Honing Your Knife
by Dennis Gardner
Sharpening and honing are two different critters.
Sharpening involves reshaping the cutting edge and, unless you really know what you're doing, (you can really mess up your knives if you don't), should be done by a pro. It doesn't cost much, and it's really worth the money.
If you looked at the edge under a microscope, it would look like a tiny saw blade. With use, all those little points get rolled over, and your knife doesn't cut properly. Honing your knife is simply straightening up all those points.
Look on the bottom of a ceramic coffee cup, and you'll see an unglazed ring. Carefully draw the knife across it, like you're shaving off thin slices. Five strokes in each direction, then four, then three, you get it. Your knife will cut like new!
Everyone doesn't have a steel or ceramic sticks, but everybody has a coffee cup.
My Dad said "more people get hurt with dull knives than sharp ones". I suppose that's because if you know your knives are scary sharp, you'll be more careful. Except my wife, who is an EMT's nigthtmare!
Great tip Dennis and good advice! I agree with your last point 100% that a sharp knife is so much safer than a dull one.
Imagine when you chop an onion. Use a sharp knife and every downward action slices the onion, in other words the knife blade is doing the work and you are just guiding it in the right direction.
Use a dull knife and the downward pressure doesn't make the blade penetrate, you press down more and the onion layers come apart. As the onion splits and spreads on your chipping board, your knife is moving laterally, you're not in control and it's at times like these that you injure yourself.
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