Sharpening and honing your knives is one of the most important things you do because keeping your knives sharp is essential for safe and efficient cooking. A dull knife can be dangerous, as it requires more force to cut through food, increasing the risk of injury. Additionally, a sharp knife makes prep work faster and more enjoyable. In this blog post, we’ll go over the steps for sharpening and honing your knives at home.
Step 1: Understand the difference between sharpening and honing
Before we dive into the steps for sharpening and honing, it’s important to understand the difference between the two. Sharpening is the process of removing metal from the blade to create a new edge. This is typically done with a sharpening stone or sharpening steel, and it should be done infrequently, when your knife has become noticeably dull.
Honing, on the other hand, is the process of straightening and aligning the edge of the knife. This can be done with a honing rod or honing steel, and it should be done regularly, or before each use.
Step 2: Gather your tools
To sharpen and hone your knives at home, you’ll need a few tools. For sharpening, you’ll need a sharpening stone or sharpening steel. For honing, you’ll need a honing rod or honing steel. You’ll also need a towel or a rag to protect your countertop, and a few drops of oil to lubricate the sharpening stone.
Step 3: Sharpen your knife
If your knife is noticeably dull, it’s time to sharpen it. Start by placing the towel or rag on your countertop to protect it. Place the sharpening stone on the towel. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the stone, with the edge facing down. Starting at the heel of the blade, drag the knife across the stone, moving from heel to tip. Be sure to keep the angle consistent as you sharpen the entire edge of the knife. Repeat this process on the other side of the blade.
Step 4: Hone your knife
After sharpening, it’s important to hone your knife to keep it in good condition. Start by holding the honing rod or steel vertically, with the tip on a cutting board. Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle to the rod or steel, with the edge facing down. Starting at the heel of the blade, drag the knife across the rod or steel, moving from heel to tip. Be sure to keep the angle consistent as you hone the entire edge of the blade. Repeat this process on the other side of the knife.
Step 5: Maintain your knives
To maintain your knives in good condition, be sure to hone them before each use. Additionally, it’s a good idea to sharpen your knives every six months to a year, or when they become noticeably dull. When not using your knives, store them in a safe place, such as a knife block or magnetic holder. If you have to store them in a drawer, use a sheath to protect the edge.
With proper care and maintenance, your knives will stay sharp and safe to use. Happy cooking!