How to sharpen knives
The ability to sharpen a knife has always been considered an integral attribute of any real man. And if in antiquity your life and the life of your family depended on this art, today the correct sharpening of a knife affects only the thickness of the sausage for a sandwich and therefore usually turns into a prerogative of hunters and collectors of gunsmiths.
Today, you can find a lot of tools for sharpening: traditional donkey, Japanese water stones in vogue, advanced electrical appliances and a lot of everything else. But the most reliable method of sharpening still remains the old-fashioned method - to use an ordinary grindstone. Do not forget that this process requires patience, a firm hand and certain skills, so in this case only practice will help to sharpen the knife correctly.
We decided to correct the situation and talk about ways to properly sharpen a knife.
Important! Even the ancient Slavs knife was not only an important subject in the economy, but also protected them from evil spirits, participated in various conspiracies and oaths. The knife presented to the child symbolized the transition to adulthood. Each father showed his son not only how to correct the knife, but also how to handle it, how to make a cover for it. And in today's time knives are not dissolved in the kitchen setting, they are collected and made an important part of the kitchen, buying unusual holders and stands. No ladles and shoulder blades deserve such attention. Proper sharpening of kitchen knives is a matter of honor for any owner, it’s not for nothing that they say: “Sharp knives in the kitchen are a good owner in the house”.
Why are knives blunt?
The knife loses its sharpness in the process of friction of the blade on the surface of a hard object. When cutting from a blade microscopic particles of steel come off. Speaking more simply, the blade is simply erased, which becomes the cause of the question of how to sharpen knives.
Common causes for knife blunting:
- If you often cut meat that contains bones, the blade will need to be sharpened almost daily.
- Often the owners of tools that cut products on stone countertops, without using a cutting board, are blunt. Therefore, in order not to edit the knife daily, use the plate. The most optimal for the blade is a wooden board. Glass, ceramic, plastic blunts the blade.
- If knives are used to cut solid objects at right angles, the blade will be blunt much faster.
Choosing a grinding stone
Grinding stones are both natural and artificial. The former, as a rule, have a fine-grained structure and are more suitable for fine-tuning than for sharpening a highly blunted blade. Artificial assholes are made with a large grain on one side of the bar and with a small grain on the other, which makes them more versatile.
Having chosen the right bar, it is necessary either to lubricate it with oil, or moisten it with water and let it stand for 15–20 minutes. This is necessary so that the microscopic gaps between the grains of the stone are not clogged with steel particles. If we neglect this rule, the little ass will serve much less than we would like.
If the bar is double sided, first use the rougher side. This will quickly remove the necessary layer of steel. For proper blade sharpening, the key is the angle at which the blade is located to the bar. The ideal angle is 20 degrees, but experienced people advise you to approach this creatively - depending on the type of knife and what works it will be used for.
Hunting and folding knives are sharpened at an angle of 30–35 degrees, if sharpness of the cutting edge is needed, or at an angle of 40–45 degrees, in order to increase resistance to dulling. Tactical knives - 25–40 degrees. Professional cook, boning and filet knives are sharpened at an angle of 25 degrees, and home kitchen knives - 25–30, while Japanese kitchen knives are sharpened at an angle of 10–20 degrees; razors - 10-15 degrees. The main thing - to remember: the smaller the angle of sharpening, the sharper the knife, and the more - the longer it will remain sharp.
Sharpen the knife should be smooth movements, slightly lifting the handle when it comes to sharpening the bending of the blade. This will keep the same sharpening angle of the entire cutting edge. In addition, the blade must be led so that the direction of motion is always perpendicular to the cutting edge.
That is why devices that are popular among housewives and consisting of a piece of plastic, in which two disks made of abrasive material, are not suitable for proper sharpening. They sharpen the knife quickly, but the blades sharpened in this way will also become dull very soon.
You do not need to press on the blade with all your strength, but you should not iron the grinding bar with the knife either - it is important to find a middle ground. The blade should be sharpened until a clearly felt “burr” appears on the reverse side of the cutting edge. In this case, you can proceed to the processing of the back side of the blade.
After the blade-forming surfaces have been brought to mind on a rough grindstone, you can start fine-tuning them with a fine grain.
In order to make the blade razor-sharp, after processing with a fine-grained stone, you can take a special belt or just a piece of leather. Our reader Konstantin Luchnikov, a man in this case is sophisticated, warns: sharpening on a belt is different from sharpening on an abrasive bar. On the bar, you can sharpen both "for grain" and "from grain" (however, it is still a matter of controversy), but the sharpening on the skin is only "from grain".
The skin should be treated with GOI grinding paste or any other abrasive paste. Sharpening on a belt is no different from sharpening on the wheel, so there are no special subtleties here - use the skin in the same way as a whetstone.
Alternative ways to tweak
As a grinding stone, you can use the ceramic edge of a plate or cup. Just flip them over and make sure the edge at the bottom has a rough surface.
The sets of kitchen knives today certainly include musat - a steel bar with longitudinal grooves and a handle. It is not suitable for sharpening, but allows you to keep the blade sharp for longer. Indeed, it is a much less time consuming process than a full-fledged sharpening a blade a couple of times before and after work on the blade.
In marching conditions, look for special stones, about which you can sharpen hardened steel, - the occupation is not the easiest. Therefore, hunters carry with them miniature donkeys, and often bring about the sheath in which this knife is kept.
Check the quality of sharpening
You can find out how well you sharpened a knife in several simple ways. The first and safest thing is to check the knife in action. To do this, take a piece of paper, preferably newspaper, and try to cut it.
Or take a tomato and try to cut it: with a blunt knife, as you know, soft vegetables and fruits are difficult to cut. Japanese knives are checked in a spectacular way, tested by samurai: the newspaper is rolled into a tight roll, the ends of which are wrapped with tape.
This design should be installed on the edge of the table and strike at an angle. If the knife is sharp enough, the paper column will fall apart into two parts, like a bamboo stem cut by a katana.
Also, the quality of sharpening is checked by touch. This is unsafe, but it allows you to identify possible defects that may appear in the process of working with a grindstone. You need to gently hold the thumb pad across the blade, not pressing. If the edge of the blade is clearly pronounced, then you have done a good job. The dull blade to the touch will be clearly rounded. The sharpness of the blade can be checked on the eye. To do this, bring the knife to the light source and see if the cutting edge does not glare. If there is glare, then there are stupid areas.