So you’ve taken the plunge and treated yourself to some pretty nifty knives. I’m sure you love using them everyday to create the most divine dishes… but the sad fact is that over time those knives are going to lose their quality and when you lose the quality of your knives, you lose the quality of your food!
Freshness, deliciousness, and your kitchen rep out the window. Not to mention it’s more time consuming to get your ingredients chopped with a blunt knife AND most importantly; it’s not safe. What a disaster, hey?! Disaster can be averted with a simple trick that any chef worth their salt should know… using a kitchen knife sharpener. It’s not just for professionals; Zak Zakka has a fab option on whetstones that’s cheap and cheerful with exceptional quality so you can be sharpening your knives from your own kitchen, whenever you fancy.
Stone Grinding Is Essential
Sharpening knives is a cooking essential! Let’s have a think; a sharp knife works better than a blunt one right? With a sharp knife you’ll not need to use as much force when slicing and dicing which means your ingredients won’t take as much damage and they’ll stay fresher for longer whereas a blunt knife just drags through the food, crushing the cells and leads to wilting and discoloration.
Nobody wants that, especially when you’ve put so much effort into researching your favourite recipe and bought all of the ingredients. A dull blade is more likely to slip as it gives you less control whilst you cut which can leave you with one less finger! That’s not exactly what you had in mind when you thought you’d make a fish finger sarnie, right!?
It may seem daunting at first but I assure you, once you get into it, you’ll be a knife sharpening pro in no time. Don’t think that a whetstone is limited to only sharpening Japanese knives; they also work perfectly with Western knives too. No matter the type of knife you’re hoping to sharpen, a whetstone is what you need; from a high end £200 knife to a cheap run of the mill one… a whetstone knife sharpener should be added as one of your kitchen utensil essentials. It’ll give you a sense of ‘chef pride’ as well as saving you money as you won’t need to put your knives into a shop for sharpening. What’s more, with a whetstone knife sharpener YOU control the bevel of the edge to suit how YOU use the knife. Win-Win!
How To Use Whetstone
You don’t have to soak your whetstone in water, but if you wanted to then three minutes is plenty. Alternatively you can use it dry or sprinkle a little water on it. Never, ever use oil or other lubricants as it will just damage the stone. First, place the stone coarse side up (you can keep it steady by using a rubber mat underneath or dampened paper towels). Sharpen the first side by facing the knife away from you and angling your blade at 45 degrees and about 0.5-1cm up from the stone. Keeping your fingers flat and away from the sharp edge, place your hand in the middle of the blade and push the knife down the stone in a circular motion until the knife runs off the edge of the stone. Depending on how sharp you want the blade, do this a few times.
Next, check the sharpness by carefully running your thumb PERPENDICULAR to the edge of the blade. DO NOT run that thumb parallel to the blade as you’ll end up cutting it or worse… losing it! When you can feel the burr (the fine lip of metal hanging over the edge on the opposite side of the blade) from the handle to tip then you know that side is sharp enough. Follow the same steps for the other side of the knife and voila; you’re ready for your next chopping escapade.
Once you’ve finished be sure to let the stone dry completely as returning a damp whetstone to its box will lead to mould and reduce its quality. You don’t need to sharpen it daily; once every two or three months should suffice.
What’s The Best Sharpening Stone Out There?
With so many options on knife sharpeners out there, it can be a bit unnerving when trying to find the ultimate one. You want a good all rounder at a reasonable price and does the job. Don’t worry… I’ve got you! Allow me to introduce the King Whetstone Knife Sharpener at 6000 grit.
This Japanese knife sharpening stone actually has a worldwide reputation for being one of the best and at such a great price, you’ll be beaming at your clever purchase. What makes this stone special are the small particles within the stone that are loosely bound together so that when you’re sharpening, the surface particles get washed out quickly meaning the newer, sharper particles get to work on your blade, allowing for a fantastic sharpen every time.
But I’m Confused About Grain Sizes & Grit Numbers…
What’s all this 1000, 3000, 6000 business about? Whetstones come in a variety of grain sizes A.K.A grits and these numbers show you what the grain size is. Usually less than 1000 grit stones are used to repair knives with broken edges. 1000 – 3000 grit stones are typically used to sharpen blunt knives. 4000 – 8000 grit stones are known as finishing stones and are to refine your knife edges. For beginners, I’d recommend the 6000 as it’s a great all rounder and a super fine stone – it’s perfect if you’re using the knife for meat cutting and vegetable chopping i.e. your daily chop! It’ll leave your knives with a razor sharp edge worthy of all your kitchen endeavors. You can always experiment with different sized grits and add to your collection once you’re happy and comfortable using the 6000.
A Japanese Knife Sharpener Favourite
Osaka based, King Whetstone is loved worldwide by professionals and beginners alike and is proud to produce grinding stones that have come from years of experience and research (as well as using the latest technology). Weighing only 1kg and a good length of over 17cm allows for perfect knife sharpening that is easy to do and isn’t time consuming. Compared to it’s artificial, chemical grinding stone counterparts, it doesn’t lead to an uneven finish or damage the edge and it achieves a sharper finish than natural stones. The King Whetstone Knife Sharpener consists of fused particles that are mixed with a clay-like bonder then baked at a high temperature. The result is a softish stone with those loose particles that give a constant supply of top-notch cutting surfaces which are perfect for grinding, sharpening and honing your knives.
If you’re hoping to restore that mirror polish gleam, change that blunt edge to a sharp one and have consistent, high quality sharpening results with every use, the King Whetstone 6000 will be your new best buddy in the kitchen. Get yours now from Zak Zakka, whilst stocks last. A King Whetstone sharpener really is a marvelous investment so continue that creative flare in the kitchen and enjoy using yours today!