Sharp Knife!

There is nothing better in the world than a sharp knife. Knowing that you could take down a black bear with that little chinese Victorinox Classic clone in your pocket ...

with a a a WHAT!?!?!? ARE YOU NUTS? HAVE YOU EVER SEEN A BLACK BEAR? THEY ARE HUGE! - AND YOU PLAN TO TAKE ONE DOWN WITH A 1-1/4 INCH CUTTING EDGE?

Okay, okay maybe not, but it is definitely nice to be able to cut open an orange without getting squirted, or do that fancy centerpiece with a tomato without it turning to mush and the skin tearing to shreds, woudn't it? The Kichen is the place where most of us use a knife the most. It seems ironic that this is often the least likely place to find a truly sharp and properly sharpened knife.

There are many tools and methods used to get an edge on a knife. They are pretty well all variations on either files, or abrasives. Some, like a chef's steel, remove little or no metal, it simply straightens the microscopic teeth that line up to form the edge. They get bent out of alignment. This tool is the least harmful to your blade profile in the long term. The knife has to have an edge on it to begin with before this will work. Look at the edge of your favorite paring knife edge-on. Move it around to get the reflectons right, and if it's dull, you will see a silver line. This is your former cutting edge. It is now a radius. A steel can't straighten the microscopic teeth of a radius, because it doesen't have any. This is where coarser files and fine abrasives come in handy.