Category Archives: Knife

Staying Sharp

Continuing our running cutlery conversation, let’s visit one of the more frequent (and open-ended) questions we receive: when and how do my knives need sharpening?

To begin to understand this question is to understand the fundamentals of sharpening vs. honing… “Sharpening” is the process by which metal is literally ground from the blade, and a new edge is formed, while “honing” simply straightens an edge that already exists.

Hard-chromed honing steel

Hard-chromed honing steel

When you use your metal knife, the edge will gradually roll in on itself on a microscopic level, causing the blade to dull. Honing should be done each time before using your knives, with a honing tool like a steel. This straightens the edge, returning the blade to a consistent sharpness. (An important exception is ceramic cutlery, which can be damaged by honing with a steel.)

Sharpening, as a more abrasive process, should only be done when honing will no longer “bring back an edge.” Think of it as using styling gel in your hair versus clipping it off and starting from scratch.

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Now that’s a knife!

Perhaps a paring knife sir?

With all due respect to Crocodile Dundee, we don’t all walk around with an all-purpose bowie knife. For people who don’t chase down gazelles for a living , cutlery is confined to the kitchen. When you find yourself facing the decision to purchase one or more pieces, you can feel like a fish out of water. Not unlike our friend Mr. Dundee.

There are many considerations: price, manufacturer, type of knife…the list goes on. However, we consistently tell our customers that the most important characteristic in choosing a new knife is “feel.” If it feels awkward or tough to manage, you won’t use the knife or, worse, you’ll use it incorrectly. Along with that, we recommend knives that have:

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