November 09, 2006

Honing my skills

Now that we finally have a few good kitchen knives in our collection, I really need to overcome my phobia of sharpening them. My first question is: Do I try to do it myself or bring them to a knife sharpener? The idea of carrying a bunch of knives down the street to the local butcher for knife sharpening day makes me a bit nervous, but I've also been scared to sharpen them at home. (Fear of cutting myself, fear of ruining my knives...)

My second question is: If I choose to do it myself, what type of sharpener should I use? A whetstone? A sharpening steel? A couple years ago I bought a cheap little handheld knife sharpener at the Broadway Panhandler, which I half-heartedly tried to use a couple times, but with no noticeable results.

Imagine my surprise the other day when I was flipping through the new issue of Cook's Illustrated, and saw the very same sharpener at the top of their equipment ratings chart! So I gave it another try, this time dragging the sharpener over the blade 20 times as directed, instead of the half dozen or so times that I had done it before. Now I've got a drawer full of extra sharp knives, and I've been slicing and dicing with ease ever since!

Recommended product of the day: the Accusharp Knife & Tool sharpener.


Conn said...

i just sharpened my knives the other day as well.
i ussed the shrpener that came with my knife set.
it is like a round file with a handle and and you alternate the knife blade up and down the file. it works really well, and takes at least 20 swipes to really sharpen.

what is the actual shrpener you used... the acusharp?

be careful!!!

Derek said...

I would just like to point out the Ted Nugent endorsement at the top of the Accusharp website. How rad is that?!?!

Anonymous said...

Using a dull knife is MUCH more dangerous than using a sharp one. With dulls, one never knows when it will catch & uses too much pressure. With sharps, you know what you're working with and can learn how to most effectively weild the tool. Sounds like you've got a good home sharpener - I do too, but still take mine in for a tune-up every year. (I cook a lot.)