Sharpening knives, a tedious job? Not if you know how. And certainly not if you experience the positive effects of a freshly sharpened knife afterwards.
Because really: a good knife makes life so much easier. That’s why we made a small guide with everything you need to know about sharpening your knives.
Why do you need to sharpen your knives?
Simply because cooking is so much more fun when you can cut well. But also because blunt knives call for accidents, even if that sounds a bit counter-intuitive. You have to exert much more force on blunt knives, with the result that a cut in your finger is much deeper.
Sharpening your knives is of course also a form of maintenance. By regularly tightening them, they last much longer. And isn’t that what you had in mind when you invested in that more expensive chef’s knife that one time?
How often do you have to sharpen your knives
Even the best knives get duller with regular use. Usually you will notice that a knife starts to cut less well. When you look closely at the blade, you will likely notice a rounded, blunt point as well. This indicates that it is time to sharpen your knife.
Tip: test the bluntness of your knife by cutting a tomato. You should be able to cut through the skin easily and smoothly. If not, it’s time to sharpen your knife.
How often you need to sharpen depends on the blade and how often you use the blade. With daily use of a chef’s knife, it is recommended to sharpen your knives on average once a month.
Tools to sharpen your own knives
European chef’s knives can be sharpened by using a sharpening steel . This is a handle with a round piece of steel on it. You can easily buy it online . You don’t actually sharpen with a sharpening steel, but you actually straighten your cutting edge. This will allow you to cut more smoothly. The method for this is as follows:
- Place the sharpening steel point down on a cutting board. Make sure it stands firmly.
- Place the knife at the top against the metal sample, as if you want to cut a thin slice of it. Leave about a 20 degree angle between the blade and the steel.
- Now cut back and down with the knife. Finish at the top point of your blade.
- Do not apply too much pressure, but do it in one smooth motion.
- Switch sides and repeat 8 times on each side.
With a diamond steel you actually remove something from your knife, in contrast to sharpening steel. In principle, this produces sharper knives faster and more efficiently, but is a somewhat coarser method. After all, if you do this often, you will remove a significant part of your knife, which is not ideal either. If you still want to buy a diamond sample, you can also find it online .
Knife sharpeners with ceramic discs
Also very practical are knife sharpeners with ceramic discs, such as this knife sharpener from Jamie Oliver . The anti-slip rubber feet on the sharpener are also useful for the latter, so that it remains firmly on the table.
Where can you get it done?
Would you rather have your knives professionally maintained? Then you could possibly visit a professional knife sharpener, such as Firma Moes or Meester Scherpers in Amsterdam.
Check whether the company has years of experience: sharpening knives is really a profession that requires expertise, experience and the right equipment.