Knife Sharpening Tips

Terminologies to be aware of before understanding the procedures for knife sharpening:
Knife sharpening: Method of making a knife sharp by rubbing against hard and rough surface. The hard surface can be stone or sandstone paper. Sandstone paper is not hard but its surface is rough so can be used for sharpening of knife.

Edge angle: The angle between blade of knife and stone against which it is grinded is known as edge angle.
Role of edge angle: Smaller the edge angle sharper the blade will be.

Recommendation regarding edge angle:
200 Sharp knife
100 Very sharp knife
250 Tough edge

Knifes are sharpened according to their application and the edges they possess. For instance surgical scalps are extremely sharp but fragile; those used for shaving are very sharp but need to be strong, those used for chopping need to have tough edge. Thus, how you need to sharpen a knife completely depends on the knife’s use. But before sharpening a knife, one needs to keep certain tips in mind to sharpen it effectively. These are discussed below:

» If using diamond stone or whetstone for sharpening:

  1. Choose an angle for sharpening. Contact the manufacturer or read through the manual given while purchasing.
  2. Lubricating oil or even water needs to be sprayed over the stone while sharpening: Doing this facilitates smoother run of blade over stone and also prevents the stone pores to be clogged by burrs.
  3. Look at the grit of stone. Generally one side of stone is rough and the other smooth. Rough grit should be used for sharpening.
  4. Drag the blade in opposite direction over the stone to have a symmetrical edge and for prolonged use.
  5. Sharpen one side of blade until burr is developed. Presence of burr indicates that some metal has been lost due to grinding.
  6. Once a burr is developed on one side, sharpen the other side of blade with finer grit of stone. Stone needs to be flipped to a side having finer grit.
  7. For getting a polished as well as sharp edge, sharpen one side of knife with single stroke then flip it and go for another single stroke. Finer grit should be used for doing this.

» Using honing rod:

Another method of sharpening is to use a honing rod. It helps in keeping knives sharp when they are in use. Honing rod realigns the metal in the blade. Unlike stones, metals are not lost from edge while using this. For longer span of knives honing rods are used.

» Using coffee mugs:

Coffee mugs can also be used as sharpening tool for knives if one does not find any fancy tool around them for sharpening. Generally these are made from ceramic material and thus are coarser and hard in nature. This property facilitates it for using as sharpening tool.

Thus, there are many sharpening methods to sharpen a knife. Keeping basic property needed for sharpening one can use any tool for getting their job done. These are some of the basic sharpening tips that will help you keep your knives sharp.