A high-quality knife is a valuable addition to your kitchen, symbolizing your passion for cooking and your pride in using top-notch cutlery. However, knives don’t stay sharp forever. Here are some important do’s and don’ts for knife sharpening and maintenance to help you keep your blades in excellent condition.
- Keep knives clean and dry to prevent damage and maintain their sharpness.
- Use wooden cutting boards, which are gentler on your knife’s edge than hard surfaces like stone, steel, or glass.
- Sharpen your knives with sharpening stones, ideally a Japanese whetstone, for the best results.
- Maintain a consistent angle while sharpening to ensure an even edge.
- Finish the sharpening process on a fine grit stone for a polished, razor-sharp edge.
- Hone your knife on a leather strop after polishing to achieve the finest edge possible.
- Regularly polish and strop your knives to maintain their sharpness between sharpening sessions.
- Avoid using knife systems or devices, which can damage the blade and produce inferior results compared to whetstone sharpening.
- Refrain from belt sharpening, as it can heat the blade, altering its molecular structure and compromising its ability to maintain sharpness.
- When using a steel rod to hone a knife, avoid slamming it against the rod. Use gentle, even strokes with a consistent angle.
- Use your knife only for its intended purpose. Misusing a knife, such as using it as a screwdriver or can opener, can damage its structure.
Now that you’re armed with these tips, assess your knife collection and identify which ones need attention. If you’re not comfortable sharpening your knives at home, find a reputable and reliable professional sharpener. Research their techniques and ask questions to ensure they’re a good fit.
We recommend learning to sharpen your knives at home with high-quality supplies. It’s a valuable skill that, with time and practice, can lead to impressive results. However, periodically take your knives to a professional for a tune-up, similar to visiting a dentist for a thorough checkup.
Regular maintenance and sharpening, either by yourself or a knowledgeable professional, will greatly benefit your knives. The frequency of maintenance depends on usage and the knife itself. If your knife starts to slip while cutting or requires effort to slice through food, it’s time for some attention. Remember, a sharp knife is safer and more enjoyable to use in the kitchen.