Zen and the Art of Sharpening Knives

May 31, 2019

Have you ever manually sharpened a knife? For many, using a knife sharpener in San Diego, CA is a lost art. Electronic knife sharpeners have added new methods and have changed the world of knife sharpening forever.

Still, traditional methods are available and are quite effective. They simply require a bit of knowledge about knives and some practice to develop the skill of using them. The following guide provides an overview of knives and how to keep them sharp.

The Knife

Knives are made of several distinct parts. To properly maintain your knives, it’s important to know what each part is called. Here’s an overview of the anatomy of a knife:

  • Point: This is the sharp end or tip of the blade. This can also be referred to as the trail point, drop point, spear point or clip point.
  • Edge: The edge is the part of the knife that does the cutting. An edge can be serrated, convex, chisel, V, hollow-ground or flat-ground, depending on what the knife is designed to do.
  • Bolster: This crosspiece between the handle and the blade is designed to prevent the hand from sliding down the blade while using the knife.
  • Heel: This is the lower part of the blade, located near the bolster.
  • Spine: The back part of the blade.
  • Scales: This is another name for the handle. Scales can be crafted from a variety of materials, including wood, plastic, leather and rubber.
  • Butt: As the name indicates, this is the back end of the knife (the rear of the handle).

The Whetstone

A whetstone is one of the best knife sharpeners in San Diego, CA. This method allows the sharpener maximum control of the sharpening and the best angles. It also grinds away less of the knife blade than some other methods. Lastly, it can save money over time as a low-cost knife maintenance option.

To use a whetstone, place it on a cutting board with the coarse side up. Place a non-skid surface such as a wet towel underneath it to prevent slippage. Holding the knife by the scales, place the edge against the whetstone, point first, at a 22.5-degree angle. Then, slide the blade forward across the whetstone using moderate pressure. Maintain the angle for the entire blade. Repeat this motion 10 times on each side of the blade. Flip the whetstone to the finer side and repeat this process. When this is complete, clean the blade to remove any particles before using it.

The Experts

Of course, not everyone is interested in using a knife sharpener in San Diego, CA. Fortunately, services are available to complete this process for you. To keep your knives in great condition, simply have them sharpened by professionals once each year (or more often for high-use knives).

Stay Sharp

For expert sharpening, contact the team at Larson Sharpening, Inc. We are the area’s go-to source for all sharpening and repair services. With nearly 40 years in business, we have the knowledge and skill to deliver exceptional service and keep your tools in top condition. Reach out to us today for on-site, mail order or pickup/drop-off services.

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Larson Medical Sharpening