In the history, knives are originally made of rocks or bones. Before, knives have a spiritual and religious importance to certain cultures because of how this tool can help humans. Now, there are a variety of knives available in the market, with different styles and designs, along with the best knife sharpeners to choose from.
A knife is a hand-held tool with a blade connected to a handle. There are different types of knives that are meant as a utensil, weapon, sports equipment, and etc. Utensils knives include steak knives and butter knives, while kitchen knives are consist of a bread knife, paring knife, and chopping knife. When it comes to using knives as tools, it can be a pocket knife, hunting knife, or combat knife. If considering knives as weapons, it is mostly daggers or switchblades. And for sports, knives are used as an equipment such as throwing knives. Also, in agriculture, scythe and sickle are also kinds of knives.
As one of the best tool for everyone, the knife is a partner for every job. It is an important utensil for professional chefs or amateur home cooks. A handy tool for wood carvers and woodworkers. Or a weapon to hunters, hikers, climbers, and people who enjoy outdoor living. Without it, they couldn’t do pretty much everything. So for someone who needs a knife, making it sharp is a must.
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5 Best Knife Sharpeners
Sharpening or forming a new edge can be rough or fine, depending on how delicate the knives are. There are different knife sharpeners that can make your knife sharp and straight with a finish mirror look. Here are five best knife sharpeners you can get in the market.
This knife sharpener is the most versatile sharpener in the world. It has three stages to provide user perfect edges for every type of knives. This electric sharpener is a 100% diamond abrasives to put a sharp edge on a 20-degree and 15-degree knives. Also, it comes with a 3-year warranty.
Pros: Originally flexible stropping or polishing disks for straightening and sharpening knives.
This knife sharpener is basic for your knives. It is easy to use and comes in three different stages. Serrated blades can be as new in this sharpener. It’s a great investment for people who want to make their sharpening life easier.
Pros: Its diamond grit and leather stropping can polish any blades.
Cons: Cannot sharpen scissors or any blades that don’t fit on the slots.
This knife sharpener is a great tool for campers, hunters, and outdoor goers. It has 4 Snap-in angle adjustments such as 17 degrees, 20 degrees, 25 degrees, and 30 degrees. The 325 Grit Natural Diamond Honing Rods can sharpen both sides of the blades simultaneously. Durable Plastic Housing makes it lightweight and easy to carry. Ideally for flat blades that are common in fillet and hunting knives. This also comes with a 1-year manufacturer’s warranty.
Pros: It is portable and holds blades for specific honing angles.
Cons: It has only one sharpening wheel and can be challenging to set up.
This knife sharpener is an excellent alternative for Chef’s Choice AngleSelect. It has an adjustable sharpening guide which provides exact edge bevels from 15 degrees to 30 degrees. The motor can handle any sharpening task, from high speed grinding to low speed honing. Great for various knife sharpening position for wide collection of tool sharpening tasks.
Pros: Tough and durable construction that can sharpen any type of blades.
Cons: It’s a powerful tool that can be overwhelming if specifically use only in the kitchen.
This knife sharpener is an excellent choice for a budget-friendly price. It is very easy and safe to use that works with every type of blades. Having a 2-stage sharpening system and the non-slip bottom cushion is the perfect complement for polishing blades while providing a comfort to users. You can keep your knives sharp all the time or recycle your old rustic one and make them good as new. It is a high-quality and reliable sharpening tool that offers 100% customer’s satisfaction or 100% refund.
Pros: The diamond wheel can sharpen serrated blades.
Cons: It is not appropriate for ceramic blades.
Tips for Buying a Knife Sharpener
Some of us might prefer dull knife because we think that it is safer, well, in fact, it’s not. A dull knife can do dangerous things. Instead of cutting smoothly, it tends to slip because of exerting too much pressure. To help you choose the best knife sharpener, you must have to consider these things:
Sharpening knife at the right angles can make your cutting effectively. Manufacturers provide angle guides so that users won’t have to guess the perfect angle. Many knife sharpeners that are available in the market have built-in angle guides. This will ensure you that you will get the consistent sharpness on both sides of the blades.
Look for a knife sharpener that has multiple functions like sharpening, straightening, and polishing. Others are specially made for serrated and Asian knives. Make sure to have the basic features to enjoy the full benefits of the knife sharpener.
The overall performance of a knife sharpener is essential to any buyer. Easy and safe to use are top factors to consider. It’s up to you if you choose manual or electric knife sharpener, as long as you know how to use it properly. Check for items that can accommodate left and right hand, and can sharpen any type of knife. Not all knife sharpeners are made to work with all types.
