If you have good cooking skills and you loved cooking on daily basis. You need to cut meat and lots of vegetables, which means that no matter how good a knife you have or how careful you are, there is always a need to sharpen them with your knife sharpener after a few months. There is a wide variety of ways to sharpen knives from electric gadgets to stones.
The reason for having a sharp knife is that you can use them for a long time, when sharp they are easy to use and most importantly, when sharp, they are safe to use and there are fewer chances of accidents. If a knife has been used for a prolonged period, the ability to cut clean reduced, at this stage you may want to throw your knife and want to buy a new one.
Sharpening not only increases the span of a knife but also gives it a new life. Imagine a clean cut of meat for a steak, you not only need extra skills but you also need a sharp knife that doesn’t squash a ripe tomatoe. There is always need for an extra effort to do work when cutting with dull blades.
While putting more pressure on a dull knife can mess up the things to the next level and you can hurt yourself. Although working with a sharp implement can also cut your finger but there is less chance of messing up. The knife sharpening, is consisted of several stages, these are classified by the effect or by the tool.
The first stage is sharpening which means removing metal to create a new edge. The sharpening can be fine or rough depending on the type of sharpening implement you are using. Then comes straightening and polishing where the edges of the knife are made in a perfectly fine mirror finish with straight edges.
The polishing can also be done by the powered cloth by moving against the knife. The grinding, steeling and stropping are also the stages which can be done. The knife tools such as a razor for shaving can be stropped before using and fine grinding of its blades can be done yearly.
On the other hand, a kitchen knife can be steeled before and after using each time and require to be sharpened with a knife sharpener few times in a year. The steeling helps to maintain the sharpness of a knife.
In this process the edges are re-aligned which became burr also called rolled edges. It is consisted of a hard cylindrical rod structure similar to the honing stones or steels. There are about four types of knife sharpeners that you can use to bring your knives to a perfect finish: They are as follows:
Sharpening with stones is one of the oldest means to sharpen things such as knives, razors and scissors, and chisels. This sharpening tools is consists of a rectangular block slab made up of gritty material.
Both sides have a different level of gritty material, and available in different grades, or sometimes there are multiple sets of stones that come with a stand to hold it.
There are two types of sharpening stones, one is whetstones and the other is oilstones. The whetstones can be natural or artificial which can make with ceramic, silicon carbide, and aluminum oxide. The oilstones are existed naturally and can be found in the form of quartz like novaculite.
Pull Through Sharpener
The pull-through sharpener is the manual implement that operate by the whirling grinders. For better use, the sharpener should be placed on a stationary and leveled surface.
Most of the time, the sharpeners in this category have guides to adjust the angle, this is called a sharpening angle and is very helpful and direct the person at what angle he needs to pull out his blades.
The blades can be drawn through the slots and the work station should be stationary at this point. These are available in single-stage or multiple stages to perfectly refine the edges of the knife. This sharpening tool is small and consumes less space, easy to use, and store.
Knife Sharpening System
This is also a combination of the whetstone and the manual knife sharpener. The knife should be fixed in a clamp and the grinding surface made up of some stone, which is been connected to a stand by a swinging arm. Usually, the angle is fixed in this type of sharpener which is about 20 degrees for western-style and 15 degrees for Japanese style.
Electric Knife Sharpener
The electric knife sharpeners are of great use in this modern era, consisted of multiple stages and having fine grits with the course. These tool is like a blessing, when in your kitchen because they just require two to three minutes for complete sharpening.
Moreover, you do not require any skills to use this implement. These are straightforward and quick to use for all ages. Usually, the electric knife sharpeners come with different stages, a 2-stage knife sharpener is enough for your kitchen but a multiple-stage sharpener can do things on a pro-level.
Sometimes, the angle adjustment knob gives you the freedom to sharpen different knives at different angles. This stability of the knife sharpener is not an issue, because they are mostly equipped with suction cups at the bottom which provides great stability to the device. It consists of sharpening wheels and receptacles to collect all the small metal filing during the sharpening process.
Sharpening And Honing
Make sure that before buying a good knife sharpener, you are familiar with the difference between sharpening and honing. Usually, the sharpening steels are utilized for honing, and also called honing rods or steels. Despite the name, these are not sharpeners but use for honing.
The honing is used to restore the bent blades, a kind of maintenance tool for your kitchen knives but not the sharpeners.
Guide To Use The Electric Knife Sharpener
Fast, popular, and very easy to use, electric sharpeners are an important tool to increase the life of your dull knives. Here is a simple guide which you can follow simply to use an electric knife sharpener
- Place the knife sharpener on even the surface of your kitchen counter.
- Make sure to turn on the knife sharpener before placing your knife inside.
- Always use your dominant hand to handle the knife and maintain the force on the knife.
- Always start with the coarse section and place the knife into the first slot.
- Without putting much pressure, pull the knife slowly.
- When the tip of the knife closes to the grinder, slowly raise the hand and make sure that all the edges are in contact with the grinder.
- Repeat the process until both the blades are sharpened perfectly.
- Now it’s time to check any burr in your dead knife. The burr can be identified as a raised metal along the edge of the knife.
- Repeat the process to completely remove the burr
- For the perfect edge finishing of the blades, the process can be repeated for a couple of times
- In the end, the blades can be cleaned with soap water, the small residues of the metal filing can be wiped with damp clothes, and before storing you need to completely dry it so the blades don’t get rusted in the presence of humidity.
There are several reasons to use a knife sharpener while living in the modern era, the best option is to use an electric knife sharpener for daily life cooking. The manual type is small and easy to store also, it can fit into a pocket and can take on outdoor activities.
However, the electric knife implement can make your life easy and enhance your cutting and cooking skills. There are also many other reasons to use this exact product, such as, they are super easy to use, most of the sharpeners are labeled clearly when to use grinding and smoothing without worrying about choosing a grit.
The angle is auto corrected to achieve the fine edge sharpening; all you need to do, is to place the knife between the blades and draw it repeatedly withing a few times. With this sharpening implement, the job can be done in a blink of an eye, for a manual or stone product, it takes about an hour for each blade to be properly ready.
But only a minute is required to sharpen your knife in an electric implement. The manual knife sharpeners require a certain amount of pressure by hand and an accurate angle to do the job, if your hand slides by a mistake it leads to a disaster.
While using the electric one, it reduces the chances of risk, the knife slots are quite far from the hand and the proper angle adjustment saves you from a major injury. Besides, these tools are quite suitable for the variety of knives, make sure to read the manual carefully before commencing on the sharpening adventure.