"Japanese knives are the best."
This is frequently said all over the world.
We used to have a culture where warriors or samurai carried long knives called "Katana". This culture no longer exists in real life but the skill of smithy has been advancing over time.
Even now, the technology of knives manufacturer constantly makes progress. New knives made of various materials or shaped in various figures are developed day by day.
It's very natural for you, who know the best, to be interested in obtaining the great Japanese knives. Once you experience the sharpness and smoothness, you wouldn't want to use other knives.
However, there is a challenge to keep using Japanese knives... it's maintenance.
To keep their sharpness, you will need to sharpen your knives with the sharpening stone from time to time. Sounds easy, right? I'd be honest with you... it actually requires you certain skills and takes a bit of time to get used to it.
In this blog, I introduce a knife sharpening guide, "Super Togeru" which significantly helps you to sharpen your precious knives without any special skills.
Super Togeru is the tiny guide for you to keep the angle between the knife and the sharpening stone. Keeping this angle and moving the knife with the constant power are unexpectedly difficult. There should be many chefs who use Japanese knives regularly but get frustrated with the required maintenance skills.
You don't need to worry any more! Super Togeru is here to help you to maintain your knives easily, without any concern.
Now I show you how to sharpen a Yanagiba knife, one of the representative Japanese knives, with Super Togeru. Before we start, there is something to do for preparation.
It's to soak the sharpening stone in water.
Sharpening stones are classified with Arato, Nakato and Shiageto. Arato is rougher so suitable when the edge needs to be mended massively. Nakato's grit is from 800 to 1000 and this is the one most commonly used. Shiageto is finer and used when you pursue sharper edge.
Arato and Shiageto don't absorb water so can be used after you let their surface get wet. On the other hand, Nakato needs to be steeped in water for 30 minutes to 1 hour before use. This process is to get the stone particle from the sharpening stone and sharpen knives appropriately.
Please note that using Nakato without this preparation step causes damage to the blade.
When you put the stone into water, you will see a lot of bubbles come out. Once these bubbles stop, it's ready!
Place a Nakato on a wet towel after the previous step. This prevents the stone from moving while sharpening. Please make extra sure to check this since it can injure your hand if the stone is not fixed.
There are no complicated steps to use Super Togeru. First, set it on the blunt edge of the knife. Second, sharpen the knife by following the Super Togeru guide. Easy-peasy!
Once the stone and the knife get wet enough, let's start sharpening it! Grab the knife grip with your right hand and steady the blade with your left hand. You can only sharpen the part you support so don't forget to put your left hand on.
Now, all you need to do is moving the knife back and forth by using the whole surface of the sharpening stone.
The most important thing when you sharpen the knives is to sharpen them entirely with the same power and the same frequency. This allows you to make the blades even and keep them in the beautiful shape.
Most of Japanese knives including this Yanagiba knife basically have an edge only on a side. Therefore, you can sharpen this side 20 times each from the tip to the end, and do the other side from 1 to 3 times each.
If your knife has the double edged blade such as Gyuto knives, sharpen the side for your dominant hand 20 times each and the other side from 5 to 10 times each. This frequency is completely according to your choice so these numbers I wrote are only for giving you a rough idea. You can investigate your favorite way once you get used to sharpening.
As you could see, Super Togeru makes the kinves maintenance easier. It will be a dependable partner for all of you, from beginners to professional chefs who are exhausted at the end of the day, to reduce time and work massively.
If you possess the functional and beautiful Japanese knives, Super Togeru is the best accessory to obtain with. I hope you can enjoy their sharpness and smoothness for long with the right maintenance.