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Knife Sharpening [Video]

Welcome back to our series on knife sharpening and honing.  This week Chris Tavano will cover how knife sharpening works by taking a look at different types of knife sharpeners.  If you don’t know if you should be sharpening or honing, we’d suggest starting with the first video on honing, then come back here if you’re sure that sharpening is indeed what you want to do.

Video Transcribe

Chris Tavano: Good afternoon.  Welcome to Tundra Restaurant Supply.  I am Chris Tavano and today we’re going to talk about a little bit of knife care and maintenance.  So keep in mind if honing did not quite do the job you were looking for and you’re still having difficulties cutting through your tomatoes and onions, you might want to think about starting to sharpen it with a sharpening stone.  Again, some recap, the difference between honing and sharpening is very drastic.  Honing is going to restore your edge while sharpening is going to recreate a new edge.   Honing also reshapes the metal blade; whereas, sharpening grinds a new blade.  So honing doesn’t remove any metal, but sharpening removes a lot of metal from your blade.

Alright, so once you’ve honed your knife and you’re still not seeing the results that you would desire, it is time to sharpen your knife.  Now this is where things get a little bit hairy and a little bit more confusing.  Here we have sharpening stones.  This is a tri-stone right here, again, not to be confused with dry stone.  A tri-stone means that there are three different phases; coarse, medium, and fine, and then in this basin you’re going to want to have oil.  Again, you don’t want to use just any kind of oil, or cooking oil, or vegetable oil because that will ruin the porous texture of your stone itself.  Instead you’re going to want to use a sharpening stone oil which is essentially a mineral oil.  Now that’s what you’re going to want to have in your basin so that way it’s a nice lubricant for your abrasive to grind a new edge.

There’s also whetstones not to be confused with wet.  Whet is whet meaning sharpening.  Again, there are other stones out there as well.  There are ceramic stones that are pretty non-porous and they don’t need any lubrication.  That is probably the closest thing to a dry stone that you can get, dry stone.  Also, there are diamond-plated stones which is basically a brick of steel with diamond studs within it.  Again, that could be considered a dry stone because you don’t need lubricants for those two kinds of surfaces; however, any other kind of abrasive stone other than ceramic or diamond, you are going to want to use some sort of mineral oil lubricant.

Again, there are also some water stones out there, and those you’re going to have to soak the stone itself.  They take special instructions, and you’re going to want to soak that stone for a half hour before you actually start grinding on that.

Alright, so now we’re actually going to sharpen our knife via this whetstone we have here.  Again, I have my mineral oil.   We’ll just lubricate this stone a little bit so that way it gets nice and lubricated.  It’s nice that this nice stone has a particular gasket to keep it in place on the table itself.  Again, when sharpening on a stone same thing like the honing rod, two things you’re going to want to worry about is the angle and the abrasiveness.  The abrasiveness on this particular stone has two kinds of grit.  Think of it like sand paper.  You’ve got a 400 grit and a 1,000 grit,  So you’ve got coarse and fine. 

And again, from there just like the honing rod, you’re going to want to make consistent strokes simultaneously across the stone as well as simultaneously across the blade itself.  Again, we’re trying to create a beveled edge.  So you’ll put it here, press firmly, and with your fingers you’re going to want to keep that blade intact with the abrasive surface, and push forward as you slide across the knife.  Obviously, this stone is a little bit short for me and I didn’t quite get all the way across my blade.  And again, you should alternate each time between front and back. 

So now that we have our newly sharpened knife, grinded a new blade and a new bevel, we should be able to dice right through this tomato much easier just like that. 

Again, that was knife maintenance and care with Chris Tavano at Tundra Restaurant Supply.  Thank you and come again.

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