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A knife is arguably the most important tool in the kitchen, but it's essential that the blade is sharp. When blunt, you have less control and are more likely to see the knife slide off the food, thereby making cooking a more hazardous process.
You've acquired a chef's knife, you're using it almost daily to make tasty dinners for the family, and it's stored in a nice knife rack or a magnet for safekeeping. So why stop there? Keeping that knife's edge fine will make cooking not only safer but, let's face it, much more fun. Whether you've spent £150 on a high-end knife or under a tenner on a dinky paring knife, keeping it sharp is crucial.
So, I sat down with Jeff and asked him some questions about sharpening. I think you’ll see that he overdelivered again.
Don’t cut on anything that is not a cutting board.
Decorative glass cutting boards are not cutting boards. They will dull your knife as soon as the knife makes contact.
Most plates are made of ceramics or glass or some other substance that is harder than your kitchen knives, don’t cut on them except with your steak knife (steak knives should be serrated).
The sad truth about pull through knife sharpeners is that they’re detrimental to your knives.
TOP 8 REASONS NOT TO USE A PULL THROUGH SHARPENER
One of the most common arguments for using diamond sharpening plates is that they are flat and do not get dished during their working life. The first point is only partly true, as the flatness of the plates depends a great deal on the quality of the plate and the manufacturing method. But it is true that they do not become hollow during use, unlike other kinds of sharpening stone.
There are a number of different methods for producing diamond sharpening plates:
One of the best tools that you can use to keep a keen edge on your knives between sharpenings is a ceramic honing rod. They are quite different from steel or diamond rods, which can grind a lot of steel off of your edge. As you use your knife, it develops tiny ‘burrs’ which are rough bits of the edge that have bent out of shape. Ceramic gently pushes them back into alignment, straightening the edge without removing steel unnecessarily. These means that your knife stays sharp much longer, without having to be sharpened as often.
Knifewear’s ceramic rods have a special design: the hilt acts as an angle guide when you place the spine of your knife along it. The skinnier side will set a 15 degree angle for Japanese blade, while the wider side will set a 22 degree angle for western-style knives.