Keeping a sharp blade on your knife is very important for your safety. Nothing ensures the durability of your knives
in daily routine more than proper maintenance and sharpening.
A dull blade is more dangerous than a sharp one because of the extra force one has to put while cutting can cause serious injury. Because of this, daily maintenance and sharpening of a dull blade are necessary.
If you are worried about your dull blades or cutting yourself while doing kitchen chores, you should sharpen your knives regularly.
In this article, you can find how to sharpen your knives using a sharpening stone along with correct methods and techniques.
Sharpening stones, also known as whetstones, are made of natural or synthetic materials and they can be used dry, with oil, or with water.
Once you've selected a stone, simply dash your dull blades over the stone until they're sharp again. If you've used a smooth hand, the blade of your knives will feel like new!
Guidelines for Sharpening Knives Using Sharpening Stones:
This step-by-step guide will guide you through how to sharpen your dull knives using sharpening stones.
Step 1: Select the Proper Roughness for Your Sharpening Stone:
Selecting the proper roughness for your sharpening stone is an important first step. It is not necessary to sharpen the roughest stone. Similarly, a very dull blade cannot be sharpened on the finest stone.
If your blade is very rough, you have to start with the roughest stone. The rough stone removes dullness quickly so the dull edge becomes smooth in less time. If your blade is not very dull, you can start with a medium or any fine stone.
Step 2: Select the Right Angle:
The next step in sharpening is to select the right sharpening angle. Despite the method of sharpening, an appropriate angle should be selected. This angle doesn't need to be accurate but using some general guidelines is a good idea.
Mostly knife a roughly 20-degree angle is recommended. Depending on the use, you can adjust that angle. A fillet or slicing knife is never used to cut anything hard so an angle a few degrees less will turn out a sharper edge.
On the other hand, a usual knife with different uses can take advantage of a long-lasting edge a few degrees larger.
Step 3: Apply Water Or Oil:
You have to apply water or oil depending on the stones. While sharpening some metal pieces fall down. The water or oil helps them to float away. You have to simply apply a few drops of either oil or water directly to the stone.
You can use any inexpensive spray bottle for applying the water. The oil you need is selected according to the type of stone you are using. Water stones and diamond stones require water.
Step 4: Sharpening the Knife:
Place your knife on the stone at your selected angle. An easy way to select the angle is to visualize a 45-degree angle and then make it half that amount. You can also adjust accordingly later on.
In a slicing position, bring the length of the knife across the stone with a movement that starts with the heel on the stone and ends with the point of the blade of the knife. The movement should look like a sweeping pattern across your stone.
You should be very careful to maintain the angle of the blade on the stone. Longer curved knives make extra challenges but as long as you can maintain the angle you will be sharpening very efficiently.
Repeat this process on the other side as well and continue repeating until you have sharpened your blade though all your stone grits.
How to Know When You Are Done With A Stone?
An important step is to know when you are done with stone and have to move up to the next one. With rough stones, it is very easy. When you are done sharpening on one side, a layer of burr formed on the opposite sides of the edge.
You can’t easily see but feel this burr. You have to feel for the burr by smoothly running your hand from the back to the edge. A burr is formed when the stone removes bits and pieces directly at the edge. The burr will move from one side of your knife to another as you interchange sharpening sides.
Make sure you have felt the burr bound between both sides before you move on to the next finer stone. That will make sure that you have sharpened both sides efficiently. The finer gravels are done in the same way but the burr is much smaller.
On the finest gravel, you may not be able to notice the burr at all. Testing the knife sharpness will tell you when you're done.
How Sharp Does It Have to Be?
In sharpening knives, it is said that the sharper it will be, the better it will be. The sharpness of your edge is determined by the angle.
You can get a sharper edge using a low angle. It also depends on the roughness of the grit you used for sharpening. In most of the cases, use the finest grit to get the best results.
While sharpening a knife with a sharpening stone, regularity is key. Therefore, be sure that you're using the same angle each time, and that you sharpen both sides equally.
Regularly sharpening your knives with sharpening stones make cutting easier, but it can also prevent accidents and injuries in the kitchen.
So, make sure to routinely maintain your knives by following proper guidelines.