A knife and tool sharpener is essential in any kitchen and toolkit. Over time, the sharpness of a knife tends to decrease, thus, instead of buying an entire new one, you can use a sharpening tool to grind the knife against and make it razor sharp again. Usually, the smaller the angle between the blade and the stone, the sharper the knife. Different knives are sharped differently and require different types of knife sharpeners. There are multiple methods and stages when it comes to knife sharpening, some are more delicate, while others are less. Named by effect, here are the several stages:
- Sharpening, removing metal to form a brand new edge on the knife;
- Rough sharpening, using oil or water stones, or medium grits of sandpaper;
- Fine sharpening, using the exact same tools as for rough sharpening but in finer grits;
- Straightening the existing metal, without removing significant amount of metal;
- Polishing, giving a mirror the final finish without altering the edge.
Named by the tools, the three stages are:
- Grinding (done on a grinding wheel);
- Whetting (on a whet stone);
- Steeling (on a honing steel);
- Stropping (on a razor strop or buffing on a wheel).
Let’s take a look at three quality knife sharpeners.
Smith’s 8” Diamond Tri-Hone – comes with a medium Arkansas stone and two surface diamond stones. It’s designed to speed up sharpening by holding and collecting metal filings that build up during the entire sharpening process, and by doing so, it allows the stone’s surface to remain clear and clean. It excels in finishing the edge of the knife and it removes considerable amounts of metal when it polishes the cutting edge. This model is excellent for hunting, fishing as well as for using as pocket and kitchen knives.
Smith’s Three Stone Set – has mounted stones that rotate on a molded rotating plastic that enables for an easy stone identification and rotation. It has a moulded plastic base to prevent it from slipping off of your desk and ensuring safety. The honing cleans and protects the sharpening surface and it comes with a sharpening angle guide to ensure the correct angle.
Smith’s Diamond Field Precision Knife Sharpening System – offers an easy and convenient way to sharpen every type of knife. The storage pouch it comes along with makes it portable and convenient to store, and the 1 inch wide stones make the sharpening safe, easy and fast. It comes with several sharpening stones, including fine diamond, coarse diamond, fine Arkansas, medium triangular shaped Arkansas, diamond retractable sharpener and a premium honing solution.