No matter what you’re planning on cooking it’s important that your quality knife is properly sharpened. A properly sharpened knife makes it easier to cut and makes the whole preparation process smoother and more importantly, safe.
A sharpening steel works on a very fundamental principle. Quite simply, it provides a grinding surface which is harder than the blade of the knife to be sharpened; this allows sharpening to take place. The surface of a sharpening steel can be finished or “cut” several different ways.
The surface of a sharpening steel can be finished or “cut” several different ways.
COARSE “SPIRAL” CUT
The coarse “spiral” cut (also known as the “British” or “helical” cut) sharpening steel is ideal for putting an edge on a blunt knife blade.
The “precision” cut (also known as the “Continental” cut) sharpening steel has unbroken cuts running the length of the steel. It is ideally suited for maintaining a good blade edge.
The “polished” finish sharpening steel is perfectly smooth and is used for honing a knife blade. Honing refines or polishes the edge of a knife blade.
COMBINATION SPIRAL/PRECISION CUT
Comprised of both the “spiral” and the “precision” cuts, the “Doublesharp” steel is ideal for restoring very dull knife blades.
In recent years, diamond steels have gained popularity. They are coated with ultra-fine 100% diamond abrasives and simultaneously lightly hone as they realign a knife edge.
Here is a quick video for further explanation.