Those who constantly prepare food at home, sooner or later have to sharpen the knives they use, no matter how good they are. Only ceramic knives can be an exception, since they are not sharpened at home and, most often, they are simply replaced with new ones. But not all homeowners can afford to change knives for new ones as soon as they become dull. One of the advantages of steel kitchen knives is their durability and the ability to sharpen regularly. Expensive knives made of high-quality steel grades, of course, retain their high cutting ability longer, but still, even they need to be sharpened, albeit much less frequently.
Perhaps our review will reveal something new about how to sharpen a knife at home, and help you master this useful skill on your own.
How to sharpen a knife at home
There are several tools for sharpening knives that can be used at home. Next, consider how well to sharpen a knife at home with each of them.
1. Emery stone is the simplest and most affordable traditional tool for manual sharpening of kitchen and other knives. This is a flat bar of compressed abrasive of coarse, medium, or fine grit. To maintain the sharpness of knives used only for cooking in the home kitchen, in principle, medium-grained and fine-grained emery is enough. Universal combined stones usually combine medium roughness on one side, and fine on the other. The size of the sharpener may vary, but should not exceed the dimensions that are comfortable to hold with your hand. Wider stones are placed on the surface of the table, held with one hand, and the other is moving the knife along it. Narrow emery, on the contrary, can be drawn along the edge of the blade, holding the knife in your hand.
To increase friction, the stone is wetted with water. The knife is applied to the surface of the emery at an angle of 25-30 degrees and is carried out by the cutting edge along its entire length from the heel to the tip with simultaneous transverse displacement. When sharpening a knife with a bilateral symmetrical descent, it is better to do such movements alternately on one side and the other for uniformity. The more blunt the knife, the more repeatedly and harshly it will be necessary to remove layer by layer until a burr appears on the edge. The movements are then repeated on a fine-grained stone for fine finishing and deburring. After sharpening, the knife blade must be washed, wiped dry and the sharpness of the edge checked.
2. Mechanical grinders (grinding sets) are also equipped with an emery stone and work on the same principle of manual sharpening. They are a desktop plastic or metal frame with a knife fixed at a certain angle and a movable lever with an attached emery stone. The set with the machine usually comes with replaceable rectangular emery with abrasive and diamond coating.
3. Musat, as well as an emery stone, is often used at home for sharpening knives due to its simplicity and affordability. This device is like a round file, made of steel or ceramics, on the one hand it has a handle, on the other hand, a small end sharpening for emphasis. Due to this design, when rubbing against the cutting edge, the surface layer is erased from it, and it is leveled. Musat is not suitable for precise sharpening of a knife, but it is quite suitable for straightening the cutting edge before work.
Consider how to sharpen a knife at home with musat. It is placed vertically with an emphasis on the cutting board, with one hand it is firmly held by the handle, with the second we apply a knife to it with a cutting edge at an angle of 25-30 degrees. The knife is held by the edge along the musat with cutting movements from top to bottom, from the base of the blade to the tip with the same angle of inclination and uniform clamping force. Double-sided sharpening is performed by successive movements along one and the other side of the edge.
4. Electric sharpeners and grinding machines trouble-free and sharpest sharpening of knives at home is performed by rotating the emery wheel. The electric sharpener is designed as a miniature machine with easy and safe handling, suitable for housewives. Home compact grinders are more suitable for use by men and allow you to sharpen not only knives, but also other cutting tools.
How to sharpen a kitchen knife at home without a sharpener
If there are no special tools at home, but you urgently need to sharpen the knife, you can apply several more methods. A power tool such as a drill, angle grinder (grinder) and a belt grinder will help to get out of this situation. The drill can be used in combination with an abrasive cone — a cylindrical nozzle; for sharpening with a grinder, you will need an end cleaning circle of small diameter; a special sanding belt is required to use the grinder. Having safely fixed the power tool, with one hand we press the start button, with the second we hold the edge of the knife at an angle along the working abrasive surface.
How to sharpen a knife with improvised means if there was no special sharpener and power tools at home? In this case, you can use a flat file and sandpaper. The knife blade is fixed in the hand or pressed against the surface, the cutting edge is leveled on both sides with a file. Then finishing with sandpaper is performed. In extreme cases, if there were no such improvised means, you can correct the cutting edge of the knife by counter friction on the blade of another knife.
Now we have exhaustively described how to sharpen knives at home using special and improvised tools.