The knife motto in the RainyDayKitchen is: Be sharp and be safe.
Those who know knives know this to be true. Those who do not know this will learn it the hard way, likely from a slip of the knife and the slice of a finger.
To effectively sharpen a knife, you need:
- an understanding of the angle of the original edge,
- the proper tools, and
- good technique.
Right out of the box the Angle Pro helps anyone sharpen their knives the way they are supposed to be sharpened.
While most of our kitchen knives are in good cutting condition, we have an often-used paring knife that really needed a complete edge overhaul. The edge had gotten to the point where it was more “crusher” than “slicer,” and clearly was not up to the task of breaking the skin of a tomato.
In general, Western knives have a larger blade angle (20º-22º) than Eastern knives (12º-15º). A larger angle gives a stronger edge, as there is more metal behind it; a narrower angle cuts easier and more precisely, but can be nicked and dulls quicker. It is a tradeoff between durability and control.
The angle gauge made the process of determining the proper angle absolutely fool-proof. We rested the gauge on one of its short sides, because we found it easier to use that way.
If you are somewhat leery of knives you might want to rest it on the long side (or just watch the instructional video).
The blade should be flush with the vertical edge of the gauge when determining the angle.
It takes a little getting used to—”Wait, the sharp pointy edge has to be outside the circle, and the blade needs to be resting against the straight side of the angle gauge?”—but if you let go of your preconceived notions of how to sharpen a knife and just follow the directions set out by Rhineland, the delights—and usefulness—of sharp, now fit-for-purpose knives await you.
For our paring knife, we determined the blade angle to be 13º. The green sharpeners/honer is what we needed to use.
Generally, if your knife blade needs a lot of work to restore it to full use, you:
- Edge it (using a tungsten wheel), then you
- Sharpen it (using a diamond wheel), then you
- Straighten/Hone it (using a ceramic wheel).
The updated edge is now ready for test-cutting 🙂
The re-edged and freshly honed paring knife was now able to make clean straight cuts with no tearing of paper, passing the first test with flying colors.
Most of the RainyDayKitchen blades just needed some “fine tuning” or honing. The ceramic disc made quick work of the task. A few strokes across (with the knife aligned with the vertical side) brought all the edges of our knives back to true.
Check out the “point” at the intersection of the two cuts! One can poke an eye out with the corner on that piece of tomato…LOL!!!
We were able to bring the edges of our favorite kitchen blades back to “like new” sharpness. Cutting with them are once again effortless.
Sharpening the smaller paring knives, however, required a touch more thought.
The bottom of the tang of the paring knives are not high enough (white arrows) to clear the back of the transparent cover of the sharpening wheel. To sharpen the entire length of the cutting edge of smaller knives, the transparent cover must be removed.
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