How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives?
How to Sharpen Kitchen Knives? - Meat Hacks
Learn which sharpener you should be using in your Kitchen with Walton's and Meatgistics. Watch the video, read the guide, and then post your questions or comments below.
Comparing knife sharpeners
Nothing makes processing as annoying or as difficult as a dull knife. When you can’t slice cleanly through a piece of meat you are damaging your product, adding processing time, and most importantly putting yourself in danger. You might have heard me say that sharp knives do not cause accidents, dull ones do! It’s true; a sharp knife will easily slice into whatever cut of meat you want, while a dull will skip or slip, and then whoops, here we go to the emergency room! We sell numerous sharpeners that are designed to keep your cutlery in tip-top shape so we are going to review and compare a few of them for you.
Most of the knives in your kitchen are just going to be slightly dull, not seriously damaged, or have a truly rounded edge so we have purposefully dulled some knives here to the same degree as what you would typically find in a kitchen. We will be testing them before and after with the paper test which is an easy way to see if a knife is sharp. If the knife passes through the paper cleanly and easily it is nice and sharp; if it pulls or tears the paper, then it is still dull.
The Multi-Cut Steel is more abrasive than an ordinary steel; it also has these grooves, which will help sharpen it up. When we try the paper test on this knife, it grabs the paper instead of slicing cleanly through it. Let’s try running it ten passes a side on the Multi-Cut steel. We want to make sure we are doing one side and then the other so we do not push the edge one way or the other too much. After about a minute of using this steel, this knife is slicing cleanly through the paper, with no tears or pulls. This was a nice and easy way to get us from a dull knife to a nice and sharp one.
Chef’s Choice is a popular name in home sharpening, and the Chef’s Choice 120 is their economy model. The 120 works in two stages; the first stage has an orbiting diamond sharpening surface which helps sharpen and set the angle of the edge, and then the second stage is finer and hones the edge. The first stage will take quite a long time the first time you use a knife with this sharpener. This is because it wants to reset the angle of the blade, as the sharpener can only do one angle. You will have to make 15-20 passes a side with your knife. The good news is that according to the instructions, you only need to do this one time per knife. Subsequent sharpenings will only require 3-4 passes in stage one. So, I made 20 passes a side in stage 1, and 3 passes a side in stage two, and the knife passes pretty cleanly through the paper. This took a little longer than the steel, but still did a fairly nice job.
The Swiss Sharp Handheld Sharpener from Victorinox is an inexpensive sharpener from a well-respected brand. It has a groove at the end of the handle with two angled pieces of metal to sharpen the knife as you pull it through. As you pull the knife through, you can hear the metal being shaved off and see some metal shavings. This did a surprisingly good job on this knife with minimal effort.
The Tru-Hone is what we use to sharpen our customers’ knives when they send them in, and believe me when I tell you nothing else going to work as well or as quickly as this. It puts a great edge on any blade with minimal fuss. A blade that just needs a basic sharpening will be done a minute, but it does have the ability to restore extremely dull knives or ones with large nicks in them. The only downside of this unit is that at just over $1,100, it is out of most people’s price range. We have a knife here in need of some basic sharpening, so we are going to follow the simple and easy process that tru-hone recommends. We will do three passes with the bevel set to the Red knob and the speed at a 7, then move the bevel knob to the white setting and do two more passes at a 7 speed. Finally, we are going to move the bevel down to the blue knob and move the speed down to a 3, and very lightly pass the blade through. If, at this point, we are not satisfied with our blade, we will just repeat the process. But after a single run through this process, you can see that this knife is razor sharp. Just to show you what this sharpener can do, we have a knife here that we have intentionally ground down to have no edge. We are going to make ten passes through the first and second steps and then 3 through the third. After going through these steps, this is razor-sharp again!
So of the four, the Tru-Hone clearly does the best job, but for now, let’s set that aside as the price point makes it a little unrealistic to have in your home kitchen. Between the Chef’s Choice and Swiss Sharp Sharpener, I liked the Swiss Sharp better. It did an excellent job with very little effort, and it is about 1/3 of the price. The best of these three, though, was the Muli-Cut Steel. It worked beautifully, is easy to use, and is more versatile than either the Chef’s Choice or the Swiss Sharp.
For our product review, we have the Hexarmuor NXT cut-resistant glove. A lot of cut-resistant gloves are bulky and make it awkward to handle a knife for long periods. The Hexarmour is nice and thin, so I retain pretty much full range of motion and dexterity. It has an additional coating that exceeds ISEA level 5 cut protection on the palm and first three fingers, where most accidents happen. We just sharpened this knife, and I can press down and saw pretty hard, and it is nowhere near to breaking through the glove. It also has the added benefit of being poke resistant, where it has this extra coating. Again, I can stab at my hand with some pretty serious force, and my hand is protected. So, do yourself a favor and add a Hexarmour NXT glove to your next order from Walton’s, they are only $20.99 and can prevent a trip to the emergency room!
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