It’s NOT all about the sharpening tool you use
Of course the goal of sharpening any knife is to get it razor sharp. The more effective your sharpening the more likely it is that your knife will be as sharp as a razor.
However there is a common misconception about effective knife sharpening. The misconception is this.
It’s commonly thought that the effectiveness of your sharpening depends upon the tool you use. If you buy the right knife sharpener you’ll get that razor edge.
In fact it’s not as much about the tool you use as it is about learning how to use it. There are some excellent knife sharpening tools available, but use them wrong and you certainly won’t get the result you want.
For instance we have recently looked at the Work Sharp Knife and Tool Sharpener. This is one of the best knife sharpeners that we have reviewed, however as we suggested in that article it’s still extremely important to learn how to use it properly. If you don’t you won’t get the result you want.
Many people who have put in the time learning how to sharpen a knife with a stone can get a razor edge simply by sharpening their knife on a simple stone. In fact if you’re willing to put in the effort a good sharpening stone is probably one of the simplest and most effective sharpening tools you can get.
There is a reason why many professional chefs use professional sharpening services. It’s because learning to sharpen your knife isn’t all that easy and professional chefs prefer to send the job out to somebody else rather than do it themselves. I’ve even seen comments from chefs that they are not sufficiently skilled at the task to do it themselves.
Often beginners assume that the most important aspect to sharpening their knife is spending loads of time online trying to source the best knife sharpener. They don’t even consider the possibility that it’s not all that easy to learn the art, and that having the best tool doesn’t guarantee any result.
So what is our best suggestion for anyone wanting to do the job themselves and to get a razor edge on their knife?
Our best suggestion is that you invest in a quality sharpener and learn to use it. Don’t expect to get a superlative job right from the start. That’s unlikely.
Expect to spend quite some time learning to use the tool. Whichever tool you choose there is a learning curve involved and it will take you quite some time to produce the edge you want.
If you have the right mindset, namely that you are learning a skill rather than simply buying a product and leading the product to all the work, then you will be prepared for some ordinary results at the beginning because you understand that as you progress in your learning your results will improve.
What’s a good place to start? In our view buying a quality stone is one of the best places to start. If you invest in a quality stone, which shouldn’t be that expensive, you’ll need to put some time and effort into learning how to use it. You’ll have to learn about angles, and how to hold your knife at the right angle. You’ll need to learn about how to get a burr on your knife and how to polish the edge. You’ll need to learn about honing your knife in between sharpenings.
Of course you can always buy a quality electric sharpener, and with a little work you’ll probably learn how to get a good result. But get it wrong on an electric sharpener and you can tear through your knife in no time. Even the best electric sharpeners have a learning curve.