Left To My Own Devices

It came! The whet stone arrived; even a day early. Amazon is the best; at least when you live on an island and there are no malls or departments stores available without a ferry ride. I decided to wait until everyone was gone for the day to begin my lesson in knife sharpening. I soaked the stone as instructed, selected the knifes that I wanted to sharpen as well as one to practice on first. I then turned on some background music and watched the Rouxbe video on using a whet stone. And then I watched it again. And again. More…
It came! The whet stone arrived; even a day early. Amazon is the best; at least when you live on an island and there are no malls or departments stores available without a ferry ride.I decided to wait until everyone was gone for the day to begin my lesson in knife sharpening. I soaked the stone as instructed, selected the knifes that I wanted to sharpen as well as one to practice on first. I then turned on some background music and watched the Rouxbe video on using a whet stone. And then I watched it again. And again.

I realized at one point that I did not need to watch the video again, I needed to take the plunge and try my hand at this. So I placed my soaked whet stone on the coarser grit side on a damp washcloth, placed a dry washcloth nearby, poured a bit of water on top of the stone, and began. I started with an old Henckels knife that I have had for well over 20 years. Wow, writing that now makes me realize that I really should not have complained about that knife being dull. I have never had it professionally sharpened in all those 20 years. Back to the stone, and the sharpening. I thought it was going well. I even tried to practice in stride with the video, but eventually, I just didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere. I was not getting the bevel that was described. I was bummed, but I continued and eventually at least got a stride down. I decided that I would continue on with the instructions albeit the lack of bevel and started on the other side, and then eventually alternating between the sides as instructed.  And then I turned over the whet stone and glided my knife from side to side on the finer grit side. And then the test, cutting a piece of paper. It worked. Hmmmm, I was not sure what that meant. I was happy that it was sharper, but having not actually done a crucial part correctly, I was confused. And I think I may have scraped up the side of the knife a bit. That’s why I started with that knife; so no complaints!

I did not let this confusion stop me from sharpening two more knifes with elevated success, although I never did get a bevel on any of them. But in the end, all three knifes cut through paper, and tomatoes, like butter. I will now hone my knifes each time I use them to keep their new-found edge, but I honestly am not sure if I really learned how to sharpen knifes correctly. Maybe this is a perfect example of a culinary double edged sword; or maybe not~