One of the most important aspects of knife maintenance is regular grinding.
Chefs and cooks usually invest in a good set of kitchen knives that they can use in their daily tasks.
And if you are a home cook, you will also benefit greatly from investing in high quality kitchen cutlery.
But to ensure that your knives are in tip-top condition for years to come, you need to sharpen them regularly.
Experts recommend that home cooks sharpen their knives at least once a year, perhaps twice, if they find that their wings have become dull from heavy use.
However, when you need to sharpen your knives for the first time, it is easy to get confused by the large amount of different knife sharpeners out there.
So to make it easier for you to find the right tool for your kitchen, we have made a list of the various knife sharpeners out there.
We get into the features, details, benefits and uses of the various sharpeners available in the market.
Read more to learn more.
How often should I sharpen my knife?
As we mentioned earlier, chefs should sharpen their knives or have their knives sharpened at least once a year.
However, you may need to sharpen your knives more often depending on the use.
Remember that grinding is different from grinding your blade, which we will explain in more detail later.
Some chefs who use their knives heavily sometimes have to sharpen them at least twice a year.
So how do you know if your knife should be sharpened?
The easiest way to test the sharpness of a sheet is by doing the paper test.
Apart from being a fairly accurate way of measuring sharpness, you do not need any special equipment for this test.
Just take a piece of paper and hold it at the corner.
From there, cut the paper through with your blade.
Remember, it is very important that you do not exert any extra pressure and let the knife do all the work for you.
If your blade cuts clean through the paper without too much force, it means it does not need sanding.
If it cannot get through the paper, you may need to polish it a few times and then try again.
And if it still does not cut through after honey, then it’s time for you to take out the trustworthy sander.
Sanding against sanding
So you may have noticed that we mentioned that honing is very different from grinding.
In this section, we get into the details of why.
Grinding requires the edge of the blade to be sharpened again so that it becomes thin and angled enough to easily slide through the ingredients.
Grinding, on the other hand, only straightens the blade to restore the edge.
Grinding should only be done when the knife is blunt, but most chefs recommend that you refine your knife before and after each use.
When you use a blade, the ingredients you cut through misalign the edge, making it difficult to cut through the ingredients.
So before and after using your knife, you should refine it to adjust the edge and restore it to its original sharpness.
To sharpen your knife, you need to refine steel that you can use to straighten your blade.
Hold your knife in your dominant hand while holding the sharpening steel in the other.
From there, push the blade from the butt to the tip of the honeycomb.
Do this a few times on each side before and after each use to keep your edge in line, sharp and ready to cut.
What is the best method for sharpening a knife?
There are many different ways to sharpen your knife, and many beginners are left wondering which method would be best for their beloved blades?
Fortunately, there is an objective answer to this question.
If you want to restore the edge of a leaf and have it cut through the ingredients effortlessly, use a cobblestone.
A whetstone is a tool used by many master grinders and professionals to restore the edge of any blade out there.
You can use whetstones to sharpen kitchen cutlery, survival knives, solid blades and just about any steel out there with an edge.
And while the chest is the best way to restore the edge of dull knives, it does have some caveats.
The biggest of these reservations is the fact that the breasts are difficult to use.
To effectively sharpen a blade using a pliers, you need to use the right stones and the right techniques.
And if you use the tools the wrong way, you risk damaging your blade and even dulling it in the process.
So if you have never used a brooch before, we recommend that you take the time and make an effort to ensure that you have a proper grip on the techniques.
If you are not keen on learning the techniques, we recommend bringing it to a professional grinding service instead.
On top of that, if you can not use a whetstone, you can always use the other types of grinders out there.
Keep in mind, however, that many commercial knife sharpeners can eat into your blade over time, which can significantly reduce the life of your knife.
Different types of knife sharpeners
Since there are many different sharpening techniques, there are also lots of different knife sharpeners.
Each of these tools boasts its own set of pros and cons in the kitchen.
And although different brands are releasing new models every day, there are some of the most popular types of kitchen belts out there;
Electric knife sharpener
For most home cooks, the electric knife sharpener is one of the most practical tools they can have in their kitchen.
This is one of the simplest grinding tools out there and you can use it with virtually zero prior experience with grinders.
To use an electric sander, simply insert your blade into the slot and turn on the machine.
Most grinders have two or more openings in them to insert your knives and rotating grinders with different gravel.
The different gravel on the stones allows you to tailor and personalize the grinding.
Many of the machines also come with a comprehensive guide that teaches you all the basics and the right angles when sharpening a knife.
