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Guide to sharpening knives: Step by step guide

A sharp knife is not only an indispensable tool in the kitchen, but also a sign of skill and care. In this guide we will show you how to sharpen western knives effectively. Follow our step-by-step instructions and get perfectly sharpened knives!

Table of contents

  1. Tools and materials for knife sharpening
  2. Preparation of the knife
  3. Determination of the focus angle
  4. Sharpening the knife
  5. Stripping and polishing
  6. Knife care tips

1. tools and materials for sharpening knives

To get the most out of your knife sharpening, you need the right tools and materials. Here are the basic utensils you need:

  • Sharpening Stone - A sharpening stone or whetstone is the most important tool for sharpening knives. You can choose between water stones, oil stones and diamond stones.
  • Grinding aid (optional) - A grinding aid helps you to maintain the correct angle during the sharpening process.
  • Honing leather or stone - For honing and polishing the knife after sharpening.
  • Sharpening rod - For regular resharpening of knives.
  • Water or grinding oil - For moistening the grinding stone.

2. preparation of the knife

Before you start sharpening, you should clean your knife thoroughly. Remove all residues and dry the knife well to prevent rust formation.

2.1 Preparing the whetstone

If you are using a water stone, soak it in water for about 10-15 minutes until no more air bubbles rise. For oil stones, simply apply a thin layer of grinding oil. Diamond stones do not require any preparation.

3. determination of the angle of focus

The sharpening angle is crucial for an optimal result. Western knives usually have a sharpening angle of 20-25 degrees. If you are unsure, stick to the manufacturer's recommended angle.

4. sharpening the knife

Now that the knife and whetstone are prepared, you can begin sharpening. Follow these steps:

4.1 Placing the knife on the whetstone

Place the cutting edge of the knife on the whetstone so that the sharpening angle is maintained. If necessary, use a grinding aid to keep the angle constant.

4.2 Sharpening the first page

  1. Hold the knife by the handle with one hand and place the other hand on the back of the blade to apply pressure.
  2. Drag the blade in an even arc across the grindstone while maintaining the sharpening angle. Move from the end of the blade to the tip and back again.
  3. Repeat this process until a burr (a thin, sharp edge) forms on the opposite side of the blade.

4.3 Sharpening the second side

  1. Turn the knife over and repeat the sharpening process on the other side of the blade until a burr forms here as well.
  2. Be sure to make the same number of strokes on both sides of the blade to ensure even sharpness.

4.4 Fine tuning (optional)

If your knife is particularly dull or you want a very fine edge, repeat the sharpening process with a finer grindstone.

5. honing and polishing

After the knife is sharpened, it is important to remove the burr and polish the edge. The honing leather or honing stone is used for this purpose.

5.1 Preparation of the honing pad or stone

Apply polishing paste to the honing leather if necessary. A whetstone should be wetted with water or oil.

5.2 Pulling off the knife

  1. Hold the knife at the same angle as when sharpening and drag it over the honing leather or honing stone.
  2. Change the sides of the blade after each pull and perform this procedure several times until the burr is completely removed and the edge is polished.

6. knife care tips

To keep your knives in optimal condition and maintain sharpness, follow these knife care tips:

  • Regular resharpening: Use a sharpening rod to maintain the blade on the grindstone between sharpenings.
  • Proper Cleaning: Clean your knives with warm water and mild dish detergent after each use. Dry them thoroughly to prevent rusting.
  • Proper storage: Store your knives in a knife block, knife bag or on a magnetic knife holder to protect them from damage and premature dulling.
  • Avoid aggressive cutting surfaces: use wooden or plastic cutting boards to protect your knives and keep them sharp.
  • No improper use: Use your knives only for their intended purpose and avoid improper handling, such as using the knife blade as a screwdriver.

With these tips and our step-by-step knife sharpening guide, you'll be well equipped to keep your Western knives sharp, efficient and safe. Remember that practice makes perfect, and over time you will become more adept at sharpening your knives.

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