Monday, November 24, 2008

Knife Sharpening: 101

Sure, it may seem like its all fun and games when I'm back home in CT, what with the cheesteaks, pizza and all ... but not so! While Mama Diva was recuperating in the hospital, Papa Diva and I were hard at work on the blog. We do have our priorities! ~ kidding~

With all the slicing and dicing involved in holiday prep, it helps to have your tools at the ready. A sharp knife is a safe knife and lucky for us, Papa Diva has provided this wonderful primer. Read on as Papa share's his expertise and a joke or two! (Where do you suppose I got my sense of humor?!)

KNIFE SHARPENING

MOTIVATION

Being able to sharpen a knife is vital to the proper field dressing of a moose. And American voters know that being able to properly field dress a moose qualifies one to be the Vice President of the United States. ~Ahem~

Sharp knives are also useful in the kitchen.

EQUIPMENT RECOMMENDATIONS

A popular knife sharpening system is the Spyderco Tri-Angle Sharpmaker (as seen above). If you Google that name you will find many reviews and many sources. The complete system costs approximately $50. Shop around as prices vary. Naturally, Amazon is a source.

This system can also be used to sharpen scissors.

However the Diva Dad uses regular sharpening stones available from Woodcraft. If you have a significant other who uses chisels and planes these stones will sharpen those tools as well.

Two (2) stones of different grits are sufficient to produce a better edge than any draw through sharpener available. The Dad is proud of the fact that he can routinely produce wood shavings of only 1/1000 of an inch with his wood planes.

The first stone to use is; Item #11H21 from Woodcraft. It is the King brand 1000 grit water stone. $24.50 This stone is the courser of the two and is always used first.

The second stone is: Item #144951 Natural Water Stone - $19.99. This stone is finer and is used to produce the final edge.


TECHNIQUE

Remember - a knife has two sides to be sharpened.

To use the Spyderco, set the two course stones in the holder. Hold the knife perpendicular to the table and draw down one stone and up the other.

Be sure to maintain the same angle - 45 degrees - and involve the entire edge as you move up and down the stones. Seven passes per side should be enough. Always use the same number of strokes on each side. The Spyderco kit will include directions. After seven passes for each side on the course stone, install the fine stones in the holder. Same drill; seven passes per side up and down the fine stones. That's really all there is to it.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Only later did it occur to me that I should have shot these instructions in video. Stay tuned for Knife Sharpening: 102 ... as soon as I can figure out how to make that happen! Papa Diva has graciously made himself available for any questions you may have. Simply leave a comment and I'll put you in touch with him. He's a wonderful resource and if he keeps this up, I may just have to hire him as a guest blogger! Thanks for sharing these tips with us, Papa Diva, I appreciate it and I know my readers will too.

Bon appetite!

9 comments:

Veriance said...

1) I think we have that knife. Santoku cleaver?? 2) I am showing this entry to Superman, he'll love it! Thanks Diva and Daddy Diva!

HektikLyfe said...

I really wish I could do this for my wife, but I am such a klutz. The last thing we want is my fingers close to sharp objects. Love how informative this post is. If I ever get the guts to try it, I'll know where to come.

Thanks for this!

The Diva on a Diet said...

Veri - I think Superman would really like this sharpening rig ... another item for the ever-growing Christmas list! That knife belongs to Mama Diva ... it could be a Santoku.

Hektik - Glad you liked the info. Papa was happy to share it! Incidentally, those two metal rods on the side are there to protect your hands ... so its *nearly* foolproof. ;)

Dana McCauley said...

I'm very lucky that Martin (my chef sprocket hubby) is an accomplished knife sharpener. He even does my serrated knives!

momma said...

hey! you commented above me at SITS today. i learned some things about knife sharpening. thanks for this informative post!

Tracy said...

Looks like Papa Diva means business! Great post, Diva.

Deb said...

Great post but I think I'll still leave my sharpening to the pros. We have a great chef's warehouse in Tampa that holds a knife sharpening event every few months and I'm dangerous around sharp objects so I'll let them handle it for me :)

Deb

The Diva on a Diet said...

Dana - you *are* lucky. That's wonderful! I usually have to resort to bringing my knives home for Papa to sharpen.

Momma - hello and welcome! Looking forward to checking out your blog and thanks for stopping by!

Tracy - so great to see you! I've missed you and your blog. :)

Deb - I'm dangerous too! We have a saying that its not dinner until I either burn or cut myself. LOL and ack!

Checchio said...

Hi, Deb
Could you tell us where the sharpening event is held?
A friend of mine had her knives sharpened at the Saturday Morning Market in St Pete by a guy with Top Chef Tools. She told me that her Wusthof's were better than new after the guy sharpened them on his water cooled machine. Better yet, they were sharpened without damaging the knives...there are so many "knife butchers" out there!