Myths about knife sharpeners and knives

"A sharpening steel sharpens the knife"

Quite contrary to it`s name,a sharpening steel does not sharpen the knife.The correct term for this tool should be a honing steel, not a sharpening steel.When you are sharpening a knife you are actually removing steel particles from the blade edge to bring the knife back to its original state of a v-edge or chisel edge. Honing a knife (with a "sharpening steel") does not remove steel particles as done with sharpening,it straightens and removes burrs on the tip.Use your honing steel or use the last step of the knife sharpener(the honing step)before or after food preparation to restore the edge,in that way you don´t have to use your knife sharpener so often which saves the blade.Steels are good if you can use them right if not then you'll do more damage than good.

 "It's better to let knives get dull because a dull knife is safer to use".
As a matter of fact a sharp knife is safer than a dull knife.A sharp knife requires little force, so it's easier to 
control. A dull knife can slip off food and cut the user. The force needed to make a cut with a dull knife causes 
the user to lose control and cause injury.
The user is more likely to treat a sharp knife carefully.
   
"A sharpening stone is the best way to reshape the knife-edge".
A knife-edge must be perfectly symmetrical To stay sharp longer.A sharpening stone provides no angle guides to help 
create a symmetrical edge.Unless the user is highly skilled, the edge created on a conventional sharpening stone 
will not be as sharp or as strong as an edge created by a professional home sharpener with built-in angle 
guides.Sharpening stones are time consuming and require skill and effort.
 
 
"Knives can be sharpened by pulling them across the bottom of a coffee mug, plate or across a stone step".
These sharpening methods can damage the knife and will not create sharp,durable edges. Rough stone or ceramic 
surfaces can produce a ragged, uneven edge. Like a sharpening stone, these methods do not incorporate precision 
angle guides. In addition, their surfaces are ragged and uneven. It is very difficult to create a sharp, 
symmetrical edge this way. Worse, both of these methods can rip off metal, shortening the life of the knife.
 
 

"Electric knife sharpeners are bad for knives".

This is not true,the new class of safe sharpeners uses 100-percent diamond abrasives and built-in precision sharpening angle guides, safely creating a stronger arch-shaped edge that resists dulling two- to three-times longer than conventionally 
sharpened edges.Most single stage electric knife sharpeners (especially "free" sharpeners built into the back of 
electric can openers) damage knives. They use harsh abrasives which throw sparks (indicating the edge is 
overheated), remove too much metal and can gouge knives. These sharpeners provide no angle control and cannot 
produce a strong, symmetrical edge.
 
 
"Never-need-sharpening" knives stay sharp forever".
Never-need-sharpening knives are serrated.A serrated knife functions like a saw and does get dull because the teeth 
becomes misalignment and bent.The knife will shred or tear rather than slice cleanly. Some "never-need-sharpening" knives have blades sprayed with a hard metallic coating such as tungsten carbide. A tungsten carbide edge is very brittle and in a relatively short 
time,less than a few months in most home kitchens, pieces break off and the edge becomes jagged.These blades cannot 
be sharpened by home sharpeners and must be returned to the factory for refurbishing. Today there are sharpeners that quickly and easily revitalize serrated edges restoring their ability to cut smoothly.  
 
quickly and easily revitalize serrated edges restoring their ability to cut smoothly.Most serrated edges are created 
by mechanically grinding or laser-cutting the blade. Today there are sharpeners that quickly and easily revitalize 
serrated edges restoring their ability to cut smoothly.Some "never-need-sharpening" knives have blades sprayed with 
a hard metallic coating such as tungsten carbide. A tungsten carbide edge is very brittle and in a relatively short 
time,less than a few months in most home kitchens, pieces break off and the edge becomes jagged.These blades cannot 
be satisfactorily sharpened by home sharpeners and must be returned to the factory for refurbishing.
 
"All cutting boards are about the same".
 Most of the damage to the knife-edge is caused by the food it cuts.
 Many hard cutting boards (made of acrylic, glass, granite, marble, synthetic stone) cause knives to dull much 
faster.Softer cutting boards made of Polyethylene or polypropylene are best for knife-edges and, in addition, they can be 
sanitized in the dishwasher or bleached in the sink. Wood boards are second best.
 
 
"Stainless steel knives can be washed in the dishwasher".
Washing sharp knives in the dishwasher can be hazardous to the knife, the dishwasher and the cook! It is too easy to 
reach into a dishwasher and get a nasty cut.The combination of hot water and the chemicals in dishwasher detergent 
can leave stains on stainless steel cutlery that comes in contact with silver or silver-plated flatware or copper. 
If cutlery with wooden handles is put in the dishwasher, it should be treated regularly with cooking oil(vegetable 
oil) or liquid paraffin, to prevent drying.  
 
"Stainless steel will never stain".
None of the metal alloys used in knives are truly "stain-free" or "stainless." Most are stain-resistant. Stainless 
steel knives should never be soaked for lengthy periods or put in high-concentration bleach solutions or salt water. 
Primarily for safety reasons, stainless steel knives should not be washed in the dishwasher. A stainless knife 
placed in contact with a metal pan or utensil can pick up a stain due to the chemical reaction of the two metal 
items in combination with hot water and dishwasher detergent. Such stains do not affect performance.
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