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Grinding and Everything Around Kitchen Knives

Grinding is the process of cutting and shaping metal and other materials. It is an important part of the manufacturing process of kitchen knives, as it helps to create a sharp and durable blade. Grinding also helps to create a consistent shape and size of the kitchen knives. This article will discuss the different types of grinding techniques used to create kitchen knives, as well as tips for maintaining and sharpening kitchen knives. Learn more about grinding and kitchen knives here.

 

Sharpening and sharpening knives are among the basic activities that must be carried out if we want a knife to work properly. No knife in the world can do without needing to be sharpened from time to time.

By “sharpening” we mean:

(1) restoring the vertical position of the “crystalline metal structure” at the cutting edge of a knife without removing the metal layer;
(2) removing a bend (ridge) that has formed as a result of grinding during the final finishing of the blade.
By the term “grinding” in this text, we mean in particular the removal of a layer of metal, the purpose of which is to restore the proper angle of a very worn blade (the cutting edge has been rounded).

Differences in grinding

The first two photos show knife blades ground with “V grinds” of sintered carbide. These sharpeners achieve a relatively sharp blade with a few stretches, but at the cost of a lot of material removal and tearing. These grinders do not actually sharpen, but cut off larger pieces of material. The last photo shows the knife sharpened on a knife sharpener, the edge is smooth and evenly ground. A blade like this can be kept in shape for several months with just a sharpener.

Knife blades under a microscope

Even a relatively perfect blade will reveal imperfections when properly magnified. The photos show the blades of good quality kitchen knives magnified under a microscope. Note the much finer texture of the Victorinox knife, in the second photo you see the Wusthof Solingen Classic series.

Sharpening using a sharpener. It is essential that the knife and the sharpening tool are clean. Professionals sharpen their knives with a whetstone after each use. However, in a home environment, one use of the knife is short enough that it does not need to be sharpened as often. Sharpening with a sharpener is a method that is appropriate for knives with a smooth cutting edge.

Round steel whetstone. For sharpening or grinding to produce the desired results, the sharpening tool must be harder than the knife. For this reason, whetstones are most often made of chrome vanadium steel, 18-30 cm long.

Proper use of a whetstone.
To use the sharpener safely, it must be held firmly in an upright position with the point point pointing downwards and resting on a table on the surface of which the tool cannot slide. Hold the knife in the other hand with the tip pointing slightly upwards. Place the end of the blade at the handle against the base of the sharpener. Turn the knife back outwards so that the angle is approximately 20 degrees. (When using special blades, more obtuse or sharper angles may be used). If you are unsure of the size of the angle, consider the following: if the hour hand is 15 minutes, it is 90°C, if the hour hand is 5 minutes, it is 30°C and if the hour hand is 1 minute, it is 6°C. The knife should therefore be attached at the 3,5 minute position. Be sure to pull the cutting edge over the sharpener several times on both sides. Do not put too much pressure on the sharpener. Start at the handle and work towards the tip. When sharpening, make the movement with the whole hand and do not bend the wrist. It is usually enough to run the sharpener 3-6 times.

If the table surface is slippery, turn the sharpener upwards so that the handle rests on the table at the bottom. Place the blade at the end of the handle so that the cutting edge is pointing downwards on the table. Then follow the instructions above. When sharpening in this way, the finger guard on the handle of the sharpener must be large enough.

If you are experienced in sharpening, you can hold the sharpener so that it is pointed away from your body, rest your hand holding the sharpener against your body, and sharpen the knife as described above. Knives with wavy or serrated blades should be sharpened on the smooth side. The sharpening angle should be close to 0 degrees along the entire length of the cutting edge. Grind the knife smoothly so that the serration movement on the other side of the blade resembles the rocking of waves.

What is actually happening during sharpening? The purpose of sharpening with a whetstone is to elevate the bent “crystals” of the cutting edge, not to remove a layer of metal. No force is required in this operation. If you exert effort in this activity, sharpening will become a grinding operation, and the blade will be twisted, just as when grinding with a whetstone. Proper sharpening with a whetstone is not at all dangerous to the knife. It can be repeated as often as necessary to make the knife perform its purpose to the best of its ability.

