The dull knife you currently use is not only frustrating but also imposes a threat to your safety.
In many scenarios, it happened that using a dull knife makes everything a mess and could slip and cause injuries at the same time.
Therefore, sharpness is a key when we talk about using a knife. That said, you can easily sharpen a knife in five to 10 minutes while using a knife sharpener.
However, let me clear that using a knife sharpener requires elegance, effort, and some tactics.
And for that purpose, you’ll need my help. Being a professional kitchen chef, I know how to use knife sharpener to get 100% results in no time.
Furthermore, I’ll explain the process of using a manual knife sharpener, an electric knife sharpener, and a whetstone.
Give this guide a thorough read if you want precise chopping and slicing of food without any hassle.
The Benefits of a Sharp Knife:
Before we rush into using a knife sharpener, it’s necessary to know about the benefits of a sharp knife.
So, have a look at them:
A sharp knife guarantees precision cuts and it cuts accurately. Therefore, it helps chefs and homeowners to chop and slice different vegetables and fruits perfectly.
Using a sharp knife you can easily cut even pieces of ingredients while making food recipes.
Sharp Knife Offers Safety:
Compared with a dull knife, a sharp knife is safe and protective at the same time.
A dull knife will get slipped when you are cutting softer objects and could hurt your fingers or your toes if it falls on the floor.
In contrast, a sharp knife easily cuts soft ingredients (tomatoes) without getting slipped. So, that’s yet another benefit you’ll enjoy while using a sharp knife.
Sharpness means saving time. With a sharp knife, you can easily cut a large bunch of veggies and fruits within few minutes.
That’s, however, not possible with a dull knife.
How to Check Whether the Knife is Sharp or Not?
There are three simple ways of checking a knife’s sharpness.
1. Tomato Test: A sharp knife could easily cut and chop tomato into even pieces.
2. Paper Test: You can easily slice a piece of paper with sharp knife.
3. Onion Test: Check whether the knife you have can cut the core of an onion. If it’s easily cutting the onion, then the knife is sharp enough. If it’s the other way around, then you need to sharpen it.
If your knife fails each test, then it means that you’ll now require a knife sharpener to improve its sharpness.
That said, you could use a manual knife sharpener, an electric knife sharpener, and a whetstone to sharpen a knife easily.
The demonstration is as follows:
How to Use a Manual Knife Sharpener?
A manual knife sharpener comes with two settings. One is labeled as Coarse while other is labeled as Fine.
Mind you that a manual knife sharpener has different names. Some people call it a knife sharpener with wheels while others call it a pull through knife sharpener.
Anyways, here’s a complete method of how to use knife sharpener with wheels:
1. Pulling the Blunt Knife through Coarse End:
If the knife is way too blunt, then you need to pull it out through the coarse end first.
Simply place the knife in the coarse end and pull it at least 3 to 6 times.
The coarse end will remove the steel or metal from the blade to make it sharp enough.
2. Finish Up with the Fine End:
When done with running through the coarse end, clean the knife with a cloth.
Then, run it 2 to 3 times through the fine end to give a finishing touch to the knife.
3. Check its Sharpness:
Check the sharpness of knife by testing it with paper, tomato, and onion.
If it still causes problem, then repeat the coarse end step at least 10 times.
Manual knife sharpeners are quite affordable and they do a perfect sharpening job at the same time.
Use them if you cannot cut anything due to the dullness of the blade. Sharpen the knife and then enjoy chopping various food ingredients without any hassle.
How Can You Use an Electric Knife Sharpener?
Electric Knife Sharpeners offer a versatile sharpening interface and they do a fine job without much effort.
Unlike manual knife sharpeners, motors installed in electric appliances run the coarse and fine end.
Therefore, you won’t have to apply any pressure as this tool will sharpen the knife for you automatically.
Here’s how to use an electric knife sharpener conveniently:
1. Plug in the Electric Sharpener:
Turn on the electric knife sharpener to make sure that it’s working ideally.
2. Pulling the Knife:
Pull the knife through the coarse end from tip to base and let the motors do their work to sharpen the knife perfectly.
Repeat pulling through coarse end 3 to 6 times.
3. Sharpening Alternate Side:
Now, pull the alternate side of knife through the sharpener and repeat the process 3 to 6 times.
4. Using the Fine Grit Slot:
Finally, give two to three pulls to finish up the sharpening process and turn off the electric knife sharpener.
5. Rinse the Knife:
Rinse the knife or clean it with a damp cloth and enjoy cutting different food elegance with precision and accuracy.
