Thursday, June 28, 2018

How to Hone a Knife


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.


Anonymous said...

I would buy a whetstone and learn to sharpen yourself, preferably a halfway decent brand like king and something in the range of 800-100 and 3000-5000 grit to refine the edge. They also make guides for the correct angle, but you can also wing it.