Knife maintenance may seem trivial to most people, but many professionals pride themselves on how well-maintained their cutleries are. A dull knife can only grind and not cut; it requires more time and effort to use and tends to make a mess. However, with proper care and sharpening, high-quality knives like a wusthof knife will last a long time and serve you well.
All knives dull over time, but some need to be sharpened more often than others. For example, the blades of chef’s knives, serrated bread knives and older-style cutlery should be honed regularly to prevent excessive wear on the blade and the cutting edge. Here are knife sharpening tips from the professionals.
Use the right kind of sharpening stone – coarse, medium or fine
Sharpening stones are often colour-coded in green/grey/brown. The number of grains per millimetre corresponds to the degree of coarseness. Sharpening your knives and tools with a stone is an important skill that every cook master should know. With the right kind of stone, you will be able to sharpen your knife efficiently and with less effort. With the help of sharpening stones, you can restore the edge on your blade so it can sharpen its first level. It also works to remove debris and coating on the blade.
Use good steel – for perfect edges
Sharpening steels are the best choice to remove metal and give blades a good shape. These tools aren’t just helpful in maintaining your knives but also increase their lifespan considerably. You just only need to use the steel every time after you have used your knife, no matter if it is still sharp or not anymore. Sharpening steel can be used daily or just when your blades have lost their sharpness.
Sharpen by hand – or with a sharpening machine
Sharpening your knife by hand is the easiest method – all you need are a few simple steps. But it does take some experience to do this regularly, so you have to be patient first. If this doesn’t feel right for you, opt for a sharpening machine instead. Here too, you will need some practice, but it generally works well. If you already know how to use sharpening steels, you can easily sharpen your knives by hand with step-by-step instructions.
Store it properly – to prevent the blade from being damaged
Store each knife individually in its protective sheath or place it into a wooden knife holder. Even storing your knives next to one another without their protective sheaths can lead to scratches on the blades, which reduces their lifespan considerably.
After some time, all knives need to be sharpened again. A sharpening stone or sharpening steel is a perfect method for keeping your wusthof knife and other blades in shape. However, for best results with an electric machine, you will also need some practice.
It will help if you remember to always start with the coarsest tool. Only then, hone the knife with a little more on a medium sharpening stone and finish off with a gentle grind using a fine sharpening stone. To prevent an already damaged blade from being further scratched, storing each knife in its protective sheath or placing it into a wooden holder is best. This way, you can prevent metal from being removed and protect the knife blades.
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