A sharp knife in the kitchen is surely one of the important steps towards becoming a culinary expert. Whether it is the thin julienne cut bell peppers you like in your Chow Mein or some diced onions tossed in the pan for caramelizing, a sharp knife is your ultimate tool. Apart from the ones who aspire to become a culinary expert, a sharp knife is necessary for everything you do around the kitchen. To always have a sharp knife at your service, you also need to own a knife sharpener.
Today, knives are not only crucial in the kitchen, but they are frequently used for outdoor purposes as well, such as camping, butchering meat, hunting, etc. All these knives are broadly known as outdoor knives, and they also need to be sharpened frequently as a dull knife is way more dangerous than a sharp one could be.
Is Sharpening the Knife Important?
Though it might seem like a ridiculous question, many people do not pay heed to when their knives need sharpening. It is, therefore, incredibly important to highlight that sharpening your knives – both the kitchen and outdoor ones – is undeniably important. First of all, a dull knife is not at all efficient in carrying out any function – be it cutting something or trying to tear the plastic wrap off of something.
Secondly, most significantly, a dull knife is way too dangerous than a sharpened one. Well, not in the same way, but a dull knife will require more effort and pressure, which in turn increases the chances of an injury. And since a dull knife does not get the job done, it results in a waste of money and items. Also, it destroys that beautiful piece of beef tenderloin or the fresh vegetables you got for dinner.
Importance of Sharpening the Outdoor Knives
The category of outdoor knives is quite broad, which primarily includes survival and hunting knives. The former one is a fundamental tool for people who are adventurous to the core and love challenging outdoor activities, such as camping, climbing, or extremely dangerous hiking. These knives have sharp blades made mostly of stainless steel. They are ideal for cutting through a rope, a bush, or even defending against a wild animal in worst-case scenarios, hence known as survival knives.
As one can see how important all the uses of a survival knife is, you must sharpen them before leaving the house for any adventure. A dull survival knife would be useless if you encounter any difficulty during your camping or hiking. You would not be able to cut the ropes for setting up a tent or ignite a fire or perform any defensive act while out in the woods.
Hunting knives are another most common type of outdoor knives. They are usually equipped with a curved blade along with a gut-hook point. The serrated edges of the hunting knives need to be sharpened before every use as cutting and slicing through meat would be extremely difficult. As mentioned before, a dull hunting knife would result in your tasks becoming more challenging and dangerous.
How Frequently Should You Sharpen Your Knives?
You are the best one to judge when and how frequent your knives need sharpening. However, as a general guideline, experts assert that all kitchen knives should be sharpened once in a week. Nevertheless, it depends on various things, such as which knife are you using? What is the material of the blade? How often do you use it? And so on.
The following are some points that you should consider when deciding how often you should sharpen your knives.
- The Material of The Blade
The material of the blade is critically important in deciding how frequent the knives should be sharpened. It is said that blades made of carbon steel need to be sharpened every time before you use them. However, if you own a knife made of stainless steel, then you might skip sharpening it before every use.
The kitchen knives are usually made of stainless steel. Therefore, you do not need to sharpen them every time you start cutting salad or making chopped vegetables.
This is also an important consideration that helps you decide about sharpening your knife. If you have more than one knife and you do not use all of them regularly, then it is highly unlikely that your knives need attention every day. In some cases, people are less likely to use fruit knives daily; therefore, they do not need to be sharpened very frequently.
Often, we favor one knife over the other and end up using that one more than any other knife. If this is the case, then you need to sharpen your favorite knife frequently before every use.
- Cutting Surface
Knives used on wooden cutting boards require less frequent sharpening than the ones used on glass or metal.
- How you Store the Knives
It is important to note that proper storage of knives plays an eminent role in determining their sharpness. The proper way to store knives is to let them dry completely before keeping them away. Also, to prolong the life of your knife’s blade, you can coat it with oil after it is dried. If you store your kitchen or outdoor knives in this way, they are less likely to require honing before every use.
Out Top Picks for Knife-Sharpening Tools
Note: The following list in no specific order.
Powered by 120 volts, this Presto EverSharp knife sharpener is the only thing you need in your house to hone your knives in less than a minute. It gives your knives the most professional touch and sharpens the blades with two easy steps.
If you have been looking for a knife sharpener that takes all the worries off your shoulders, then this Presto electric knife sharpener is the best option to go for. It sets your knives at the right angle all the time and results in a razor-sharp blade. It has sapphirite sharpening wheels that provide precise results.
With this Sunrise Pro supreme knife sharpener, you wouldn’t have to face any problem related to blunt knives ever. This sharpener comes with an anti-slip base, which makes it perfect for everyone to use.
You have to set your knife and turn on the tool – it is as easy as anything. It delivers precision and err-free results every time. The appearance of this knife sharpener is sleek and glossy – adding a charm to your kitchen shelf.
Whetstones have been around for a long time to sharpen various types of knives. Although this tool requires more effort and hard work, the results are way better than using the latest technology. However, the whetstones cannot be simply used by anyone. Sharpening knives with whetstones requires a little of prior practice.
Fallkniven DC3 whetstone is made of Diamond/Ceramic and delivers accurate and precise results. It is popular amongst the outdoorsmen for sharpening their outdoor tools and knives. One big advantage of buying whetstone, instead of an electric sharpener, is that you can easily carry it along in your backpack without having to worry about electricity.
Ceramic steel rods are one of the most popular and utilized tools for honing knives. They are durable and convenient to use. Simply angle your knife against the steel rod and get the desired results every time. It comes with a large plastic handle for you to grasp on conveniently.
This ceramic steel rod is easy to store as well. All you need to do is tuck it in the drawer alongside other kitchen utensils, and you are good to go. Similarly, you can also carry in your outdoor backpack when going for hunting or camping.
Equipped with diamond abrasives, the Chef’s Choice Diamond Hone manual knife sharpener is there to make your life easier. It has a three-stage honing pattern and produces sharp results every time. Whether it is your outdoor knife you want to sharpen before you embark on an adventure or your kitchen knife to cut items like a professional, the ProntoPro Diamond Hone Manual Knife Sharpener is an excellent choice.
This amazing knife honing tool is engineered and assembled in the U.S.A.
This Bavarian Edge Kitchen Knife Sharpener looks extremely classy sitting atop your kitchen counter. Besides its classic look, this knife sharpener by BulbHead is extremely efficient and proactive. The spring-action arms in this knife sharpener help get the job done in seconds.
If you want ease and comfort, then forget the onerous task of honing your knives using a whetstone or a ceramic steel rod and do yourself a favor. Get this knife sharpener for precise results every single time.
Knives are essential tools that make our indoor as well as outdoor lives easier. They are there to bring convenience and safety in our lives. However, using a blunt knife, time and again, only results in excessive efforts that do not get the work done. So, no matter how strange it might sound, honing knives is safer and convenient for us.