Knife sharpeners are tools that are used to hone the cutting edge of a knife or other steel utensils blade. They come in two categories the manual and the electronic. This article looks at the types of manual ones available.
The most basic of knife sharpeners is the sharpening stone. It usually comes in either a rectangular or round shape that is only half to several inches thick. These stones are made out of whetstone or carborundum.
Whetstones are formed from mined silicon dioxide minerals, and they are separated into soft, medium or hard grades of the stone. Each grade can give different results for different weights of blades. To sharpen the blade, you will need to lubricate the stone with oil so that the blade can be easily and smoothly sharpened in circular motions.
The carborundum, on the other hand, is made of silicon carbide, and its surface can wear as you sharpen the blades over time. One side of this rectangular sharpener is coarse, which is used first, while the other is smooth, and is used second. The coarse side is used for shaping, while the smooth, for finishing off the minor bits of rough edges.
A favorite among butchers, the sharpening steel is shaped of a long, round steel shaft with a handle, and has textured surface along it that is can be used to manually sharpen the knifes edges, concentrating on only specific edges as you sharpen the blade. Its length allows minimum chances of accidentally cutting yourself as you sharpen.
There is also the kind where you can place on your countertop or hold on to it with its handle and just slice your way through its slot several times to get it sharpened. The slot would have one side that has a sharpener, while the other side is to hold it in.