If you are a chef, you are likely aware that you should use a knife sharpener to keep your knives sharp. However, you may not know the right way to choose one. Here are a few tips to help you find a good sharpener.
If you’ve ever wished to keep your knives sharp, then you should check out a honing steel. These are a good way to go about it, as they are fast and simple to use. In fact, it’s often better to use a honing steel before you actually start using your knife.
Honing steels work by straightening out folded metal on the edge of your blade. This means that the edges of your knives will be aligned. However, honing a knife isn’t as straightforward as you may think.
First, choose a honing steel that is the right length for your knife. For example, if you’re using a chef’s knife, it’s best to purchase a 12-inch steel. That said, 10-inch models are a good choice too.
Once you have a honing steel, make sure it’s clean. It’s also wise to check out the tip, as some steels come with a rubberized tip. You don’t want to accidentally damage the edge of your knife.
If you have a dull knife, you may need to use oilstones to sharpen it. These are different from water stones and will last longer. They are also easier to clean. You can choose from coarse or fine grits.
The trick is to determine which stone is best for your specific task. Some people opt for a combination stone, which has a coarse and fine grit. Another type is a waterstone, which removes more material.
Oilstones are usually made of silicon carbide and are ideal for the initial stages of sharpening. Silicon carbide is harder and more durable, making it easier to achieve results. However, they are messy to use.
To lubricate your stone, you must use a honing oil. A good oil should be mineral oil, which will protect your metal and provide a smooth finish. It should be brushed across the stone’s surface in gentle, circular motions.
Once you have lubricated your stone, you can move on to the finer grits. Sharpening your blade will take at least five strokes, and you will want to repeat the process until it is perfectly shaped.
Whetstones are used to sharpen knives and other steel tools. There are many kinds of whetstones. Some are natural and others are synthetic. They are made of aluminum oxide or silicon carbide. You can also find them coated with diamond particles.
To use a whetstone, you must place your knife on the stone. Then, draw your blade in a wide circular motion. Repeat the process several times depending on how dull your knife is.
You should also make sure that the whetstone is at the correct angle. Sharpening with a wrong angle can damage the knife. In general, the angle is around 22 degrees. It is important to maintain this angle throughout the entire process.
Once you’ve reached the appropriate angle, you’ll need to push the tip of the blade across the stone. Use a firm, even pressure to accomplish this.
You may also need to hold the knife at a different angle to achieve a specific result. Depending on how dull your blade is, you’ll need to repeat the process ten to fifteen times.
Avoid running knives through dishwasher
If you have invested in high-quality cutlery, you may want to avoid running knives through dishwashers. They can be prone to damage, and can cause you to lose sharpness. But there are other ways to keep your knives in good condition.
First, you should wash your knives by hand. Soak them in hot water and mild dish soap. This will get rid of food residue, and prevent rusting. You should also dry your knives after use.
Another way to preserve your blades is to store them in a magnetic knife rack. This will keep them from scratching other kitchen items. It is especially important to keep wooden handle knives out of the dishwasher.
Finally, you should sharpen your knives regularly. A dull blade increases your risk of slipping and cutting. Sharp blades allow you to slice food with ease.
Knives can be particularly vulnerable to rusting if you leave them in standing water. Even if your knife is stainless steel, it can still rust if it is exposed to a damp and humid environment.