Cutting food with a dull knife is very difficult. Not only will the food you’re cutting end up being ruined, but you also risk hurting yourself with that knife. Even though dull, these knives can still be dangerous.
Before you start food preparation, test if the knife you want to use is sharp enough, you can do that by cutting through a piece of paper. If the blade cuts through it without problems, you’re good to go. If, however, you notice it’s stuck and doesn’t cut properly, it’s time to use a knife sharpener.
How To Use A Knife Sharpener
Before we share the tips, it’s important to know that there are many different kinds of knife sharpeners and you should read about every type carefully in order to choose the one that works best for you.
Different people will prefer different types, and that’s okay, just make sure you use the one you find the most convenient and practical.
Other than manual sharpener that the majority of people use and have at home, if you want, you can also invest a bit more money in an electric knife sharpener. If you’re looking for something different, you can easily purchase and use whetstone as well as honing rod in order to sharpen your knives.
Manual Knife Sharpener
If you’re on a budget and can’t invest in an electric sharpener, or you simply don’t need one, the manual sharpener is an equally good alternative.
Also, even though you have an electric sharpener at home and use that one quite often, having a small and compact manual sharpener can be very convenient whenever you don’t have access to electricity.
For example, if you want to go camping and you’re planning on making a grill for you and your friends and family, you’ll probably need to bring a nice knife sharpener with you.
The best one to pack is the manual version since it requires nothing but your skill and a bit of space in your bag. You will be able to sharpen the edge of the knife in a few simple steps.
- Put the sharpener on a flat surface and hold it with one hand.
- Depending on the edge of your knife, choose between “fine” and “coarse” option on the sharpener. If your knife is not too dull, you can use the “fine” option. If your knife is extremely blunt, use the other option.
- Put the blade into the sharpener close to the handle. Hold the knife carefully and with a bit of force, pull the blade towards you until the tip reaches the sharpener. Repeat the process 3-6 times, depending on the dullness of the edge.
- If you use the “coarse” option, after pulling the blade through that one, run the knife another 2-3 times through the “fine” setting.
- Wash your knife with soap and warm water in order to get rid of any steel particles and then dry it with a cloth.
You can also use the sharpener that you can hold in one hand while running the knife with another. These are also simple to use, and the process is identical as with the regular manual sharpener.
Electric Knife Sharpener
Both of these two types of sharpeners can also be found in electric versions. Even though they cost more, some people prefer using them and gladly invest their money.
They are much more convenient to use, and knife sharpening is effortless, fast, and easy. That’s why electric sharpener is a great choice if you cook a lot and use high-quality knives on a daily basis.
It’s obvious that the more you use the knives, the faster they become dull and need sharpening more often. The electric version will do the job for you and always make the blade perfectly sharp.
All you have to do is plug it in, insert the blade, and leave it to do its magic. Your knives will be sharp and ready for chopping in no time.
If you prefer a delicate and gentle sharpener, you should opt for a whetstone. It is a sharpening stone that’s made of durable material. It’s usually small, and you can easily keep it in a kitchen drawer.
It’s very simple to use if you repeat the following steps.
- Soak the whetstone in the cold water for up to 10 minutes before using it. The cold water will prevent the overheating of the blade during sharpening since high temperature could damage the blade.
- Place the stone on a flat surface.
- With the blade touching the stone at the angle of 22 degrees, slide the edge over the stone.
- Repeat the process up to 10 times for a sharp blade.
You may know this tool as sharpening steel since it usually comes with the majority of knife sets. This tool doesn’t remove the steel from the knife while sharpening it, like all of the other tools.
The sharpening steel actually pushes the edges that are out of line back into place. This will make the knife more precise and sharper but not as much as with other tools.
You don’t have to use a lot of pressure with a honing rod, so it’s very easy to use, even on a daily basis. Hold the sharpening steel in one hand and run the blade from the handle to the tip until it’s perfectly sharpened.