How to Sharpen a Knife

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Did you know it's easier to cut yourself with a dull knife? Techniques for properly sharpening your chef knives; tips, tricks and more in this free online cooking video that will teach you about chef knives with tips from an expert.

Part of the Video Series: How to Use Chef Knives
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Video Transcript

LAURA BANFORD: Now, I'm going to talk about knife sharpening. An interesting part about a sharp knife or a knife that's not so sharp is it is much easier to cut yourself with a dull knife than it is with a sharp knife. Now, if you're working with a dull knife, it's not cutting, it's not cutting, you're going to use a lot more pressure, a lot more force, and not use--and get away from the actual technique that you should be using for whatever task you're doing, and that's when you end up cutting yourself. That's when accidents happen. If you're pushing and using more force and straying away from the actual perfect technique, you're going to cut yourself, and I've done that. I don't want to tell you about the frozen turkey Thanksgiving morning. That's an old--that was a long time ago, and I still remember it. Believe me. The way to sharpen a knife is to use a sharpening stone. A lot of chefs would buy a couple of sharpening stones in various degrees of coarseness. I happen to have this sharpening stone little system here that has three, three stones on it. This is a coarse stone for major sharpening tasks. This is a medium stone which will give you a more refined sharpening task. And this is a fine sharpening stone just to touch up your blade a little bit. I sharpen my knives just about every day. And I sharpen knives when I'm at work, I sharpen my knives before every task, so I don't have to stop in the middle and go back and sharpen it. This is a sharpening steel. This does not sharpen your knife. This will refine your blade, but it won't sharpen your knife. After you sharpen your knife, you use this. And I'll show you that at the end. Okay. What I want to do here is to get, to get a nice edge on my knife. You want to hit, take your knife and hit the sharpening stone at a 45 degree angle. That is about like this. And you have to, you'll have to try it to get it right, but you have to perfect your technique 'cause you want to go from the base of the knife near the guard all the way to the tip. Like that. Whatever you do one way, you have to do the other way because you're making an edge. And try to make sure you have the 45 degree angle. You would do that for a little while. You might, you might go from coarse to fine just to refine your edge. And after that, you want to use your sharpening steel, which is really just refining the edge. You see chefs do this. That's just refining the edge. The same as with the sharpening stone, whatever you do to one side, you have to do to the other side, that's why you go like this. And as in anything, practice makes perfect. When we come back, we're going to use some of our knives. See you then.

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