You need a few kitchen sharpening tools to keep your utensils and equipment working properly. Dull blades can be dangerous, so it is best to sharpen your kitchen tools on a regular basis.
A strip of leather is the basic material used to make a leather strop. This tool sharpens blades as the tool is drawn across the leather. An abrasive material can also be applied to the leather to use the strop as a polishing tool. A leather strop is usually hung on flat surface.
This name can be misleading. This tool doesn't actually sharpen the blade, but realigns any curls on the edge of the blade, which is equally important to the functionality of the knife. This tool is made of a rod of steel or ceramic attached to a safety handle. The kitchen blade is pulled a number of times across the steel on an angle, as the steel stays stationary. Typically the blade should be held at a twenty degree angle to the steel. Both sides of the blade must be pulled across the steel.
Sharpening stones come in different sizes. Typically they come in varying grits; coarse, medium and fine. Depending on the condition of the blade will determine the grit used. Whatever grit is used to start with, it should always be finished with the fine grit. Kitchen blades are pulled across this stone much like sharpening steel. Both sides of the blade should be drawn across the stone an equal amount of times. This rectangular shaped stone can be used dry or wet to sharpen kitchen blades.
Hand sharpeners ease the burden of ensuring you are sharpening your blade at the correct angle. They come in different styles, some can be held in the hand, and some can be placed on a flat surface. A hand sharpener may have two or three slots in which the blade is placed. The knife is placed in the slot and pulled from back to front towards the body.
These devices use electric power to sharpen kitchen blades. The sharpener is turned on and the blade is run through slots in the device. The motor in the sharpener powers alloy, which grinds the blade while it sits in the slot. There are a variety of electric sharpeners available.