Why does one need seven whole steps to sharpen a knife? Isn’t just plain dragging the blade on a stone good enough? What more needs to be done than just that? And how will it affect the sharpening?
From what I learned in the sharpening video “The Seven Steps of Sharpening” By Carter Cutlery
1: Cleaning. The knife is cleaned to get rid of tarnish, oxides, and dirt.
2: Straightness. The knife is then checked for straightness; if there is a dent in the edge, it will not touch the sharpening stone, and so not get sharpened. It is checked in several ways, making sure there are no curves, dents, or other mishaps in the blade.
3: Assessment. This is a step that may seem unnecessary, but it is very helpful. The sharpener decides what he will be doing, and determined at what angle and thickness the next two steps are to be done.
4: Secondary Edge. The secondary edge is also known as the Grind, (see this post). In this step, the knife is placed on the coarser of the two sharpening stones, and the secondary edge is ground to a shallower angle. This is because most modern knives have the grind steeper than it needs to be, and so thinning it out will give it better ability to cut.
5: Primary edge. The primary edge, the part of the blade that does the initial cut, is re-ground, either at a steeper angle or a shallower angle than it was before, according to what it will be used for. For example, if the knife is to be used to cut tomatoes, the Primary Edge is ground at a very shallow angle, so as to cut better. If it was to be used for, say, cutting heavy branches, a shallow angle would dull almost immediately, so the edge is ground steeper. If the edge is perfect for the designated use, it is just ground some more; which makes up most of the sharpening.
6: Honing. Honing is the actual sharpening of the blade, using the rougher stone, to get the blade razor sharp
7: Polish. Using the softer stone, the secondary and primary edge are polished; this gives a much smoother and less jagged cut.
What surprised me is how complex it seemed, yet when I tried it out it was much simpler than I expected!!