Know About Knife Sharpening: Which of the 2 do you think is a safer knife – a sharp knife or a blunt one? Of course the blunt one, right? Well, no! Contrary to what you may think, a sharp knife is a lot safer than a blunt one. Before you start questioning the veracity of this statement, or wondering how did we come to that conclusion, allow us to nip all those doubts in the bud.
Everything You Need To Know About Knife Sharpening
When you use a blunt knife, you are far more likely to use extra force to make the knife slice through whatever object you are cutting. Now this is a dangerous act. When you resort to the use of excessive force, there is a strong chance that the knife may slide off from the surface of the object being cut and you could end up injuring your hand. On the other hand, a sharp knife would cut through objects easily. You won’t need to apply extra force and you’d also be a lot more careful instinctively while using a sharp knife.
This is why you need to keep your knives sharpened all the time, and it is also why sharp knives are safer than blunt knives.
If you don’t know much about knife sharpening, this article is just what you need to read.
Now that the need for sharpening a knife has already been established, we shall move on to other aspects of knife sharpening.
How is knife sharpening different from honing?
Many people often confuse knife sharpening with honing. However, the 2 concepts are totally different. Honing is the realignment of the microscopic teeth in the knife’s blade. Knife sharpening, on the other hand, involves the removal of a minuscule amount of steel from the blade. Knives usually need to be sharpened every 4 to 6 months to maintain the sharpness of the blade.
5 main types of knife sharpeners
A knife sharpener is an object you use to sharpen your knives (well, duh!). They are available in a range of varieties depending on your need. However, the following 5 are the most popular among them:
- A sharpening steel is a handy rod to use to maintain a moderately sharp knife. All you have to do is take the knife in one hand and the steel in another and swipe the steel across the blade of your knife.
- A sharpening stone is a staple in almost every kitchen. Sharpening stones are sturdy and reliable. It may take some time to sharpen your dull knives but the result is worth it.
- If you don’t own a sharpening steel or stone, you can always rely on your plates. A ceramic plate has a rough edge underneath it. Stroking your knife over it is a very handy way to sharpen your dull knife.
- There are electric sharpeners on the market that make as much difference as the other tools discussed here. It is a great item to invest in if you want your knives sharpened in no time.
- If you don’t have any of these tools or don’t wish to invest in them, you can always get the job done with a stone, a ceramic coffee mug, a sturdy leather belt, a patch of sandpaper, a nail file, and many other everyday use items.
How to identify if your knife is sharp enough?
You can verify the sharpness of your knife through 2 very easy-to-execute tests:
- Tomato test: Try to slice through a tomato with your knife. If it cuts through the tomato easily, then your knife is sharp. If it doesn’t, then you’d have to hone it. If it still doesn’t slice through after honing, you’d have to resort to using a knife sharpener.
- Paper test: In case you don’t have a tomato at hand, use a paper and perform the same test. If the knife slices through the paper smoothly, then you can rest assured that your knife is sharp.
How to ensure your knife stays sharp?
The following practices would largely ensure that your knife doesn’t lose its sharpness:
- Dish washing detergent may be a little harsh on your knife and may lead to blunting of the knife. So avoid washing your knife in a dishwasher. What you could do is just scrub it gently with warm water and dish soap. Don’t forget to wipe it dry before storing it.
- Knives should ideally be stored separately and away from other kitchen tools. Use a knife block to store and protect your knife.
- When you use your knife to cut objects on a hard surface, like say, the countertop, your knife may become blunt in the process as the sharpness of the knife is affected when it comes in contact with such surfaces. Use a cutting board instead.
This article introduced you to almost every concept pertaining to knife sharpening that you need to know about. Watch this space if you want to explore all these concepts in further detail.