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How To Keep Your Kitchen Knives Sharp



Sharpen and maintain your kitchen knives to cook safer and faster.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Congratulations on the purchase of your brand new kitchen knife! You have taken the first step to make cooking easier and more enjoyable. With a real knife, you can hack and hack like a pro. But do not stop it – a good knife deserves careful care, such as sharpening and honing.

After a few weeks of use, new knives become dull and you have to apply more pressure to make cuts. This extra resistance does not just mash up meat and vegetables. It's a potential danger to your fingers.

Use this sharpening and honing kit to make your knives feel new and your fingers safe.

Disclaimer: I say the obvious, but knives can hurt you. Even if you do not intend to maintain your own blades, handle them carefully. The smallest paring knife can quickly cause great injury. Always be extremely careful and be careful when using these sharp tools ̵

1; for the sake of you and the people around you. I will also focus on steel knives as ceramic blades usually require professional maintenance.


Now in the game:


Keep your kitchen knives sharper and safer



1:58

Hone and sharpen: Know the difference.

These two terms are often used interchangeably but are actually different. Honen refers to the process of straightening the existing edge of a blade. Over time, and with normal use, the edge of a knife blade bends slightly or bends out of its original position.

Honen

When you sharpen a knife, gently lure its pointed surface back into position. It's a gentle solution, but if done frequently, it can prevent more serious blade damage.

Most commonly, a knife is honed with a honing steel. These inexpensive tools ($ 10 to $ 30) are essentially steel rods with a handle. The surface of the rod is coarse, and when a blade (at the right angle) is scraped across the rod it (sharps) her edge back into place.

Sharpening

When sharpening, a knife is aggressively polished to improve its cutting edge. This is only required for very blunt knives. In the process, metal parts are actually scraped away. Therefore sharpening a metal blade requires a harder material than steel – stone or ceramic. It is also the reason why you should sharpen frequently, but rarely sharpen.

A honing steel is a tool with which many professional chefs are realigning knife blades.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Honing Your Knife

Honing steel, which many professional cooks and chefs rely on, is a common tool for honing kitchen blades. Proper handling of steel, however, requires practice. So do not be discouraged if your first results are not obvious. How To Sharpen Your Knife:

Place the end of the steel bar on a flat surface (table, counter, chopping board).

Next, hold the steel handle with your non-knife hand and place the heel edge of your knife on the steel. Make sure that the blade is angled between 15 and 20 degrees – in relation to the steel rod. Also, place your fingers (knife firmly) on the knife handle (behind the heel).

Now pull the blade down the steel. At the same time, carefully pull the knife in your direction. The movement should move from the trailing edge of the knife to its tip. Maintain the same angle during your stroke. Repeat this process three to four times. Do the same on the other side of the knife.

Sharpening knives with a whetstone is the old method.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Sharpening the Blade

Grinding Stone

To improve the cutting edge of your knife blade, you need a harder tool. The old way to school is with a whetstone. The good news is that grindstones are relatively affordable. You can find them for $ 15 and $ 20.

Place a piece of damp paper towel on a flat surface first. Let the whetstone rest on it so it does not slip off. Wet the knife blade with some water. This reduces the friction. Place the knife on the stone (its coarsest side) at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. The knife tip should point away from you. Place your fingers on the flat side of the blade (except for your thumb). Your thumb stays on the handle.

Drag the knife across the whetstone in a circular motion, making sure that the angle remains constant. Do that three to four times. Flip the knife over and repeat. Then follow the same procedure, but on the smoother side of the grindstone. Your once boring kitchen knife should now have a sharpened edge.

Electric Sharpener

You can also use an Electric Sharpener. The process is similar, with the added benefit of speed. Instead of a grindstone, these products have both honing and sharpening grooves. Pulling a knife through the slots leads to the same task.

Grinding wheels rotate in the slots and are spring-loaded. This means they should automatically polish the knife edges at the correct angle. Follow the instructions in the manual carefully. Incorrect use of electrosharpeners can damage the blade edges. Common mistakes are twisting, pushing down or interrupting the knife stroke as you pull it through the knife sharpener slot. This can lead to excessive sharpening (loss of too much metal) or uneven edge.

Expect to pay slightly more for a motorized sharpener, in the $ 30 to $ 40 range (via Amazon). The company also sells a range of kitchen knives under the same EdgeKeeper brand of sleeves that "sharpen" the blades every time you use them. Most likely, they do not sharpen their knives, but it's still helpful.

Surprisingly, the bottom of a ceramic mug acts as a knife sharpener in an emergency.


Taylor Martin / CNET

Ceramic Cups

It sounds crazy, but we tried it ourselves . Turn a ceramic mug over so that its bottom is facing up. Put it on a flat surface. There should be a ring that is raised and unglazed. The ring surface is rough and harder than steel. Use it like a whetstone. Note, however, that you can scratch and damage the knife edge if things go badly. Try a cheap knife, not a fancy cutlery.

Demand the pros

For some, sharpening cutlery is too tedious. Many premium knife brands like Mac offer sharpening services (Mac brand only). With fees of $ 5- $ 14 per item, it's also reasonable. Nevertheless, you must send the knives back to your facility. That means you'll have to do without it for seven business days.

Some local grocery stores and supermarkets also sharpen your knives – often for free. Normally you can inquire at the butcher's shop, preferably outside peak hours. Try it like any other sharpening method with a knife without which you can not live.


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