Knives are amongst the most essential culinary items. They are a must-have for every chef. There are varieties of knives but they all have one thing in common and that is, getting blunt.
It takes about a few weeks for a newly purchased knife to get blunt and when that happens you just need a good knife sharpener to get your knife working like it’s brand new.
How to Use a Knife Sharpener
There are different types of handheld knife sharpeners but most of them can be used in the same way.
1. Test the Knife
The first thing you should do is to test the knife on paper to make sure it is blunt. Fold the paper in half and hold it high in the air then run the knife through it. If the paper does not cut, then the knife is truly blunt.
2. Coarse setting
Most kitchen knife sharpeners come with two settings: the coarse and the fine setting. If your knife is very blunt then you should use the coarse setting first to resharpen the knife edge. For regular knife maintenance, you should make use of the fine setting.
3. Insert your blade
After ascertaining what setting you need to use, the next thing to do is to place your blade into the sharpener from its base. Gently run the blade through the knife sharpener road. Repeat this three to six times, depending on how blunt the knife is.
What this step does is that it resets the knife blade and restores it to its sharpness.
4. Follow the contour
As you pull the blade through the sharpener slot, don’t just do it in a straight pattern. Make sure to follow the knife contour or curve so that the whole blade will be sharpened.
The sound of the sharpener will tell you if the blade is moving rightly or not, but this is if you are pressing down on it well. If the blade resistance is no longer felt or the grinding noise is absent it may mean that the knife contour is not being followed.
5. Fine setting
It is good to run the blade through your fine setting after using the coarse setting. This will put finishing touches on the sharpening and also refine the knife’s edges. Note that for this setting less force is needed and the grinding noise will not be as loud as that of the coarse.
6. Rinse your knife
Get warm water and rinse off any steel remnants from your knife. A dishtowel or sponge can also be used. Make sure that the knife is well dried to avoid rusting. When this is done, you can return it to its rack or storage space.
PS: Other items in a dishwasher may bang or damage your knives so avoid using them.
7. Daily Maintenance
Your knife should be maintained daily with the fine sharpener setting. This can be done at two hours’ intervals or based on its use. For some people, it might not be necessary to do it every day but just ensure that the knife is regularly sharp.
To enjoy the process of knife sharpening you need the right knife sharpener products. If you’re looking for the best knife sharpening kit, there are plenty of sites online.
Electric knife sharpeners are much easier to use and they mostly come in rod forms. You should invest in them if your knives are the expensive types. As for the best electric knife sharpeners, you can find them in various online sites. They may be more expensive than the manual sharpeners but worth it.