Most people have the wrong vision about knives. They think that a knife can cut like razor or plane iron on the push stroke. It works like a saw which has teeths for cutting in sliding motion when pulled or pushed. A well sharpened knife is honed to the sharp edge and still has enough roughness for cutting. Before writing this article, we sharpened a thousand fillet knives. We also sell millions of knives and teach people how to sharpen stainless steel and other knives to meat cleaver. We have learned that there is more to sharpening than fine edges.
It really matters that while sharpening that whether the knife is Japanese, western, materials (stainless or carbon) and purpose of knife usage such as slicing a meat or fish, chopping a vegetable etc. It is necessary to give importance on user’s preferences. Sharpening of fillet knives is fun for me and I like to talk with mature and professional knives’ users to know their experience that what we serve them.
We sharpen our knives by hand on japanese water stones, how better we hone the stainless steel knife depends upon the knives and users requirements. For sharpening a fillet knife I require just a basic but inclusive set of water stones. It is good to know that in the Japanese grit numbering system, coarse stones are 220 to 600 grit, medium stones 800 to 1200 grit, fine stones 4000 to 8000 grit. Those stones and strops cost is $150 but you can use them for many years. That is why it is alternatively inexpensive.
While sharpening a stainless steel knife requires a few strokes on the 600-grit stone, carry on to 800 to 1200 and complete with a 2000 or 4000 grit and then strop. But if you have a typical carbon steel knife then you have to use 8000 grit stone to produce a finely sharpened edge with nice cutting.
Let’s come to discuss some different methods which help us sharpen a stainless steel knife. By using these methods you can sharpen any type of stainless steel knife and it does not matter whether it’s your pocket knife, boning knife, caring knife or regular paring knife.
1- Use Diamond Based Stones
This method is a little bit expensive but would last for a long time and you can also say that it will last for a lifetime. Actually diamond based stone is not real stone, it is either block or flat plate of metal with diamond coating on it. In the market, there are different types of shape and structure of diamond stones but the most used are those that use thin flat plates of steel and it is impregnated with diamond chips. It is cheap in price as compared to others.
To make your knives sharp with diamond stone, first of all you have to wet a stone. You can also use it in dry dry form but make it wet is better for use. After that, put your knife edge on the stone at the angle of 15 to 20 degrees and do slightly slow and gentle strokes. With the passage of time you have to add some water on diamond stone.
To check out whether your knife is sharp or not perfectly, you can float the blade through the newspaper or any other material. You should not over sharp the blade and not do it with too speed. Keep your fingers away from the blade while doing a sharpening to reduce the chances of risk injuries.
2- Use Japanese Water Stone
This method is also very effective and less expensive as compared to diamond stone and works nicely for stainless steel knives. You can say that it is the easiest way to sharpen a knife. Before sharpening a knife with a japanese water stone you have to soak the stone in water for a few minutes but don’t let it stay in the water for a long time. In this method, water works like a lubricant for tools.
When the stone gets wet then grip the knife with your hand firmly. Put the index finger on the knife and to provide support but make sure don’t put it near the blade. You will also need a water spray bottle to lubricate the stone while sharpening. It is important to maintain the right angle between the stone and knife which ensures the blade of the knife stays in contact with stone. Proceed the blade back and forth along the length of stone from the top of blade toward its tip. Continue this process for almost 7 to 8 times for each side, it will be great for sharpening the stainless steel knife.
3- Sharp with Sand Paper
This way is more budget friendly as compared to others. You just have go to the hardware shop and take sandpaper and sharpen your stainless steel knife. There are many methods for sharpening knives with sandpaper but here I will discuss an easy one with you. Just wrap your sandpaper around the block or brick and start running your knife flat in round motion. The important thing is don’t apply too much pressure on the knife to save it from breaking and sharp both sides equally.
In this article, I have provided you with the best methods for sharpening a stainless steel knife. All methods are safe for stainless steel as well you will not get any harm from knives while sharpening. But here I will also recommend to you my own suggestion, which is the diamond method. Yeah I know this is not budget friendly but you can do it for a long duration and it produces good and long lasting results. Furthermore if you are not ready to spend more money on sharpening a knife then you should try the other two methods.
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