Dancing Spoon: Keep Your Knives Sharp
At its foundation, cooking really only needs a few tools. They should be as good quality as you can afford and you should take care of them. This is especially true of your knives. Here're the basics of knifedom. Knives are for cutting. To cut they need to be sharp. When you use a knife it becomes dull. You need to sharpen your knives. Here's what happens. Through usage, a knife's edge actually wears away. To bring back the sharpness to the knife you must remove a small amount of material from the sides of the knife. That's what a sharpener does. There are many types of sharpeners, from sharpening stones (I've used them) to a manual sharpener like the Wusthof 2-Stage Sharpener (I've used them) to the electric sharpeners. I'm currently using the Chef's Choice 300W Diamond Hone Knife Sharpener pictured at the top. From the web site: The Chef's Choice sharpens in the two different stages: the sharpening stage and the second honing stage, which polishes the blade to a razor edge. Those two stages create different bevels, putting a "shoulder" on an edge instead of sharpening with a single bevel. The shoulder strengthens the edge so it lasts longer. And I think it does. The first time you use the sharpener you create those two bevels. After that, putting a new edge on takes just a minute or so. To make sure the angle is correct it has magnetic guides that hold the blade at the proper angle.
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We all need sharp kitchen knives, sharp pocket knives, sharp scissors, sharp garden tools, and sharp throwing axes. There are lots of quickie gadgets out there but none of them comes close to sharpening a knife like this system. I... We all need sharp kitchen knives, sharp pocket knives, sharp scissors, sharp garden tools, and sharp throwing axes. There are lots of quickie gadgets out there but none of them comes close to sharpening a knife like this system. It was designed by a guy who sharpens knives for the butchery industry so he knows what he's talking about. The kits are complete, the instructions are excellent and the tools are high quality. If you follow the system of sharpening with the tools in the kit, you will get a knife that is surgically sharp-- I mean really, really sharp. Your kitchen knives will cut through tomatoes like butter. No more poking the tip of your knife into the skin to start tearing open a tomato. You will fall in love again with every old kitchen knife you've got lying around in your drawers; you will start to carry a sharp pocket knife again and use it every day to open boxes and packages. This system requires holding the knife in a little clamp then sharpening it on two stones; you do not use any oils or lubricants so it's not messy. Once the knife is sharp, the kit has a nifty tool to actually test sharpness without cutting up your thumbnails or fingers. The kit also comes with an easy to use steel hone which will restore lightly used edges quickly. I suggest buying a kit with the book and spending maybe an hour or so sharpening your kitchen knives to perfection. You'll be amazed by the results and once you're knives are sharp you can keep them that way for a long time with a couple of quick passes on the steel. This is a lifetime kit. Learning to sharpen a knife is sort of an old world skill these days but once you learn how, you will realize two things: 1). it's not that hard to do and 2). you've been suffering with dull knives for way too long. Get one of these kits and get on the cutting edge!