Kitchen Tools & Gadgets

How to Effectively but Easily Sharpen a Sushi Knife in 6 Steps

Our kitchen knives are our main tool in every dish and in every meal we make either for our families or our customers. But like everything else in the world, even our kitchen knives get fatigued. Its cutting edge becomes dull regardless of the brand and the quality. It becomes useless, this is why even kitchen knives need maintenance, they also need some care, and they need sharpening from time to time.

One kind of knife that needs sharpening is sushi knife, a Japanese knife. This kind of knife is mainly sharpened using a whetstone or a water stone. It has double sided low grit side made especially for knife sharpening and polishing. Sushi chefs usually sharpen their knives using a whetstone. Because it especially matches their level of experience and that it also corresponds to their needs as chefs.

Why do you need to sharpen a sushi knife ?

As a simple answer, this is all because you wanted to use the knife it is maximum potential. So you need to sharpen it from time to time it would not get fatigued cutting edges.

What are the things you need to prepare in sharpening your sushi knife ?

Just like any other processes out there, there are materials you need to prepare when you are about to sharpen a sushi knife.

  • Clean water which you can use all throughout the sharpening session.
  • A wet cloth that can be utilized to stabilize the knife.
  • The whetstone or the waterstone with a stone holder that is specifically made and widely used to sharpen Japanese knives such as a sushi knife. But if you do have a whetstone, according to experts you can make an ordinary stone. You have to carefully wash it with clean water before and dry it thoroughly before using.

How to Effectively Sharpen a Sushi Knife?

Your main goal as sharpener is to be able to remove the stressed part of the blade of your knife and make it strong again. What you need to do is peel out the fatigued part of the edge with these six easy and simple steps:

Very important reminder: Wear shoes before starting the steps, stand on a mat so it will absorb the impact of the knife if ever you accidentally drop it while in the process of sharpening it.

Step 1:

Prepare the sushi knife and the other materials. Soak or splash with water the sushi knife. Make sure all of its parts are soaked in the water before starting. Oversoaking is a no-no because stones are known to its fragility so remember to never over-soak it. The quality is going to decrease so it’s going to be difficult for you to sharpen the knife. 

Step 2:

Prepare the whetstone or the water stone on the clean wet cloth and use it as a base for stabilizing the knife while you are in the process of sharpening it.

Step 3:

Carefully hold the sushi knife using your index finger and rest on the spine and thumb which allows it to lay flat on the blade. Then use your other three fingers to grasp the handle of the knife. You have to do this carefully, but not forcefully, you have to relax to avoid accidents. Be comfortable; hold it tight enough, so it doesn't move as you sharpen, but you don't need a death grip on it.

Step 4:

Start sharpening the tip of the knife and then use your left hand’s three fingers to press the cutting edge through the whetstone or the water stone.

Step 5:

You have to make sure that your grip on the sushi knife is firm and that your shoulders are square to the whetstone with your body relaxed as much as possible. Make sure you press the edge of the blade to the stone and then push it along the stone with enough pressure and then move it forward. Be sure to release the exerted pressure as you move the blade to the starting point.

Step 6:

Sharpen the cutting edge. Stop until you see a slight and even burr on the reverse side. Find the burr in the knife, reverse the knife blade. To rid of the burr, start the sharpening again in the tip of the blade, with enough pressure, move the blade downward. If the blade is double sided, you can do the same process on the other blade’s side. After sharpening, wipe clean and allow to air dry.

Clean the materials you used, dry the stone with a dry towel before returning it in its box to avoid mold growth that can result in cracking.

What Do You Need to Remember in Sharpening Your Kitchen Knives ?

If you are into cooking, well sharpening your knives in the kitchen is a must for you. It is highly recommended by experts that sharpening a knife must be done from time to time and not when it is already dull because that is a big no-no.

You need to know that there are kinds of whet stone and with different uses and sharpening processes. This includes:

The Arato or the rough grit, this kind of whet stone has a surface that is rough. It can be used in fixing broken blade tips, repairing chips and making a perfect sharp angle for your sushi knife.

The Nakato or the medium rough grit, with the use of this kind of whet stone you make the blade of your knife very sharp with a sharp angle.

The Siageto or the fine grit, this is usually the kind of whet stone used for finishing processes which keep your blade sharp.

Aside from the materials, you need to prepare in sharpening; you also need an awful lot of courage in sharpening a knife. Worries and anxieties that are usually present in performing the steps but with courage, you will overcome them all. Worries and anxieties are nothing but distractions that might cause accidents. Be courageous, embrace the pillars of sharpening; passion, practice, patience, and persistence, and sharpen your sushi knife!

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