Sharpening is a skill that takes practice. It’s easy to grind off too much metal and ruin a knife.
To start, position the sharpening steel on your work surface. Hold your knife edge at a 20-degree angle against the steel, moving the blade from heel to tip over the honing rod.
It Makes Cutting Easier
Using a sharp knife makes your food preparation much easier and more enjoyable. It also reduces food waste because you can get more from each ingredient when appropriately cut. A well-cut tomato, for example, will be much more appealing than a mushy one.
Honing your knives after every usage is the most incredible way to maintain their sharpness. It is easy to do with a pull-through knife sharpening Hilton head island (most have two or three slots you pull the blade through in a sweeping motion) or honing steel.
A sharpening steel is a hardened rod with a 15- or 20-degree angle on both sides. Keeping light pressure and positioning the knife at an angle against the rod, swipe the sharp edge from the heel to the tip over the honing steel for four or five alternating strokes.
It Makes Preparation Easier
Every time you cut, slice, or chop, the edge of your knife gets bent a little bit. Honing puts the knife’s edge back where it belongs, allowing for a smoother and more precise cutting edge.
You can hone your knives by honing steel or a rust eraser (a hardened rod similar to whetstones). Both should be soaked before use; a light touch is all necessary.
Start with a rough grit and hold your knife at a 15 to 20-degree angle to the steel. Gently glide the knife forward and backward against the honing steel from heel to tip. Continue as necessary. Avoid applying excessive pressure to the blade since it can slip and harm you.
It Makes Cooking Easier
A sharp knife cuts more easily and quickly than a dull blade. It makes cooking more enjoyable, and it also saves food waste.
A blunt knife damages your food at a cellular level, which means a chopped herb will wilt more quickly, and a sliced apple will brown more rapidly. A sharp knife prevents this damage and extends the life of your food.
You should hone your knives yearly and weekly if you use them regularly. A sharp knife also requires safe storage. Avoid throwing them into a drawer haphazardly, as this can bend the blades. Instead, choose a safe place for them, such as a knife block or magnetic wall strip. Avoid storing them with hard items that can nick or scratch the blades.
It Makes Cleaning Easier
Today, there are numerous approaches to sharpening blades. Some methods involve removing metal to create a new edge, while others are more “polishing” and do not remove an angle from the blade. Most knives are recommended to be sharpened at a specific angle by the manufacturer.
A knife sharpening steel or butcher’s steel is a hardened rod that straightens a blade for microscopic realignment and removal of deformations, such as a rolled edge. Both manual sharpening and machine sharpening are options. Once the blade is straight, a honing stone is used to finish the process and remove a burr created during the rough grit stage.
It Makes Cleaning Easier
Keeping your knife sharp helps keep it clean and sanitary, meaning food prep will be easier and faster. It also helps to extend the life of your knives, so they last longer and are not worn down or damaged in use.
You can do regular honing at home with a honing steel or a shinkansen, similar to a whetstone. Just be sure to fill the stone with water before using it, as this is necessary to prevent overheating.
Hold the steel at a 20-degree angle with one hand on the handle, and with your other hand, sweep the blade heel to tip across the sharpening surface without pressure. Repeat 10-15 times. Some people recommend doing this more frequently, but this can damage the blade if done too much.