Are you frustrated that the knife you love using has gone blunt?
Luckily there are quick solutions to this problem.
You’ll find traditional and modern ways to sharpen your knife.
These methods are guaranteed to make your knife functional again.
Here are a few methods you can try out:
These stones have rough surfaces. Surfaces’ coarseness differ and are graded according to a grit scale.
You can pick a grit level that suits your requirements.
You sharpen your knives or tools by sliding it along these surfaces.
Because of the range of grit levels you can pick from even very blunt knives can be sharpened through the use of sharpening stones.
These utensils are specifically for knives.
They are hand held items or can be positioned on a table.
There are slots through which blades are pulled.
These slots have stones that act as sharpeners.
These look like long knives but the blades are actually long rods.
These rods’ surfaces are coarse enough to sharpen and maintain knife blades.
This is not the ideal item for sharpening a very blunt knife.
Electric knife sharpeners:
Technology makes it easy for you.
Instead of using your own force and energy an electric sharpener can do the work on your behalf.
The machine has slots with revolving wheels—with coarse surfaces—you place your blades in.
Different slots perform different types of sharpening.
Step by Step Guide
Sharpening stones are a popular—and effective—way most experienced cooks use. Let’s discuss how you can use them for optimum effect:
Determine what kind of sharpening you need:
- Do you need coarse sharpening first for very blunt blades?
- Do you simply need basic sharpening with medium or fine stones?
After soaking and preparing the stones place them on a surface you can comfortably work at.
Make sure the stone can’t slip. You don’t want to accidentally cut yourself.
Pick the coarsest sharpening stone first. You will work your way up from this stone to finer graded grit stones.
Add lubrication to the stone for easy sharpening. This can be oil or water depending on your type of stone.
If you’re sharpening a knife you must hold it by its hilt.
Place the knife on the stone at a 15-20° angle.
Place your other hand’s fingers gently on the tip or back of the blade.
- This is simply to guide the knife. You must never press down hard onto the stone. This will cause damage rather than sharpening the blade.
Slide the knife across the stone. There are various directions you can use. Find one that feels comfortable to you:
- Slide the length of the blade in arcs across the stone.
- Slide the blade from tip to hilt across the stone.
The method you pick must be applied many times to ensure the blade is sharpened efficiently:
- Both sides of the knife must be sharpened
- Repeat the action in both directions as you use knives for forward and backward slicing during cutting
All movements must take place 10-15 times each. Repeat this process with each sharpening stone until you reach the one with the finest grit.
You can add different sharpening methods to your blade maintenance.
This ensures your blades stay sharp if you don’t have time to use the stones often. Use a sharpening steel each time you use a knife.
Once again hold the knife at a 15-20° angle to the rod.
How to Find the Angle
Realize that sharpening a knife is a skill you have to learn.
Therefore you have to find an angle that suits your requirements. In general an angle of 20° between the knife and the sharpening surface is effective.
You have to teach yourself how to gauge this angle. Then you can become used to holding the knife in that position throughout the process:
- Put the knife on the sharpener with the blade at a 90° angle with the surface.
- Reduce this angle by half by tilting the knife to the side. Now the blade is at 45°.
- Halve this angle again. This is more or less the position you want.
Go through the sharpening process often so this position becomes easy to gauge.
What to Take into Account First
Preparing for sharpening your knives and utensils is as important as the process itself.
Make sure you follow these steps.
Preparation can influence your timeline so make sure you plan accordingly:
When using a sharpening stone you need adequate space on a level surface.
If you don’t have this at your disposal it can influence the quality of the sharpening.
What type of sharpener do you use?
If you’re using a sharpening stone you must be familiar with its requirements:
- Does it need lubrication? Make sure you have enough oil or other substances on hand
- Does it need soaking? If you have to wait for water or oil to enter the pores—as is the case with ceramic stones—you must work this into your timeline. It usually requires about five minutes.
Always keep comfort and safety in mind.
For both these reasons you should place your sharpening stones on a surface that won’t let it slip.
You can place a rubberized sheet or a dish towel under the stone.
This will also catch the lubricant so you can easily clean afterwards.
When You’re Finished
How to Clean Your Knife
You can’t simply use a knife directly after sharpening.
Some sharpening methods leave a residue because of the metal that was removed from the blade.
- Keep the blade under running water to remove the particles
- Wipe the blade on a clean cloth
Taking Care of Your Sharpening Stone
If you want your stone to perform optimally you must look after it.
Metal particles left after sharpening can diminish its sharpening capability.
Proper cleaning is necessary. Each type of stone has different requirements but general cleaning methods include:
- Rub honing oil in circular motions across the stone. This lifts the metal particles.
- Wipe the oil off so the particles are removed.
- Wash the stone in soapy water to remove all the oil. Scrub lightly with a brush for optimum effect.
Do this directly after the stone is used. This prevents unnecessary build up.