There are many knife sharpening tools on the market because it is only a matter of time before the knife you are using becomes dull and will need to be sharpened. Basically to sharpen a knife you have to grind away tiny pieces of the blade. Although hiring a professional knife sharpener would be the easiest way to sharpen your knife, you can also use knife sharpening tool such as a stone, steel or a pull through sharpener.
Using a Stone
A sharpening stone is a very abrasive stone that you can purchase very easily. They come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The average cost is between 15.00 and 40.00 USD. The stone must be hard enough to remove some of the blade surface when the blade is ran across the stone. A lot of people prefer the abrasiveness of a diamond stone, but almost any hard stone even concrete.
There are varied opinions on whether or not the stone should be wet or dry when sharpening a knife. Since knives typically need sharpening every six months (depending on how often they are used) you can try sharpening it with a dry stone first and then used the wet method the next time. Place the side of the knife on the stone and pushed it evenly across the stone. Now turn the knife over and push the other side of the blade across the stone. Repeat this method until the knife blade is sharp. Use a leather strap to strop the blade and then rinse it off.
Using a Steel
A sharpening steel or knife steel as they are commonly called is a long cylindrical piece of steel attached to a handle. Steels come is a variety of lengths and the average cost is between 15.00 and 40.00 USD> The diamond and ceramic steels will usually cost a bit more.
The steel works in the same manner as the stone by removing bits of the blade and creating a new edge. Place the knife bevel at a 10 to 20 degree angle against the tip of the sharpening steel. Bring the knife down and across the steel. Now place the blade on the back of the steel and bring down and across to sharpen the other side. Keep repeating these steps until the knife is sharp. Remember to keep a consistent angle down the edge of the blade. Regardless of what you have seen in the movies, this motion doesn’t need to be performed quickly. It is the angle that is important and not he speed. Again strop the blade and rinse off the knife.
Using a Pull through or Electric Sharpener
A pull through or electric sharpener is the easiest to use because you don’t have to determine the angles. Most have a “V” type slot that automatically provides a consistent angle for sharpening the blade. You should read the manufactures instructions for using an electric or pull through sharpener since operation will vary from model to model.
There are quite a few models available and the cost ranges between 50.00 and 200.00 USD. They are more expensive than stones and steels, but well worth the price. Any decent electric sharpener will not just sharpen your blade but will also strop it.
The Pictured Knife Stone is from Macklin and Co, who has a store on http://www.JustCustomKnives.com. Drop by and take a look at their custom knives and accessories!