The Complete Guide to Sharpening and Honing Knives The Complete Guide to Sharpening and Honing Knives – Kioro Knives

The Complete Guide to Sharpening and Honing Knives


While we've always championed making sharp knives for sharp people, we're excited to announce that Kioro now carries a full range of sharpening tools. From easy-to-use sharpening gadgets for knives and scissors to a spectrum of sharpening stones and honing bars, we have what you need to keep your knives in perfect shape.

Not Every Sharp Edge is Alike

It may be a surprise to new knife owners that you don't necessarily need for your knives to be as sharp as possible. This is because specific fine edges are more compatible with some textures than others. A cleaver dealing with big bones should have a medium-sharp edge, as a super-fine edge has more chances of breaking or chipping. Conversely, a chef knife that gets a lot of vegetable-chopping action will slice neatly and speedily with a much finer edge. 

How Sharpening Works

sharpening stonesIf you want a very fine edge, it doesn't work to immediately use a fine stone, like 6000. This will be insufficient to do the heavy work and will take much longer to sharpen, than if you start with a low grade and work your way up. This gives the knife edge a coarse sanding, shaping the metal into an edge, before finishing it with a paper-thin edge. Here are the grades we carry, and what the experts say are the best combinations for which results:

  • Less than 1000: a very coarse stone. To be used sparingly, to fix or restore knives that have been damaged and need to a freshly re-formed edge.
  • 1000 to 3000: for very dull knives, or as a first step in a multi-stage sharpening process.
  • 4000-5000: the final step for meat cleavers and bone-choppers
  • 6000-8000: the final step for finer knives, including chef knives, boning knives, and kitchen knives.

The Process of Sharpening

Scissors and knife sharpenerThere are many ways to sharpen a knife - in a pinch, you can even use the stone-like ring around the bottom of a coffee mug, a fact I've needed to use more than once when short on equipment. But we recommend you give your fine kitchen knives the real deal with a professional sharpening gadget or stone.

Our array includes an electric sharpener, and some with kitchen scissors sharpeners - simply place your knife in the first notch, slide it back along the blade, about a dozen strokes per grade. 

Knife sharpeningTo use a sharpening stone, begin on a flat surface where the stone will not slip (a rubber mat or wet cloth is effective to prevent slipping). Starting with your lowest grade stone, position the knife blade at a 45-degree angle, and gently slide downward and across the top of the stone, making sure every bit of the blade crosses the stone's surface in a single stroke.

Do the same number of strokes on each side of the blade, before moving on to a more fine stone. To sharpen a serrated knife, the edge that needs to be targeted is at the very end of the row of teeth - sharpen it as you would a straight-edge knife, but the only direction to move is straight along the serrated edge. 

Finally, once the blade is beautifully sharp, give your knife a final honing treatment. A honing bar is often mistaken for a sharpener, but its actual purpose is to keep your whole knife straight and firm and gives your knife a warm-up before use. 


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