How to Use Knife Sharpening Stone? (Whetstone)
Here comes a traditional yet effective method to sharpen a knife for precision and safety cutting.
That is to use a knife sharpener stone aka a whetstone.
Mind you that sharpening knife with a whetstone isn’t as easy as it seems.
You have to keep a track of knife’s angle and movement quite carefully.
Follow these steps to sharpen a knife with a whetstone:
1. Find Out the Sharpening Angle:
A standard kitchen knife has a 20° sharpening angle. However, it might differ depending upon the knife type.
For instance, Japanese knives have usually a sharpening angle of 15°.
That said, it’s quite important to find out the sharpening angle of your knife.
If you are still confused, then better consult the knife manufacturer to get assessed properly.
2. Preparing the Whetstone:
First of all, lubricate the whetstone with a few drops of mineral or honing oil.
Secondly, submerge it into water until it gets completely saturated with no air bubbles. It will take no more than 10 minutes.
Last but not least, place the coarse side of whetstone on rubber or a damp towel. Make sure that it doesn’t move here and there while you are sharpening the knife.
3. Moving Knife on the Whetstone:
Next step involves moving the knife on a whetstone.
Place the knife’s edge on coarse side of the whetstone. While doing so, you should keep an eye on the sharpening angle.
Grip the handle and place another hand on the blade’s tip.
Start moving the knife from tip to heel with slight pressure on the coarse end. Use the correct sharpening angle or it won’t get sharped.
Repeat this step at least 3 to 6 times until burr forms. For those who don’t know, burr is folded metal that forms on the knife while you move it on the coarse end of the whetstone.
4. Flip the Whetstone:
After the formation of burr, flip the whetstone and similarly move the knife as we discussed above.
Repeat dragging it on the fine grit of the whetstone 2 to 3 times.
5. Check Sharpness:
Conclude the whole process with checking the overall sharpness of the knife.
Follow the sharpness tests I’ve mentioned above.
If the knife’s still dull, then you need to apply more pressure while sliding it on the whetstone.
That’s how you use a knife sharpener stone to make the knife as sharp as possible.
How to Use Knife Sharpener Rod?
A knife sharpener rod, also called a honing rod or a steel rod cannot guarantee to sharpen a knife.
However, it does maintain the blade’s sharpness. You could’ve seen many chefs use a honing rod before cutting anything.
They use it vigorously to warm up and maintain the blade a little bit.
Anyways, here is how to use knife sharpener rod perfectly:
1. Adjust Rod’s Position:
Place the honing rod on a countertop or a table and stand it in a way that it’s perpendicular to the table forming an L shape.
2. Adjust the Knife’s Sharpening Angle:
Place the knife’s edge at a 15° angle and adjust it on the rod’s steel accordingly.
3. Sweep the Knife:
Sweep the knife’s blades on the rod while maintaining a proper angle. Switch the sides frequently and repeat the sweeping process until the knife regains its shape and sharpness.
How to Sharpen Serrated Knives Easily?
Serrated knives (bread and steak knives) use the same process to get sharpened perfectly.
Just don’t pull them through the coarse ends while using a manual or an electric knife sharpener.
Pull serrated knives on the fine side of the tool to sharpen them as per your preferences.
Safety Measures while Using a Knife Sharpener:
Safety and protection always come first.
Follow these instructions to keep yourself on the safe side while using a knife sharpener:
1. Wear kitchen gloves during the whole process.
2. Don’t expose your finger to blades.
3. Never check the sharpness of the blade on your fingertips. Make use of the paper cutting test instead.
4. While using the knife sharpener rod, make sure that there is enough difference between you and the rod.
5. When done with sharpening, rinse the blades of knife with a sponge or a damp cloth.
6. Never wash a knife with bare hands. Always use safety gloves.
How Often Should You Sharpen Your Knife?
Knives usually get dull or blunt within 3 to 6 months.
Hence, I recommend sharpening them every 3 to 6 months.
Moreover, keep them maintained regularly.
For doing so, pull the knife through fine grit for a while or use the sharpener rod.
Summing Things Up:
That’s all about how to use knife sharpener. Follow all the steps I’ve mentioned to keep your knife sharpened enough.
Moreover, if the techniques don’t work out, then hire a professional or a knife sharpening expert to get the work done.
They’ll surely charge some bucks but it will be worth it as the knife they work on, maintains its shape for a long time.
With that, I’ll be signing off eventually. Do ask any important questions about the main topic and I’ll respond to them as soon as possible!