What You Need to Know about Knife Sharpening
Sharp knives do more than provide you with the best results in your slicing and chopping; they also protect you from injury. Keeping your knives sharp ensures your kitchen operates at peak efficiency and safety. There is a distinct difference between honing your knives and actually sharpening them through a quality online knife sharpening service.
Knife Honing (Realigning) Process
The steel that you find in your knife block is called a honing steel. Contrary to popular opinion and videos, it is not technically a “sharpening” steel because it does not actually sharpen your blade. Many chefs ignore their steel rods believing they simply don’t work. In reality, a honing rod works great! However, its job is to straighten and pull the edge back up on an already sharp knife. Sharpening involves removing metal particles from the blade to create a sharper knife. Honing is the process of realigning and straightening a knife edge so it cuts more efficiently.
Why Is Honing Your Knife Important?
Imagine having sharp knives all the time! If you learn to hone your knives, your edges will stay incredibly sharp for many many months. After your knives have been professionally sharpened, the edges have been thinned out significantly. Over time, even the hardest steel and edge will start to curl to one side and bend at a microscopic angle. While you might not be able to see that subtle bend, you will notice a difference when you try to use your knife for cutting or slicing. The bend will eventually fold, and lead to the dulling of your knife over time.
How Often Should I Hone Knives?
Some professionals recommend honing your knife before each use, which is not typically a problem since the process only takes a few seconds to complete. If you keep your blade properly aligned by sticking with this habit, you will likely be able to go much longer between professional sharpening sessions to keep your knives in really top form.
How Is Honing Done?
Follow these easy steps to hone your knife:
- Hold the steel vertically with the tip resting on your countertop.
- Keep your fingers behind the handle lip to protect your fingers from the blade.
- Place the edge of your knife on the steel at a 20° angle (approximately a pencil tip eraser thickness from spine to rod).
- Gently pull the blade along the steel, using care not to use too much pressure.
- Repeat the process approximately 5-7 times for each side of the blade.
While regular honing is an effective way to keep your knives cutting well, you will likely need to sharpen your knives periodically also. This process can be a DIY job, but is usually better handled by professionals, such as a mail-in knife sharpening service.
The Knife Sharpening Process
Knife sharpening differs from honing in that metal is actually removed from the blade to create a sharper edge. There are a number of tools to use for this process, including a whetstone, grinding wheel, water stone or electric sharpener. You can purchase these tools online if you want to sharpen your knives on your own. There are also instructions online to help you understand how the process works and how you can put a good edge on your blade with DIY techniques.
While DIY sharpening is doable, it is not always the most desirable way to maintain your valuable collection. Unlike honing your knives, the sharpening process can result in damage to the blade if it is not performed properly. Because you are actually grinding away a portion of the metal, you can be left with a blade that is too thin and weak. You can even break the blade during the sharpening process or shortly after sharpening if the blade becomes too weak to cut properly.
Since there is the risk for damage, many professional and amateur chefs turn to professional sharpening services to ensure their knives are treated with plenty of TLC throughout the sharpening process.
Choosing A Quality Online Knife Sharpening Service
If you are looking for an online knife sharpening service, keep in mind that not all companies are created equal. Many require you to print out an order form, hand write your information and send your sensitive credit card information through the mail to serve as payment. There is often no guarantee on how quickly you will get your knives back, which can be a serious problem in commercial and personal kitchens alike.
Knife Sharpening By Mail and Payment
At Schmidt’s Knives, we understand that your knives are essential tools for your kitchen that you simply cannot live without. Our online knife sharpening allows you to complete your order online and enter your credit card information through our secure website. As a commitment to customer service and quality, we believe in charging customers after their knives have been delivered back safely and in mint condition.
Easy Shipping and Replacement Knives
When you complete your online order, you can request one of our patent-pending shipping boxes that makes it easy to send your precious collection through the mail. We also provide you will all the shipping labels you will need to complete your mail-in sharpening service. When you receive your shipping box, you will find a set of high-quality replacement knives enclosed that you may use while you wait for your own knives to be returned.
Top Service, Every Time
The team at Schmidt’s Knives is committed not only to ensuring you have high-quality cutlery, but also that you enjoy top-notch sharpening service every time you contact us. We want our customers to know we value them and their cutlery collections, so we treat both with the highest level of care. From easy-to-understand pricing to fast service, we want to be your only choice in online knife sharpening.
Maintaining your knives properly often involves a combination of DIY and professional care. With the right attention, your expensive collection can provide you with function and efficiency for many, many years. To learn more about online knife sharpening services at Schmidt’s Knives, contact our office today by completing our online contact form or giving us a call at