Have you heard of this old proverb, “A sharp knife is safer and better than a dull knife”? A dull knife is prone to accidents, whereas a sharp knife helps you perform the most challenging task with ease and without putting in too much effort.
You tend to use a dull knife more often than you would admit without knowing the importance of a sharp knife. You might not need a razor-sharp knife’s blade to cut slices of cucumber. However, if you use a dull knife to carve a roasted turkey, you may face some problems.
But, how to can you sharpen a knife? There are different methods to sharpen a knife, but the most popular is by using sandpaper. If you don’t know how to sharpen a knife with sandpaper, you will get your answer in this article.
How to Sharpen a Knife With Sandpaper? – Five Easy Steps
You will need a hard, flat surface, honing steel and a sheet of sandpaper to sharpen your knife. After cutting from ceramic plates, the knife gets dull after some time. The method to sharpen a knife with sandpaper is straightforward, and anyone can easily perform it.
Let’s discuss in detail how to sharpen a knife with sandpaper in five easy steps.
Step 1: Get a Sheet of Sandpaper
You need to purchase a sheet of #240 grit or #180 grit dry-or-wet silicon carbide sandpaper. The sheets are easily available at every home improvement store. In some cases, the sheet is also sold in a combo pack containing many grits. Moreover, one sheet of sandpaper lasts for a long time.
Step 2: Hold Your Knife at a 22-Degree Angle
On the flat surface or wooden chopping board, place the sandpaper sheet and tape it down so that it stays fixed to the edge. Now, hold your knife at an angle of 22 degrees against the surface or cutting board.
You don’t have to measure the angle using a protector. You can estimate the angle by holding the knife at a 90-degree angle and then tilt it to make 45 degrees angle. Now, split it once again to get an approximately 22.5-degree angle. That is close enough to begin sharpening your knife.
Step 3: Hold the Knife Flush With the Sandpaper
With one hand, hold the knife and press lightly on the knife’s center to flush it with sandpaper. Now, you need to drag a diagonal along with the sandpaper.
Drag the knife down towards the edge, pull it away diagonally towards you. Repeat the process at least ten times. For curved blades, slightly raise the knife’s handle when you slide it down the sandpaper. It will help you sharpen the whole length of the blade.
Step 4: Sharpen the Other Side
Flip the side of the knife and repeat the sharpening process another ten times. You can also switch to super fine sandpaper from the fine sandpaper to repeat the sharpening process.
Step 5: Finish Using Honing Steel
Honing Steel usually comes with a set of knives. If not, it is readily available in the market. The last step requires to give a finishing touch to the sharpened knife. Again, at a 22-degree angle, run the knife’s edge over the honing steel.
Repeat the process couple of times on both sides. It will help straighten the metal, and you get a razor-sharp knife.
Apart from the method mentioned above, there is one more way to sharpen your knife with sandpaper. Cover the sandpaper on the woodblock or brick. Then, run the knife over the sandpaper in a circular motion. Repeat the process on both sides equally, and you will get your sharpened knife.
Why Do You Need a Sharp Knife?
A sharp knife is safe and lets you slice effortlessly and cleanly through food compared to a dull knife. You will have to put effort to slice through food, which means you might lose your grip and hurt yourself with a dull knife. So, if you find yourself struggling to cut and slice, do not force it and sharpen your knife with sandpaper.
A sharp knife is efficient in the sense that it helps you make precise and exact cuts. Whether you need to dice carrots, sliced potatoes, or chop fresh basil, sharp knife will let you perform all the kitchen tasks with ease.
With a sharp knife, you can cut the food in the same size to cook evenly at the same pace.
How to Test if You Have Sharpened the Knife?
Once you have honed your knife with honing steel, it’s time to test its sharpness before starting with the actual slicing. You should not check the sharpness by flecking the blade against the thumb as it is not the safest or easiest indicator.
Take a look at the two tests below for testing the sharpness of the knife.
Paper Test is the best and easiest way to check the sharpness of the blade. Take any computer or construction paper. Try to slice the piece of paper from the top towards the end with your knife. If the knife cuts the paper effortlessly, the blades are sharp.
Another reliable method is a tomato test. Use any paring or chef’s knife to slice through a tomato. If you are able to slice the tomato efficiently through the skin, that means the blades are sharp.
If the knife cannot slice through the tomato’s skin, repeat the step with honing steel or go back to sandpaper to sharpen it again.
How to Maintain Your Knife’s Sharpness for a Long Time
You have the answer to how to sharpen a knife with sandpaper but how you can keep your knife sharp for a long time. It takes a lot of effort and time to sharpen a knife. Therefore, you need to make sure that the sharpness will last after so much hard work.
You will find some important tips to maintain your knife’s sharpness below.
- Never use a Dishwasher to wash the knife: The detergent used in a dishwasher is hard, which can dull the blade’s effectiveness. You should rather wash and scrub the knife using hot water and dish soap. Then, let it dry completely before you store it.
- Use Cutting Board: Hard surface is the real enemy of your sharp knife. It can make your knife dull in no time. So, always use a cutting board if you want to retain the blade’s sharpness.
- Never store the knife with other tools in the kitchen: Your knife needs the care and maintenance to remain sharp. Do not store it in drawers with tongs, whisks and spoons. You should use a magnetic knife strip or knife block to protect the blades.
How to sharpen a knife with sandpaper? Now, you know how and when to sharpen your knife with the easiest method using sandpaper. A sharpened knife is your way to make your kitchen tasks go smoothly and effortlessly.
With sandpaper, you can easily sharpen your knife at home without any professional help. However, you can watch online instructional videos before starting with the sharpening process.