This is a guest article by Billy Trotter, a knife designer in the UK. His website is at: https://perkinknives.com/
Sure, you may have never even thought about sharpening your knife before, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t do it. In fact, that means that you should definitely do it. No two ways about that, really. Otherwise, a few months will simply pass, and before you even know it, all your knives are dull and pretty much useless in the grand scheme of things. Now that isn’t a desirable situation by any means. Especially if you’re the kind of person who uses your knives a lot.
Now, whether it’s for a stainless steel folding knife or a survival knife, knives on the whole do require a great deal of care and looking after. If you happen to be a knife enthusiast, you will most certainly know exactly what I am talking about. If you don’t know even a single knife care tip, having so many knives is really not going to be of much use, whatsoever. Making yourself aware of a few vital tips is pretty much the first step towards taking good care of your knife or knife set.
On that very note, let us take a good look at some of the most important knife care tips:-
- Testing your knife with a piece of paper: Though it may sound a bit silly to some of you out there, this is the best way of figuring out whether they really need to be sharpened or not. If the knife cleanly cuts through, then you know for sure that you’ve found the razor edge that you need.
- For sharpening, start with a paring knife: In this regard, it is recommended that you start with a much lighter and smaller 8-10 inch plastic paring knife. Also, remember to try and avoid any knives that happen to have bolsters. That is one aspect that you cannot afford to forget about.
- Honing your knife is just as important as sharpening it: Don’t automatically assume that just because a knife isn’t cutting cleanly means it isn’t sharp. The sharp edge might have rolled over, or it may even be out of alignment. Make sure that you use a honing steel to fix a rolled edge.
- Apply more pressure when sharpening: One of the most common knife sharpening mistakes is a lack of properly applied pressure. You need to make sure that you are applying the proper amount of pressure.
- The angle of sharpening does matter: If you take a look at all the expert knife sharpeners, you will see that all of them use specific degrees for particular tasks. It is as simple as that, provided you want to achieve as much accuracy as possible. Like splitting chickens would be about 20 degrees and cutting cucumbers would be about 10.
At the end of the day, be it getting to know and implementing different types of sharpening, or slowly getting on your way to becoming a master bladesmith, you need to take care of your knives in every way possible. After all, what’s the point of getting some of the most expensive and exquisite knives on the market if you’re not going to take good care of them and simply neglect them?
Apart from the above tips, make sure that you know exactly which of them are most important for your knife in particular and focus on those tips in particular. After all, not all knives are made equally or from the same materials. Keeping that fact in mind at all times is a must.
For additional information on blade sharpening equipment, check our article “Sharpen Those Blades”