One of the most important tools in the kitchen is sharpening stone for kitchen knives. Its use varies from slicing and dicing to carving and pairing, whether it’s a chef or a normal homemaker, all who work in the kitchen do require a set of sharpened knives to ease their load in the kitchen and cook a delicious meal for everyone.
Some of us may find it immaterial but there are a huge variety and types of knives available in the market which varies in shapes and sizes. They would come in different lengths, shapes, and sizes and their selection would be on the basis of your experience in the kitchen.
As a dedicated cook or professional chef, it is not uncommon to carry big sets of knives of a dozen different types in use at once. It is complicated but the variety is being described below:
- The chef’s knife
- The utility knife
- The paring knife
- The Santoku knife
- The Boning knife
- The bread knife
- The cleaver knife
- The kitchen shears
- The steak knife
It seems complicated and it can be, but it surely doesn’t need to remain that way. All you will need to do is to invest some time and pay a little attention to the detailing and you are good to go. Mastering the use of these knives will give your food a level of precision and perfection that would surely be loved by the eyes of people.
Using the apt knife for every detail would not only save you time but would also make your task a lot easier.
For a tool that is so important and has to be used for long hours every day, it becomes highly significant that nothing really impacts the life of your knives or their daily performance.
It is rightly said that a dull knife in the kitchen can be more dangerous than a sharp one. With a dull knife, you will have to force your way through cutting meat and slicing vegetables. It doesn’t matter whether you are using an expensive high-end knife or a tenner on a dinky paring knife, it is very crucial for you to keep the blade sharpened.
So don’t shy away from the task of buying a wonderful sharpening stone for a kitchen knife. In this case, a good sharpening stone won’t work; get yourself only the best one as it would give you the best results with a much lesser risk of damaging the blade. But, the problem for many chefs, however, is while finding the best sharpening stone and then learning the technique to use it.
I’m not going to pretend that it’s as easy as purchasing a stone and digging right in. The process starts with buying the best sharpening stone for a kitchen knife for use at home or in a professional kitchen and then learning the best technique for doing the sharpening and then practicing enough times to get it right. For your sake, I would not recommend that you
start with your best knives in the initial process of learning.
How to Select a Good Sharpening Stone for Kitchen Knives
A little help from us will ease your complications and with a few techniques and advice, you will be able to able to have the best knife sharpeners to give your blade a shiny edge.
Choosing the best stone for your kitchen knife will depend on the different criteria that you will need to understand before buying a sharpening stone. The questions that you need to ask yourself before making a purchase will be:
What is the type of steel of your knife?
The steel for blades could be of various types depending on the range and brand of your knife. Markets are filled with different variety of knives like the Japanese knives or the German knives which come in different quality but eventually, all of them will need to be sharpened.
How much sharpening do your knives need or how dull is it?
If you are a professional chef, your knives will need sharpening on a regular basis whereas if you are a home cook, you might need to sharpen your blade in longer intervals.
How frequently are you using those blades?
If you are a professional chef, and your knives need sharpening on a regular basis, it is advisable for you to use a medium grains whetstone, to never lose the sharpness of your kitchen knives. The whetstone you choose could be on the basis of the size of the stone, whether it has a base or not and how much water it absorbs, but all these factors can only be judged once you use the stone on your knives.
Lastly, how frequently does your blade needs sharpening, or how frequently your sharpening stone will be used in the kitchen depending on its use it?
Different Kinds of Sharpening Tools Available in The Market
A knife sharpener works as a mechanism that creates a sort of micro-serration on the blades to give them a sharp edge to cut & slice quickly. For some knives, people use some specific method of sharpening, while another type of knife uses a different technique of sharpening.
A lot of both manual and electric sharpeners are available in the market but this selection would purely depend on your knife and the frequency with which you require to sharpen it. Some of the most popular methods and accessories used to sharpen your knives are described below:
The whetstone or oilstones
It is a manual way of sharpening your knife and also the most commonly used one. It’s in use for ages. There are two types of sharpening stones, i.e., natural sharpening stone and artificial sharpening stone. The natural ones are commonly available in Japan, Germany, etc. but it is advisable to use the artificial ones as they have a much better surface for long use.
The smoother surface of the whetstones does the smoothing and finishing better of the knives for a sharper edge. They have to be soaked in water before getting to use or even a few drops of oil can be added to their surface for use in the long run. Precision and practice are also required to use this method as not doing so may damage your expensive knife.
If you are an amateur in sharpening knives and still you want to do it with precision, then this is your solution as it can be ideal if you are a home cook and don’t have too many of the chef’s knives. They already have notches with pre-established sharpening angles.
The knife’s sharpening becomes too easy with it on the western knives but they are not so apt for professional knives as each professional knife has a different size and length. They require separate attention for the detailing for sharp edges. So, if you are a lover of detailing, whetstone is a better option.
Sharpening sheets of steel
The sharpening steels are also very common in western kitchens as a knife sharpening accessory. It is also known as honing rod or butcher’s steel and is built with a handle and a rod. It may differ in sizes ranging between 25 and 30 centimeters. It should be noted that your sharpening steel must be of the same length or longer than the size of your knives. It requires a lot of practice to use them and mostly is used for the butcher’s knife.
How to Use a Sharpening Stone or a Whetstone
Practice makes perfect. After a long time of practicing, our work will become natural, skillful, swift, and steady.” Bruce Lee
- Don’t practice until you get it right, practice until you can’t get it wrong” Anonymous
If you have ever watched a professional sharpening his knives on a stone in a video or doing it live, you’ll see how effortless and easy they can make it look but it’s not going to be that easy the very first few times of your life. But you will have to keep doing it by following the few basic instructions jotted below about using the sharpening stone:
- You can start by soaking your sharpening stone into the water for a few minutes before start using it.
- After few minutes, if you have a sharpening stone with a base then you can put it on your kitchen slab or if your stone doesn’t have a base then you can place it over a kitchen towel to hold the stone in place.
- Hold your knife at the correct angle of approx 20degrees; draw them across the stone from heel to tip, with a little pressure. Remember to keep the bevel even.
- Repeat the process until you can feel a slight catch of the bevel on the edge of the blade. Carefully, run your finger in the direction of the blade, or check by cutting through a sheet of paper and determine whether it is done according to the precision you want or not.
- Clean the knife and the sharpening stone and hung them to dry. Now you are ready to go and prepare some of the world’s most delicious cuisine for your friends and family.