Today we will discuss two of the most discussed and probably the most important aspects of proper knife care. First, we’ll discuss why it’s important to make sure that you maintain a razor sharp knife rather than lugging along with a semi-sharp blade. Secondly, we’ll discuss how you can lengthen the lifespan of your sharpening stones.
Why you should keep your knife razor sharp
Quite of a few of us are guilty of this mistake. We tend to delay the pending sharpening and choose to keep working with a knife that is just “sharp enough”, not realizing the damage this can cause. Here’s why should ALWAYS keep your knives razor sharp.
- Safety. Yes, a sharp knife is a dangerous tool and tricky to master but a knife that is semi-sharp is even more dangerous. With a knife that is not properly sharp, you’d need to apply a lot more pressure than usual and that is indeed a recipe for disaster. The moment your attention diverts for a moment, you could end up with half a finger on the platter!
- Better food presentation. If you fancy yourself as a bit of an artist with the food, then a sharp knife is your best friend. Whether slicing vegetables for the salad or carving the turkey at the table, sharp carving knife will help you make a clean, quick incision. Also forcing and smashing the food with a dull blade can damage the food cells thus affecting its freshness and taste
- Saves time. It is always a hassle to drag along with a dull blade. It’s messy and it takes twice the time to prepare food. Do yourself a favor and sharpen your knives regularly. Not only will you save a ton of time, you will actually enjoy cooking.
Improving your stone’s lifespan
- Choose the correct sharpening angle. Although sharpening at a lower angle removes more metal but it wears the stone a lot quicker. If you have been sharpening for quite a while and still don’t see any tangible progress on the edge, it either means the knife requires thinning or you need to switch to a higher angle.
- Level the stone edges. Whetstones will usually start to wear from the middle and if the middle is not leveled to match the sides then the wear and tear in the middle will be compounded thus shortening the stone’s life. So periodically check for any imbalances by placing a ruler over the stone’s surfaces. If there’s a gap between the two then the stone needs leveling.
- Flip the stone. This simple hack can considerably add to your sharpening stone’s functional life. The idea behind flipping every time you sharpen is to make sure that the stone wears evenly on all sides. Leveling does flatten the surface but it does not ensure uniformity across each dimension. Flipping the stone achieves that.