How to use a knife sharpener ?
Once you have purchased your kitchen knives, the choice of equipment to maintain them is just as important. It is very common for a knife to cut even better after it has been properly sharpened than when it was new. This is because the manufacturer does not have the time to sharpen it (time is money) unlike you. It is important to know that there are several methods, several tools to sharpen your knives, we will distinguish the main elements at your disposal. We will therefore try to explain to you as precisely as possible what are the best sharpening methods. Because as you certainly know there are many different types of sharpeners.
How to use a sharpening stone
The sharpening stone is certainly one of the best way to sharpen but also one of the most difficult. To succeed in mastering perfectly the sharpening with this tool you will obviously need several practices in order to obtain a completely convincing result. Obviously even if you don't master sharpening right away, your knives will still be a minimum of sharpness, don't be afraid to try and think that the result will be bad, on the contrary you have to go for it in order to understand the smallest details as soon as possible.
Sharpening stones are available in different grain sizes, they are ideal for restoring sharpness to dull blades and keeping the edge of your knives sharp. The grain size of the whetstone determines the finish of the edge. The finer the grain, the more polished the blade and the sharper the knife becomes. The grain size is given by a number. A high number indicates a fine grain, with which a blade can be more finely polished.
One of the major advantages of sharpening your knives on a whetstone is that you can sharpen your knife. This means removing more metal from the sides of the blade and making it thinner. This is useful for knives that are sharpened often, as the edge becomes thicker and thicker as you sharpen. Refining a knife is of great importance for the preservation of the cutting properties.
We advise you to start with a double-sided stone in order to limit costs. Either a 200/1000, which allows to take back very damaged knives and to obtain a good edge, or a 1000/3000 will take back a not very sharp knife to obtain an excellent result.
So as we told you sharpening knives on a whetstone requires a bit of practice, but the reward is great: razor sharp knives.
How to use knife sharpener rod
A sharpening rod is almost indispensable in every kitchen. It allows a fast and efficient result, without effort! Used regularly, it allows you to avoid having to use more abrasive solutions quickly. It consists of a handle, with developed guard, and a more or less large bit. The latter can be of different shapes: round, oval, or flat. Depending on your needs, you can choose between these 3 possibilities.
All in all, using a rod may seem a little complicated at first, but once you get the hang of it, it's child play ! There are still a few points to take into account:
- the wick of the rod should always be longer than the blade of your biggest knife (for obvious practical reasons).
- do not tap the knife on the rifle wick, but slide it gently.
Once these few precisions taken into account, you can start sharpening!
To better understand we invite you to watch this old but very clear Youtube video : How to sharpen a knife with a rod
Also there are different types of sharpening rods:
Ceramic Sharpening Rod :
Most sharpening rods are made of ceramic material. A ceramic sharpening rod is ideal for keeping your knife sharp. It's quick and easy. It is important to use it regularly to maintain a knife to prevent dulling.
Diamond Sharpening Rod :
In addition to ceramic sharpening rods, there are also sharpening rods with a thin layer of diamond. The hard diamond grains quickly sharpen the knives. Compared to a ceramic sharpening steel, the result is a little less good. A disadvantage of a diamond sharpening rod is that the diamond grains break or crumble over time, so that the rod loses its abrasive power.
Steel Sharpening Rod :
It's the most widespread and easy to use sharpening method. Be careful not to confuse the ceramic and diamond sharpening rods with steel sharpening rods. Not only the material differs, steel sharpening rods are, as their name indicates, made of steel, but above all their use is not the same. They are designed to straighten the edge of the blade. A steel sharpening rod therefore does not sharpen the knife. Moreover, they are not suitable for blades made of very hard steel. Therefore for daily knife maintenance we recommend a ceramic sharpening rod and for a complete sharpening the sharpening stones.
What others knife sharpeners ?
There are many types of knife sharpeners and we will quickly introduce them because they are less interesting to present than the first ones. We will especially highlight their strengths and flaws.
Electric sharpeners :
-Ease of use.
-Removes more material than a whetstone.
-Not suitable for sharpening blades.
-Less sharp than with a whetstone or sharpening rod.
Guided sharpening systems :
-Constant sharpening angle.
-A professional result can be achieved.
-There are models for all kinds of knives.
-It takes a little time to achieve a perfect result.
-The jaw can cause scratches. We advise you to cover the blade with adhesive tape to avoid this.
How to clean knife sharpener
Maintain your sharpening rods :
-Clean with water every day with mild detergents (or especially after each use).
-Dry your rifle with a cloth.
-Keep it in a dry place.
-Do not use it as a tool or lever.
It's a fairly simple and quick maintenance. For diamond grinding rods, the diamond grains are not brittle, their metal support is. It can oxidize, in which case rust removal with hydrochloric acid is quite effective.
Maintain your sharpening stones :
The easiest way to store water stones is to leave them in water. But beware of frost! Add half a capful of bleach to the tray to prevent bacterial growth, which forms a greasy film on the surface of the stones. If you leave several stones in the same tray, avoid bumping them together.
We have therefore tried to explain in this article as precisely as possible how to take good care of your knives and knife sharpener. Discover on this link our complete collection of knife sharpeners.