It is hardly possible to test the sharpness with your fingers without cutting yourself. A convenient way to determine the sharpness of a tool is to use a narrow strip of newsprint, hanging loosely from the other hand: if the knife is dull or too bent, the blade will catch on contact.

There are also hard chrome-plated steel sharpeners in the shape of an oval, the surface of which is covered with synthetic diamond sand, i.e. oval sharpeners made of very hard (diamond) steel. Synthetic diamonds are used because they are the same size. Due to its high hardness, diamond steel can easily remove a layer of metal from the surface of the blade. In hard chrome-plated diamond steel, the steel sand is slightly finer due to the chrome plating and the steel sand adheres firmly to the blade. Diamond whetstones can be used to sharpen the blade quickly and easily. It is usually enough to run the tool over the grinding wheel once on each side. The blade is not worn out by such sharpening. Diamond steel grinders are oval in shape so that the pressure at the sharpening point is lower than when using a round blade. Therefore, if you press the blade too hard, there is no danger of grinding a groove in the blade. If you press the diamond steel hard, the metal layer is removed. The advantage of this is that a new cutting edge can be created on a heavily worn blade. This result cannot be achieved with conventional grinding wheels. A sharpener made of diamond steel is a responsive tool with an almost unlimited service life. It is also practical in other respects: if it does not come into contact with other objects during storage or washing in the dishwasher, it requires no maintenance.

Ceramic grinders are oval or round in shape with ceramic coating. When using a very hard ceramic grinding wheel, as with a diamond grinding wheel, the material layer is also stripped off, but the surface is smoother and less abrasive. Compared to conventional grinding wheels, the lifetime of a ceramic grinder is several times longer. Both round and oval ceramic grinding wheels are produced. Like diamond steel grinding wheels, ceramic grinding tools can be used for sharpening and grinding. A ceramic sharpener with a relatively smooth surface is excellent for sharpening butcher knives, which must always be exceptionally sharp.

Hard alloys with micro-cutters. Butchers use hard chrome-plated grinding wheels with micro fine cut, almost smooth in appearance, for knife maintenance. Instead of chrome plating, the surface of the finest Victorinox knife sharpeners is treated with chromite oxide (e.g. on 7.8613 and 7.8623), which results in an extremely hard and durable surface. In practice, these sharpeners can sharpen blades remarkably well. People who always strive to achieve the best results, and also, for example, hairdressers and hairdressers, use leather wraparound belts to maintain their knives and blades, and sometimes they also polish their tools. The blade is then truly razor sharp.

A very convenient sharpening tool is the smaller disc sharpener. In the groove between the grinding wheels the blade is secured in the correct position and sharpening is usually done by means of its free-turning disc. Press the disc sander against the table with one hand and gently run the knife in the other hand through the groove from the handle towards the tip. With conventional grinders, the grinding angle is usually constant. For sharpening Victorinox knives, we recommend using the Rubicut disc sharpener (7.8720). The reason for this is that the angle is regular and the surface of the wheels is finely gritted, not coarse as with many other tools. The Rubicut is also used by many professionals. Due to the way it is sharpened, the disc sharpener is not very suitable for sharpening knives with serrated blades.

Maintenance of the sharpener. To ensure that the grinder always functions properly, it must be stored separately. It is essential that the grinding wheel is clean and free of grooves. If the sharpener is contaminated with oil or dirt has settled in the grooves, the blade will slide on the sharpener without sharpening. All Victorinox sharpeners are made of stainless steel and pose no danger to food. They can normally be hand washed. Grinders with plastic handles can of course be washed in the dishwasher or sterilised. However, when washing in the dishwasher, metal particles may still stick in the grooves if the grinding wheel is magnetised. It is recommended to wash the magnetized grinding wheel by hand, using a vegetable brush. If the steel grinding wheel has worn down and the surface is completely smooth, it can be restored with sandpaper of the appropriate grit. The grinding wheel must be ground in the direction of the notch, i.e. along its length.

When grinding to remove a layer of metal, a clockwise or counterclockwise bend is always made in the blade. The size of the bend (ridge) depends on the grit of the grinding tool and the effort involved. The bend is visible through a thicker magnifying glass. If the blade is too blunt, i.e. if the cutting edge angle has worn and rounded, the angle must be reset. For this purpose, the blade is ground with a grinding stone, (machine) grinding wheel or grinder. Therefore, it is necessary to have a blade reserve for sharpening purposes. It is imperative to bear in mind that if you exert too much effort or speed when machine grinding, excessive friction can occur, even when using a water grinding wheel.

