There is nothing as frustrating as chopping; trying to chop your vegetables only to find out that your knife is too blunt to do the work. And, of course, the importance of having a sharp knife isn’t limited to the kitchen. It is actually more critical that a hunting, pocket or combat knife has a sharp blade.
Regardless of what type of knife you’ve found dull, it’s time to turn to a good knife sharpener. Taking your knife back to a sharp state will only take a few minutes as long as you have a knife sharpener. You can either use an electrical or manual sharpener; if you don’t have either of this, you can choose to use a honing rod or a whetstone.
Important: Sharpening a ceramic knife isn’t the same as sharpening a metal-bladed knife. We’ll cover that topic in another article. For now, just realize that the advice below is for sharpening knives which do not have ceramic blades.
How to tell if a knife needs sharpening
If you are using a manual sharpener to sharpen your dull knife, you should first test your knife, and this is done by running it through a piece of paper. Even though you may be aware of the fact that your knife is not sharp, you may still want to test and confirm. After folding the paper, you should hold it up in the air then bring your knife down to cut it, if you find out that it is still sharp then you should know that your knife is in perfect shape.
If your knife is very sharp, you should use a coarse setting to reshape your knife. With the coarse setting, more steel will be removed from the blade, reshaping it. For daily maintenance choose a fine setting. Even though these settings may be the same for electrical sharpeners, there is a slight difference because of the additional slot, which is between fine and coarse.
By sharpening your knife, you will be able to realign the blade; hence your knife will be restored to its original form. While pulling the blade through, it is advisable that you use enough force, this should be done until you hear an edible grinding sound. However, if you Sharpen it with an electric sharpener, you won’t need to press the knife down. This is because it has a whirring mechanism that is responsible for that.
While moving the blade, make sure to feel its contour as well. Don’t just pull it straight. You should follow your knifes curve; by doing this, you will be sure that the whole blade will be sharpened. While pressing your knife down, you will be able to tell if you are moving the blade the right way or not. If you can’t hear the grinding sound, then you should know that you are not doing it in the right way.
After you are done with pulling your knifes blade, you should give it a few finishing to make it feel fine. When it comes to fine setting, you do have to use a lot of force. You also have to note that the grinding sound won’t be as clear as it was initially, this should not, therefore, worry you. For sharpeners that have more than a single setting, the blade should be passed through all the settings at least one time. However, the additional settings help in fine-tuning the knife.
Once you are done with the fine-tuning, you should consider rinsing the knife off, after doing this, you should consider drying it with a lint-free towel. Before using your knife after the sharpening process, you should rinse it with soapy water; in addition to that, the water should also be warm. You can also cinder, giving it a quick wipe using a dish towel or a sponge. To prevent your knife from being damaged or banged up by other items, you should try as much as possible to avoid running it through the dishwasher.
It is always advisable that you maintain your knife, and this can be done by running the knife through a fine setting on a daily basis. It is even more appropriate to run it through the fine setting at least once after every two hours of use. However, this can also depend on the number of times you cook; you may end up not doing this every day. However, this is a very good way of keeping your knife sharp. If you do this on a daily basis, you won’t need to go through the hassle of keeping your knife sharp.
If you cook often and use expensive knives, it is advisable that you invest in electric sharpeners. Even though they are more expensive than the manual sharpeners, they are more convenient; you won’t need to go use a lot of force to sharpen your knife. It will only take small effort and less time to get your knife sharp. However, before ordering your kectr8c sharpener, you need to do thorough research, this is because some brands are specifically me at for specific knives.
The best at-home options are handheld or pull-through sharpeners; this is one of the best choices for your everyday home cooks that don’t send more than an hour in the kitchen. Their storage is very easy; this is because compared to the electric sharpener, it is smaller in size.
If you choose to go for a whetstone, you have to know that it should be soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes before use. This is very important because it will help in preventing your knife from overheating; this is because an overheated blade can change and become warped and brittle.
You can also choose to use a honing rod; this can only be used to realign the edges of your knife; it doesn’t necessarily sharpen it. It just pushed the outlined edges into place. This can, therefore, help in making the cuts sharper and even more precise. You won’t need to use a lot of pressure on this, but it is so the thing that can be used on a daily basis to keep the blades of your knife sharp.