Knife Maintenance and Sharpening Tips
Any chef can confirm that a sharp knife is the most important tool in a kitchen. A sharp knife is not only more efficient but it is also more secure. Sharpening a knife should be done often. Professional chef recommend to sharpen knives before each use, especially if they are showing signs of “fatigue”. Of course, in normal use, this is not absolutely necessary, but to keep our knives in perfect condition, you have to sharpen as often as possible.
Before you start sharpening the knife take all safety measures to prevent accidents. First of all, make sure to firmly hold the knife in hand, so that it won’t slip when you use it for cutting. Most importantly, do not apply force: sharpening requires slow movements and without applying pressure on the knife.
There are several methods and tools for sharpening knives, each with its advantages and disadvantages. Basically, we have the classical methods of sharpening the knife with a stone or using a sharp file. But there are newer tools that are as efficient. Sharpening using the same basic principle (rubbing the knife blade on another hard material: stone, steel, ceramics, etc). Ideally the sharpening tool is made of a though material, such as stone, etc. For example, we can begin to sharpen a knife on a rough stone, then go to a finer stone to finish sharpening it.
Sharpening using a stone must be done as follows:
– Select only special stones for sharpening knives,
– Stone must be on a cloth to prevent it from slipping on the table
– Choose the toughest surface of the stone (if it has two surfaces with different grits)
– Slightly dampen stone with water
– With your right hand (if you are right handed) grab the knife handle and put the fingers of your left hand on the knife,
– Hold the knife at a fixed angle(between 18 and 22 degrees)
– Move the blade slowly back and forth, applying moderate pressure. Try to keep the same angle of inclination,
– After about 7-8 reps, turn the blade on the other side,
– Repeat the process, gradually decreasing the number of repetitions.
Other sharpening instruments
Currently, there are hundreds of devices for sharpening but few of them are really effective. Honing Rods (sharpening steel) for instance are a great choice because you can sharpen a knife very fast. Electric knife sharpeners are also effective and easy to use. By using an electric knife sharpener you can sharpen a knife with easy and it’s totally safe. On knifesharpener.best you can find countless reviews, that will help you compare different knife sharpeners, so that you can choose the most efficient one for your needs.
– Do not leave knives in the sink. Not only when you wash the dishes you can injure yourself but their edge will suffer from reaching the metal sink basin or other vessels.
– Do not put your knives in the dishwasher. The heat will damage the handles and chemicals in detergent will damage the fine edge of the knife.
– Do not keep knives in drawers (with utensils, forks or spoons). Their blades might get damaged. Keep knives in special wooden blocks or on a wall (with magnets).
– Keep knives dry and clean.
– Don’t use knives as openers for cans or bottles or as screwdrivers, etc.