Introduction: How to Sharpen Your Straight Edge Kitchen Knives
There is nothing, more stressful (at least for me) nor more dangerous than a dull kitchen knife. The times that I have cut myself with a knife was when I had a dull knife in my hand and instead of cutting through the food, the knife would slide off, and got me! Of all the nerve! So in many ways, a sharp kitchen knife is a lot safer than a dull one. You really don’t need NEW knives. You need the ones you own to be sharpened. So here we go on "How to Sharpen Your Straight Edge Kitchen Knives".
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Your dull kitchen knives
Varying types of knife sharpeners (telling you what kind is what this Instructable is about)
Something to cut
I have learned that there are 3 types of sharpening apparatus; course, medium and then fine (like a steel). I have used one or the other on my knives over the years, but it wasn’t until I ran my knife through all three, starting with a course, then the medium then the fine, that I had a truly wonderful sharp knife.
Let’s talk about each kind of sharpener and where they can be found (they all can be found on line, just google “knife sharpeners”) and about what they will cost.
If your knives are really dull you will first need to a get course sharpener with sharpening blades forming a 45° angle. Mine looks like this. I just walked into a store one day, there it was, and I bought it. Couldn’t have been more than $5, but don’t ask me where, because it was more years ago than I care to think about and my mind being the sieve it is, I just don’t remember.
I found this one at Amazon.com:
http://www.amazon.com/Smith-Abrasives-CCKS-2-Step-Sharpener/dp/B00032S02K/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1324282399&sr=8-7. This is a nice, course and fine, sharpener at a cheap price of under $5.00. Run your dull knife through the course side 5 times. This course sharpener will take off any burrs and smooth out some of the knicks.
This is my medium course sharpener. I got it at IKEA for around $7. It has two rotary wheels that meet at a 45° angle and it takes the sharpening one step further. The sharpening blades will roll as you roll your knife through it, and the blade will become even sharper. Run your knife through a medium sharpener, 5 times.
Next is the fine sharpener. I have both a steel and a little handle ceramic one. My mood will dictate which one I use. I have a degree in foods and I have cooked in hospitals, restaurants, etc. so I have had a lot of practice with the steel. If you don’t want to worry about the steel, get one like this. I picked it up at Harbor Freight for less than $7.00. If you bought one with the fine on the opposite end of the course, just turn it over and run your knife through it 5 times.
Now take the something you have to cut and cut it. I see that smile, isn’t a sharp knife amazing? See, sharp means less stress or pressure to cut your food. Last time I was in Colorado, I got a sharpener with a course and fine ends and sharpened my daughter-in -laws knives, teaching her how as I went. She was amazed at how easy it was to cut the carrots she served for supper, that evening.
One of the quickest ways to dull your knives is to run them through the dish washer. Always hand wash and dry you knives to keep them sharper longer. Store them in a knife block so that they are handy and out of reach of little hands. Enjoy your sharp knives and be safe, also, ENJOY!
PS: The only serrated knife I have it my bread knife. I just prefer straight edge knives. So I don’t have a lot of serrated knives to keep sharp. You can find serrated knife sharpeners on line.