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Sharpen and maintain your kitchen knives




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Keep your kitchen knives sharper and safer


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If you have bought a nice knife for your kitchen, congratulations! You have taken the first step to make cooking easier and more enjoyable. But do not stop – a good knife deserves careful care, such as sharpening and honing.

After a few weeks, new knives become dull and force you to apply more pressure to make cuts. This extra resistance not only makes meat and vegetables sick; It is a potential danger to your fingers.

With this guide to sharpening and honing cutlery you can keep your knives fresh and protect your fingers.

Disclaimer: I say the obvious, but knives can hurt you. Even if you do not want to wait your own blades, handle them carefully. The smallest paring knife can quickly cause major injuries. Always be careful and mindful of these sharp tools – for you and your fellow human beings. I will also focus on steel knives as ceramic blades typically require professional service.

Sharpening and Sharpening: Know the Difference

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

Honen

When you make a knife, you pull its pointed surface back slightly into position. It is a gentle solution, but if it is done often, more serious damage to the blade can be prevented.

The most common way of honing a knife is with a honing steel. These cheap tools ($ 10 to $ 30) are essentially steel bars with a handle. The surface of the rod is rough, and scrapes a blade over the rod (at the right angle), on both sides pushes (sharpens) its edge back into place.

Sharpen

Sharpening is the practice of aggressively polishing a knife to reform its cutting edge. You only have to do this for very blunt knives. In doing so, metal parts are actually cut away. Grinding a metal blade therefore requires harder material than steel – stone or ceramic. It's also why you should honk frequently, but rarely sharpen.

A honing steel is a tool used by many professional chefs to reorient knife blades.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Hone your knife

A Honestahl, which many professional cooks and cooks rely on, is a common tool for grinding kitchen blades. Using a steel properly, however, requires practice to get right, so do not be discouraged if your initial results are not obvious. How To Sharpen Your Knife:

Start laying the end of the steel bar on a flat surface (table, countertop, cutting board).

Next, while holding the handle of the steel with your non-knife hand, place the heel edge of your knife on the steel. Make sure the blade is tilted between 15 and 20 degrees – in relation to the steel bar. Also, rest your fingers (hold the knife) securely on the knife handle (behind the heel).

Now pull the blade down the steel. At the same time carefully pull the knife towards you. The movement should move from the back edge of the knife to its tip. Maintain the same angle throughout the stroke. Repeat this action three to four times. Next, do the same on the other side of the knife.

Sharpening knives with a whetstone is the old way.


Chris Monroe / CNET

Sharpen the blade

Whetstone

To reform the edge of your knife blade, you need a harder tool. The old way to school is with a grindstone. And costs between 15 and 20 dollars, it is also an affordable method. First place a square of damp paper towel on a flat surface. Place the whetstone on it so that it does not slip.

Moistened the knife blade with some water. This reduces the friction. Now lay the knife on the stone (its coarsest side) at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. The tip of the knife 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 circularly over the whetstone and make sure that the angle remains constant. Do that three or four times. Turn the knife over and repeat. Next you do the same procedure, but on the smoother side of the grindstone. Her once dull kitchen knife should now have a sharp edge.

Electric Sharpener

You can also use an electric pencil sharpener. The process is the same, with the added benefit of speed. Instead of a grindstone, these products have both honing and sharpening slots. Pulling a knife through the slots accomplishes the same task.

Grinding wheels rotate in the slots and are spring-loaded. That is, they should automatically polish knife edges at the correct angle. Expect to pay a little more for a motorized sharpener, ranging from $ 30 to $ 40 (via Amazon). The company also sells a line of kitchen knives, under the same brand EdgeKeeper, with sleeves designed to "sharpen" their blades every time you use them. Most likely, they do not grind and grind their knives, but it's still helpful.

Surprisingly, the bottom of a ceramic bowl works as a blade sharpener in a pinch.


Taylor Martin / CNET

Ceramic Cups

It sounds crazy, but we tried ourselves. Turn a ceramic cup over so that the bottom is facing up. Lay it on a flat surface. There should be a ring that is raised and unglazed. The surface of the ring is rough and harder than steel. Use it like a whetstone. If things go bad, you can make the blade edge unusable. Try a cheap knife, not a fancy cutlery.

Call the Professionals

For some, sharpening their own cutlery is too tedious. Many premium knife brands like Mac offer sharpening services (Mac brand only). With fees between $ 5 to $ 14 apiece, it makes sense. Nevertheless, you must send knives back to your facility. This means that you have to do without as long as 7 working days.

Some local grocery stores and supermarkets will also sharpen your knives – and often for free. Usually you can ask at the butcher's counter, preferably outside peak times. As with any inexperienced sharpening method, try it with a knife that you can live without before.


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