In recent years, many sharpeners have been developed to make sharpening easier and more accessible, and they are available through retailers such as Amazon. While sharpeners are a convenient tool to have, there are also several important drawbacks to consider.
Contrary to popular belief, the primary purpose of a sharpener is not to sharpen a blade's edge. Instead, sharpeners temporarily improve a blade's ability to grip food by roughening the blade's edge. As a result, a sharpener cannot replace whetstones for sharpening kitchen knives because the latter sharpen a blade's edge instead of damaging it. Overreliance on sharpeners for sharpening can cause the blade's strength to decrease significantly, leading to cracks and chips.
To maintain the sharpness of a kitchen knife, we recommend using a whetstone to sharpen the blade once or twice a month, in addition to using a sharpener. If you feel that the knife's sharpness has decreased while cooking and don't have time to use a whetstone, a sharpener can temporarily improve the knife's cutting ability. However, it is not recommended to rely solely on sharpeners as a maintenance tool.
There are several types of sharpeners available, including rotary whetstones, electric sharpeners, and water whetstones, but they all work similarly. Depending on the type of sharpener, you may need to push or pull the blade or move it in a particular direction, so it's essential to read the instructions carefully.
Amazon offers a wide range of whetstones and sharpeners. Regardless of the tool you use, we recommend sharpening your knife regularly to maintain its edge.
Comparison of Sharpeners and Whetstones
Now let's take a closer look at the difference between a blade that has been sharpened with a sharpener and one that has been sharpened with a whetstone.
A new kitchen knife's edge is incredibly sharp, as it has been meticulously crafted through a series of processes, including sharpening. This process involves gradually changing the buffing tool, made of materials such as cloth, leather, and vinyl, until the blade's edge is completely smooth and free of scratches.
When we sharpen a knife, we strive to achieve a similar level of sharpness. However, over time, a blade will inevitably begin to wear down, and the edge will become dull. Using a sharpener will temporarily improve the blade's cutting ability by roughening the edge. On the other hand, using a whetstone will sharpen the blade's edge, resulting in a much sharper knife.
In summary, while sharpeners are a convenient tool to have, they cannot replace whetstones for maintaining a knife's sharpness. Using a whetstone once or twice a month, in addition to using a sharpener when needed, is the best way to ensure that your kitchen knife remains sharp and effective for years to come.