5 Top Tips For Sharpening Knives With A Knife Sharpener
Knives are essential culinary tools in any kitchen. A sharp knife is not only essential to make clean cuts but is also necessary from a safety point of view. But what should you do when it starts losing its sharpness? We recommend using a good knife sharpener.
5 useful tips when using a knife sharpener
- When using whetstones for sharpening your knife, read the manufacturer’s instructions carefully. This is because some whetstones require lubrication and must be usually submerged in water for 5-10 minutes.
- It is strongly advised not to press the knife too hard down when using electric knife sharpeners and let the motorized abrasives to do its work.
- If you use sharpening steel to hone your knife, make sure that it is as long as the knife blade.
- After sharpening a knife with a knife sharpener, it is important to rinse and wipe the blade to remove any metal filings, you don’t want to end up with filings in your beef jerky.
- A quick way to determine if its time to put the knife through a knife sharpener is by slicing a tomato. If it cuts cleanly, it is in good shape, otherwise, sharpen it.
Popular questions about knife sharpeners
Scroll down to find the answers to some of the most often asked questions regarding sharpening knives with a knife sharpener.
Q1. What are the different types of knife sharpeners
There are four types of knife sharpeners, namely:
- Sharpening stones- They are also known as whetstones. They are handy for sharpening very dull knives.
- Electric knife sharpeners- They add convenience to knife sharpening. However, they do not offer as much control as manual methods. Additionally, they are not portable.
- Manual knife sharpeners- They offer an easy solution for sharpening your knife blades. Not only are they priced cheaper than electric sharpeners, but they are also easy to carry along while traveling.
- Sharpening steels- They are honing rods, commonly used by chefs right before and after they use their knives. They are ideal for honing the knife blades and rendering the appropriate edge between cuts.
How to use a knife sharpener?
Depending on the type of knife sharper, here are a few useful tips for using it carefully:
- Sharpening stones- For sharpening the knife, place the whetstone on the counter with its course side facing up. Hold it at an appropriate angle and slide it forward by applying moderate pressure. Do this 10 times. Flip the whetstone and stroke the knife another 10 times.
- Electric knife sharpeners– When using these, it is vital to hold the knife firmly but lightly and allow the motorized abrasives to do the required work.
- Manual knife sharpeners- If you prefer to use a manual sharpener, ensure to pull the knife from the slot, starting from the heel to the tip.
- Honing rod- While using this hold, the honing rod vertically and plant the tip firmly on the counter. Make sure that there is a 15-degree angle between the steel and the blade while honing the knife.
Q3. What is the best direction to sharpen a knife?
When sharpening a knife, you can either move from tip to heel or heel to tip. The critical thing to note is that the blade edge must always face the direction in which you stroke the knife. It is always better to cut into the stone than pulling or dragging the edge backward.
Q4. What is the best angle to sharpen a knife-edge
Choosing the ideal angle to sharpen a knife is usually a compromise between the durability and the sharpness of the knife’s edge. While most Japanese manufacturers recommend sharpening their knives at 15 degrees, their European counterparts suggest sharpening at 20 degrees. Thus read the manufacturer’s documents carefully to determine the right angle.
Q5. Do knife sharpeners ruin knives?
While there is no denying the fact that sharp knives are safer and more efficient than dull knives, one must remember that a small amount of steel gets chipped off every time you sharpen it. It is, therefore, an abrasive process. So do not go overboard and sharpen the knives only when necessary. This will you can prevent ruining your knives.
Q6. How long does it take to sharpen a knife?
The time varies according to the type of knife sharpener you use. Here is a rough estimate of the time taken to sharpen a knife using different types of sharpeners:
- Sharpening stones: 10-15 minutes
- Electric knife sharpeners: 3 – 5 minutes
- Manual knife sharpeners- 15 – 20 minutes
- Honing rod- 30 seconds
Q7. What is the best way to sharpen a knife at home?
Although there are many ways to sharpen a knife, it is best to use sharpening stones at home as they are easy to use. They also remove considerably lesser material from the blade than other techniques. Additionally, it is easier to control the angle of the knife-edge on sharpening stones.
A good knife is most certainly entitled to proper maintenance. Keep the tips mentioned above in mind while sharpening your knives with a knife sharpener. It will help to keep your knives feeling new and your fingers safe.