Since different knives have different sharpness angles, these guides will be very important.
With these machines, you let the belt do all the work, and all you really have to do is insert the blade into the opening.
Although grinding is quick and easy with electric grinders, the downside, however, is that these machines lower the life of your knives.
As the stones spin at high speeds, they tend to grind more metal off than you would if you manually sharpened your knives.
Advantages of an electric knife sharpener:
- Easy to use
- The machine does all the work
- A comprehensive guide is included
- Can sharpen your knives in minutes
Disadvantages of an electric knife sharpener:
- Shortens the life of your wings by grinding away too much metal
If you do not have an electric sander on hand, it is likely that these are the tools you use for sanding.
The main advantage of permeable grinders is that they are also very easy to use.
Permeable grinders have similar designs to electric, with two openings designed to insert your knives.
But instead of having rotating grindstones, penetration tools have abrasives that grind metal away when you manually pull the blade through the slot.
These tools are designed for home cooks so that the openings are angled so that they are compatible with most knives.
But if you have a set of both Japanese and Western kitchen cutlery, you may need to get different grinders.
With a permeable grinder, you have much more control over how much you grind the edge of the blade.
But since they are manual tools, they take more effort and time compared to an electric grinder.
Advantages of a Pull-Through Knife Sharpener:
- Very easy to use
- Has recesses
- You have more control over the grinding
- Fits easily in a knife drawer
Disadvantages of a Pull-Through Knife Sharpener:
- Takes some time and effort to spend
Guided grinding systems
These tools are used by both professional and amateur chefs.
The reason these grinders are so popular in the culinary world is that they combine the control you have with a break with the convenience of an electric grinder.
These systems work with clamps that hold the knife stationary while a device runs the grindstones over the blade to sharpen it.
Some of these systems are manual, where you have to drive the knife through the stone yourself, which gives you even more control in exchange for convenience.
Guided grinding systems look pretty complicated, and to be honest, they are quite complicated to use.
When using a guided grinding system, do not be surprised or discouraged if you have difficulty mastering what many people do.
However, once you have figured out how to use it, you will find that it is very easy to get a razor sharp edge on your leaves that you may have given up for being too dull.
Advantages of a guided sharpening system:
- Very accurate
- Used by amateurs and professionals
- Some devices are manual, some are electric
- Some systems sharpen both sides of the blade at the same time
Disadvantages of a guided sharpening system:
- Can be difficult to use
- Quite expensive
Grinding / grinding of steel
As we mentioned earlier, these tools are not designed to sharpen your knives.
Despite their name, abrasive steels are used to polish your blade.
Sharpening a knife means that the cage and edge are straightened so that it can easily cut through the ingredients.
It is very easy to use a sharpening steel, all you have to do is run your knife evenly over the steel to straighten the edge.
Be sure to do this on both sides to keep things as straight as possible.
Run your blade on the steel about 4-5 times on each side before and after each use.
Sharpening is a very important aspect of knife care, but you need to remember that this is very different from sharpening your blade.
Advantages of an abrasive steel:
- Easy to use
- Straightens the edge of your blade
- Very easy to find
- Sometimes included in knife sets
Disadvantages of an abrasive steel:
- Not designed to sharpen a knife
Grinding of stones / whetstones
Now it’s time to look at the best method and tool for sharpening your knives.
A cobblestone is simply a grindstone where you can grind the edge of your knife to get just the right sharpness.
The thing about eyebrows is that although they are effective, they are also very difficult to use.
Sharpening stones can be seen as the most “manual form of knife sharpening.
To successfully sharpen a knife with a sharpener, hold the blade at just the right angle and slide along the stone.
For best results, experts recommend using a variety of stones with different grits.
When you hold the knife at the wrong angle, you will end up sharpening your knife at the wrong angle, which can actually blunt your knife if you do not do it right.
So if you are not good at the breast, but still need your blade to be razor sharp, we recommend that you send it to a professional to do it for you.
Advantages of a Whetstone:
- Best way to sharpen a knife again
- Very accurate
- Users have a lot of control over the edge of their blade
- Can be used to sharpen any knife
Disadvantages of a Whetstone:
So those are all the popular types of knife sharpeners out there.
Remember that sharpening of your knife needs to be done when your knives become dull and that is an important part of knife care and maintenance.
Every cook and chef has their own opinion and preference when it comes to grinders, so it is very important to choose the right one for your kitchen.
But when you do, you will be able to keep your knives razor sharp and functional for many years to come.
Last updated on September 20, 2021