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Sunday, 26 May 2024

How to Use a Kitchen Knife Sharpener: 6 Steps to Follow

How to Use a Kitchen Knife Sharpener: 6 Steps to Follow

Learning how to use a knife sharpener is an incredibly valuable skill for any chef. You'll be able to get the most out of your knife collection, and you'll never have to worry about a blunt blade again. New

Sharp knives are a must-have kitchen tool for any serious cook. One of the keys to creating a delicious meal is having sharp knives. However, if you want to get the most out of your knives, you must learn to use a knife sharpener.

There are several ways to sharpen knives, from the old-fashioned method of using a whetstone to honing steel and electric knife sharpeners, which are easier to use and more convenient. In addition to making your serrated knives safer to use, using a sharpener will lengthen their lifespan. 

Benefits of a Sharp Knife

You can cut vegetables quickly and precisely if you have a sharp knife. There are two main benefits to having a sharp knife:

1. Safety

Sharpening knives are more likely to be safe than dull knives. This is because a dull knife can easily slip and cut something like your finger.

2. Precision

Cutting food into even pieces helps it cook at the same rate. That is important because if food is cut into uneven pieces, it cooks differently and takes longer. A sharp knife will make precise cuts, so keep your steel knives sharpened!

3 Simple Ways to Experiment If Your Knife Is Sharp:

Paper Cutting

A sharp knife can easily slice a piece of paper, but a dull knife will crush it.

Tomato Cutting

A sharp knife can cut through a tomato’s tough outer skin and keep going, but a dull knife will either leave the skin intact or squish the tomato as it cuts through. 

Onion Cutting

If your knife is not sharp enough, you’ll have trouble cutting the onion. If your knife is too dull, it will take more time to cut it with many strokes instead of just one.

How to Sharpen Dull Knife on Manual Knife Sharpeners

A manual knife sharpener is one of the cheapest ways to maintain your kitchen knives. This device has two parts: a coarse slot for sharpening and a polishing slot for finishing.

Test your knife by cutting paper

You may already know that your knife is dull, but if you aren’t sure, cut through a piece of newspaper to find out. If your knife cannot slice through the paper without stopping, it’s time to sharpen your knife.

Reshape a blunt knife with the “coarse” setting:

Manual sharpeners come in different shapes and sizes, but they all have two types of settings. They are labeled “coarse” and “fine.” The coarse set is for actual resharpening of the blade, while the fine set is more for everyday maintenance. Electric sharpeners don’t have a “coarse” setting, but they do have an extra slot between the “fine” and “coarse” slots.

Pull the knife blade up and down 3 to 6 times

Place the base end of the blade into the slot that is closest to you. The blade should meet the base of the handle. Push the blade down with gentle force. Repeat this process 3-6 times.

When sharpening a blade, it’s essential to use enough force to create an audible grinding sound. But an electric sharpener needs lighter pressure than a manual.

Follow the contour of the blade as you pull it through

If you don’t want to bring your knife through the sharpener, you need to follow the blade’s curve. In this process, the handle is higher at the end than it was at the beginning. This way, the whole blade will be sharp.

It is essential to use the proper pressure when using a blade. You will know you are doing it correctly by the sound and feel of the blade. You can tell you’re doing it right by listening and feeling for the grinding noise and the blade’s resistance.

Go to the fine setting 1-2 times

The sound of a blade being sharpened differs depending on how much it is refined. The first step is to “coarse” the blade. That requires a lot of force and makes a loud noise. The next step is to “fine” the blade, which is done by running it through the coarse setting, then following up with the fine setting. The sound during this process is quieter and less forceful.

Rinse and dry your knife edges

Rinse your blade with warm, soapy water, then wipe it down before storing it. Be careful not to let it rust.

How to Use an Electric Knife Sharpener?

Electric sharpeners are traditionally more expensive than manual sharpeners, but they are natural. The electric sharpener will automatically pull the blade through, taking less time and effort to sharpen your knives than manual sharpeners. The process to follow: 

  • Grab the knife with both hands and pull it through a slot a few times. Again, the motorized abrasives will do most of the work. Repeat this a few more times with the other side of the knife.
  • After that, go to a finer grit slot and repeat the same thing.
  • If it still isn’t sharp enough, keep doing the same thing until it’s upright.

How to Use a Whetstone?

Whetstones are an essential tool for any knife enthusiast, whether you’re sharpening your knives at home or just want to sharpen them more quickly at the store. It’s essential to learn how to use a whetstone properly if you don’t want to waste your time, money, or energy on it.

When you first start using a whetstone for sharpening your knife securely, it is crucial to know the correct angle. For most knives, this would be 20 degrees. But if you are sharpening Japanese knife sets, it will need to be 15 degrees. Make sure to check with the manufacturer to make sure you are doing it correctly.

  • Before using your whetstone, it may be necessary to lubricate it with a small amount of oil.
  • Place the sharping stone in a well-saturated bowl of water for five to 10 minutes.
  • Hold the knife at an angle, edge facing away from you, and place it on the stone.
  • Gently and steadily drag the blade on the whetstone from heel to tip, using careful pressure.  Place one hand on the flat side of the blade and apply slight pressure. Place the other hand on the handle and drag the knife down the whetstone.
  • There are different ways to sharpen a knife, but this is the easiest. First, hold the knife at a constant angle against the whetstone as you drag the heel down the stone. Do this as many as six times, but watch closely for a small metal burr that will form on one side of the blade.
  • Once you have honed the edge of your knife completely, flip the whetstone over and hone the blade on the finer side as well.

Final Words

You know that a knife can be a dangerous object if used wrong, but it’s also not the safest thing to use if it’s not sharp. When a knife isn’t sharp, you have to exert more force to cut things, leading to a slip and a big cut from a dull blade. A sharp knife, on the other hand, makes food prep more manageable and safer.

The kitchen knife sharpener is an excellent tool to have in your arsenal. It’s small and portable so that it can be used anywhere at any time. The perfect way to sharpen your blades if you’re constantly using them. Check out this article for information on using a knife sharpener and the best way of getting your blades as sharp as possible.

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