Properly sharpening your knives is essential for achieving the best results when cooking or using them for other tasks. Dull knives not only make the task at hand more difficult, but they can also be dangerous as they require more force to cut through things. In this article, we’ll cover the basics of how to sharpen your knives properly.
Understanding the Edge
Before you begin sharpening your knife, it’s important to understand the edge. The edge of a knife is made up of two parts: the bevel and the burr. The bevel is the sloped surface of the blade that runs from the spine to the edge. The burr is the small piece of metal that is created when the blade is sharpened.
Choosing the Right Sharpener
There are several types of sharpeners available, including whetstones, sharpening rods, and electric sharpeners. Each type has its own advantages and disadvantages, and the choice depends on personal preference and skill level.knife store For beginners, a sharpening rod or an electric sharpener may be the best choice.
There are two main techniques for sharpening a knife: the pull-through method and the sharpening stone method. The pull-through method involves pulling the blade through a slot in the sharpener, while the sharpening stone method involves holding the blade at a consistent angle and moving it across the surface of the stone.
To sharpen your knife using the pull-through method, place the sharpener on a stable surface and hold it firmly in place. Pull the blade through the slot several times, alternating between the coarse and fine settings if your sharpener has them. Be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and avoid applying too much pressure, as this can damage the blade.
Sharpening Stone Method
To sharpen your knife using a sharpening stone, start by placing the stone on a stable surface with the coarse side facing up. Hold the blade at a consistent angle (usually between 15-20 degrees) and move it across the surface of the stone in a circular motion, using moderate pressure. Repeat this process on the fine side of the stone until you achieve the desired level of sharpness.
After sharpening your knife, it’s important to strop it. Stropping involves running the blade over a leather surface, which helps to remove any remaining burrs and create a polished edge. Simply hold the blade at a consistent angle and move it across the leather surface, using light pressure.
Properly sharpening your knives is an important skill that can improve your cooking and make your tasks easier and safer. Understanding the edge, choosing the right sharpener, and using the correct techniques are all essential for achieving the best results.
- How often should I sharpen my knives?
The frequency of sharpening depends on how often you use your knives and how dull they become. As a general rule, it’s recommended to sharpen your knives every 3-6 months or as needed.
- Can I sharpen my knives with a sharpening steel?
Yes, a sharpening steel can be used to maintain the edge of a knife between sharpenings. Simply hold the steel at a consistent angle and run the blade along its surface, using light pressure.
- Is it safe to sharpen knives at home?
Sharpening knives can be dangerous if proper precautions are not taken. Always read the manufacturer’s instructions and use protective gear, such as gloves and eye protection. Seek professional help if you are unsure about your abilities.