HOW TO SHARPEN KITCHEN KNIVES
Knives need to be maintained sharp so as to maintain their effectiveness. Sharp knives minimise the energy used when using the knife. It is crucial to keep kitchen knives sharp so as to allow the user work safely. There are different methods of sharpening kitchen knives depending on the available time and resources. One should also consider the type of knife to be sharpened for instance serrated edged knives, hollow edged blades.
Using a steel rod
Steel rods are good for sharpening because they align the knife’s material. It is used for slightly dulled blades. This method is called honing.
- Prepare your work surface.
- Hold the knife with your dominant hand then hold the knife with your other hand. Hold the knife away from your body so as to avoid any injuries.
- With the knife held vertically, strike the knife’s blade systematically from the top of the edge to the tip. Continue stroking for a few minutes.
- Test the sharpness of the knife by cutting anything, for instance, a tomato.
- If it is not yet sharp, continue stroking until the kitchen knife attains sharpness.
Using a whetstone
Whetstones are good for sharpening because they do not grind away too much of the knife’s blade. They are also easier to handle, use and maintain.
- Soak your whetstone in water for 15-20 minutes. Ensure that there is no air bubbles seen in the water when removing the whetstone from the water. This is done so as to prevent getting scratches and nicks on the kitchen knife’s blade. You will have to sprinkle some water on the stone while working so that it does not dry up.
- Place the whetstone on a towel so that it does not slip.
- Hold the knife with both hands. One hand should hold the handle with the thumb finger on the edge of the knife while the other hand’s fingers near the tip of the knife. Do not stay too close to the working surface to avoid unnecessary injuries and also so so as to hold the knife at the right angle.
- Place the course grain side of the whetstone up then start striking the knife systematically on the whetstone starting from the knife’s tip to the edge. Strike the blade for 10 minutes.
- Test the sharpness of the stone by cutting an old tomato. If it is not yet sharp, continue striking.
- Turn the stone’s fine grit size up. Strike the knife on the stone systematically again to finish up on that side.
- Feel for a burr at the tip of the knife by running your fingers along the unsharpened side of the knife.
- Repeat the striking procedure on the unsharpened side of the knife on both the course grit and the fine grit side of the stone.
- Feel a burr on the other side of the knife by again running your finger along the edge of the knife. If you do not feel a burr, it means that you have been using the wrong angle.
- Remove the burr by gently pushing the blade away from you while simultaneously dragging across the stone towards the tip.