What’s the Best Way to Maintain A Consistent Angle While Sharpening?
The most commonly faced problem while sharpening the knife is maintaining the angle. Not only the beginners but also the trained people have issues regarding maintenance of angle of sharpening knife. Once the angle is disturbed the sharpening knife will be purposeless, in fact, it will even ruin the knife. If the angle is not consistent the metal will not be smooth and will be ruined. For getting persistent sharp ends all one needs are practice and experimentation. With the practice, one will have a grip over the angle.
Powered sharpening provides the fastest sharpening process. They enable us to sharpen the knife in seconds. Though it needs precision and accuracy which comes with time and practice, it’s worth the effort. Powered sharpening can be learned through tutorials and paid courses. It gives the knife a perfect end that any chef dreams of. It requires a source of electricity and a stable platform. The results of sharpening through this are far better than others but yet it’s not the only available option. One can go for other options as well, depending on the needs, requirements, and circumstances.
In freehand sharpening, one has to rub the knife rapidly himself. There is no need for any kind of power. This process is time taking and slow. But any beginner can do this. Most people are familiar with this process. It does not require the person to be professional. It is a portable easy and simple process. People have been doing this for ages. The powered sharpeners came out recently but the freehand ones are in use since the start.
The knife sharpening process can be done in a variety of ways. Each person has his own technique. Some prefer the circular motion of the knife, while others like to rub it in the direction of figure 8. Sharpening a knife is all about patience and practice. It is an easy and simple process, but one has to choose the techniques and the angles.
Most people go for the process of guided sharpening at first. This is more reliable. People learn the process of sharpening and then go for doing it independently. In guided sharpening, the person has a tutor or any experienced person that looks for the mistakes and helps him in case of any mistakes. There are fewer chances of errors in the case of guided sharpening. The risk of damaging knives is reduced and hazards are prevented. Under supervision, people learn the process of sharpening that helps them and can aid them throughout life. Once a person has learned the process, he can do the procedure, throughout his life. It will help him in saving time and knives.
What Is The Edge Angle? How To Tell What Angle Your Knife Is Sharpened To?
Finding the edge angle is the first step of sharpening the knife. Once a person knows the right angle, he can sharpen the knife easily and in no time. But in the case of the wrong angle, all of the time, and even the knife can go to waste.
Hazard Of Knife Sharpening
While sharpening a knife without the proper guidance it can lead to
- Cuts and lacerations
In case of any carelessness, cuts and lacerations can be caused because you are working with sharp ends and shiny blades.
- Damaging the tools
In the case of beginners, tools can be damaged due to a lack of knowledge of the procedure and steps to be followed.
- Wasting of metal
If the right angle is not selected it will lead to wasting of metal to be sharpened. It will result in the rough and uneven surface of the blade.
- Damage to the knife
If the procedure is not done properly then it will surely damage the knife and will ruin the blades.
Followings are the precautions one has to follow while sharpening knife
- Wearing gloves
- Keep out of the reach of children
- Fine stable environment
- Power connection stability
- Watching tutorials
- Sharpening under supervision
- Follow the procedure with care and vigilance
Under 10 Degree Angles
To cut softer things, this is the most appropriate angle to sharpen knives at. It is the lowest angle category for sharpening knives. Such angles are mostly suitable for sharpening razors with straight edges. The angle for straight razors is as low as 7 to 8 degrees. Straight razors have a huge risk of damage while being sharpened because they have a really delicate edge to be sharpened, so you have to be careful while handling such razors and maintain the angle for the best results. The more accurate the angle is, the more the edge is finely and precisely sharpened.
10 to 17 Degrees Angles
This angle range is also again one of the lower angles ranges to be discussed here. This angle is not commonly used as it does not suits the knives used for chopping purposes but still, this angles gives a very fine edge. The hardness of steel determines its quality of being brittle, the harder the steel is, the more brittle it is going to be. This range of angles provides you with the knives for smoother actions. Again, lower angles are suitable for cutting softer materials and stuff and hence knives sharpened at this angle will be suitable for only soft materials.
17 to 22 Degree Angles
This next category ranges from 17 to 22 degrees. Knives manufactured in Japan are usually sharpened at 17 degrees and these are mostly kitchen knives. On the other hand, in western areas, the typical angle for sharpening knives is 20 degrees. It is noticed that the angles from 15 degrees to 20 degrees make the knife quite durable but not as durable as the edges sharpened at 38 degrees. Also, these knives would not survive longer for harder steel materials but still, the knives sharpened at 15 degrees to 20 degrees gives the best cut.
22 to 30 Degree Angles
As previously discussed, the durability is going to increase as the angle increases. So this range of angles will provide more durable sharpened edges than the previous range. On the other hand, how fine the edge is going to entirely depend on the angle, and the lower the angle the finer edge you are going to have. Thus this range is not going to provide excellent fine edges and this thing makes it nonsuitable for cutting and chopping purposes. This angle is usually used for pocket knives or hunting knives where there is no requirement for a fine edge for effective working. You will have to give up on one thing to have the other! You either get the fine edge or the durable edge.
Over 30 Degrees Angles
The previous discussion applies to this well. The edges sharpened at the angle above 30 degrees are going to be way too durable but they are not going to give you fine cutting. You will have to apply a lot of force to cut things down and that is definitely not going to be easy at all. This angle is not for daily life use but still, there are things sharpened at this range of angles. These things include a machete, an ax, or a cleaver. These instruments would require durability because of their use. These types of equipment are used to cut harder materials and require hell lit of force.
Hardness vs Toughness
Hardness can be defined as the property exhibited by stronger bonds between the atoms that tend to not change the shape of an object upon applying stress. The property of hardness is measured on a specific type of scale. This scale is known as the ROCKWELL C SCALE. While manufacturing knives, the property of hardness is not to be ignored at all. The harder edge is obviously expected to work best for cutting purposes, you would never want the knife to distort while cutting!
The property of toughness is described as the property to bear the stress till the fracture point is reached. The toughness is yet another property of huge importance. The tougher the knife, the more durable it is going to be.
The balance between hardness and toughness is very important to be maintained. Increased hardness reduces the toughness of the knife and increased toughness reduces the hardness of the knife. If the knife is too hard, it would break easily and if it is way too tough, it would not hold the edge. You cannot compromise on any of the two.