And with that style you’ll look pretty impressive when your guests watch you sharpen your knife before carving up the roast. It was gratifying to learn that I have been doing it correctly - especially concerning the proper angle. Steeling doesn’t sharpen an edge; it straightens it. I came to this article to. If you do not remove enough metal to create a new edge, you will leave some of the dull edge in place. A sharpening steel is good for two things: One, it smooths out the rough edge on a blade after you sharpen a knife on a whetstone.And two, it helps revive that edge after you've been cutting, slicing or chopping for a while. Electric sharpeners: Don’t ever use a cheap electric knife sharpener, especially the ones found on electric can openers. Try using a steeper sharpening angle or a knife with a harder steel. You can also use a sharpener to hone the blade of your knife. If any scallops are missing burrs, flip the knife over and hit those again. To create this article, 69 people, some anonymous, worked to edit and improve it over time. The less you use your whetstone, the longer your knives will thrive. Each has two sharpening surfaces, one for roughing out an edge and the other for the final edge. Cut it in half again and you’ll be very close to 22 degrees, a good angle for steeling. Cheaper stainless steel kitchen knives won't hold an edge well; don't get discouraged - it may not be your sharpening technique. Sharpening a knife is a relatively simple process. My son and I use one all the time. When you’re satisfied, pull the flat side of the knife along the rod to knock off all the burrs. A honing rod realigns the metal in a blade, massaging small nicks, indentations, and flat spots away. The tomato test (below) will tell you when a knife is ready for food prep. How to Sharpen a Knife Conclusion. Joe Gamache, our expert cutler, says there are hundreds of devices, techniques and theories about how to sharpen a knife. When you need to sharpen my knife, you use your hand to do it. Include your email address to get a message when this question is answered. You sharpen the serrated section in a similar fashion to the rest of the knife, except you work groove by groove instead of in a sweeping motion across the whole blade. How do I sharpen the blade of a curved knife? Heavy pressure doesn’t help; it’ll just remove more material and wear away the knife. A “steel” is a steel rod with a finely grooved surface. Match the angle of the scallop and push the knife away from you. Simple cardboard sheaths held together with duct tape will do the job. Here's how to hone your knife: Start by placing the end of the steel's rod on flat surface (table, counter, cutting board). It's more of a quick fix with less precise and sharp results, and you may go through several mugs in the process. Watch Now: How To Use A Knife Sharpening Steel Here's How to Do It With your left hand (or your right hand if you're left-handed), hold the sharpening steel point-down, with its tip resting firmly on a dry cutting board — as if it were a large nail you were about to hammer into the board. Can a bench grinder be used for sharpening? Seems it would take hours to sharpen a paring knife with a straight pull. You instinctively raise the blade until you feel and see the edge working. ), Other knives: “I sharpen all knives the same way—hunting knives, fillet knives, what ever. Acid promotes corrosion right at the cutting edge, even with stainless steel. One side is made from carbide for roughing out an edge and the other has ceramic material for fine-tuning the edge. Joe says, “The steel keeps a knife sharp.”, Photo A shows what your knife edge looks like after a dinner’s worth of cutting—all bent and wavy.“ Photo B shows what your knife edge looks like after steeling. If it skates over your nail, it’s not ready for the next step yet. When to take your knives to a pro If you follow Joe’s instructions and still can’t get a good edge, chances are your knives have been abused to the point that they need a pro’s touch to restore the edge. Maintain your knife blades with our pro tips, including what sharpeners to use and how to store knives. I have seen it used in conjunction with a steel at a commercial fish processing plant. Keep a first aid box near you so that in the case of any bad emergency you can do a primary treatment before you go to the hospital. If the surface doesn’t scratch, it’s too hard and it’ll dull your knife in no time. A dull blade (or a blade with dull spots or nicks) will reflect light from the very edge of the blade. This creates larger edge angles and thicker bevels as time goes on and the results gradually deteriorate. Then you’ll be able to keep them that way using Joe’s techniques. This is the first time in, "Good guidelines I never knew about the oil, angle of contact, stone, sharpening rod, etc. Can I sharpen a chef's knife using a honing rod? Yes, you’ll have a slightly narrower blade, but you won’t even notice. Drag your fingertip over the flat side of the knife. Thank you! Knowledge is essential. How to Clean Faucets and Shower Heads Without Removing Them, We are no longer supporting IE (Internet Explorer), How to Clean Grout in Your Kitchen with a Surprising (and Cheap) Ingredient, Family Handyman’s Vintage Projects From the ’50s, Do Not Sell My Personal Information – CA Residents. That’s necessary because the thin edge actually bends or warps while you’re cutting. Go for good enough— not perfection! Wooden handles will get ruined, and even stainless steel blades will corrode and get dull. How To Sharpen A Knife. But Joe has a quick, drop-dead simple approach that he’s been teaching to amateurs to learn how to sharpen a knife. Honestly, the best way is to purchase a serrated knife sharpening tool and follow its directions. Step 1: Wetting the Stone. By using our site, you agree to our. Please help us continue to provide you with our trusted how-to guides and videos for free by whitelisting wikiHow on your ad blocker. That’s because an edge that sharp is necessarily very thin, and it bends and dulls easily because there’s not enough metal to support it. see if I was missing something or doing something wrong. 30 degrees will allow for a sharper, thinner edge to develop. Some plastics and certainly glass and laminate surfaces won’t pass the test, even if they’re called “cutting boards” on the label. Has anyone tried using a belt sander to sharpen a knife? Is Your Freezer Set to the Right Temperature? If your knife isn’t restored by steeling, you may need to hit the fine ceramic stone a few times. Shallower angles make a sharper edge that doesn't last as long; steeper angles are more durable, so 17° - 20° is a good compromise between the two. Thanks to all authors for creating a page that has been read 2,243,480 times. If you love gadgets, spend at least $125 for a decent electric sharpener. Now your knife is sharp. We use cookies to make wikiHow great. The first step to knife sharpening is to pick a sharpener. SHARPENING STRAIGHT, NON-SERRATED BLADES ON A STONE OR STEEL If the blade is nicked or extremely dull, start with Stage 1 (Use a Coarse Grit Stone). Start near the handle and drag the edge downward as you pull it toward you. It was the years before I find it out when I first sharpen my knives. Use either an oilstone with a neutral oil such as mineral oil, or water stones with water. Keep a mini sharpener in your tackle box and use the same techniques.”. Repeat passes and test until the knife “sticks” to your nail. Some experts recommend sharpening as if trying to slice a thin layer or decal off the stone.