A sharp knife is an essential tool in your kitchen. It will make cooking easier, faster, safer, and more enjoyable. Professional chefs typically spend 10-15 minutes per day on knife maintenance. Although time is well spent, it’s not something you want to do when pressed for time. So how can you do it quickly?
Step1. Sharpen the tip of the knife
The tip of the knife is arguably the most critical part to sharpen. Since this is where you will be doing the cutting, you want to make sure that it is as sharp as possible every time you slice something.
There are two different methods for sharpening a knife blade.
The first is the traditional way a whetstone or a butcher’s steel is used to scour a knife’s blade. This method uses a series of horizontal and vertical strokes with the stone or steel to hone/sharpen a knife’s blade. The result is your standard cutting edge that looks like the image on the right.
The second is a newer process that uses a wheel or wheel sharpener to achieve a similar result. The main difference is that these devices are easier to use, produce a more consistent result, and are comparatively easier to use. These two factors make them more desirable for those who do not have much experience using whetstones or simply want an easier way of achieving the same results.
In both methods, you will follow these steps:
1: Hold the knife at a 20-degree angle relative to your knife, whether it’s a chef’s, santoku, or paring knife since all three types of knives have different angles on their tips.
2: Place the tip of the knife on the sharpening surface and align it so that the angle of your blade is facing away from you. Use light pressure and a long stroke with a circular motion to sharpen your tip. You can do this either freehand or with the help of a honing rod.
3: Move to the next side and repeat as mentioned above. It’s best to use varied strokes for both sides until your tip is sharp enough.
4: Repeat the process with the angle of your knife facing towards you.
5: Use honing steel or stone to sharpen and polish your tip by making small circular motions on the same side as before. This is done to remove any burrs. It is unnecessary for a sharp knife, but it will make it easier to handle and more comfortable to use.
Finally, remember that knives have two edges – a dull side and a short side. The duller of those two sides should face away from you while you’re sharpening your knife, as that is the side that will be touching the board as you cut into or slice through food.
Step2. Sharpen the tip of the blade
The top of the blade is where you will be cutting with your knife. As such, it must be sharpened so that it can endure all the use you will put it through. You can now use your honing steel or stone to sharpen the tip, as mentioned in Step 1 above.
Step3. Sharpen the bottom of the blade
This area is also known as “back” ground to differentiate it from where you are holding your knife for use, i.e., your knife’s front/sharp end. This is the part of your knife with the most contact in contact with the chopping board. Keeping it sharpened will help keep your knife balanced in your hand when you are cutting or slicing things in half at an angle.
Step4. Sharpen the spine of the blade
It is also essential to sharpen your knife’s spine as this is where you will be supporting what you’re cutting, and it’s also one way of ensuring that your knife lasts for a long time. You can sharpen it by simply using sharpening steel on one side and then flipping it over and using it on the other (sharp) side. Hold your steel at a 30-degree angle relative to the blade, and make sure to use light pressure as you go along.
Important Note: You should always sharpen both sides of the blade because the burr, which is the metal that curls up on either side of your knife’s edge, must be removed to preserve your cutting edge by flipping your blade over after sharpening.
Remember that no matter how sharp your knife is, it will eventually lose its edge by coming into contact with more rigid materials or simply getting dull. All you have to do is repeat the steps above when you start noticing signs that it’s losing its edge.
How Often Do I Need to Sharpen My Santoku Knife?
The frequency at which you need to sharpen your knife depends on the food you’re cutting and how often you use it. If you’re mainly cutting soft and delicate items, then sharpening less often would be sufficient. However, if you’re cutting hard items or frequently cutting, it is recommended that you sharpened your knife slightly more often than those who cut softer food more frequently.
Keeping your Santoku knife sharpened is an essential step in maintaining your knife’s quality. It helps to extend the life of your blade and makes it easier to use, which reduces the amount of time you spend sharpening it. Therefore, make sure that you are performing this maintenance regularly to keep your knife in good condition for as long as possible.
Q1. What do You need to Sharpen a Serrated Knife?
Serrated knives are sharpened differently than regular knives. The main difference is that they use sharpening steel for each side of the blade, with the serrated section facing towards the handle of your knife. This is because they are complicated to sharpen on a whetstone or steel, so you will most likely need to use an electric knife sharpener to do it for you properly.
Q2. Which Sharpening Stone is the Best for My Knife?
Different types of knife sharpeners need different types of sharpening stones or steel. Aside from the whetstone and the sharpening steel, there are medium and fine diamond whetstones that can be used with a stone holder, and there are also electric sharpeners which are sharpening steels. Get advice from your knife dealer for more information on what type of surface is best for your particular knife.