Thursday, July 31, 2008

Knife Magic

I like keeping my knives sharp. Not just a little sharp. Really sharp. As in, don't drop the knife on your foot because it'll slice through the bone (almost) sharp. As such, I religiously use a steel to keep my knives honed.

Many years ago, on a lark, I put a diamond-dust coated Wüsthof steel on my Amazon wanted list for Christmas. I never thought anyone would get one for me. Much to my surprise, my dad bought me one.

It was love at first use! Oh, my blades went back to straight, true, slicing through tomatoes like Ginsu knives promised they would.

I loved my steel. When I packed it to come here to the Philippines, I packed it well. Packed it to protect against getting banged up, bent, scratched, etc. I forgot about one little thing ... the ocean salt air. See, most of our household items went across the Pacific in big containers. So, they were exposed to the ravages of the nasty, salty air.

My steel, my poor steel, arrived DOA. Dead. D-E-D, dead.

Of course, my knives became more and more dull. Didn't cut like they should. And, that's frustrating. Finally, I said ENOUGH! I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore! (actually, it was more like ... hmmm, let's see what's out there that I can get shipped here quickly ... but, that doesn't sound quite as cool and outraged).

While I love Wüsthof products, I thought I'd give Henckels a try. I'd heard many good things about them over the years, but had never purchased one of their knives. I decided on a J. A. Henckels 10-inch Diamond Sharpening Steel. The price was reasonable at $39.95 (reasonable for a steel coated in diamond dust that is).

It took three weeks. But, the steel finally arrived. Was the Henckels steel as good as the Wüsthof? Did I immediately fall in love with it, eschewing the many years of loyalty from my old steel?

Yes! YES! My knives are sharp and honed again! They slice through nearly anything with ease. This is so great. I'm back to sharp knife happiness.

One small caveat with an aggressive steel like this one: it wears out the knife faster. However, if you're an amateur chopper like me, it makes little difference. And, what difference you do see is more than offset by having knives stay sharper, longer.

Highly recommended. I love it.

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