The most important tip on keeping your knives in good codition is sharpening them. Even expensive chef knives cannot last long without proper sharpenings at home. WIth various tools like whet stones, honing steels, and electric knife sharpeners, you can easily keep your knife razor sharp in the comforts of your own home!
1. Whet Stone
How do you use a whetstone to sharpen a chef knife? If you are a rookie in the kitchen, you might not even recognize the purpose of whetstone. Even some experienced house cooks are not fully aware of how they can use a whetstone properly. Without any instructions on how to properly sharpen a chef knife with a whetstone, you might damage your chef knife rather than sharpening it.
If you are interested in learning how to use whetstone, follow the steps below.
First, fix your whetstone on a cutting board or on a countertop. Make sure that your whetstone is not moving at all. You can put a small towel under the whetstone to prevent it from slipping. You can rub the surface of the whetsotne with a little bit of water to make it smooth.
Next, grab the chef knife handle with your primary hand and place the other hand on the edge of the blade to get balance when grinding.
Slide each side of the edge from hilt to tip across the whetstone about 10 times. You should start with the coarse side of a whet stone and after you grind each side across the coarse side, flip over to a fine side and gind each side 10 times on a fine side as well.
When you are grinding, remeber that the cutting edge should meet the whetstone at a 20-22 degree angle.
After you are done grinding the knife edge on the coarse side and the fine side, clean it with a towel.
Shun 300/1000 Combination Whetstone
This is a dual-sided whetstone with two types of ceremic grit, 300 grit and 1000 grit. It works very well when the surface of the whetstone is wet. This can easily be stored in a kitchen drawer. The size is 6 by 3-1/5 by 1-4/5 inches.
2. Honing Steel
Many people easily confuse honing a knife with sharpening one. Sharpening means abrading metal away to form a new edge, while honing refers to straightening a deformed edge and maintaining the sharpness of the blade. Honing actually has nothing to do with making your dull blade sharp. Also, remember that you should not sharpen your chef knife too often in order to prevent damaging the blade. However, you need to hone your chef knife before every use.
How can you hone your chef knife? Without any practice, using a honing steel looks scary. Actually, it is not that difficult with a little bit of practice. Remember that honing a knife simply maintains the sharpness of the blade.
Follow these steps to hone your chef knife.
First, hold the honing steel with the tip down to a cutting board. If the honing steel tip damages your cutting board, you can put a paper or a towel on the top of the board.
Next, grab the handle of your chef knife with your primary hand keeping the blade facing down. Use the other hand for holding the handle of the honing steel.
Draw the blade down from the hilt of the blade to the tip. Repeat this step about 4 or 5 times.
After grinding one side, put the other side of the blade behind the honing steel. Then, as you did just before, draw the blade down from the hilt to the tip about 4-5 times.
Remember that the angle relative to the blade of the honing steel should be about 20-22 degrees.
Lastly, clean the blade of your chef knife with a towel when you are done.
DMT DS2E 12-Inch Diamond Steel Sharpening Rod, Extra Fine Grit
This honing steel is designed for regular honing and a final polish step. Just stroke the blade slighty a few times to get the desired results. The honing steel is 20-inch long and is capable of honing most kitchen knives. (The steel should be longer than the blade when honing.) The point of the steel has a cap cover to protect he tip between uses.
3. Electric Knife Sharpener
Electric knife sharpeners are getting more and more popular in the home kitchen. Anyone can use electric knife sharpeners without any specific instructions or practice. You can also save time and effort when sharpening your chef knives with electric knife sharpeners.
Chef's Choice 120 Diamond Hone 3-Stage Professional Knife Sharpener
This electric sharpener has a three-stage precision sharpening process, sharpening anything from high-end chef knives to butter knives, sporting knives, and serrated knives. The first two stages are for sharpening and honing, and the final stage is for polishing. This sharpener also has a magnetic pad for collecting residue, which is a great help for clean up and maintenance. It is 100% diamond-abrasive, making it possible to have a professional sharpening, all in the comforts of your own home .