Whether you’re a cook or a butcher, having sharp knives is essential for getting the job done. While you can’t always keep your blades in perfect shape, there are ways to get them back to tip-top condition.
One of the best ways to do this is by honing, which helps to straighten the edge of the knife. This can help prevent the knife from becoming dull and requiring a full sharpening.
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Steel
There are many tools that you can use to sharpen a knife, but some of them require the use of steel. Using a steel is a good way to keep your knives sharp between sharpenings and it’s also an effective method of maintaining a blade’s edge.
Sharpening a knife involves actively removing material from the edge of your blade to create a razor-sharp edge. The most common tool that you can use for sharpening is a honing steel, which is often referred to as a metal rod with a handle.
To sharpen your knife with a honing steel, position the blade at an angle to the steel and take alternating passes across the blade from heel to tip. This can take up to a half dozen strokes or more, depending on how dull your blade is.
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Whetstone
Using a whetstone to sharpen your knives can be a great way to keep them in top shape. But how can you use one correctly to achieve the best results?
The key to sharpening with a whetstone is to work with the correct angle. The right angle will allow you to remove any burrs without damaging your blade.
Start by holding your knife at a 15 to 20 degree angle on the side of your whetstone that is facing you (so the point faces away from you). Then move it back and forth across the stone while pulling towards you with a firm, even pressure.
Repeat this process about ten times for each side of the knife. It may take some time, but you should eventually have a razor-sharp edge.
A whetstone can come in a variety of grit sizes and materials. Some are designed for wet sharpening while others don’t require any water at all.
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Stone
The best way to sharpen a knife with a stone is to follow the manufacturer’s instructions. It’s also important to choose a grit level that will sharpen your knives properly and safely.
If you’re new to the world of knife sharpening, you might be wondering how much work to put into your blade edge before putting the final polish on it. Depending on how dull your knife is, it may only require a quick touch-up on the coarse side with a medium or fine stone, or you might have to start over all over at the very beginning.
To begin, lay the stone on a damp cloth and place the blade of your knife on it. You can do this with a single-face whetstone or a double-sided one, which will have the coarse side on top and a fine side that you can use to finish your sharpened edges.
How to Sharpen a Knife with a Sharpening Rod
A sharpening rod, or honing steel, is a great tool to have in your kitchen arsenal. It is an inexpensive and quick way to keep your knives sharp.
Honing is the process of straightening out the edges of a knife that have folded over from normal use. This will prolong the life of your knife and make it easier to cut.
To hone your knife, place the blade on the steel with one side slightly touching the top of the steel. Then draw the knife down the full length of the honing steel, until it meets at the tip of the knife. Repeat with both sides until the knife is honed.
Honing rods are available in different materials, including stainless steel, ceramic, and diamond. Most are a little abrasive, but not very much.