For budget-conscious buyers, electric sharpeners are more expensive than manuals. Yet, consumers still go for automatic because of its convenience. Invest in something that can help you ease your work not something to add to your burden. But if you prefer the manual then it’s your call. Just make sure to check for a good warranty to give you an assurance of a high-quality product.
If you want to have a knife sharpener that can give you a great result, think about their sharpening system. It is wise to invest in something that will give justice to its cost. Find a knife sharpener that is durable, portables, and versatile.
Stages of Knife Sharpening
Sharpening a knife have different methods. Sharpening is not enough to reborn your old knives to look new. It has to undergo to sharpening systems to achieve a clean and sharp look of your knives. Here are the three stages of knife sharpening:
Sharpening stones vary in coarse and fine grits. Naturally occurring stones are commonly found in USA, India, and Japan. Before using these stones, they need to soak in water and flush with regularly to uncover new materials to the blades. The mixture of water and stones support the polishing and sharpening of the knife.
Maintaining the sharpness of a knife’ blade is the process of realigning the edges. A sharpening steel is the same as honing stones. Diamond steels have an industrial diamond coating that has the ability to remove blade metals and also straightens them.
This is the finishing step in knife sharpening. Using a leather strap with abrasive compounds, it removes little metal materials and makes very sharp edges. Stropping is either straightening or reshaping the knife’s edges. It somewhat brings the old blade to a new condition.
Types of Knife Sharpener
There are several types of knife sharpener in the market; manual and automatic. Whatever method you use, it is important to sharpen your knives. This list is a compilation of different kinds of knife sharpeners that will ensure perfectly sharp blades.
There is two or more process for electric sharpeners in sharpening and honing a knife’s blade. It includes sharpening dull blades and polishing already sharp blades. It comes with guidelines that allow users to make a great precision for blade angles.
Having a limited or fewer slots doesn’t necessarily mean that it limits its sharpening skills. One advantage of handheld sharpeners is they are portable. This is perfect for chefs who travel due to their work or for leisure purposes. Handheld sharpeners can either draw the knife to the slots while it’s on the surface or vice versa. Both ways can sharpen a knife and bring back to its original form.
An old way to sharpen blades is using sharpening stones. This is mostly made from silicon carbide, novaculite, and aluminum oxide. Some stones have diamond abrasives to increase an optimal cutting edge results.
The primary job of this is not to sharpen knife blades but to hone them. With certain styles, it can still do a minor sharpening. It is advisable to pair your sharpening steel with a matching brand of knife because some manufacturers offer a specific design for their products.
Serrated Knife Sharpener
This sharpener is specific for serrated knives. Other sharpeners can have a hard time sharpening serrated knives that may lead to future damage. So make sure to check in details if the sharpener will be used with serrated knives.
Types of Knife Blades
After years of evolution, the blade of the knife is now made of iron, copper, bronze, ceramic, titanium, and steel. Also, blades have different shape and form and specific usage. It is important to know what blade your knife has to know how to sharpen them properly. Here are some knife blades profile and its uses:
A simple blade is ideal for heavy work such as cutting roots or ropes. It is a very strong blade that focuses a user’s force in cutting smaller area to increase the blade’s effectiveness. This blade has a straight spine and curved edge that allows users to safely use both hands in adding pressure.
Trailing Point Blade
A trailing point blade is most commonly the type of blade for fillet knives. It has a large curving edge and spine that is great for slicing and making even long cuts. With the combination of large blade surface area and thin tip, this blade is ideal for processing fish and other small creatures.
Clip Point Blade
A clip point blade is different from the rest of the blade types because the tip of the blade is concave. This kind of blade forms finer and is perfect for piercing or dealing with small spots. You can find this popular blade with pocket knives or other fighting knives.
Drop Point Blade
A drop point blade is an everyday type of knife. Common blade in the knife, the tip is so strong that it is easy to handle in cutting and piercing. The blade drops towards the tip meet the curve edge of the knife.
Spear Point Blade
A spear point blade is primary in a thrusting weapon also known as a dagger. It has double edges with the symmetrically pointed tip in line with the center of the blade’s axis. This blade is not for everyday carry, producing several modifications is not enough to make it a practical blade for knives.
Needle Point Blade
A needlepoint blade is a resemblance of spear point blade. The blade matches to form a needle-like tip. Examples of this blade are stilettos and daggers.
Spey Point Blade
A spey point blade is popular in dressing and skinning animals. The near tip of the blade has an arc edge and the spine angles downward. This blade is unlikely ideal for doing fine works.
A tanto blade is a very strong and durable blade. The thickness of the tip follows the traditional Japanese samurais and daggers. It is popular blades for folded knives but can be hard to sharpen due to the angle of the tip.
