As a professional chef, what do you value most in a knife? A blade that holds its edge? A knife designed for a specific purpose? Comfort after hours of use? You’re in good company with many of the top chefs who seek quality in their kitchen tools. But while knives, like your butcher knife and commercial electric knife, might be vital to your kitchen, having a quality knife sharpener is vital to the life of your knives.
Check out these quick tips to keep your knives sharp with an electric knife sharpener.
Professionals Need Proper Sharpening Tools
An electric knife sharpener helps chefs keep their knives in tiptop condition. Quality counts, and a subpar sharpener can result in duller knives and poor edge retention. Comparing types and listening to expert recommendations is essential when choosing quality kitchen equipment.
The most basic tool of professional chefs and butchers is a butcher knife. Used in splitting, stripping and cutting meat (and as a general utility knife too), the butcher knife is a necessity in every professional kitchen. A knife sharpener can help you keep yours in good working order.
- How to use an electric knife sharpener
With electric knife sharpeners, the abrasives are on a motorized wheel that spins against the blade to sharpen the knife. These soft touch, foam-based, flexible wheels are available in coarse, medium and fine grits. Just a couple of quick steps will do the trick.
- Step 1:Turn on the sharpener. Hold your butcher knife securely but lightly and pull the blade through the desired slots. Use slow, smooth motions.
- Step 2:Alternate sides to sharpen your entire blade. The number of strokes it takes to restore a damaged knife to like-new condition can vary by machine and knife condition.
Commercial Electric Knives
A commercial electric knife is a chef’s best friend when it comes to carving prime rib, roast beef, turkey and ham. Precision cuts mean less waste and more profit. Dull knives reduce speed and accuracy. Contrary to popular belief, you can sharpen your electric knife—with an electric sharpener.
- How to sharpen your commercial electric knife
A heavy-duty electric sharpener can make your knife razor sharp. Use the coarse wheel to thin the blade and then use the fine wheel to get the knife razor sharp.
Another option is to replace the standard wheel with a diamond sharpening wheel. Diamond sharpening wheels generally cost more than the actual sharpener itself, but provide the best edge and greater longevity than the foam-based wheel. Make sure to choose a brand of the best quality. Some brands might advertise their diamond wheels for less, but they often use inferior, low-grade diamonds and uneven diamond dust sizes. To get the best edge on your knife, look for consistency in the diamond dust size and wheel surface. An authentic diamond knife sharpener can last for a million passes and handle hard steels and ceramic knife blades.
After sharpening, we recommend doing a couple of strokes on a sharpening rod to realign and smooth the burr so the knife stays sharp longer. Note that a sharpening rod is not a sharpener. It’s a burr realignment tool that chefs use during a kitchen’s operational hours to quickly achieve a sharper edge. But it should never replace a knife sharpener. Once a knife is dull, the blade should be thinned, either with a stone (which takes more time and skill) or an electric knife sharpener (which thins and sharpens the blade in seconds).
Make sure both your butcher knife and commercial electric knife are always ready to bring their sharpest, safest edge to the job. A heavy-duty electric knife sharpener is your best bet for performance, efficiency and safety.