A rod is a sharpening tool that realigns the bending edges of the knife into a sharper new sharper edge. A kitchen knife can be said to be the busiest knife in the house and each use bends the sharp edges making it dull. So you have to sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod for a safer and easier handling.
Sharpening rods can be round, flat, or oval. Most rods are made from steel but can also come from ceramics. Do you know how to sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod? If you don’t, then relax and read the following article. Understand how you can regain the sharpness of a blade with a few strokes on the sharpening rod.
Sharpen a Kitchen Knife With a Rod
Hold the sharpening rod vertically and the tip firmly on the table or counter. Then hold your kitchen knife against the rod. Make sure the knife is at least 15 degrees against the rod and slightly facing upwards.
Maintain the 15 degrees angle, apply some pressure, and then slide the knife down the rod in a sweeping momentum. Ensure you pull the blade towards your body, and it will be perfect when the middle of the knife is on the middle of the rod.
Still holding the rod vertically, sweep the other side of the knife on the opposite side of the rod. Repeat the sweeping strokes in alternating series for both sides of the blade. This is how you will realign the edges of the knife. Experts recommend ten alternating strokes for perfect alignment.
Honing VS Sharpening a Kitchen Knife
Both sharpening and honing your kitchen knife will keep it sharp. The difference is the mechanism of keeping the knife sharp. Honing is when you use a metal rod to realign the sharp edge, and once the edge is back to a straight line, your knife is sharp. On the other hand, sharpening removes part of the knife edge to create a fresh sharpness.
Honing is a knife maintenance practice that prevents wearing out of the knife by pushing the bent edges back to a straight line. Sharpening reduces your knife’s useful life, and you should do so after honing is not working. Sharpening takes off the used layer of your knife, consequently reducing the size of your knife.
Is My Kitchen Knife Dull?
Sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod when you realize the knife is dull. But how do you tell the blade is dull? The first thing is to physically inspect the knife and see if the sharp edge is aligned. A sharp kitchen knife is “V-shaped”.
Firmly hold the knife and slightly tilt it from left to right or vice versa. If the edge reflects light, then it is dull. Mark those parts that reflect light. The border has moved to the side, and it is the first point where light is hitting. Also, watch out for chips or nicks, which means your knife is beyond honing and requires sharpening.
You can also do the fingernail test, whereby you gently tap the knife on your fingernail. If it digs in, it is sharp, but a dull one will slide to the side. Use a tomato for accurate results. Place a tomato on the chopping board and hold the knife horizontally against the tomato skin. Then pull the blade and do not apply force. A sharp knife will cut into the tomato while a dull one will slide.
How To Use a Whetstone and a Diamond Stone To Sharpen a Kitchen Knife
- Step one: prepare the whetstone by lubricating it with mineral oil. You can also submerge it in water for some minutes. This helps the knife pass over the stone easily and prevents the shavings from blocking the pores on the rock.
- Step two: turn the stone to the rough side, hold the knife at an angle of 20 degrees against the stone, and sweep the knife over the stone while maintaining the same angle. Move from your hand from left to right and alternate the sides of the knife on each move you make.
- Step three: After a few sweeps, turn the stone to the side and start scrapping from left to right. Remember that you will be using both finer and rough sides of the stone on the side.
- Step four: turn the stone to the finer side and move the knife in small circular motions. This is how you will keep the sharp edge aligned making a perfect “V.”
Electric Knife Sharpener
Electric knife sharpeners have abrasive material that is fixed on the rotating motors. It has two slots, one for high abrasive and another for low abrasive. Here is how to use it in the kitchen.
- Step one: plug in the electric sharpener and switch it on. Then pull your knife through the high abrasive slot five times. Alternate the sides to ensure both sides of the blade are sharpened.
- Step two: then repeat step one above in the low abrasive slot until you are satisfied your knife is sharp.
Benefits of a Sharp Kitchen Knife
Sharp kitchen knives are safer than dull ones. A dull knife can easily slide and cut your finger hence creating injuries. A sharp knife gives you control over what you are chopping and improves your chopping skills.
A sharp knife makes the chopping experience enjoyable. You should enjoy working in the kitchen, and slicing through stuff in a smooth motion is better. The whole food preparation process will be easier and faster.
A sharp knife will ensure you prepare better food because you will have presentable slices on the plate. Also, good chops will ensure your food stays for long and avoid premature spoiling. A dull knife can damage the cells of vegetables resulting in low nutrients.
Maintenance and Care Tips For Kitchen Knives
Sharpen kitchen knives
Always inspect your kitchen knife and sharpen it whenever necessary. A dull blade will make work difficult and also dangerous. You can use a rod, whetstone, or electric sharpener to bring back the sharpness on your kitchen knife. Professionals advise you to hone the blade and sharpen it fewer times. Sharpening removes part of the knife; as a result, wearing off.
Use a Cutting Board
After aligning the edge, a cutting board will help you maintain the alignment. The material for a chopping board should be plastic, wood, or sometimes bamboo. Avoid using cutting boards that are harder than steel. Do not cut directly on granite and marble tops because they can easily dis-align the edge.
Choose a cutting board that is easy to clean and maintain. Plastic boards are the cheapest and easy to clean. Put a dump rug under the cutting board to prevent it from sliding while chopping. Also, avoid hardwoods and choose softwoods that will maintain sharpness.
Clean Your Kitchen Knives
Keep your kitchen knives clean, and they will stay for many years. Cleaning prevents rust and other weakening agents. Do not use a dishwasher to clean kitchen knives because the constant rattling will weaken your knives. You only need soap and clean water. Scrub your knife and rinse it, then dry it before storage.
Place your knives in an exceptional knife drawer. Do not mix your knives with other utensils because they can hit on each other and lose the sharp edge. You can also cut yourself when looking for other utensils. A good display of knives in the kitchen can add an aesthetic to the cooking room. Always remember to expose the handle only and keep off the blade side.
In conclusion, take your time and sharpen a kitchen knife with a rod. You should note that a rod keeps the kitchen knife sharp by honing it. A rod pulls the knife edges back into position and does not wear off the edges. A sharp knife will make work easier and maintain safety in the kitchen. Do a physical examination of the knife to determine if it is sharp or not.
Try to use the tomato or paper test to ascertain the sharpness. Remember to care for your knife and maintain it for the longest time. First, keep it sharp and clean. Then use recommended chopping boards and storage spaces.