Maintaining the sharpness of your knives is essential for them to slice, dice, and chop at their best performance. An uneven edge or acute edges are not optimal for great cooking.
While you can take your expensive knives to a sharpening shop or specialty cookware store for sharpening service, it is easier and quicker to do it right in your kitchen, right? And that’s where electric knife sharpeners come into play.
But using these sharpeners isn’t that easy. it requires a certain technique to get it right.
How to Use Electric Knife Sharpeners
Before you get started, you need to take time and read the instruction manual of your particular knife grinder. The standard knife sharpener has a two-stage process with matching designated slots.
The first stage is the coarse grit setting/slot. This sharpening slot has harder abrasives like a diamond abrasive that remove old bits of steel, leaving you with a clean, sharp edge. The second stage is the honing and polishing process with finer abrasives, which leaves you with a sharp knife.
On the other hand, there are models with three steps, and there are special models that do everything with a simple push of a button. This guide will discuss the two-stage sharpening system in a professional knife sharpener that usually works with steel knives.
Step 1: Place the dull knife in the first slot. Press down the heel of your utensil as far as you can for it to connect with the grinding stone of your contraption. Then, slowly and carefully pull to the tip.
Step 2: Slide your knife blade through the first slot. Most models have a built-in angle guide or sharpening guide so you don’t have to worry about the correct sharpening angle. This is usually 15 degrees.
Step 3: Sharpen the blade two times on both sides slowly. Repeat step number two on each side of your blade at the correct angle. Electric versions are so efficient that you need to reshape your blade only twice to make a perfect knife.
Step 4: Perform the same process on the finer stones. Move on to the finer grit stone. Like in the coarse grit stage, you need to pass the blade edge twice on each side. This should take you less than a minute. Voila! You should now have blades with factory edges.
Step 5: Wash the blade and pat dry. Once you’re done, wash your knives carefully and dry them with a clean towel to make sure all metal shavings are removed from the blade.
Step 6: Clean up, if needed. Some sharpeners have designated compartments or special magnets to clean up the metal shavings from your blades. However, some electric grinders may need you to do this manually.
In case you have any trouble, here’s a video guide to help you out
Things to Keep in Mind About Electric Knife Sharpeners
The great thing about most, if not all, electric knife sharpeners is that they are easy to use. Most of them have sharpening angle guides that help sharpen the blades and you only need to use it occasionally as the sharpness lasts for quite some time.
Also, these sharpeners are compact so you don’t have to worry about clutter on your counter space. However, dealing with knives with razor-sharp edges, in general, does pose safety risks and thus should be kept away from children and pets. It would be ideal that you wear gloves while sharpening your blades as well.
Aside from this, you should consider how your electric knife sharpeners are powered. If they’re battery-operated, turn them off when not in use to save on power.
If they’re the plug-in type, unplug the appliance after usage. Not only can you save on electricity but also avoid any unfortunate incidents while keeping your knives sharp.
Lastly, you should bear in mind that the sizes and knife type will determine the type of sharpening it needs. Not all blade types are compatible with standard models.
For example, single-edged blades require to be sharpened on one side. Ceramic knives need special sharpeners.
You should refer to your user guide manual for the best results for your particular blade. Yes, it will take up some of your time, but it’s better to be safe than sorry.
How to Use an Electric Knife Sharpener: FAQs
Q1: Should you use an electric knife sharpener?
Yes, these sharpeners are a convenient and efficient way to ensure that your knives perform their best in the kitchen every single time. They’re easier to use than manual sharpeners, and most professionals recommend everyday cooks to invest in one as the manual process of sharpening knives requires some skill and training.
Q2: Can you sharpen serrated knives with an electric sharpener?
It depends. Some electric sharpeners have the ability to sharpen a serrated edge or bread knives, but not all models can do so. I’d suggest that you conduct some research on the particular model you’re eyeing beforehand if you’re looking for a partner that can work on bread or serrated knives.
Q3: How do you sharpen a micro-serrated knife?
First, you need to find its bevel side. Next, you should sharpen it with your tool of choice with light pressure. Micro-serrated knives are more delicate than your everyday chef’s knife so handle it with care. Lastly, test and polish your knife to ensure that it has been sharpened to the best edge possible.
Q4: What angle do you sharpen kitchen knives at?
It is ideal to sharpen one’s knives at a 15-20 degree angle. What’s great about these sharpeners is that most of them are designed for users to position their knives at this angle effortlessly, so you don’t have to worry about having to get it right every single time.
Q5: When sharpening a knife, do you push or pull?
You usually have to pull the knife when sharpening it with an electric knife sharpener. However, it is best you refer to the user guide manual as your particular electric grinder might have different instructions.
What’s awesome about quality electric knife grinders is how easy they are to work with.
Even newbies in the kitchen can operate a professional-grade electric knife sharpener, and sharpen their knives to factory level quality or maybe even to an exceptional edge.
While most sharpeners have a lot of safety features, it is still important that you handle one with care to avoid any accidents.
Your knives perform their best when they’re at their sharpest after all, so investing in a good quality knife sharpener is a great way to maintain your knives to ensure they do their jobs well in the kitchen.