Knives and Sharpening
A knife is at its best when the edge is as sharp and straight as possible. With every use, the blade becomes unevenly worn. It is recommended to regularly sharpen the blades by grinding or whetting. However, by honing the edge every time you use the knife you will lengthen the time until you need to sharpen the knife. Caring about your knives and learn the right way to hone them can help them last a lifetime. Honing your knives does not remove material whilst sharpening can remove up to 3 mm of your knife’s edge. The honing function in ET ACRI knife block is adjustable to suit bevel angles from 10-30 degrees, aligning the edge back into a central position without removing material every time you insert and remove it from your knife block. The result is a knife that stays sharp for a long time with a decreased need of sharpening.
One of the most important things to know when sharpening is the knife blade’s bevel angle. European kitchen knives usually have between 20-25º bevel angle (WMF, Zwilling, Sabatier etc.), while Japanese kitchen knives are around 12-15º (Satake, Type 301, Mac, Global, etc.). The knives may have different cutting angles depending on the different hardnesses of steel (measured on a ‘HRC’ scale). The harder the knife, the steeper angle. A softer steel is easier to maintain and sharpens easily, but does not last forever. A hard knife, though more difficult to get sharp, will last longer.
Typical home sharpeners can rip off rough edges or press them back against the blade, rather than straightening and sharpening as intended. But learning about your knives and the right way to sharpen them can help them last a lifetime. We advise against plastic home-sharpeners – both electric and manual, as they usually have a fixed bevel angle and rip off the raw edge instead of straightening it. Using a fixed angle sharpener can destroy a knife. That’s why ET ACRI sharpening blocks automatically adjust to suit the knife’s angle.
- Never cut into bones or frozen products. Damage to the knife’s edge occur easily.
- Use wood or plastic cutting boards.
- Do not use your cook knife to open cartons with or cut into anything other than raw materials.
- Never dish your cookie knife in the dishwasher. Detergents contain abrasives (which make your knives anything but sharper) and salt that can give rough stains on the steel. The dishwasher’s drying program may cause wooden handles to break out of heat or affect the knife’s steel.
- Take the habit of washing your cook knife during running, lukewarm water between each use and wipe it dry with a towel. Never use sponges with abrasive surfaces, steel wool or anything that can cause scratches on the steel as you wash.
- If your cook knives come into contact with acids, salt, strong substances and other metals, you risk discoloration.
- Never place a damp cook knife against another metal surface such as the sink, as this may cause brown rust (Fe2O3). This superficial rust is removed by means of, for example, polishing cloth. Note that you have to go carefully! If brownish occurs for a while, black rust (Fe3O4) occurs and the steel is damaged and destroyed.
- When you have finished washing the cook knife, wipe it completely dry and store it in the knife block, your knives will keep both sharpness and finish.