A sharpened knife is one of the kitchen essentials, used in nearly every meal preparation. But how to choose it wisely? There are a few parameters to take into account. Picture yourself trying to cut the chicken you just bought, your steak or chop veggies without a sharp knife. Possessing a quality sharpened knife makes cooking pleasant, more efficient, and less of a chore.
If you enjoy cooking and take it seriously, you will need not only one, but at least a few of them. Once you have bought your knives, you need to take good care of them. Good maintenance rhymes with getting the best knife sharpening system to keep them efficient. For you to choose the right sharpener, let’s see what the sharpening market has to offer.
A guide to buying knife sharpeners
With time, knives become blunt
And, as surprising as it might sound, a blunt knife is far more dangerous than a well maintained, sharpened knife. Indeed, more pressure needs to be applied in order for the blunt knife to work properly and cut efficiently. It can slip faster and therefore cut you since you don’t have a perfect control of the knife. Whenever you feel a grip or some hesitation with the knife blade, you know it’s time to get a knife sharpener.
The manual knife sharpeners
It is common sense that knives can be sharpened manually. We have been doing it for centuries since man has always needed a blade in his everyday life. You can find ceramic knife sharpeners, sharpening stones, and diamond sharpening stones. Manual knife sharpeners come in varied grits, ranging from coarse to fine. When to use which? First, you will use the coarse grit, and then the fine one to refine the edge by polishing and finishing the blade. Let’s now examine each of the manual sharpeners in details:
They are the modern alternative to stones. Some of them are shaped like long rods or sticks, for others, the knife is drawn through pre-angled notches. Ceramic, made of minerals, provides a smoother surface for sharpening with its less porous surface, and therefore more comfort.
It is a solid block, used manually to sharpen knives, that must be lubricated before use. They can be oil stones or water stones and are commonly shaped as slabs or blocks. The Aluminum Oxide Stones can be lubricated with either water or oil, but once you chose one of the other you have to keep lubricate this way.
Electric knife sharpeners
They are safer and more comfortable to use. These must be cleaned and emptied manually from time to time. Some are made with titanium or ceramic, but diamond ones are the best ones since diamond is a very hard substance. You can find them in retailers such as department stores, hardware stores, kitchen supply stores, discount stores, homeward stores and the like.
Whatever sharpener you end up buying, make sure to always read the owners manual, for safety reasons.