A sheepsfoot blade is a very safe blade with no tip. As it goes with the name, it is meant to trim sheep’s hooves. It is an ideal blade for wood carving, cutting ropes, or electrical works.
A hawkbill blade is best for cutting and carving. The shape of the blade allows to easily grab any material. This blade has a historical background as a slashing weapon but is now a defensive type of tool.
Knife Safety Tips
Taking care of your knives properly can save you from throwing them away and buying new ones. Also, it can keep you from injuries and future accidents. To be able to use your knife always at its best, take note of some of the helpful knife safety tips.
Keep Your Knife Sharp
A dull knife requires more force to apply while cutting. This way, it may cause the knife to slip and accidentally cut yourself. Keeping your knives sharp can also keep you from serious injuries. Make sure to sharpen your knives once in a while to maintain its original features.
Most knife blades have a 20 degrees and 15 degrees design. Specific degrees are meant for soft or hard things you need to cut. Knowing that your knife is sharp can guarantee you a knife that is safe to use.
Choose the Right Knife
Selecting the appropriate knife for a specific task is important. You don’t want to use a large knife for small purposes or use a small knife for a big purpose. However, it can be very confusing which knife is best for a specific job.
It is advisable when choosing a knife to consider their size, shape, and styles. Think about the blades you need. Is it for kitchen use? For camping and hunting? Or for self-defense? Using a knife outside its purpose, like opening a can or cutting a box, can damage its blades. Make sure to use have knives for foods and non-food items.
Clean Your Knives Regularly
Cleaning your knife or other tools is a must. Leaving your knife with dirt on it can create contamination. Also, residues on your knife can make it slippery which can be dangerous for users. So make sure to wash you knives after using.
Washing your knives is a proper way to maintain its durability. Some knives are not dishwasher safe or can collect food debris. So it’s better to inspect thoroughly to ensure the long usage of your knives.
Store Your Knives Properly
Storing your knives in their proper storage not only make your space clean but also can keep the danger away from users especially to children. When you are not using it, store them in a drawer to prevent accidents.
Knife blocks or racks are perfect to avoid unintentionally grabbing and dropping your knives. Also, knife rolls or case can protect your knives from contaminants.
Practice Knife Holding and Cutting Methods
Knowing how to use and handle a knife can prevent the risks of injuries and damages. Also, improper use of a knife can drag you down and block you from performing at your best. Be careful when holding a knife, make sure to secure your grip on the handle.
When a knife drops, let it fall. Do not follow your natural instinct to grab and catch it because you might cut yourself. If you are not sure how to correctly hold a knife, ask a professional, there’s nothing wrong with taking care of yourself.
Testing Your Knife’s Sharpness
Before you cut anything, make sure that your knife is sharp enough to do its task. You don’t need to flick the blade against your thumb just to check its sharpness. Avoid hurting yourself and just use this two tests to check your knife’s sharpness.
After you sharpen your knife’s blade, try to slice through a ripe tomato. If this cuts easily through the tomato’s skin, then it’s already sharp. But if not, just try to hone it again and repeat the process until you reach the sharpness that you want.
There is an easy remedy if you don’t have a tomato around, try to use a paper. Cut it starting from the top all the way to the bottom. If it cuts the paper easily, then your knife is 100% sharp.
It takes practice and effort to sharp knives. Whether you are using a manual or electric knife sharpener, you need to learn the proper ways. From holding the knife, knowing the perfect angle, and how often do you need to sharpen it. You can check videos or read some tips to broaden your knowledge about the knife and knife sharpeners.
Whatever knife you are using, take note that a sharp knife is a safe knife. Throw all your myths about dull knives as it may cause you bigger problems in the future. A dull knife cannot give you a maximum cutting experience, it will only require you to put more effort while cutting. So if you find it hard to cut things, take time to sharpen your knives first to make your work effective and efficient.
Always give your full attention to the knife when you’re using it. Focus on your cutting and avoid distractions if possible. If not, then just stop. You might be hurrying but losing your sense of focus might create injuries and accidents. Having a sharp knife can cut anything literally and if you want to be safe and keep all fingers intact then turn your eyes to your knife.
Safety first as they say. You can have the most convenient and less expensive knife sharpener in the world, but it is in you how to be safe. The tips in this articles can help you in choosing the right and best knife sharpener for you and how to maintain them. Always remember the basic handling and safety of using a knife or knife sharpener.
Any kind of tool can be your best partner in your line of work if you know to take care of them. You may have money to spend but recycling is always the best choice. You can always save your money for other tools you need.
So take time to read this Knife Sharpener 101: Finding the Best Knife Sharpener You Can Get.