Sharpening kitchen knives can be a challenging task if you're not familiar with the process. One of the most crucial aspects of sharpening is selecting the right angle. The angle at which you sharpen your knife will determine its sharpness, durability, and how long it retains its sharp edge.
Understanding the Angle
The angle of a knife's edge is the angle between the surface of the blade and the sharpening stone. It's crucial to note that the angle you choose will determine the sharpness and durability of your knife. A low angle will give you a sharper edge, but it will be less durable. Conversely, a higher angle will not be as sharp, but it will last longer.
Choosing the Right Angle
The most common angles for sharpening kitchen knives range from 17 to 30 degrees. Choosing the right angle depends on the type of knife you have and its intended use. A chef's knife, for example, is commonly sharpened at a 20-degree angle on both sides of the blade. However, a meat cleaver might be sharpened at a higher angle for added durability.
If you're unsure of the angle to use, it's always best to check the manufacturer's instructions or consult with a professional knife sharpener.
Once you've determined the correct angle for your knife, it's essential to use the proper sharpening technique. There are two primary techniques: honing and sharpening.
- Honing: Honing is the process of realigning the knife's edge without removing any material. This process is done using a honing steel, and it's recommended to be done frequently to maintain the knife's sharpness.
- Sharpening: Sharpening is the process of removing material from the blade to create a new, sharp edge. This process is done using a sharpening stone or an electric sharpener. Sharpening is typically done less frequently than honing.
Knowing the right angle to sharpen your kitchen knives is crucial for achieving the desired sharpness and durability. It's important to choose the right angle for your knife based on its intended use and to use the proper sharpening technique. With the proper angle and technique, you can keep your knives sharp and ready to tackle any kitchen task.