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What’s Your Angle?

The edge of a knife is usually more or less shaped like a V, with sides tapering to a sharp point. But the angle of that V can make a huge difference in how a knife performs. The classic Western-style chef’s knife typically has an edge angle of around 20 degrees on each side of the vertical axis. (That is to say, the tip of the V is a 40-degree angle in total, but commonly knife people talk about the single edge angle.) Japanese knives are more typically sharpened to a narrower angle of around 15 degrees. What’s this mean in practice? The 20-degree Western edge is more resistant to wearing down and bending over [link to honing article], while...

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How to Stay Sharp

Adam Quality knives are the most important tool for any chef, and keeping your knives sharp is essential. Sharp, well-maintained knives are safer, provide more control, and are incredibly fun to use. While a new knife will arrive sharp, with continued use, even the best knives will eventually go dull. WHAT IS SHARPENING, ACTUALLY? A sharp knife’s edge will come to a thin, polished point. Over time with use, this delicate edge will get worn down, exposing a thicker, duller point. When you sharpen a knife, you are physically removing steel from the surface of the knife to re-form a thin, sharp edge. (Note that sharpening is NOT the same as honing!) This is what a sharp knife's edge will...

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Honing vs. Sharpening: What's the Difference

The words “sharpening” and “honing” are often used interchangeably when it comes to knives, but there’s an important distinction between them. The inevitable consequence of using a knife is that its edge, which is a very thin piece of metal that receives a lot of impact, becomes dull. All you notice is that it’s not cutting quite as well as it used to, but on a microscopic level, a few different things may be happening. Depending on what’s happening with the edge, the solution may be sharpening [link to sharpening article] or honing. Here are a few situations. 1) After long use, the edge will become worn down, like a rounded pencil tip. It can still cut, but not as...

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