How to Sharpen a Hollow Ground Knife: Quick Technique
When it comes to sharpening your knife, you should know that no matter the shape it takes, you can always get it sharpened. Knives are made differently and with different shaping, and some stay sharp for longer than others. For instance, a hollow ground knife will not always stay sharp for a more extended period compared to a regular knife. This means you will always need frequent sharpening of your hollow ground knife.
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Make sure you know the type of knife you are using. Many people always tend to confuse a hollow ground knife to knives that are truly not hollow. When sharpening a hollow ground knife, it has always been recommended to use a standard sharpening method, either using a sharpening stone or a good sharpening system. If you do not have any idea of how to sharpen a hollow ground knife, the article below will guide you on how to go about it.
Selecting a Sharpening Stone
You have probably examined your knife and know how dull the blade is, and that means you know what kind of sharpening stone you will require. You can even test it by slicing a vegetable to determine how dull it is. If you always use your hollow knife then you can be sure it is blunter than when you only use it once.
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The next step is to choose the style of the stone, either a natural one or synthetic, and keep in mind that it all depends on how dull your hollow ground knife is. Using a natural stone, you do not have to soak it in water like compared to synthetic ones that need to be soaked in water.
The stone normally becomes soft and helps to sharpen the knife quickly. But unfortunately, they wear faster than others. Oily stones are cheap and made out of hard materials but a little messier when using. Afterward, you can now select the grit of the stone as there are various grit sizes available. These are coarse, medium, and fine stone, which can help you sharpen your knife. It is always recommended to start with a rough stone before moving to a finer one. In case you happened to sharpen it recently, you can always start with a medium one as they are not very dull.
Preparing to Sharpen
When you bought your sharpening stone, it came with a guide, and it will be helpful if you follow the instructions doted down. Following the instructions will give you a smooth time sharpening the knife. The instruction will tell you if you need to soak your stone in water first, or you need to lubricate it with oil while sharpening.
Never assume the instructions that are written down as you end up messing the stone before you start using it. Assumptions never work, and that is why it is better to have clarity from the start. Take hold of your hollow ground knife and practice holding it at a 20-degree angle. To know the angle better, take your knife and hold it in front of you so that it appears straight up and down.
That will be 90 degrees, and because you need to hold it at 20, tilt it halfway, which will make 45 degrees. Tilt the knife again halfway again, and you will have reached about 20 degrees. Remember, the angle at which you sharpen your knife also depends on the size of the blade that your knife has. If you are using a water stone, you can go ahead and soak it for 30 to 45 minutes before you start using it.
Make sure the water covers the stone, and an excellent way to soak it is by placing it in a tray or a laundry basket. You need your stone wet to avoid scratching your knife, thus forming marks on the blade. Take a piece of cloth and make it damp, then place the stone on it, and that is the surface where you will be working.
The cloth here helps in keeping the stone at a place while you are sharpening your knife. Preferably, use an old cloth because after using it you will not be able to remove the grit on it. On the other hand, if you will be using a stone that needs oil, you will have to put oil and massage the oil onto the stone. Petroleum products are the best and then take a cloth and put the stone on top to hold it in place.
Sharpening the Knife
Take your hollow ground knife and hold it against the stone and this by using one hand to ensure the blade is at a 20 degrees angle. Keep in mind the edge of the blade should face away from you, then you place your fingertips of the other hand on the flat part of the blade.
Your fingertips here will control the pressure and the direction of the blade while you are sharpening it. Now, you can sweep one side of the blade across the stone in a slow manner, ensuring that the whole edge from heel to tip is evenly sharpened.
If you are lubricating your stone, always add oil as you go on with the process. When the first side is done, you can now turn your stone to the other side and sharpen it. Repeat the same process until the blade feels sharp when you touch it with your fingertips and be careful when holding it against your skin.
If you started with a coarse stone, you could now change to a finer grit to polish the edge. Run the blade against a finer grit stone from the heel to the tip of the blade. Turn the knife on the other side and repeat the same process. If you feel satisfied that you have sharpened your knife well, then you can go ahead and test its sharpness. Start by washing it and dry it with a clean towel carefully and try to cut a fruit with it and see how easily it cuts through.
Finish up by cleaning the stone according to the instructions given. It is inexpensive to sharpen your hollow ground knife, and you can easily do it at the comfort of your home.