The reasons why your knife might be dull are…
Your knife is too thick.
You didn’t sharpen it until a burr forms.
Burr is still sticking on the edge.
Or because of the structure of the knife.
1. Most of the time these 4 things above keep your knife dull
14 years ago, I drove my Honda Fit to my friend Motoki’s house to hang out.
He let me use his knife and it was dull.
He kept saying that he has been sharpening it so many times.
2. Are you frustrated?
Are you thinking “I have bought a sharpening stone and tried to sharpen my knife. But it is still dull.”
But don’t worry. I will teach you how to make your knife sharp.
I am the Master Yoda of knife sharpening.
Welcome to Dagobah!
3. Is your knife blade made of two different materials?
The outside one is softer metal, and the inside one is hard metal. It is called “sanmai awase” or “warikomi” in Japanese.
The inside hard metal tends to have chips, and outside soft metal is flexible and durable.
So the soft metal is for supporting the inside like in this picture.
How can you tell?
The colors of the metals are a little different.
4. The problem is when you try to sharpen this kind of knife as a single edged
Because it means you are trying to create an edge out of the soft metal.
This kind of knife is designed as a double edged knife.
The inside metal is for the edge.
And the outside soft metal is for sandwiching the hard metal.
It can’t be the edge.
If the problem is the blade structure, then…
5. You haven’t made burr yet
A burr tells you if the edge of your knife is well sharpened or not.
Burr is a the waste metal at the edge of the knife.
It forms when you shave a knife using a whetstone.
It looks like a really thin thread.
How to check the burr?
6. Try to sense burr using your thumb
The burr is supposed to be on the other side of the edge that you just sharpened.
Place your thumb on the blade and move it towards the edge.
You will be able to catch some rough metal feeling there.
And it is the burr.
If you can’t feel anything, then you need to use your whetstone to sharpen more.
7. You must get rid of the burr to get to a sharp knife
After sharpening your knife, you have to get rid of the burr, so your knife can cut things well.
You can get rid of it by rubbing the edge of the knife on denim cloth, leather, or a piece of paper a few times.
Easiest way? Use a piece of newspaper or cardboard
8. Your knife blade is too thick
If your knife edge is well sharpened until it formed a burr, and you also got rid of the burr and still your knife is not sharp,
Then there is a possibility the knife blade is too thick.
This happens because the blade width gets shortened by regular base sharpening.
And the edge has moved towards the spine.
As you can see in the pictures,
The blade gets thicker if you use the knife for a long time as the edge goes up, and it makes the bevel too thick.
That means it is harder to cut the food through.
In order to fix this problem,
You need to make a new bevel or make the blade thinner.
Like these pictures below…
Use coarse whetstone to shave the blade until it gets thinner.