Thursday, June 28, 2018

How to Hone a Knife

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Very nice, Helen! I've been looking for detailed instructions for knife upkeep for a long time and I am excited to learn your techniques (and equipment recommendations).

First, I rarely use a chef's knife. I have an old Joyce Chen vegetable cleaver made of chrome molybdenum steel (this copied from the blade) with a wooden, riveted handle, which I bought in the mid-1960s. I'm assuming that it is not carbon steel but made of some stainless alloy. At this point it weighs 14.1 oz (400g).

I use a pinch grip for slicing and use it for almost everything. To hone the cleaver, I usually hold my metal "steel" (the metal steel is an old 1960s Henkels Zwilling) horizontally and somewhat upright in front of me and alternately slice the knife toward me in a motion that would take imaginary paper-thin slices off the rod, if that were possible.

I have had the cleaver sharpened through a local housewares shop about every 6 to 12 months and use either a somewhat oval/flat worn-out diamond "steel" or metal honing rod to try to keep its edge but find that it is still not really sharp enough.

I don't know what angle they are sharpening my cleaver but will ask. Do you think, for this cleaver, that I can request that they sharpen it to a 15-degree edge? I am not adverse changing to another brand of cleaver after all these years that will ease my prep work.

Apologies for my excessive detail. Hoping that some of it is useful.