How to sharpen your knives ?
Posted by Lilou Gonnachon
A knife, to be well maintained, must be sharpened. But how often, with what and how? Which material to choose and why?
In this article, you will find all the information you need to become the king of sharpening.
To begin with, it is very important to make the distinction between honing and sharpening.
Honing is the process of "straightening" the edge of your blade, without creating a new edge. Sharpening, on the other hand, consists of forming a new edge on your blade when it is dull or damaged.
The frequency of honing your knife will depend on the use you make of it. In general, it is recommended to sharpen it once a week. Honing is done with an honing steel.
To do this, you must position the blade at 15° to the honing steel, then make the same number of passes on each side of the blade. There is no need to rub your knife and your gun at the same time. Just run your knife, from the base of the blade to the tip, over the rifle. With a good rifle, you don't need to spend 10 minutes honing your knife. 10 seconds and 4 or 5 strokes will be enough.
Don't forget to clean your blade with clear water after honing to remove all the small impurities.
Our honing steel has a guide built into the finger guard to help you find a 15° angle. The end of the honing steel has a tip to stabilize the sharpener vertically on your work surface for ease of use.
For sharpening, the ideal method is with a whetstone (water stone or oil stone).
The whetstone is often used to sharpen Japanese knives. It is made of a material like granite, and has the property of being abrasive. But in contact with water, it softens and avoids abrasion of the blade.
To sharpen your knife with a stone, it is therefore necessary to immerse the stone in water for 10 to 15 minutes.
As for honing, position the blade at 15° to the stone, starting from the base of the blade to the tip. Be sure to remain symmetrical by alternately passing the two sides of the blade over the stone.
If you have an angle guide, you can position it on the edge of your blade to help you maintain the 15° angle.
Which sharpening stone to choose?
You now know how to take good care of the edge of your knife. But one question remains: which stone to buy for this purpose?
In fact, the stone you should buy depends on the condition of your blade, and the edge you want to obtain. There are a lot of different types of stones, ranging from 200 to 10 000 and more grit. The higher the number, the finer the grain of your stone.
The 400/1000 stone:
The 400 grit is very abrasive. It is to be used if your blade is damaged and you want to reshape the edge quickly.
For the 1000 grit, it is good to maintain a blade already in good condition, the result will be sharp enough for normal use. This stone will keep a good edge without spending too much time sharpening.
The 1000/6000 stone:
We recommend this stone if you like to keep your knives very sharp.
As said above, the 1000 grit will keep your blade in good condition and keep a useful edge for normal use.
When you switch to 6000 grit, your blade will become extremely sharp.
Sharpening and honing are two steps that should not be neglected if you want to keep your knife as long as possible.
An action that takes only a few minutes, but that will delight you and your knife.
Now that you know everything about these techniques, you just have to apply them, always being careful not to lose a finger in the process...