You don’t need to own a $500 set of kitchen knives, but you do need to own a knife sharpener because having very sharp kitchen knives makes a tremendous difference while preparing foods.
There are lots and lots of knife sharpening tools and most all of them will get the job done.
A good knife sharpener though does not necessarily have to be expensive.
Not too long ago I purchased a knife sharpener for a fairly inexpensive price, and it turned out to be quite a surprise… it worked amazingly well, and it was very easy to use.
The DMT Double Sided Diamond Diafold
DMT Diafold Sharpener
The way it works is simple.
This particular sharpener has two surfaces, both impregnated with diamond particles, one course surface and one fine surface.
How To Sharpen
Simply look at the knife blade edge and pay particular attention to the angle of the blade where it steepens to a sharp pointed edge. That angle is usually about 20 degrees, depending – this is the angle at which you should sharpen against the sharpener’s surface.
A rule-of-thumb is hold the knife at a 90-degree angle to the sharpener surface, then halve the angle (45-degrees) and then halve it again (apprx. 20-degrees). This should be a good sharpening angle.
More expensive sharpening systems have methods to physically hold the blade and/or sharpener at a fixed angle or adjustable angle. However, the basic method of “eyeballing” it will work quite surprisingly well and get you very good results without becoming overly elaborate with the process.
Always slide the blade across the sharpening surface in the direction that you would be cutting something. In other words, do not pull the blade across the surface, but instead push it forward across the sharpener surface.
There is no need to apply much pressure, just lightly push across.
Try to sweep the entire blade’s surface in one motion as you complete each sharpening motion.
Then flip the knife over and sharpen the other side the same way.
I typically start with the course surface side of the DMT sharpener and work it a few times, then switch to the fine side.
This will work with just about any knife, cutters, or even heavy-duty tools like an axe, chisel, etc.. It’s a great tool to keep around.
This particular knife sharpener is made by a company named Diamond Machining Technology, DMT, and is manufactured in the USA. It looks like they make several models, but this one, the Diamond DiaFold, I found to be affordable, very effective and simple, and it folds up into a neat little package. The surface is long enough to get a good knife stroke, while small enough to throw in a kit or bag (or pocket).
Like I said, there are lots of good knife sharpeners out there, but give this one a look and consider getting one for yourself. You will be slicing through your kitchen foods with ease!