how to use a knife sharpener rod
The first method of sharpening a knife:
- hold the handle of the sharpener with the thumb of your right hand facing up. Place the sharpener upright.
- Holding the knife in the right hand, the tail edge of the knife is slightly resting against the sharpener, and the back of the knife forms a 20 degree angle with the sharpener.
- Next, hold the knife in your right hand and gently pull it towards the tip of the knife.
- Then switch to the left side of the honing rod and sharpen it as before. The left and right sides alternate with grinding.
- The second sharpening method: holding the sharpening rod with your left hand and placing it at an angle, holding the knife with your right hand is the same as the first sharpening method.
- Both methods can be used and you can also choose the sharpening method that suits you best. Once the knife is sharp, it will be quick to get back to cutting things.
What is a sharpener?
A sharpening steel is a tool that is used to sharpen knives and other utensils of a similar nature. It is an instrument widely used by professionals in sectors such as butchers or shoemakers, as well as any other trade where it is necessary to flatten and soften the edge of a knife. If you usually go to the market to buy meat, you will find the butcher using one of the best steels to prepare the knives.
The steels can be made of high quality materials such as diamond , ceramic or tungsten carbide steel , depending on the purpose and the material to be treated. It is not a product that requires maintenance since it is made with materials treated against rust and it usually lasts a few years, obviously, with moderate use.
How to choose a steel?
Before buying a sharpening steel, we must take into account what type of knives we are going to apply the sharpening to. Finding the ideal steel will be easy if you take into account the type of knife you are going to treat. The best and most common steels are those made of steel.
If you have steel knives in your personal cutlery , it is best to use stainless steel sharpeners . This favors the care of your blades and you can get the cheapest steels. If you are going to use vertical sharpeners , the diamond knife sharpening bar will be an ideal choice. These types of sharpeners are used more sporadically since they are quite aggressive with the edges. And finally, if you are thinking of sharpening small knives or razors , ceramic sharpening steels are ideal for reviewing the edge and correcting it.
How does a steel work?
All sharpeners work the same. Whether it is a ceramic, diamond or any other material steel, it will help to maintain the blade of all the knives in our house. The operation is really simple . Once we have chosen one of the best steels, there will only be one more step to be able to sharpen with a steel.
Although professional users of sharpening steels have refined and precise techniques, we believe that novices should follow a series of basic and simple steps before starting to sharpen any knife:
- We place the steel with the flat part on a straight surface , such as the kitchen counter, a wooden table or similar.
- If you are right-handed , take the handle of the steel with your left hand and the knife with your right. If you are ambidextrous, we leave it to your choice which hand holds the steel and which the knife.
- We place the edge of the knife towards the flat surface with approximately a 20º angle and trace a trajectory from top to bottom and from the part of the knife closest to you towards the tip, with a movement that is neither fast nor slow, simulating the structure of an arc.
- We repeat the process on the other side of the knife blade. Depending on how worn the blade is, we will make more or less passes.
Types of steel, materials and specific characteristics of each one
Regarding the organization of the sharpening steels, they can be classified into three different types of sharpening steel depending on the composition and manufacturing materials used. The main ones are:
ceramic steels are made with fine grain and favor the durability of the knives . Using the ceramic steel it will be possible to get a proper edge every time we use it and make these cutting utensils last longer.
In favor of this type of steel, its multifunctionality stands out since it can be used with steel knives since it is harder than steel and also with more delicate knives with which we cannot use diamond. On the contrary, they are usually short and quite uncomfortable to sharpen large knives such as the steels of any professional chef.
The steel par excellence. This type of steel is the one that has been used forever. They are easy to identify and with a traditional touch that you can buy in any specialized store. Any sharpening steel is synonymous with success given its universality and versatility to work with any type of knife . If you find a good deal on sharpening steel, it’s probably a steel sharpening steel. Guaranteed results.
The most common of the steels has a steel vein that allows quick passes and leaves the edge of the knife in perfect condition to use it as the first day. If you use conventional knives in your kitchen or work , we recommend a steel sharpening iron without a doubt.
diamond sharpening steel
Diamond sharpeners stand out for their hardness and versatility to treat any knife. Its innate nature confers a great advantage over the other steels since it is the hardest and most universal. They are usually used as a complement to ceramic and steel sharpening steels when the knife has lost its edge.
This feature can be counterproductive if used with fragile knives. The smooth diamond steel is capable of leaving any type of knife on the market as new. In fact, more than a steel, we could consider it a professional sharpener given the aggressiveness it exerts on the blades of the knives.
In addition to these types of steels, there are other more advanced knife sharpening methods using a professional grinder or water whetstone .