You need to sharpen 3 parts of your kitchen knife.
The face of the blede, the primary bevel, and the micro bevel.
1. Do you know where they are?
18 years ago, on a snowy day,
I used my friend Yota’s kitchen knife when we were preparing sukiyaki for another friend’s birthday party in his kitchen.
It was a shocking moment. His knife was super sharp and I felt really good when I cooked with the knife.
Since then, I haven’t been satisfied with knives that aren’t super keen.
2. If your knife is relatively new, you don’t have to shave the face of the blade
You just need to sharpen the primary bevel and micro bevel.
And your knife will do a great job.
If you have been using this knife for a long time,
There will be some difficulty cutting root vegetables like carrots.
This is because the blade of your kitchen knife is too thick.
The blade can’t go through the ingredients.
3. A thinner blade has a better feeling of cutting
Do you know the reason why your knife blade gets thicker?
This is because the place of the knife edge moves by sharpening the knife.
Like this picture…
4. You need a thinner blade for a nice feeling of cutting
When you feel the knife doesn’t cut well even though you sharpen the primary bevel of the knife,
You should shave the face of the knife blade.
But wait, you need to keep this in your mind…
5. You must keep the thickness of the face even
You might be thinking…
“It sounds very easy because I need to sharpen the blade at the same angle.”
You need to change the sharpening angle in order to have even thickness.
This is because…
6. Thickness can be different between the tip and the heel
Like this picture above,
Older knives tend to have a blade that is uneven in thickness.
The blade tends to be thicker around the knife tip, but thinner around the heel.
This is because the length of the blade of each area is different.
How do you fix that?
7. You need to touch the blade and feel the thickness
And adjust the thickness by shaving the blade to be even.
Start using from a coarse whetstone ( #80 – #320).
So you can shave fast.
And then move to a medium stone (#400 – #2000),
And fine stone( #3000 –),
In order to polish and get rid of the scratches.
8. Remember: A kitchen knife has 3 bevels
The face of the blade, the primary bevel, and the micro bevel.
They all have different angles.
9. The face of blade is 8-10 degree
The face of the blade is for the feeling of cutting. This needs to be thin especially for cutting root vegetables like carrots.
But if the face is too thin, the knife edge will be easily broken and/or chip..
So the thickness depends on what food you usually use the knife for.
You don’t need to take care of this angle if it is brand new,
But when you feel your knife can’t bite into carrots,
it is better to shave this blade face to have a good angle.
10. The primary bevel is 30-40 degree
The primary bevel does the actual cutting.
It touches and strikes the food and hits the cutting board all the time.
So, this bevel must be durable and tough.
In order to have a durable and tough bevel, the angle of the primary bevel should have a larger angle than the face of the blade.
If the angle is under 25 degrees, your knife tends to have chops because the bevel is too thin.
11. The micro bevel is 40-60 degree
Micro bevels are important for keeping the sharpness of your knife.
With the micro bevel, the sharpness will last 3 times longer than without the micro bevel.
After sharpening the primary bevel,
You can make micro bevels on the edge of your kitchen knife by gently stroking your knife on a fine whetstone(higher than #3000).