Written by Maria Zarah

Sharpening your knife.

Our clients often ask for recommendations on sharpening knives; here is some beneficial information with hot links.

Many think they know how to sharpen a knife. Some do; most don’t really understand the science. If you want a good edge that will last, you must consider certain things. Most important in this deliberation is how you intend to use the knife. Purpose sets the angle of the grind. The chart below will help you determine the angle you want based on how you use your knife.

grind-angle-chart-copy

Grind-angle-chart-copy

Armed with the correct information, you can grind the knife at the appropriate angle for its job. Let me just say that a stone and free hand is not the way to go. If you free hand sharpen on a stone, good luck. As a human being, you cannot maintain the consistency needed. Your grind angle will inevitably differ from side to side and point to bolster. You can make it sharp enough but never as sharp as it should get. This performance gap comes from that human-induced variable angle. Frankly, your lifetime heirloom will always fall short of its true potential. At Bliss Knife Works we recommend a knife sharpening kit from Edge Pro. This simple system allows you to set the bevel you need and sharpen precisely with ease. A home use model costs around $165.00; use it once and you will never use anything else. Folks tell us that using this equipment helped them find true love, peace, and contentment–maybe even eternal salvation. That may be a stretch–we cannot verify how their love lives are going–but the knife sharpening kit from Edge Pro is definitely game changer.

A couple more tips to help you.

First, a knife steel is not supposed to sharpen a knife edge. Its purpose is to knock off the dings on the edge of a junk steel knife and make it relatively straight again. If you have a knife made of good steel you won’t need one. Most knives are made from soft junk steel. Do your homework and get a good set of knives. Remember, your decisions not only affect you but all the people around you. Please, for the sake of those around you who you love, buy good knives.

Have you ever seen someone spit on a sharpening stone and then start grinding away? Don’t be that guy. If you are sharpening a Damascus or high carbon steel knife use a cutting oil that is either petroleum based or one that contains rust inhibitors. Water–and that includes spit–will cause corrosion and rust.

The best way to see if you are getting your bevel correct or sharpening the bevel to the edge is to mark the bevel edge with a sharpie marker. This way you can see what areas are actually being removed when you are sharpening. When you grind the marker off completely you are done.

marker-edge

 

 

Also, on a traditional 50/50 bevel you should count how many time you run the stone over the edge per side. Be sure to apply the same pressure and do equal passes per side. If you are really serious, you should use an eye magnifier so you can truly see what you are doing to the edge. For about $10.00 you can add professional precision to your sharpening work.

If you take our advice your life will forever be changed for the better. Remember, a knife that isn’t sharp is dangerous!

Cut on friends!

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