If the blade heats up too much, the degree of hardening can change: the blade can easily harden (harden), become brittle and lose its resistance to corrosion. These changes can be so severe that they cannot be corrected by repeated grinding. The smaller the blade or the less metal it contains, the faster it heats up. This makes it all the more important to be careful when sharpening. A motor-driven grinding wheel is not a suitable tool for sharpening knives under any circumstances! Machine sharpening is an activity that must be entrusted to a professional, especially one whose equipment is in good working order and does not heat up the blades.

Cleaning and storing knives

The used knife must be cleaned immediately after the end of the respective activity. It is recommended to wash the knife by hand using a common dishwashing detergent. A discerning master chef will never wash the knife in a dishwasher, even though it would not harm the knife in any way. When washing in the dishwasher, care should be taken to ensure that the blade does not touch the dishwasher or other hard (iron) surface utensils.

Do not wash knives with wooden handles in the dishwasher! Wooden handles can become damaged and are not covered by the warranty. If you still wish to circumvent these instructions, regardless of the warranty, please note the following: the riveted rosewood handle can sometimes be washed in the dishwasher if you remove the knife from the dishwasher before the hot air drying phase (over time, the rosewood may loosen due to the high temperature) and dry it by hand. The polished surface of rosewood loses its lustre and the colour fades as a result of dishwasher washing. This happens over time even when hand washing the knives. If you occasionally treat the wooden handles with linseed oil, the shine and nice colour will be restored. It must be remembered that a substance soaked in linseed oil can spontaneously combust in the waste bin! Follow the instructions for using the oils exactly.

All Victorinox knives are ground, sharpened and finished to be razor sharp. As part of the final processing stage, a laser beam is used to check the final sharpness of the blade. In order to maintain the sharpness that is achieved with great effort, the correct storage of the knives plays an important role. During storage, the blades must not touch each other or other hard surfaces. Magnets and wooden knife racks, for example, are useful for storage. The grooves on the wooden racks manufactured by Victorinox can also be cleaned if necessary.

Grinding ceramic knives

Ceramic knives are sharpened with a diamond sharpener. It can be used for sharpening all types of knives, including ceramic and titanium knives and knives made of carbon and non-corroding steel.

What is Grinding?

Grinding is the process of removing material from a workpiece to shape or finish it. This is typically done with abrasive wheels, abrasive belts, or other abrasive tools. Grinding is used in many industries, including automotive, construction, and manufacturing.

How is Grinding Used for Kitchen Knives?

Grinding is used to sharpen kitchen knives and other blades to ensure a sharp, precise cut. This is done by using a grinding wheel, belt, or other abrasive tool to remove material from the blade. Grinding is an important part of the knife sharpening process and should be done regularly to keep knives in optimal condition.

What Are the Different Types of Grinding Wheels?

The most common types of grinding wheels are straight wheels, tapered wheels, and cup wheels. Straight wheels are used for general grinding and shaping, while tapered wheels are used for cutting and sharpening. Cup wheels are used for grinding and polishing.

What Safety Precautions Should I Take When Grinding?

When grinding, it is important to take safety precautions to avoid injury. Wear protective gear such as safety glasses, gloves, and a face shield. Make sure to keep the grinding wheel or belt properly lubricated and use the correct speed and pressure to avoid overheating. For more information, please visit OSHA’s Grinding Safety page.

Advantages of Grinding Kitchen Knives

  • Sharpens and maintains the blade’s edge
  • Keeps knives in optimal condition
  • Makes food preparation easier
  • Reduces the risk of injury
  • Saves time

Are you looking for the perfect kitchen knives? Look no further! Grinding and Everything Around offers a wide selection of high-quality kitchen knives perfect for any kitchen. Our knives come in a variety of shapes and sizes, perfect for all your cutting needs. Plus, our sharpening and grinding services will keep your knives in top condition for years to come. Visit us today and get the perfect kitchen knives for your home!

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Thank you for visiting SpecialMagicKitchen! I am Tommy and I do all of the writing, recipe developing, and food styling for the blog and my wife.

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