Do you know how and why a knife gets dull? When the knife gets blunt, it meant that the sharp edge has been lost and/or that the blade's edge is no longer properly aligned.
Keeping knives sharp is important because it is easier and safer to
use. Dull cutting tools require excessive force to cut, increasing
the risk of knife slipping and causing injury.
Knives that are made from the finest stainless steel will have a sharp edge longer, but will eventually require sharpening.
There are two methods to making a knife sharp. The first type
straightens and conditions the edge, while the second type uses abrasives to
create a new and sharp edge.
1) Honing Steel
The honing steel re-align the edge of the knife.
(a) Sharpening Stone
The use of a sharpening stone is to create a new
edge when the edge is blunt. Knifes are usually sharpened to 15-20 degrees. It requires skill and practice to maintain an accurate sharpening angle.
(b) Electric and Manual Sharpeners
Chef's Choice recommends using a multi-stage
sharpener-whether electric or manual-with guides (to ensure angle control) and
diamond abrasives (which will sharpen any metal alloy and never
overheat/detemper the blade).
• Create An
Edge That Resists Folding. The secret to keeping knives sharper longer is to
make certain your knives are made of a high strength steel and then to create
an edge shape that resists folding.
Detempering the Blade. Conventional old-fashioned single-stage sharpening
wheels or grinders remove excess metal and can overheat the edge so that the
steel is weakened and folds over quickly again. Select sharpeners that use diamond
abrasives. Because of their extreme hardness, diamonds remove metal efficiently
without heating or damaging the blade edge.
• Shape and
polish your edge. To obtain the ultimate edge, use a sharpener that has
multiple stages. Proper sharpening requires both shaping the edge with coarser
abrasives in the initial stage and polishing closer to the edge with finer
abrasives in the final stage. The sharpener angle must be slightly larger in
each successive stage. The use of finer abrasives, which remove only
microscopic amounts of metal, is very important for re-sharpening the knife,
thereby extending its life.
All in all, sharpening should only be done once in awhile but honing can be done frequently.