A kitchen knife tends to be the most critical tool for slicing various ingredients in preparation for meals. It needs to stay sharp by sharpening it regularly to optimize its effectiveness and functionality. A sharp knife will not only slice through ingredients safely and quickly but also reduces the time for preparing a meal.
From my experience, most of us like sharpening our kitchen knives without following proper steps. We barely take little time, and we call it a sharp knife. No, that’s not even close. Reading this article through to the end will make you a pro to sharpen your kitchen knife. Besides, it will help you get the perfect sharpness that will stay a couple of weeks if not months between sharpening.
What items do you need?
For you to get the knife sharpening process efficient, you need to have the following items:
It’s also called Whetstone. This is a primary sharpening stone with dual sides, upper and lower sides. Grit numbers usually distinguish whetstones. The coarser the sharpener, the lower the grit number. Coarse whetstones should be used on the first sharpening, and finer whetstones help in finishing up the sharpening process. On the market different types and prices, Whetstones are available. If you want to pick the best whetstone click here.
This type of kitchen knife sharpening stone that helps to remove the blurs created while sharpening your initially dull knife. Besides, it also makes your kitchen knife more reflective and looks fantastic.
Honing steel involves a typically robust and comes in the form of a lightly-grooved and magnetized iron rod. This helps to center your knife’s edge for a uniform cutting as it makes it to cut more efficiently. You can use this for regular honing of your kitchen knife.
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Let’s now dive into the step by step guide of how to sharpen your kitchen knife.
Understand your knife
It will be crucial for you to learn and understand what kind of knife you have. Get to know the pattern of dullness on your knife, the type of material make-up; is it stainless or carbon steel? Never grab your knife and start sharpening without understanding what you want to deal with and how.
Soak the sharpening stones
After that, place your sharpening stones in a basin containing water for at least 15 to 30minutes. Ensure no more bubbles are popping up. Since the stone is porous, soaking will ensure that friction is reduced and prevents further scratches and nicks on the blade from happening. This is the core step of how to sharpen your kitchen knife.
Put your sharpening stone on a non-slip surface.
A wet towel or silicon baking sheet will be the best. This step in how to sharpen your kitchen knife ensures little to no movement of the stone while sharpening since it could cause you a severe injury. Besides, you will get a steady sharpening throughout the whole process.
Get your grip and the right sharpening angle.
It’s a great deal for you to put your thumb on the knife’s spine, the index finger onto the heel, and maintaining three fingers wrapped around the handle. Use your off-hand to elicit the sharpening force. You should pay attention to doing this as you can get injured.
Obtain the right sharpening angle
Getting the right sharpening angle seems to be a challenging step for individuals sharpening a knife for the first time. Each knife has a minimally different angle at which the edge slopes down. Finding the right angle starts by laying your knife to entirely face downwards on the sharpening stone while putting two fingers on its edge.
Use your other hand to lift the knife until you find the shallowest angle that flushes with the sharpening stone. If you a newbie, you can use a stack of up to three pennies as your visual guide. Place them on the sharpening stone and lay the spine of the knife atop.
Here’s now the critical step of how to sharpen your kitchen knife you’ve been probably waiting for. After getting the best angle, you need to start the process of creating a newer edge on your kitchen knife. First, it will be a good idea to get contended with the motion as well as the sharpening pattern before starting the process. Begin with the coarser grit of your sharpening stone to give you a sharp edge.
Theoretically, this is the most straightforward and enjoyable process of all. Ensure to keep your knife against the stone using two fingers and pull it towards you and then pushing it away (back and forth). A consistent sharpening angle should be maintained to create a uniform blade edge. However, there are two things to remember in this back and forth movement.
First, the pulling of the knife towards you also called the down-stroke process, is the sharpening act. Whereas, the pushing is also called upstroke and helps in relieving pressure on the knife. Slide your fingers slightly down the blade with each down-stroke to sharpen the entire blade effectively. Without applying to a point on the knife, you can’t call that sharpening.
Perform this process continuously while also flipping the knife’s edge over. Repeat with the other side while making a similar number of passes. This will ensure that both sides of the knife are uniformly sharpened, or else, it may get misaligned. Also, keep the sharpening stones wet while sharpening your kitchen knife.
Remember to sharpen the knife tip too because a maximum sharpening angle for the entire knife can make a gap between the tip and stone. To do so, lift the elbow of the hand holding the blade as you sharpen the tip area to lower it onto the sharpening stone.
Cut a wooden chopping board
With your sharpened knife, drag down the knife on the edge of a wooden chopping board like you were trying to cut it. This will help to clean off your knife’s cutting blade.
Finish your kitchen knife
This step of how to sharpen your kitchen knife occurs just like the initial sharpening process, with the only difference being the pressure you apply to the blade and the type of stone used. In this case, honing steel or a finishing stone can be involved. You will only require to put pressure on your hand’s weight. Align the knife correctly and make a few passes on each side to get a more excellent and perfect sharpened edge.
Cutting a piece of paper
Last but not least, you will need to confirm that you got the sharpest and finest knife edge. This can be done by slicing through a sheet of paper. Ensure it covers the entire edge of the blade. After that, wash it clean and care to use it immediately or securely keep it.
A perfect cutting-edged knife determines how efficient and consistent slicing of vegetables, meat, fruits, and many more will be. Most importantly, always remember to hone your knife’s cutting edge whenever you want to use it. With the above straightforward steps on how to sharpen your kitchen knife, you will get a sharp and sharper knife edge with ease and top-notch safety.