Using sharpening steel in 3 simple steps
You use a sharpening steel to make a very sharp knife a little bit sharper. If you use a knife regularly, very small burrs will appear that cannot be seen with the naked eye. These burrs stick out a little bit, making the knife blunter. A sharpening steel ensures that these burrs are 'pushed straight' again. When using a sharpening steel, your knife hardly wears out, if at all. This means that you can use a sharpening steel regularly without your knife wearing out quickly.
Below you can read how to use a sharpening steel step by step.
1. Determine the right angle
First of all, it is important to determine the correct angle. With the right angle we mean the angle in which you hold the blade against the sharpening steel. The blade is the blade of a knife. The angle at which you hold the blade against the sharpening steel should be the same as the cutting angle of the knife. The cutting angle is the angle at which the blade was originally sharpened. The cutting angle can differ per knife. For example, European knives are sharpened at an angle of 20 degrees. Japanese knives, on the other hand, are sharpened at an angle of 15 degrees. The smaller the cutting angle, the sharper the blade. A Japanese knife is therefore sharper than a European knife. If you hold the blade at an angle that is too sharp, you run the risk of damaging the knife.
2. Maintaining the correct angle
To ensure that you do not damage the cutting edge of your knife, it is important that you maintain the correct angle while sharpening. Maintaining the right angle goes by feel and can sometimes be very difficult.
Tip: First try to sharpen an old or cheap knife a few times to get this feeling.
3. The movement
There are two ways to hold the sharpening steel. You can hold it loose with the point up or you can press it on a work surface with the point down. With the point down is the safest way, but most professional chefs keep the point up, as this is faster.
The movement you make can be compared to a cutting movement. During the movement you try, as it were, to cut a thin slice of the sharpening steel. Hold the heel of the blade against the sharpening steel at the top, then make a cutting motion down and toward you until you reach the tip of the blade. Repeat this five to ten times per side. Make sure you use minimal pressure against the sharpening steel.