Why Sharpen By Hand?
As my customers attest, this means sharper blades that last longer and that don’t have to be sharpened as frequently.
It’s much easier to cut through food, which means less fatigue from cooking.
It also means your food actually looks and tastes better because a sharp knife creates less cell damage.
I guarantee that if your knife doesn’t come back sharper than when you bought it, I’ll replace it for free.
The Japanese have been sharpening their knives for centuries. Unfortunately, it’s mostly a lost art today.
But there are a few of us old-school artists still left.
There is feedback between metal and stone in the hands of a professional knife sharpener that can produce a razor-sharp edge that other knife sharpening methods cannot match.
Every time I see amateurs using grinding wheels on knives, watching the sparks fly makes my skin crawl — because I know it’s killing the blade’s temper and longevity.
Manual knife sharpening is particularly important for professional chefs and conscientious home chefs who have their favorite knives they use all the time.
Using grinders on your precious knives grinds them away before their time, and requires more frequent sharpening to keep the edge.
What is a Blade’s “Temper”?
When a blade is being made the knife maker heats and cools the steel repeatedly to achieve the proper crystal structure of the metal. This determines the hardness, durability, and longevity of the blade.
Steel is quite brittle. The blade must be tempered, which is a process of re-heating and slow cooling of the blade to relieve the stress in the blade.
Using grinders to sharpen your knives heats the metal, which changes and de-tempers the blade. This means it becomes softer and loses its ability to hold an edge like the knife maker intended.
Why Hand Sharpening is Superior to Other Knife Sharpening Methods
Other knife sharpening methods include:
Grinding Wheel: This grinds way too much material off knives. It also creates heat buildup, which can ruin the temper of the blade.
Electric Knife Sharpeners: Most of these are knife eaters, grinding away too much material.
Manual Pull-Through Sharpeners: These are okay for touch-up work on knives that are already sharp, but are not adequate substitutes for complete hand sharpening.
Hand sharpening has minimal material loss and no heat buildup, so it cannot ruin the temper of the blade.
After my kitchen knife sharpening, you’ll be able to shave the hairs off your arm.