No matter how hard the steel, eventually all knives will blunt.
How quickly they blunt depends on what you’re chopping through and what you are chopping onto. For example, you can instantly blunt your knife if you are chopping onto marble or glass but a surface such as wood (which incidentally has a natural anti-bacterial agent within it) or plastic will enable your knives to be used for longer in-between sharpenings.
It stands to reason that harder steel knives will take longer to blunt than softer steel knives. However, softer steel knives tend to be cheaper and it is accepted that they won’t last as long.
There are good, bad and down right ugly ways to sharpen a knife. Hopefully the information below will help you to pick the right solution for you.
Manual knife sharpeners
Butcher’s steels are not recommended as sharpening solutions. This process of sharpening (actually, you’re honing using this method, not sharpening) relies on the user maintaining the same angle on each stroke – which is impossible. You are not able to maintain the exact angle that the manufacturers have produced and the end result is that the tip will blunt very quickly and you will have to use the steel once again.
Manual pull-through sharpeners are incredibly aggressive and unless you have very soft steel knives – you may rip the steel on the tip.
Whetstones are very useful but they can take an amount of skill and alot of time.
They produce polished edges and using a finer grit, you can achieve incredible sharpness. I.O.Shen have produced a duel grit whetstone (240 / 800) so that you can use the rougher side to prepare your blades and the finer side for honing.
Electric knife sharpeners
Nirey offers a range of three electric knife sharpeners. Whether you are a keen amateur or a professional knife user, Nirey Knife Sharpeners have the machine to suit your needs and budget
The Knife Wizard KE198 electric sharpener is absolutely perfect for domestic household sharpening. There are 2 wheels inside the machine made of aluminium-oxide. There is a coarse wheel and a fine wheel. Both wheels have been loaded onto springs, so they react to the thickness of the blade being sharpened; therefore if you have a slender blade like a Paring Knife or a Filleting Knife, the wheels won’t move as much as if you were sharpening a cleaver or a thicker chefs knife. Each wheel has 2 slots. The left-hand slot sharpens the right side of the blade and vice versa.
Not all knives have double bevels and this machine allows you to choose which side of the blade you would like to sharpen. For example, some fish knives, Sashimi knives and Bread Knives have a bevel on one side and a flat side on the other.
The slots are angled at 15° (which is a Japanese angle) and this machines or restores a perfect and precise cutting edge. Knives will typically be sharpened in less than a minute and because they have an exact angle on both sides of the blade, edge retention is approximately 10 times longer than if you were using a manual, non-angle controlled method; thus increasing the life of your knife!
There is a tray at the bottom of the machine which collects the sharpening dust and the wheels come with a life-time guarantee. So there are no replacement parts necessary!
They use Aluminium-oxide cloth belts which are loaded onto wheels with a patented foam surround. Whilst the knives are being sharpened, the cushioning system ‘polishes the knife sharp’. The results that these machines give are incredible.
The KE3000 is for a professional or keen amateur who has spent a large amount of money buying and collecting high end knives and wants to restore their knives to sharpness.
The KE280 is the ‘older brother’ and it suited for commercial establishments and knife sharpening businesses.
The KE3000 was introduced after the KE280 was launched as a lower cost alternative.
Both the KE280 and the KE3000 produce a similar polished edge finish (of which there is no equal in this price range) but the KE3000 is destined for individual use rather than business use.