Sharpen Knives – That’s How It Works

Sharpen Before Knife: Test them first

To test how sharp your knives are, you need a piece of paper. Hold it with one hand and use the knife to cut through the paper from top to bottom. If the cut is clean, your knife is sharp. If he isn’t, you’ll need to sharpen your knife. Handling sharp knives is safer.

Sharpen knife with a whetstone

Particularly high-quality knives, such as Japanese chef’s knives, are kept sharp with a sharpening stone. Part of the blade is removed and reshaped.

  • Before use, it is best to soak the sharpening stone in water for ten minutes. You can also soak grinding stones in oil. However, once you have done this, you should never put the sharpening stone in the water again, only in oil.
  • Check whether the knife has a one-sided or double-sided grind. You then have to sharpen the knife on both sides or just on one, depending on the situation. German kitchen knives usually have a double-sided cut.
    Sharpening stones often have a coarse grain on the front and a fine grain on the back. Start sanding on the coarse side. Then you can finish sharpening the knife on the fine side.
  • The angle at which you drag the knife across the sharpening stone should be very slight (about seven degrees). There are also sharpening aids to help you keep the right angle.

Sharpen knives: Alternatives to the whetstone

If you have a lot of knives to sharpen at once, a grinder might be worth it. However, you can often achieve finer results with hand grinding on the whetstone.

  • Sharpening steel can also be used for sharpening. Here you pull the blade over the sharpening rod. In this way, the blade of the knife is reoriented and becomes smoother and cleaner. However, sharpening steel is not suitable for Japanese blades, among other things.
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Written by John Myers

Professional Chef with 25 years of industry experience at the highest levels. Restaurant owner. Beverage Director with experience creating world-class nationally recognized cocktail programs. Food writer with a distinctive Chef-driven voice and point of view.

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