Razor Sharp Unlimited Knife Store and Sharpening Service Tampa Florida

Following are tips on sharpening and care of your kitchen cutlery.

Most knife edges are ground in a V-shape for a cutting edge. Some of them are referred to as chisel ground because the blade profile is similar to that of a chisel with one flat side and one angled side. The angle of the V is called the bevel or bevel angle. We look at edges with compound angles. The first and more acute angle are referred to as the back bevel and the second and more obtuse angle as the micro bevel. We also define sharp as an edge in which the sides of the bevel or micro bevel are straight and equal and come to a point. The condition of that point can vary as we will see. As an example, razors need a different kind of edge than chef’s knives.

The first step in sharpening a knife is to grind a single or compound bevel at a consistent angle. The edge can be improved by honing and polishing the bevel. If the bevel isn’t the right angle, or equal on both sides, or straight, the knife will not perform as well as it can. You cannot avoid grinding bevels. Knife blades are ground with a taper from spine to edge. The spine is thicker. As you sharpen the knife by removing metal you are constantly dealing with thicker and thicker parts of the blade and naturally the profile of the edge will change if you don’t regrind the bevel to the original angle. People wonder why their kitchen knives won’t take an edge like they used to. They need to have the bevel reground.
We generally recommend grinding a back bevel at a more acute angle than the final micro bevel. As an example, we normally back bevel a pocket knife or most kitchen knives at 20 degrees and then put a final micro bevel at 25 degrees. We generally add 5 degrees to these angles for fixed blade knives and remove 5 degrees for some kitchen knives like parers and filet knives
How do you know when you are finished grinding? When an easy swipe of the hone turns a bead of steel over to the other side of the knife on each side, you’re done.
In other words, one light swipe of the hone pushes the bead to the other side and a light swipe on that side then pushes it back to the original side.
If you press the edge very lightly against your fingernail you can feel which side of the blade has the bead. Just place the edge on your fingernail at an angle with one side of the blade down and then the other and you’ll see what I mean.
The biggest mistake you can make at this point is to have rounded sides to the bevel. The sides must be straight and that’s done by maintaining a consistent angle between the blade and the hone. If the sides of the bevel are rounded, the angle of the edge will be wrong and the knife will cut poorly.

* We recommend only using wood, bamboo or plastic cutting boards. Anything like granite or marble will only destroy your edge. *Always hand wash and dry your cutlery after every use, never let them soak in water this will only lead to your handles being damaged. *Never under any circumstance put your cutlery in the dishwasher. Hard water, harsh detergents and high heat can ruin your cutlery and is not recommended. * Sharpen your knives often; a sharp knife is safer, exerting undo pressure on the knife to make a cut you run the risk of losing control of the knife

Written by David Zaratzian — January 20, 2016

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