Sharpening Knives

I have come to enjoy the pleasure of using a sharp knife in the kitchen. I’m sure most people have heard the old saying “A blunt knife is a dangerous knife“, which is a bit of a half truth. A sharp knife is just as dangerous if not used carefully, but a sharp knife is a pleasure to use.

For a long time, I’ve muddled my way thru with various sharpening techniques, and I could usually come up with a sharp knife, but they never really stayed sharp for long, so I wanted to learn more, get to know if I’m doing it the right way, and make sure I’m not causing damage to my blades.

So, in order to learn more, I headed off to the knowledge collective of the internet, reading thru stuff on the knife forums, and found a few videos on YouTube that helped me.

The first video I’m going to link to briefly demonstrates a range of methods, including the Lansky system, diamond stones, ceramic rods, and stropping. unfortunately the sound isn’t the greatest, but if you are looking where to start, It could be worth enduring the audio, as it’s a good video.

The next video focuses on Whetstones, and the technique is the same for the diamond stones.

Something you may notice in these videos is the lack of a knife steel. From what I understand, a steel isn’t part of the initial sharpening of the blade, and is used to touch up the blade on the run, in  a kitchen for example.

I have seen mentioned that with modern metals used in good quality knives, steeling has less relevance with todays knives, but seeming as most households would likely have lower quality, and/or older blades, so in between full sharpening sessions, steeling is probably still worthwhile.

Some other things that I’ve learnt from these, and other videos from net include

1. Don’t store knives in a draw. When a knife is stored in a draw, with other knives and utensils, the edges bang around on other hard objects, and will damage and dull the edge of the knives. It’s also not that safe, having to put your hand into a draw full of sharp edges every time you need a knife. My  house breaks this rule, and I’m thinking about getting a knife block, or a magnetic knife holder


2. Don’t put knives in a dish washer. This has the same result as keeping your knives in a draw. They bang around against each other, dulling their edge

If you’re interested in learning more, have a look on YouTube, and other places around the net, there are heaps of videos and blog posts online about knife care and sharpening. HERE is a good list to take a look at regarding the do’s and don’ts of knife care.

Well thats it, until next time, have fun, and play safe,

Matt

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