Honing Your Knife

by Dennis Gardner
(Redding, Ca.)

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!

Paul's Comment:-

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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Return to Water Smoker Recipes from Honing Your Knife

Comments for Honing Your Knife

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Mar 14, 2012
by: jwsquared

Sharpening is no big deal and certainly does not require a "pro". Any person with average manual dexterity can learn to sharpen a knife. I regularly sharpen both my smooth and serrated edge knifes.

Jan 16, 2012
by: Anonymous

You are stupid idiots...A dull won't cut you as bad as sharp one does. How stupid do you have to be not to figure that out!

Paul's Comment

For sure if you are trying to cut yourself deliberately then a sharp knife is going to be more effective but that's not the issue.

It's those accidental injuries that we are trying to avoid.

The point is that when using a dull knife there's more chance of losing control of the knife because it doesn't cut when you ask it to. It's more likely to slip and so you can easily cut yourself by accident.

Nov 12, 2011
sharpening knives
by: Anonymous

the underside of a toilet tank lid works too.

Oct 17, 2011
honing a knife
by: cootie rebel

You can also use the door window of your truck or car.

Roll down the window a little below half way lick thumb and index finger and moisen the top edge of door glass and "wala!" instant ceramic.

5 swipes on one side of knife then 5 swipes on the other side does a great job out in the feild or when out hunting and you forgot to pack your wet stone.

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