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I've never had much success with knife sharpeners....I've had steels and stones and all sorts of gadgets promising miraculous results, but I just never got those results no matter what I did.
I always admired the way my dad would sharpen his carving knife before expertly attacking the Sunday roast, but try as I might, I never managed to get more than a dull edged knife that couldn't slice through butter, let alone the Christmas turkey....and, in spite of trying every conceivable angle, pressure and speed, I have to conclude it's my technique :( I resigned myself to simply buying new knives when needed and sticking mainly to the serrated edged ones which last longer.
Anyway, this little object jumped out of the e-page at me when I was browsing for kitchenware on Amazon.....the 'WORLD'S BEST KNIFE SHARPENER'! My prayers had been answered.....how could I go wrong!?
I put it immediately in my little e-basket and once I'd finished adding my other items, I purchased it and eagerly awaited the arrival of the greatest sharpener known to man!
Of course, it was hardly free of the bubble wrap when I began testing it out on the rather copious quantities of kinves I had purchaced and put away over the years, being reluctant to throw them away...
These knives were blunt, let me tell you....you'd have been better off using a spoon to slice your steak than you would these knives...
Anyway, after reading the brief instructions in the package, I quickly acertained that the knife should been drawn through the opening on the top of the sharpener in one direction only (i.e. towards you) and should be passed through said opening 3 or 4 times to achieve a perfectly honed blade.
Naturally, I was a little skeptical, but I did follow instructions and found that 5 or 6 goes were neccessary....then again, that didn't surprise me in the least, with my knives being in the state they were...
I found it worked extrememly well on smaller knives; fruit knives, vegetable peelers and the like, the thicker edged carving knives required a bit more grinding to get a really sharp edge to them, but since it's easy and quick to do, that wasn't a problem - the main thing was, it worked! After exhasting my supply of knives in my house, I took it with me when I next went to my mum and dad's and did theirs too....there was a lot of ooing and ahhing!
Basically anyone can use this tool - it is made to create an exact angle for achieving optimum results so, as I said in the title, even a dummy like me can operate it and not damage anything. It requires little in the way of pressure - a light touch is all that's needed for great results.
After having it for a while I discovered that the handle on the top of the gadget has a purpose...if you place the sharpener on your kitchen worktop or whatever surface you happen to be using, then move the handle, it creates a vaccum of sorts between its black plastic base and your worktop, thereby keeping it immobile while you get on with the sharpening part. I found though, that whilst this is a good idea and keeps your hands away from sharp blades, it doesn't always stay put and can come unstuck. For me this isn't really problematic and doesn't detract from its advantages - it would actually be quite difficult to cut yourself even when holding the sharpener in place - as long as you pay reasonable attention to what you're doing, it's very safe to use.
This is a dinky little thing that can be kept in the drawer or kitchen top, and you could also stick it, via its suction base, to the walls or tiles to keep it out of the way, yet handy.
This gadget comes with a 'no-quibble' 10 year or 10,000 operations guarantee and is available from Amazon for under a tenner.
Unlike many men, who relish the opportunity to flex their muscles and show off by carving up roasts, mine absolutely hates it. Its not that he's not manly, or in any way deficient in the meat-cutting department, its just that he doesn't like being put on the spot, especially if we're round at my mums!
I usually take on the carving role to get him out of it - but my mum had a different approach, and last time we went round, she gave him one of these knife sharpeners. Its blue, which is lucky as he is a big Rangers fan, and just over 6cm tall. It fixes securely to the worksurface with a suction cup, which makes it safer as you don't run the risk of jogging the knife and slashing your other hand! To sharpen knives, you hold the knife downwards and pull it through the groove. With only a couple of strokes, the blade can be pretty fearsome so you need to be careful, both during sharpening, and when using and washing the knife afterwards!
The OH regressed immediately to flint-age man, turning every knife in the kitchen into a finely-honed murder weapon, his eyes growing wilder by the minute. By the time my mum pulled her Pork Belly out (of the oven, not her trousers!), there was no stopping him. His newly-beloved knives were a blur as the meat became a mountain of thin school-dinnery slices.
If your man is a reluctant carver, or if indeed you are a man who likes to keep in touch with his neanderthal side, this will be a fine investment.
Its only small, but will bring delight to males of all ages, so it would make a really good christmas present.
Its available from Amazon for £8.89, and from www.digyourhome.com for £7.99, both with free delivery. It states on the packing that it should last for 10 years, and there is a no quibble guarantee, so you've nothing to lose!