For some, a fillet knife is more than just a tool. It’s an extension of their arm. Their prized possession amongst their arsenal of cooking tools. But here is a reality check, even the most exquisite knives become dull and need to be sharpened.
This guide will be all about how to sharpen a fillet knife. There are mainly three methods you can use. Purists swear by using the traditional stone method.
There are other methods like using an electric sharpener or an Accusharp tool. Whichever method you use, the angle and technique are key. So, without further to do, let’s get started.
How to Sharpen a Fillet Knife: The 3 Different Ways
There are primarily three different methods you can use to sharpen your knife. You have the classic and traditional stone method, a more modern electric sharpener method, and lastly, an Accusharp tool. Let’s start with the stone method first.
Method 1: Sharpening Stone
This method is traditional, authentic, and the method of choice for purists. There is no other way around it. Sharpening your knife with a sharpening stone is a crucial skill set to have.
There are a couple of benefits to this method as well. Although it’s a manual and more involved process compared to others, the level of control you get is unmatched.
Before you go on sharpening your best fillet knives though, we recommend you practice with other cheaper knives to get the hang of it first. This way, you will know what you’re doing. If you use it the wrong way, you may end up destroying your knife. And none of us wants that.
When using a stone, the angle and technique are the most important. You need to slide the cutting edge of the knife over your stone.
Position the back end of the knife a bit above the stone. This will allow you to easily slide the knife and make it exceptionally sharp. You can use either a whetstone or a diamond stone.
A trick to get the perfect angle is to use quarters. Place two quarters on your stone and place your knife on the edge of those coins. Remove the coins and maintain that exact angle. Voila! You have the perfect angle.
Method 2: Electric Sharpener
For those who are looking for an easier way to sharpen their knives, you can opt for an electric sharpener. The method is almost the same as using a stone, but this time, the sharpener does most of the work for you.
There will be two aspects to it. It will hone your knife, and the other one is actually sharpening it. When we say sharpening your knife, we mean it will remove steel from the blade’s edge.
You first sharpen the knife and then hone it. There will be a thin slot on the top where you pull your knife through. After you have done that, now comes the honing part.
This brings back the edge of the knife to prevent it from becoming dull. Speaking of preventing your knife from getting dull, we have some maintenance tips later. So, keep on reading.
Method 3: Using an Accusharp Tool
Using this tool is a great way to sharpen your knives if you’re on the road or don’t have the means to use a stone or an electric sharpener. If you thought using an electric sharpener is easy, wait till you see how seamless using Accusharp is.
All you need to do is place your knife on a flat surface. Make sure the cutting edge is facing upwards. Now put the V-shaped section of the tool on your knife’s cutting edge and just slide it over the blade. To get the exact level of sharpness, repeat the process. How easy was that?
Honing Vs. Sharpening
Many people don’t know what’s the real difference between honing and sharpening. You may have gotten the gist a little bit already, but sharpening is removing metal from your knife.
It essentially produces a new blade edge. While honing is pushing the edge to the center to maintain that sharpness. So, honing is more of a maintenance step for your knives.
Many users will even hone their knives after each use. Although this might not be completely necessary, honing your knife frequently is definitely recommended.
Fillet Knife Maintenance Tips
Before wrapping up, here are some useful maintenance tips for your fillet knife. More often than not, it’s the little good practices that will make your knife go a long way and keep it sharper for longer.
- Clean and Dry Your Knife After Use
If you want to be sure your knives don’t rust, then wash and completely dry them right after use. This will increase its longevity.
- Always Store the Knife When Completely Dried
Speaking of battling rust, one of the easiest ways you can get a rusty mess of a knife is by storing it wet. This is a big no-no. After washing your knife, dry it with a towel and then give it a few minutes to air dry.
- Avoid Dishwashers
Okay, let’s be real here. Washing knives doesn’t take all that much effort. You don’t need to toss your knife in the dishwasher to clean it. Dishwasher soap is caustic and can ruin the blade. Plus, if you have a wooden handle (which some high-end knives do), it can damage it badly.
- Do Not Go All Out with the Pressure When Sharpening
As important as maintaining the right angle when sharpening is, not using excessive pressure is also important. Otherwise, it will damage the sharpener and also dull the knife itself.
There you have it. Now you know how to sharpen a fillet knife. Sharpening it isn’t all too difficult. But that doesn’t mean you should neglect proper maintenance. A well-maintained knife will go a long way and will keep its edge for longer.
No matter which method you choose to go with, you will mostly get a quality result. Just make sure you use the right technique when doing it and keep your hands safe. You don’t want to cut your hands, do you?