Keeping your chef knife sharp is one of every chef's most important kitchen maintenance tasks. Not only does keeping knives sharp make your job easier to complete, but it makes your job safer. If you are using a chefs knife that isn’t kept sharp, you have to apply more pressure than you would with a sharper blade, which makes the knife more likely to slip and cause injury.
When sharpening your kitchen knives you’ll want to achieve an angle that provides both a razor sharp, effortless cutting edge and a durable angle that won’t dull after every use.
Sharpening your knives at a 15 to 20 degree angle will provide the best results when preparing food. This angle makes the blade edge sharp enough to provide a clean cut through foods whilst retaining durability through constant use. Most Asian style knives are honed to a 17 degree angle, making them slightly sharper than Western style knives, which are generally sharpened to 20 degrees. Asian foods are softer; therefore the blade edge can be sharper as it doesn’t need to cut tough foods.
Sharpening your knives at an angle lower than 17 degrees will make them super sharp, but will mean they will dull much quicker. The opposite is true for sharpening to angles greater than 22 degrees. Your knives won’t be as sharp but the cutting edge will last a lot longer.
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