If using blunt knives for chopping or dicing things can be considered your biggest pet peeve, using these easy and approachable techniques to sharpen your blades at home, is the best way to keep your knives sharp and ready for all kinds of cutting.
If you’re a regular cook and working in a home kitchen is anything to go by, we’re sure you understand the bane of having a blunt knife to use and work with. A sharp knife in the kitchen eases the process of meal prepping by leaps and bounds and hence, sharpening kitchen knives at home can help maintain their utility as well as ensure safer and more efficient cutting.
There are various methods for sharpening knives, such as using sharpening stones, honing rods, or even electric sharpeners. Choosing a method that suits your skill level and equipment availability means that you will constantly be in the practice of maintaining your most important kitchen tools correctly. If manual sharpening is what you prefer, investing in a good-quality sharpening stone is really worth the pay-off. Wet the stone with water or edible oil before you begin the sharpening process. Hold the knife at a consistent angle (typically around 20 degrees) against the stone and move it back and forth, starting from the base to the tip. Repeat this process on both sides of the blade until you achieve the desired sharpness.
What maintaining a consistent angle while sharpening does, is crucial for achieving an even-edged knife. Different knives have varying bevel angles, such as single bevel or double bevel. Ensure you follow the existing bevel angle of your knife while sharpening. Apply light and even pressure while sharpening as excessive pressure can lead to uneven sharpening or damage the blade. Honing helps maintain the knife's edge between sharpenings. Use a honing rod or sharpening steel of some kind (often found with the people who travel from locality to locality, to sharpen knives) to realign the blade's edge by gently sliding the knife down the rod at a consistent angle.
Additionally, proper knife handling techniques can help maintain the sharpness of your knives. Avoid cutting on hard surfaces like glass or ceramic, as they can dull the blade. Making sure to use cutting boards made of wood or soft plastic to minimize wear on the knife is equally crucial. Cleaning your knives after each use and drying them thoroughly to prevent rust, along with sharpening your knives prolongs their life in your kitchen. Store them in a knife block, on a magnetic strip, or in a sheath to protect the blade from damage.