I can't sharpen knives

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libsmum

I can't sharpen knives

Over the years I have bought countless sharpening vehicles - from stones to gadgets inc the long thing you see butchers use and I can't for the life of me sharpen my knives. I read the instructions, I've asked the butcher to show me and it just doesn't work for me.

The butcher said to hold it at a 20 degree angle and go about it as if I were carving a thin slice. Tried it and my knives still end up more blunt than before I started.

Any tips or suggestions please ?

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John S.

I can't sharpen knives

There are numerous sites on the web that show in detail how sharpen a knife, all you need to do is type "how to sharpen a knife" into your browser and you should get quite a few hits.

Using only a steel does not sharpen a knife, the steel only "tunes"
the edge, you will need a honing stone also to first (whet) put the cutting edge on the blade then tune it with the steel, the stoned (wheted) angle and the angle the steel is used at are both different.

If you do not have good quality knives you are probably wasting your time because you will never get an inferior quality knife to hold an edge for very long, a soft steel blade will constanly have a feathered edge when sharpened which may at first give the impression that the knife is razor sharp but after a short time this feathered edge will fold sideways and cutting becomes more difficult, you will be able to feel this if you run the tip of a fingernail sideways from the centre of the blade and over the cutting edge, do this on both sides of the blade and you will feel what appears to be a sort of hook, this is the turned back feathered edge.

If you buy stainless steel knives it is best to invest in good quality knives that have a high carbon steel content and they don't come cheap!, a knife blade with a lower content of carbon steel will not hold an edge for very long and as such if a knife blade was made of stainless steel alone you would never get an edge suitable to cut anything except maybe your finger, thats why they are not made, stainless steel is tough but it is also a soft material.

A knife with a 100% carbon steel blade is a superior knife that holds an edge much much longer than a stainless steel/carbon steel blade but the problem with them is that they rust very easily and need constant care such as oiling after every wash.

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David Price

Sharpening knives

My suggestion is to buy a ceramic knife. I was given one for a Xmas present and it is the sharpest knife that I have ever had. I have had it two years now and it is still as sharp as the day I got it. They are not cheap but worth every penny. Be careful as they are extremally sharp.

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libsmum

ceramic vs metal

great help, thank you.

I have sabatier knives so they should sharpen up well. I was looking at a ceramic knife in lakeland last week but the sales guy didn't really have a clue.

does anyone else have a ceramic knife they would recommend ?

The cooks knife I saw was about £50

thanks

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Linzechris

Sharpening knives

The other alternative is to buy a 'Mino' sharpener.
I have some Global knives so bought one of these sharpeners as they are recommended by Global.You put water in it when you sharpen your knife and it sharpens it at a 20 degree angle.
Like you I have had many knives and many sharpeners but the 'Mino' one does sharpen even my 'normal' knives well although they do need sharpening much more often than the Global knives.
John is completely right but your Sabatier should sharpen well on one of these sharpeners.

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Nausea Bagwash

Sharpening knives

"Over the years I have bought countless sharpening vehicles - from stones to gadgets inc the long thing you see butchers use and I can't for the life of me sharpen my knives. I read the instructions, I've asked the butcher to show me and it just doesn't work for me.

The butcher said to hold it at a 20 degree angle and go about it as if I were carving a thin slice. Tried it and my knives still end up more blunt than before I started.

Any tips or suggestions please ?"

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Nausea Bagwash

Sorry

""Over the years I have bought countless sharpening vehicles - from stones to gadgets inc the long thing you see butchers use and I can't for the life of me sharpen my knives. I read the instructions, I've asked the butcher to show me and it just doesn't work for me.

The butcher said to hold it at a 20 degree angle and go about it as if I were carving a thin slice. Tried it and my knives still end up more blunt than before I started.

Any tips or suggestions please ?""

I cheat. I have a long line of butchers in my family so when I go visiting I take my knives. Just hope I never get stopped by the boys in blue!

If you have a tame butcher why don't you go shopping on a quiet day , taking your knives with you and flutter your lashes at him.

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Nausea Bagwash

Knives

Further to John S's comments it's better to buy good knives from a supplier to the catering trade rather from a fancy "Kitchen Shop" or a general catalogue of the sort that comes with a magazine, where you will be paying silly money for flashy knives which may well not be all they are cracked up to be.

As others have said, a good knife is not cheap but it should last you a lifetime.

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libsmum

ceramic vs metal

I took the plunge and bought a ceramic knife (£50.00) would that be a decent one do you think, for that price ?

you can bet i'll cut myself as soon as I get it!

what do you all use as your fave ? a chefs knife, santoku, paring etc etc ... I have an 8 inch chefs knife but I quite often chose a £3 cheap knife from my local chinese warehouse because its a good size and I can seem to get a good edge on it over all my expensive knives. (don't tell my oh i've just spent fifty quid on another knife when I just use a cheepy one!) lol

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Liz from Cumbria

Mine are Sabatier..

and they are years old. I do, though, seem to be able to use the steel for top up sharpening with no problem. My OH is a dab hand with the whet stone so I don't have a problem sharpening my knives. Very sharp knives don't seem to slip like blunt ones do so less cuts and when I do get "cack handed" the cut heals so much faster than they would with a blunt blade. I have never used a ceramic blade in a knife but have found ceramic pepper grinders to be much more efficient than steel ones - maybe not that much help but I don't think your ceramic blade will have been a waste of money. However, be careful not to drop it as I believe they can shatter easily.

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libsmum

butter fingers beware

"be careful not to drop it as I believe they can shatter easily. "

Ohhh nooo... you just know whats going to happen now don't you. groan!

I'm eagerly awaiting it's delivery. not sure what's more exciting, new kitchen piece or a new handbag ??

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libsmum

knife sharpening co

not sure if i can post this, i found a company that will sharpen domestic knives either by rm post or visit them in se london.

http://www.knifesharpeningcompany.com/

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libsmum

I heart my ceramic knife...

Ohhh... i just received my delivery and my ceramic knife is lovely, a beautiful piece of work, light and well balanced.

am happy .)

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Liz from Cumbria

Happy new knife!

Glad to hear you're pleased with it, here's to many years of efficient slicing of ingredients rather than yourself.

Oh, kitchen equipment rather than handbags!

 
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