade, facing away from you. Place your second hand in the center of the flat side of the blade, fingers flat and away from the sharp edge.
Draw the blade down the stone in a broad, circular motion, maintaining a consistent angle of the blade until the tip of the knife runs off the opposite edge. Repeat multiple times, depending on how dull the blade is.
To see if the first side is sharp enough, run your thumb perpendicular to the blade’s edge—if you can feel the burr from handle to tip, that side is sharp enough.
Repeat the sharpening operation in the opposite direction with the other knife. Repeat on the fine side of the whetstone and both sides of the knife until the blade is sharp.
Keeping The Knives Sharp
Knives may be stored carefully and securely to keep their blades sharper for longer and out of harm’s way. We don’t advocate putting knives in drawers since knives may nick each other, not to mention you.
Even though the knives are dishwasher safe, it is preferable not to put them in the dishwasher. Hand-wash in hot soapy water and dry promptly.
Knife blades in a dishwasher can be damaged if they collide with the baskets or other tableware or cutlery. Furthermore, if the person unloading the dishwasher is unaware that there is a knife in there, it is unsafe for them.
Finally, bear in mind that the surfaces you use for cutting have a direct impact on the state of your blades. Avoid metal surfaces like stainless steel, aluminum, and granite.
Cutting on plastic, wood, or polyethylene, on the other hand, is typically alright. As long as you use a cutting board made of the correct materials, you should be fine.
If you don’t learn how to sharpen your knives straight away, remember that it takes time. The more you practice, the better you are likely to get. The most crucial thing is to keep the same angle for a precise tip.
You can use electric knife sharpeners if you prefer, but it is definitely worth learning how to use a whetstone as this will give you the best results.
Also keep in mind that even though you have sharpened your knives, knowing how to store them correctly in order to maintain this sharpness will go a long way and will give your knives a much longer lifespan.