Everything you need to know about sharpening a knife

  • 9 months   ago
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If you ever asked a chef what is his most favorite tool in the kitchen, you must be hared that it's his knife he admires the most. A knife is a thing that drives chefs time in the kitchen. Why only in the kitchen? knives are the thing that people use almost in every part of their living. Knives ease our life in many ways. Knives are the most important tool for survival situations. So, keeping your knife in a mint condition is pretty important. Now, when it comes to keeping a knife on it's the best service, the first thing comes in mind is to keep it sharp. There are so many things to cover about sharpening a knife. In this article, we are going to go through some of the key points about sharpening a knife. 

The coarseness of the sharpening stone

In order to sharpen a knife, you have to choose the best matching sharpening stone for your knife. It is the most important part of selecting a sharpening stone for a knife. Knives need various types of sharpening tools to get a perfect edge to serve your purpose. You need to start sharpening the edge with the coarsest stone if your knife has a dull edge. You don't want to start sharpening a dull or broken edged knife with the finest stone you have. 

If you have a knife with a dull or unsharpened edge, then start sharpening with a bigger coarse stone, after giving the knife a good line up on the edge, move to a finer stone. Once you have an almost sharp edge, then you should move to the finest stone you have. That will give you the sharpness you want. But if your knife is slightly dull and doesn't need that much touchup, then you just go with a fine stone, that will save your time and energy.

What about a grinder? 

Some may say that an electric grinder with a belt can do the job faster, and I agree! But if you are not an expert or at least know how to handle a grinder against your knife, you may end up ruining the knife! In that case, I would like to suggest you get some preparation and a lot of practice grinding a knife. For that, there is so many knife grinder for beginners are available to go with. Don't just buy an expensive grinder before even you know how to use one. that can cost you a lot of money without giving back that much benefit. 

Pick the proper angle

When you are sharpening a knife and don't want to ruin the knife's integrity, you must choose the proper angle you are going to hold it while sharpening. No matter what type of tool you are using to sharpen the knife, proper angle should be chosen before starting. The ideal sharpening angle of a knife is about a 20-degree angle. But this can be higher or lesser depending on what type of work you are going to do with it. 

If you are sharpening the knife for slicing or fillet, you can go less than 20 degrees, which will provide you a thinner and sharper knife to slice through. You cannot use it as a survival knife or cut some bones in the stack with it. On the other hand, if you are sharpening a survival knife, you need more of a sturdy knife with a hard edge, then you should go for a higher degree angle for sharpening it. that will provide you a more sturdy edged knife and you can cut through branches of trees in the woods. 


Apply water or oil before starting the grinding process

When you sharpen a knife with a stone, very small swarfs are ground out of the knife. Those metal fragments should not stick to the stone while making contact with the knife again and again. That will make damage the thin edge of the knife. That's why you need to apply some water upon the stone before starting grinding. Some stones like Crystolon, India, Arkansas require oil instead of water. I personally recommend it to use a water sprayer to apply the water onto the stone. 

Now the sharpening process

If you now have all the tools and have the knowledge to apply, you can start sharpening the stone. Now, remember one thing when you are getting your stones. There are a lot of options when you are trying to get the best stone that fits your skills and requirement. If you are a beginner, a beginners knife grinder will be an ideal choice rather than an expensive set of sharpening stones. 

When you are placing the knife on the surface of the stone, make sure that you are getting the angle right. Now, depending on your purpose, you have to visualize the angle with your eye. for that, you can hold it on 45 degrees, which is easy to measure with eyes, then lower the angle halfway through for about a 20-degree angle. You should practice it according to your use of the knife. 

Once you are done with the angling, now move it back and forth on either side of the knife. This should be pretty straight forward. When you are satisfied with sharpening, now test the sharpness with your finger. Hold the handle of the knife with your left hand and touch your right fingers on the sharp edge of the knife. You will feel the sharpness. Repeat the process until you are satisfied