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Curated Experts Can Help You Find the Best Cutlery Accessories for You
Sharpening a knife is crucial, but before getting into the options available, let’s talk about the difference between what sharpening and honing are! These two actions can often be confused with one another. Sharpening is the act of grinding down the edge of the blade through a stone or sharpening belt to create a new edge. Honing is the act of straightening the edge of a knife with the help of a honing rod, also known as a steel. This realigns the edge of the blade. Maintaining a healthy and sharp edge on your knives will highlight their factory qualities and keep accidents and injuries to a minimum. A cut from a sharp knife will heal faster than a cut from a dull knife!
Sharpening Stones: For sharpening your knife, sharpening stones will yield the best results, but require a bit of extra effort. The most widely used type of sharpening stones are water stones. A 15-minute soak in water allows the edge of the knife to glide smoothly across the surface of the stone. Oil sharpening stones can also be used. They use oil as the medium for sharpening instead of water. Mineral oil must be used as vegetable oils spoil over time and can seriously damage your stone and be a conduit for bacteria. Both do a great job at sharpening, it is simply a personal preference of which one you choose.For everyday use, a medium grit stone of 1000 paired with a fine grit stone of 4000 to 6000 is more than enough. The medium grit stone will grind a new edge, and the fine grit stone will polish and smooth out the new edge (aka burr). Both are needed to maximize the performance of your knife. Learning how to use one properly is part of the journey to making your knives last a lifetime.
Electric Sharpeners: Stones require time—both to practice getting the angle right and to actually go through the sharpening process. Electric sharpeners can be a great option if your time is limited. The sharpening disks are divided into categories that align with the same sharpening principles as stones: a coarse grain for grinding down a new edge, followed by a smoother grain to smooth out and lightly polish the new edge. Some have a third disk that further polishes the edge for a much shinier look and finish. They are convenient and a great, practical option.
Hand-Held Sharpeners: These are essentially manual versions of electric sharpeners. You simply align your knife with the guide and pull the knife towards you to sharpen. These are a great option if you do not want to explore stones or an electric sharpener. It is best to purchase a hand-held sharpener of the same brand and maker as your current knife as they will be compatible with the angle and sharpening disk that is recommended by the maker.
Honing Rods: When it comes to honing rods, it is important to understand that these only realign the edge of the knife—they do not bring a new edge to it. This can be best understood when you’ve honed your knife enough times and you no longer get a sharp edge. This is an indicator that a sharpening session is needed. There are different options when it comes to honing rods. Diamond honing rods draw their names from the diamond rod shape. Stainless steel honing rods can be found in cylindrical shapes or broad honing surfaces, which butchers enjoy using. There are also ceramic honing rods that have a coarser honing surface than a diamond steel rod.
At Curated, we recommend that you sharpen your knives on a recurring basis. This will make working with them more enjoyable, lengthen the life of your knives, and keep you safer. Reach out to a Kitchen Expert and discover what’s the best sharpening tool for you.
Scissors and Kitchen Shears
A nice pair of kitchen scissors or shears can make a big difference in your kitchen. They can cut herbs more smoothly than a knife, break down chicken cartilage for stocks, and also cut those pieces of parchment paper you need. A good pair of shears can be identified for their comfortable handle and how easy they cut through those tougher food items.
Knife Storage & Blade Guards
Storing your knives is crucial to maintaining their edge quality from one cooking session to the next, as well as keeping accidental cuts at bay. A drawer organizer can be great if you want to keep your knives away from counter surfaces. A knife block will keep your knives readily available for use and provide a bit of eye appeal. Knife blocks have also come a long way with modern designs and even magnetic displays.
If you are a professional on the go or wish to keep a knife drawer at home without the organizer, blade guards are a must. They slide right onto the knife of your choice and provide a home for them. They are made in all sorts of sizes to accommodate different types and styles of knives. The fanciest ones are called saya which means sheath in Japanese and are generally made from wood.
These rectangular or square-shaped pieces of kitchen gear allow for a space to cut upon. There are wood boards, bamboo, plastic, synthetic, silicone, and even rubber boards. All have varying properties that react differently to knife usage as well as the aesthetics that you are looking for. If you need help deciding on the material, talk to a Kitchen Expert. Once you know the material you want, figure out how much space you need. Make sure to take care of your new cutting board, because it will last a lifetime if properly maintained.
Talk With an Expert
Sharpening your knives is critical to having the best possible knife at all times. Maintaining that edge with a honing rod until the next sharpening session will make cooking quicker and easier. Speak with a Curated Expert to find out what sharpening gear will suit your needs best.
Kitchen shears, scissors, blade guards, and cutting boards can be a secondary thought when shopping for kitchen gear. However, they are essential tools when cooking that will be heavily missed when you most need them! Curated offers expert advice from professionals who are happy to work with you and discover what accessories your kitchen needs.