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Tips for Keeping Your Knives Sharp


Photo by Joy Summers

This post is presented by Wüsthof Wusthof

Caring for the precision blades of WÜSTHOF knifes is easy and takes just a little time to ensure your knives last beyond a lifetime.

A well-cared for WÜSTHOF cuts like no other tool. The balanced weight in the palm of the hand and the gleam of the blade is badge of pride for any cook. The key to keep a knife in peak condition takes just a little time and care.

Experts recommend that every time you reach for your knife—be it paring or chef’s knife, you use a honing steel. Hold the steel firmly in one hand pointing away from your torso and the knife in another. First, slide the knife over the top of the steel, drawing the blade toward you at a twenty degree angle. Then, alternate on the lower side of the steel, slide the other side of the knife down, gently toward you. Light pressure is all that is needed. Use the steel after every 20 to 30 minutes of work the knife does.

It is time to get your knife sharpened when there is a resistance when slicing. A super sharp knife glides, but when the metal fibers begin to bow out a bit, a sharpener is needed to get them back in line. How often the knife requires sharpening, depends on how often it’s used. (A WÜSTHOF knife’s fibers can bow all the way up to 90 degrees before it’s beyond repair, but a dull knife is dangerous, not to mention annoying. When in doubt, don’t push it.)

To sharpen the knife at home, a basic WÜSTHOF two stage hand held sharpener takes just a few minutes to restore the blade fibers. Slide it gently, straight back two or three times through the coarse setting before drawing it two or three times through the fine setting.

Testing the blade to see if it’s sharp enough is a fun bit of trickery. Simply grab a piece of paper and slice along the upper edge of the page with the blade. It should cut like a hot knife through butter, leaving behind little paper curls. If there is resistance, repeat the above steps.

Or, if you’d prefer to treat your blade as many local Minneapolis chefs do, stop by Eversharp in Northeast Minneapolis, where the service takes mere minutes and the cost for most blades is just $3. The sharpening wheel that spins at dizzying speed has been restoring WÜSTHOF knives to super-sharp glory for over twenty years.

 The store originally opened when there was a WÜSTHOF distribution center next door. When distribution shifted back to the east coast, the store stayed. During the moments of waiting for a sharper blade, you can take a little time to shop the extensive selection of WÜSTHOF knives, where the experts are eager to share their knowledge of the many WÜSTHOF tools available inside the shop. When checking out, you can eye the sheet of local restaurant business cards. Every chef who brings in their most important kitchen tool leaves a card behind. 

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Minnesota Monthly's Taste Blog answers your restaurant and dining questions, dishes on latest discoveries, reflects on breaking news, and generally brings the plate to the page with a skilled crew of experts: Learn more about the Taste bloggers.

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