Some say sharpening knives is an art that needs to be cultivated and practiced for many years. Well, maybe that's for when you want to achieve some kind of cult status as a knife sharpener, but if you just want a sharp knife, it shouldn't be too hard, don't worry we'll show you how. You will soon find that knife sharpening is a very practical skill to have and can save you lots of money too.
The first and only thing you will need to sharpen a knife is a sharpening stone, which you can buy at most local hardware shops. Then you just need some patience and time to get it right. Here's a step-by-step guide to make your life easier.
In order to know whether your first trial of knife sharpening has been effective, you need to have a point of comparison. Therefore, you need to test the edge of your knife before and after the sharpening process. You can test the knife by cutting any vegetable or fruit.
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Before using it, the sharpening stone needs to be prepared so that it does not cause damage to your knife. First, you should put the sharpening stone under running water and then place it on a damp cloth for a minute or two. This will help to reduce friction which can heat up the knife and damage it. The damp towel also helps to keep the stone from moving when you're using it.
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The way and position in which you hold the knife and stone is very important and can help prevent nasty accidents from happening. Make sure to hold the knife with the blade facing the opposite direction from you. The heel of the knife should be against the upper left corner of the sharpening stone. Lastly, the blade should be tilted at about a 15-20% angle from the stone.
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It's best to watch a short video as well, but basically you need to pull the blade across the stone towards you while maintaining the 15-20% angle. To hold the knife and help you guide your movements, you can place your fingers on the flat side of the blade.
You will need to repeat the motions of the step above several times on each side of the knife.
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Finally, test the knife again by cutting the same vegetables or fruits you used in your first test to get a more accurate comparison. A knife that has been sharpened well should have no problem slicing the skin of a mango or tomato with minimal pressure and effort.