Sharpening knives - a Tasty Thursday video

Tools. You know that good tools make work more fun. Easier, even. Kitchen tools are no exception.

Knives are the ultimate kitchen tool. In order to be fun, and easy, and SAFE, though, they need to be kept sharp.

There are 2 "levels" of sharpening. One is for the "whoops, it's been a while, and man these knives are DULL even though I hone them all the time (or I don't do that either . . .)", and one is for the "Yay these are sharp! How do I keep them that way every day?"

The first level, where you need to bring back a hopelessly dull knife, takes some doing. You can either send it off to a sharpening place, or you can buy one of these tools and do it at home. It takes a while, though - sometimes far longer than the "15 each slot" shown in the video. It can take 5-10 minutes of work to get your knives sharp. This sharpening removes material from the blade, and it's NOT something you should do every day.

  1. Turn on the sharpener.
  2. Moving left to right on the tool, drop your knife in gently to the groove. There are magnets to guide and hold the knife at the right angle. I go back and forth, left and right, in each "slot" 15-20 times before moving on.
  3. Gently pull the knife back towards you, maybe a 2 second count (depending on how big the knife is) to let the sharpening bits do their stuff.

The second level, the daily "I want to keep my knife sharp and honed and safe" couple of swipes, involves a manual tool. The one in the video is no longer made, and the recommended one is now this one. We have this already on the boat, so I suppose I need to try to get used to it!

  1. This is for daily use. Actually, if you are using the knife more than daily, use this before you get to chopping, every time.
  2. The manual sharpener takes some pressure to make work. The sharpening bits are set to the proper angle already, but you do have to press hard to engage them. 
  3. Benefit with the need for pressure? You can FEEL and hear when the blade is getting sharper.
  4. The number of times you'll have to run the blade through the tool depends on how intense your last chopping session was.

Side note: using the right cutting board can vastly affect the sharpness life of your blade. If you are still using a glass cutting board, please stop. Now. Your poor knives. I'm a huge fan of maple boards from JK Adams, a Vermont company that is based in the small town where Jeremy and I were married all those years ago.