fishing knife sharpening

How to Sharpen a Fishing Knife

Fish knives are considered to be among the most difficult knives to sharpen. The fish knife is narrow and flexible making it difficult to hold steadily and difficult to make a consistent edge.  When you use a shark fish knife, the process of preparing fish becomes easier and more satisfying. However, it is very difficult and dangerous to attempt to fillet fish using a blunt knife. Try imagining cutting through the bone, flesh and skin of a fish using a blunt knife! This will definitely force you to push the knife instead of slicing the fish with the knife. This will definitely make your job more difficult and can easily lead to accidents.

In order to develop the right technique, it is advisable that you start with a fish knife that is easy to sharpen. There are kitchen knives that have a larger flat surface to rest on and are considered to be the easiest ones to help you develop the right technique. Going past the initial learning curve using an easy to sharpen knife will help save you frustrations and time. When you are comfortable with sharpening an easy knife, you will now be in a position to tackle a more challenging and complex fish knife.

Requirements

To effectively sharpen your fish knife, you will need a good stone. However, water lubricated or oil stone will also do the job. Ensure the stone measures at least 8-10 centimeters wide and 18-20 centimeters long.

In case you are using a water wetted stone, ensure that the stone is completely immersed in water for a minimum of 10 minutes before you start using it.

Remove the Guide Clip

Guide clips are known to make the process of sharpening most knives easier by providing you with a larger surface where you can rest the back of the knife. However, when sharpening at low angles, or narrow knives, the guide clip can easily interfere with the stone you are using to sharpen and prevent it from getting to the edge. It is therefore advisable that you always keep an eye on the guide clip and ensure you remove it whenever you are experiencing any difficulty.

Choose the Sharpening angle between 10-21 degrees

Whenever you lay a fish knife across the blade table and rest of the blades face, it will usually cancel 1 or 2 degrees out. The lower the angle you place on the knife, the longer it will take to sharpen.  For example, if you set a 15 degrees angle, then you will definitely be sharpening at 13-14 degrees and this will take you more time and provide you with a fragile edge.

Most kitchen knives are said to have a 20 degrees edge bevel. In fish cutting, having an edge bevel of 12-15 degrees will help you have a clean, easy cut and a reasonable resistance to dulling. In case you don’t cut monofilament, bone or bait using your fish knife, a 15-degree bevel will be perfect for you.

Sharpen the Blade Section supported by the blade table

Whenever you are sharpening a flexible blade, you will definitely be interested in keeping your stone functioning directly above the table blade. This will provide you with a more consistent angle and will help in keeping the blade from flexing whenever you are sharpening.

When sharpening your fish knife, draw the blade across the stone as you sweep it from the heel to tip as you progress. When you have a full-length burr, you can now sharpen to also create a burr on the opposite side. Complete by doing the blade first strokes such as slicing the sliver from the stone until such a time when the burr will completely disappear.

You will never be through with sharpening until such a time when you will have a burr. A burr refers to the wire edge that forms on the blade side opposite to which you are sharpening. It is possible for you to either see a burr or feel it by pulling your fingertips away from the edge across the blades back.

Slow Down

When you slow down, you will get it easier to hold the knife steadily. This will allow the stone to cut better and stay cleaner. It is important that you feel the stone cutting. When you are not able to feel the stone cutting, then you might be going faster.

Polishing the edge

This has been tested several times and it is clear that whenever you are filleting a fish, any polished edge will always perform better.

 It is important that you always remember to wipe down the stone using a rougher cloth when you are through with removing the buildup of steel dust. If you fail to do this, the stone pores will fill up with steel dust and reduce the efficiency of sharpening.

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About the Author Miguel L. Sosa

I am Miguel L. Sosa, emerging as a professional write in my blog justknife.com. From early of my starting studying life I used to feel good about reading & writing. No matter what happens to me, I start to write about hunting, kitchen, outdoor, knife in my blog. I feel very good when i had written about those things actually writing is my passion.

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