Steve Forney asked:

One of the most annoying and unsafe things to encounter in the kitchen is a dull knife. A dull knife makes normal tasks more work and more dangerous than they have to be. If you have to put a lot of pressure on your knife to cut something, there is a good chance that its going to slip of the food and end up on your finger or hand. Its much better to get into a normal knife maintenance and sharpening routine.

Fist off lets talk about steels. Regardless of what anyone says, steels are not used for sharpening knives. A steels purpose is to realign the edge on a knife. My personal opinion is that a steel should be used after every time you use your knife, and after you sharpen them. Using a steel is almost exactly like using a stone except you hold the steel in your hand, and you can move the knife in either direction for both sides of the knife. I pull the knife towards me on both sides of the knife.

Now lets get to it. Find a stone that’s coarse on one side and fine on the other, I like to use a whetstone dry, that’s right, I said dry. If you put oil or water on the stone, particles get trapped in the liquid and the end result is a little ragged. Again that is my personal opinion.

Put the stone on a wet cloth, to keep movement to a minimal, coarse side up. You start the knife at one side of the stone at an angle that’s between 20 and 25 degrees. Push the full length of the blade gently but firmly away from you, at a diagonal across the stone. Do this ten times.

Now flip the knife over, and pull the knife towards you the full length of the blade, at a diagonal across the stone. Do this ten times. Simply turn the stone over with the fine side up and do the same on the other side. Ten times each way. Then Rinse and dry your knife to get all the loose particles off. The sharpening is out of the way, now wasn’t that easy. Now its time to use the steel to make sure the edge is aligned.

If you sharpen your knives about once every couple weeks and use your steel after every use, you should never have to worry about a dull knife again.

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Filed under: Knife Sharpening

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