How to Hone and Sharpen a Knife Properly

After a few weeks/months of use, you will notice that the efficiency of your blade has decreased. It is much harder to cut through ingredients. To make that cut, you require additional force. What good is a knife if it doesn’t cut? A dull knife can also maim you. You can keep yourself safe (especially your fingers) by following the guide below.

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Start with the rough edge  

When sharpening a knife, you grind it first before sharpening or honing it. That’s why you start with the rough edge of the whetstone. Make sure the texture of the edge is rough bypassing your finger on it. You would have formed a burr. This indicates a signal to stop and begin smoothening and evening the edge you’ve formed.

It is important to note that a sharp edge has an immediate “sting” once it comes into contact with an object.

Use proper technique

Most people sharpen the middle part of the knife because they prioritize speed over good form. Being fast does not mean you are doing things properly. It is highly recommended to keep your strokes slow and deliberate. Just stroke gracefully up and down to make sure the cutting edge is uniform. It is important to sharpen your knife with the same tool. Also, ensure you sharpen both sides of the edge.

Use a honing rod

Honing helps keeps the existing edge straight and shape. The process doesn’t increase the degree of the former qualities. It just aims to maintain them. This process reduces the constant sharpening of a blade. The less you sharpen your knife, the longer your knives will exist. This is because when sharpening, some of the blade’s material forms a paste with either water or mineral oil. On the other hand, honing erases any indentations or spots.

The recommended angle for honing is approximately 20 degrees. It does not have to be accurate. All that matters is consistency. While maintaining your angle, move the knife across the top half of the honing rod and its bottom half. Repeat and make sure the number of strokes is equal on each side.

Test the knife

This is done, mostly, after you have honed the knife. You’ll know if you’ve done a great job when it cuts more easily than before.

Wash after sharpening, not after honing

As we said earlier, honing is all about aligning the edge of the knife. What many amateurs do is to wash the knife after honing it. It is far off better to clean the honing steel. Put a little bit of vinegar on the cloth and wipe the tool before use. This will ensure the vertical lines within the honing steel are not clogged.

Be careful when you choose to wash the blade during sharpening. The secret is to wash after finishing the whole process. If you wash the paste formed- consisting of stone, metal, and water, you will lose the final edge. This means that you will have to start all over again. It is better to sharpen until you have an edge you desire.

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