Keeping a sushi knife regularly sharpened is an essential task for everyone that needs to make sushi, and if you do need an excellent one make sure to check our best sushi knife reviews. It is an essential task not only for sushi chefs, but for everyone that uses a sushi knife due to the fact that it´s more effective when using it and it is safer. As strange as it sounds, the sharper the knife, the safer it becomes. Sharpening a one side knife is a few step process that will be described in detail below.
The first step is to prepare the whetstone. There are three types of whetstones. The Arato, the Nakato and the Shiage. Start by submerging the whetstone in water for ten minutes. The stone has absorbed enough water when no more little air bubbles appear. If after ten minutes the bubbles still appear, leave it five more minutes submerged. Now, the stone needs to be flattened. This is an extremely important part because if the stone is not completely flattened, It can ruin the knife. Whetstones are flattened with a flattening stone or a lapping plate ( a rough, flat stone used to flatten other stones). A number of lines must be drawn with pencil in the stone to guide the flattening. The whetstone must be rubbed back and forth against the flattening stone. Once the marks have disappeared, the whetstone is flattened.
The second step is to sharpen the knife. The whetstone must be placed on a non-slippery and flat surface, in case there is no whetstone holder. The low grit side of the stone must be used first and the knife must be moved back and forth across the entire stone with little pressure at an angle of 10 to 15 grades. The top of the knife must be placed first. Then, the knife must be pulled over the stone through the middle and down to the base of the blade. This movement must be repeated several times (for at least five minutes). As it is a one sided knife, the flat part of the knife must not be sharpened.
The third step is to polish the knife. The above process must be repeated for the same amount of time using the high grit side of the whetstone. This will make the knife really sharp. To avoid any possible injury, hold the knife in your right hand with your thumb on the flat part of the blade, your index finger on the spine and your remaining 3 fingers wrapped around the handle of the knife. There are several points that must be taken into account when sharpening the knife.
- Don´t change the angle of the knife.
- Keep the whetstone wet at all times.
- Don’t wipe off the grinding residue while sharpening the knife.
- When done, rinse the whetstone and wipe off the grinding residue.
- Rinse the sharpened knive in hot water.
The last step consists on testing the sharpness of the sushi knife. There are several ways to test the sharpness of a knife, but I will mention a few that are easy and effective.
1) Slice a piece of paper. The knife is perfectly sharpened if it can cut the paper with little effort.
2) Slice a wet sponge. The knife is ready to be used if it can easily cut the sponge
3) Slice a tomato or any other soft fruit or vegetable horizontally into thin slices. If the fruit/vegetable is cut with ease, the knife is sharp enough. If the fruit/vegetable can be cut without using the hands, the knife is perfectly sharp (be careful when using it).
Sharpening an one sided knife is a process that must be made several times on the same knife to maintain and even improve it´s sharpness. Even though it´s an easy and simple process, one must be careful when sharpening the knife because it´s also a dangerous process. And don’t forget to check out our favorite selection of sushi knives.