If you’re that lucky person responsible for carving turkey every holiday season, you will hold your electric knife in high esteem! All of us leave the toughest cutting jobs for our electric knives because we trust them!
Although electric knives stay sharper longer as compared to conventional times, there comes a time when they tend to lose their sharpness. What now? Is it possible to sharpen an electric knife? Read on to embark on a myth-busting adventure!
Can You Sharpen Electric Knives?
Contrary to popular belief, you can sharpen your electric knives. The procedure is technical but not impossible.
Since electric knives are serrated, these knives take their own sweet time to get blunt. However, blunting is inevitable. On such occasions, ideally, you should let a professional handle the process. On the other hand, there’s nothing more satisfying than doing it yourself. Without further ado, let’s take a look at how it’s done.
How to Sharpen Serrated Knife?
Ever wondered what all the hype is about? Can you sharpen electric knife blades? To understand the difference in the sharpening process, let’s have a look at what makes these knives special.
What is an Electric Knife?
For all practical purposes, consider an electric knife to be a manual serrated knife connected to electricity. The only difference is that the blades are connected to an electric motor. Speaking of blades, these are made of highly durable hardened steel. For storage and cleaning purposes, these can be removed easily and then put back together as required.
Now that you know that sharpening your electric knife is a possibility, let’s move on to how you can go about it. The dull blades of an electric knife should be sharpened with either an electric knife sharpener or an electric sharpening rod.
Using an Electric Knife Sharpener
If you are purchasing a block sharpener specifically for this purpose, just remember that you have different options available for different blades. Always choose one keeping your knife in mind. Using a poor-quality sharpener will produce poor-quality results, so choose wisely!
Step 1: First and foremost, unplug your electric knife. If your knife is battery-operated, remove the batteries. It might seem pretty obvious, but omitting this step can lead to serious consequences.
Step 2: Detach the blades from the handle of the knife. Once done, carefully inspect the knife blades. Even the slightest of cracks or nicks indicate that it is time for an electric knife blades replacement. The only knife blades suitable for undergoing the sharpening process are slightly curved ones.
Step 3: If you haven’t sharpened your electric knife blades or slightly nicked them, begin sharpening with the coarsest grindstone on your serrated knife sharpener. Insert the base of your knife into the slot. While doing so insert the sharp edge of the base into the slot and go as deep as possible.
You know you’re on the right track when you can feel contact with the grindstone. While maintaining contact, slide the knife blade towards yourself keeping it at an angle of 15 to 20 degrees. Proceed slowly till you reach the tip. Repeat this stroke two to three times.
Step 4: Once you are done sharpening on the coarse grindstone proceed to using fine grindstones, turn by turn. This will give the knife blades a fine polished appearance and ensures that your knife blades remain sharp for a longer period.
Step 5: Your knife has regained its razor-sharp edge but hey, don’t attack the turkey on the table just yet! Clean the knife blade with a damp cloth to remove any metallic deposits. With great care, reattach the blade to the handle. If your knife is battery operated, insert batteries and enjoy your good as a new electric knife.
Using a Sharpening Rod
Electric knife sharpeners aren’t the only tools you can use to sharpen electric knives. The other alternative available to you is a sharpening rod. At first glance, it might seem like a complicated and time-taking process. Additionally, the feeling of losing precious time can be a tad stressful too.
However, choosing this method can be rewarding too. You will have more control over the process and sharpening with a rod will remove less metal from the blades, hence improving blade longevity. This is my favourite method for sharpening French fillet knives.
Step 1: Safety first! Unplug your electric knife from the power source. If your knife is battery-operated, remove the batteries before sharpening. This simple step can save you, your knife and your sharpening rod from a lot of damage.
Step 2: Remove the blade from the handle. It’s okay to skip this step if you feel like you don’t have a good grip on the blade without the handle. You just need to be a bit more careful if you do not detach the blade.
Step 3: If you own a straight-edged blade, simply run it down the entire length of the sharpening rod. While doing so, keep the angle and pressure constant. Professionals in Australia and worldwide, tend to keep the rod and the knife blade in a vertical position while sharpening. However, that might be a bit tricky.
You may find it easier to work in a horizontal position. Generally, you have to keep the rod stationary and run the knife along the length of the rod. But suit yourself! You can do it the other way around too. It might take longer, but all’s well as long as you are comfortable.
Fairly simple? Not so much if we talk about serrated electric knives. The majority of electric knives are serrated and sharpening a serrated blade with a rod is not as straightforward. In serrated knives, the cutting edge lies on the points in between the serrations. Therefore, it is crucial to get your rod to those areas.
Hold the electric knife blade in one hand and the sharpening rod in the other one. Begin with the first serration of the blade and run it up and down the rod. After 2 to 3 strokes, move to the next serration. Remember that you will have to deal with each serration independently. Patience is the key!
Finish sharpening all the serrations on one side to the tip. Flip over to work on the other side of the blade in the same manner.
Step 4: Once the blade has been sharpened, clean it with a damp cloth. Pat it dry and test the sharpness by slicing through fruit or vegetable. Never attempt to check the sharpness on your finger!
Safety Precautions While Sharpening Electric Knives
Electric knives are very sharp, thus potentially dangerous tools. When sharpening them it is important to keep the following tips in mind:
- Keep the knife detached from all sources of power. I cannot stress enough the importance of unplugging the knife before you begin sharpening. It’s a life and tool saver!
- Keep a slow and steady pace while sharpening the knife.
- Sharpen the knife with dry hands. They must be water and oil-free. This way you will reduce the chances of the knife slipping away from your hands.
- Do not test the sharpness of your knife on any of your body parts.
- Remember the golden rule- “A high-quality sharpener for a high-quality knife”.
How to Look After Your Electric Knife?
Irrespective of the tool that you have used for sharpening your electric knife, once it’s sharp here’s what you can do to keep your knife in optimum condition:
- When you are using your electric knife, there will come a time when you encounter tough portions which seem impossible to cut through. Do not apply excessive force on such occasions. Instead, try to manoeuvre around the area gently with consistent force.
- Keep your electric knife blades clean on all occasions.
- Store your knife blades properly. Electric knives are tools which we do not use daily. When putting them away, keep them in a designated spot. This way you reduce the chances of your blades getting nicked.
- When the knife is being used, steer clear of all of its moving parts.
FAQ – FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Although electric knives remain sharp longer than conventional knives, there will come a time when the blades require sharpening. Instead of getting the knife sharpened professionally or getting the blades replaced, you can sharpen them yourself.
You can sharpen an electric knife with the help of an electric knife sharpener or a sharpening rod. Knife sharpeners will give you quick results, but will remove more metal in the process.
On the other hand, using a sharpening rod is a time-taking process. However, your blades will last longer and you will have more control over the sharpening process.
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