Family * Travel * Food

A Guide to Choosing the Right Knife for Every Occasion

Most people use knives every day, for various purposes, without ever really thinking about it. However, there are some situations where you need to carefully select the knife that you will be using. 

In those cases, it’s a good idea to choose the right knife for the occasion based on a variety of different factors, and this post is here to walk you through some of them. Hopefully, this will make the choice easier for you. Keep reading to learn more! 

Determine the purpose

Step one is to determine the purpose that you will be using the knife for. If you are someone with a vast collection of knives, simply deciding what you want to use the knife for will already eliminate quite a few options and narrow down the pool. 

For example, if you want to use a knife to finely slice some vegetables, you should look at your kitchen knives and remove anything too long or bulky from the list of possibilities. Similarly, if you are looking for a utility knife or a hunting knife, you probably shouldn’t be reaching for a kitchen knife. Instead, you will want to opt for one of the best ever hunting knives, as they were created for this specific purpose. 

Consider the size

Any knife connoisseur knows that it’s a good idea to have a wide range of knives in different sizes. This is because different sizes of knives will be suitable for different occasions. 

We’ve already discussed that different sized knives in the kitchen will be best suited to different purposes, but there are also other reasons why you’d want to consider the size of your knife, such as if you are traveling and need the knife to take up as little space as possible in your travel pouch

Think about your safety 

When it comes to knives of all kinds, another important thing to keep in mind is the element of safety. Of course, all knives have potential risks associated with them, but some knives may be a bit safer than others, especially depending on the situation. 

An example of this would be if you are traveling with a knife. An open knife will hold a much bigger safety risk in this case than a knife which can be flipped shut to conceal the blade. Similarly, if you are teaching your children how to chop vegetables, you may want to opt for a knife with a duller blade, or even a plastic knife, until they get the hang of things.  

Keep the cost in mind

Finally, while some people may have an array of knives to pick from and will thus have a knife for every occasion, others may not.

If you need to buy a knife for whatever reason – such as trying a new recipe, replacing a broken knife, or going on a hunting trip for the first time – you should make sure to pick a knife within your budget so that the expense doesn’t affect your family’s finances too much. 


Whetstone vs. Honing Steel: When Should You Use Them?

Honing steels and whetstones are essential tools to help you maintain sharp edges and the right balance for your kitchen blades. Not only that – using a dull blade can be downright dangerous.

Ensuring that all your knives are properly maintained will make chopping, slicing, and dicing relatively effortless – however, only using honing steel or a whetstone won’t do much good because you need to use both of these tools together to keep blades sharp and edges straight.

Whetstone and Honing Steel: What’s the Difference?

Whetstones are used to sharpen blades while honing steel realigns curled edges and straightens them out. Honing steel is often referred to as “sharpening steel,” but this is incorrect – honing steel does not sharpen blades.

When to Use a Whetstone

A whetstone is a flat, rectangular piece of stone. They are available in different sizes and gradients – like fine and coarse sandpaper. Oil stones are traditional whetstones that need to be coated in oil before use, but water stones need to be soaked in water. Water stones and oil stones both work well, but water stones make cleanup easier afterward. 

When your blades feel like they need to be sharpened, you should use a whetstone. If you’re a home chef who uses your knives often, you will usually have to sharpen them around twice a year. 

You can use either a grinder or a whetstone to sharpen blades, but whetstones are better because they won’t eventually destroy your blades after repeated sharpening. By using a whetstone, your blades will last you a lifetime. 

How to Use a Whetstone

When it comes to using a whetstone, practice makes perfect – don’t expect to be able to sharpen your blade perfectly on the first try. Over time, you’ll gain more control and learn the proper technique to use your whetstone correctly.

When you begin using a whetstone, try to hold the blade at a 20-degree angle. Begin by pulling the shaft toward you while the blade makes contact with the stone. 

When you are feeling more confident, you can push, pull, or move the blade around the stone by using small circular movements – just be careful not to push too hard, or you can dig the blade into the stone and damage both the stone and your blade.

Use a timer when you’re sharpening your blade on the whetstone because you need to sharpen the other blade for the same amount of time by using the same movements – this will give your blade balance and an ultra-sharp edge.

While you continue to work the blade over the whetstone, you’ll notice wet grime beginning to build up where the blade makes contact. Let the grime accumulate because it aids the sharpening process.

When to Use a Honing Steel

You should use honing steel to hone your blades after each. Every chop and slice can cause a small amount of damage to your blade – especially when you’re using it to chop vegetables on a hard surface or to slice bone. 

Because the knife is hitting a hard surface reputedly, small twists and bends begin to form quickly and these can throw your knife and shaft out of alignment. 

Honing will help keep the blade straight and repair any curling or damage caused by normal use. When you’re blade is properly aligned with its shaft, it will perform at its best, which will help you perform at your best in the kitchen, too.

It is important to remember, however, that honing steel is a maintenance tool, not a blade sharpener. 

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