Knives are arguably one of the essential tools in the kitchen; as such, kitchen knives must stay sharp. When you use a blunt knife, you’ll experience less control of the blade, and it is most likely going to injure you, slide off the food, or make you expend excessive energy in carrying out simple cutting tasks. In this article explain types of knife sharpeners for sharp knives.
Several sharpening tools are available for creating and maintaining a sharp edge on your knife blades ranging from simple sharpening steel or a whetstone to other handheld sharpeners such as a pocket knife sharpener, and even electric knife sharpeners.
Different Types of Knife Sharpeners
Since there are different types of knife sharpeners, it can be quite challenging to find the right one for yourself. However, in this review, we’ll look at different types of knife sharpeners to help you make the right decision.
1. Electric Knife Sharpener
Using an electric knife sharpener is the easiest method in knife sharpening techniques. Many electric sharpeners operate on a two to three-step process to sharpen or hone the edge of your knife’s blade. The all-electric knife sharpener has a detachable compartment that stores swarf, i.e., the leftover fine metal particles after sharpening.
When you turn on the electric knife sharpener, it spins the sharpening stones already installed in it, so when you insert or draw a knife through its opening slots, it sharpens the knife. An electric knife sharpener first uses its “coarse grit” sharpening stone to sharpen incredibly dull edges of blades and then use a “fine grit” sharpening stone for honing sharp edges of blades.
Once the desired sharpness is attained, stop the machine and remove the knife. Many electric knife sharpeners have guides to assist you in getting a perfect sharpening angle.
2. Pocket Knife Sharpener
Pocket knives are always useful tools to have at hand, especially during camping, hunting, or any activity that generally involves the wild. As such, it is essential to sharpen your pocket knife regularly. Pocket knife sharpeners are very portable and operate manually. They range from pure sharpening steel or whetstone to several other hand held sharpening tools.
These sharpening tools generally help in maintaining the angle of your knife’s blade edge. Professional knife sharpeners recommend using a 1,000-grit whetstone to attain perfect edge retention. Many pocket knife sharpening tools come with a more coarse grit stone ideal for use on dull blades and finer-grit stones ideal for honing blades. Some whetstones might require lubricants such as water or oil.
Additionally, pocket knives are the best hunting and skinning knives because they are much smaller and portable. However, different sharpening tools might require different methods in sharpening a pocket knife. Still, one common similarity is they all use abrasive materials to remake or horn the edge of your knife.
3. Pull-Through Knife Sharpener
Pull-Through Sharpener is a handheld knife sharpener. Unlike electric knife sharpeners, they are more portable and do not require electricity to function. They are ideal for camping and one of the best skinning knife sharpeners and also can be very useful in the kitchen. Although they are quite limited, they simplify sharpening tasks, i.e., they are manual and have only one to just a few sharpening slots.
Depending on the pull-through knife sharpener’s design, it functions by placing the sharpener on a flat surface and drawing the knife through its slots, or you pull the sharpener down the blade’s length carefully holding the knife’s spine at a safe position. Both methods sharpen dull knives edge easily.
What’s the Advantage of a Sharpening System?
Nothing impacts your knives’ performance and longevity when carrying out their day-to-day activity more than sharpening them regularly and proper maintenance. A dull knife is even more dangerous than a sharp one during application because you tend to apply much more pressure on a dull knife when skinning, cutting through meat or slicing vegetables. As a result, this is a significant advantage of having a sharpening tool for your knives.
Sharpening stones or whetstones have several advantages and are among the most convenient ways to sharpen a knife. There are three recurrent materials a sharpening stone possesses: aluminum oxide, silicon carbide, and novaculite. They range from coarse grits to fine grits. Coarse grits are ideal for sharpening dull edges while finer grits are ideal for horning already sharp edges. Some stones are produced with diamond abrasives in them to help get the blade’s optimal cutting edge faster.
How to Use a Sharpening Stone
- Using the coarse grit of your stone, place your knife at 20 degrees and firmly draw the knife’s blade across the sharpening stone in a smooth and slow motion, starting from the base to the tip. Depending on how dull the knife is, repeat for at least 5-10 cycles.
- Flip the knife over and sharpen the blade’s other side using the same procedure as step one for consistency.
- Turn the sharpening stone over to the finer grit and repeat the process.
Sharpening steels are mostly used to sharpen knives already sharpened by a stone, i.e., they hone the edges of your blade with optimum edge retention. In addition to edge honing, a sharpening steel is either;
- Regular sharpening steel
- Ceramic sharpening steel: made from ceramic and steel ideal for minor sharpening
- Diamond sharpening steel: featuring diamond abrasives coating
- Multiple-grit sharpening steel: it has both coarse and fine surfaces.
How to Use a Sharpening Steel
- Grab the sharpening steel handle in an upright position with one arm and allow the tip rest on the cutting board or table
- Place the knife horizontally at roughly 20-degrees against the sharpening steel.
- Firmly drag the knife against the steel from up to down and base to tip. Repeat this procedure for 5-10 cycles
- Flip the knife over and sharpen the other side of the blade using the same procedures for consistency.
In conclusion, regular knife sharpening with a steel or stone sharpening tool makes cutting, slicing, or cooking tasks more comfortable. It also helps you avoid wasting your precious energy and time on simple tasks your blunt knife might have made look enormous. It also prevents injuries and accidents in the kitchen.
A well-maintained knife and sharpening tool will serve you for a long time, so be sure to maintain yours as the manufacturer recommends.