By Contributor Brianne Britzius
I think that most cooks of all levels would agree that the most important kitchen tool is a sharp knife. It does the work of chopping and slicing for you so that you aren't sawing and hacking away at your ingredients -- and possibly your fingers!
But what about when your knives become dull? In the past I've handed my knives over to a professional sharpener. This means I may miss my knives for a couple of days depending on how busy the service is; if I have to drive to a store to drop the knives off and pick them up; and I'd pay anywhere from $4-$8 per knife*.
Recently my mother introduced me to the best home knife sharpener I've ever used. It's called the AccuSharp Knife and Tool Sharpener (001) and you can purchase it on Amazon.com for under $10. It's very easy for me to handle and I've found that my fairly inexpensive knives hold the edge well.
As with all sharpneners, I'm very careful while using this. The best way to sharpen your knife to hold it flat on a counter, edge up. Align the triangle-shaped groove where the blades are located over the knife edge. There is a hand guard that will be between you and the blade. Using light pressure, run the AccuSharp down the length of the blade.
One caveat: AccuSharp won't give your knives professional edge, so if you have invested in high-quality knives, I would stick with a professional sharpening service.
What about you? Do you use a similar product or have you learned how to use a honing stone? Or do you swear by professional sharpening?
*Prices based on estimates in my area.