Salter knife sharpener
The brick-shaped unit, which is in brushed stainless steel, is roughly 15 x 9cm and 6.5cm high. It has a black base with rubber feet to keep it from moving around on the kitchen worktop when in operation. The mains cable is a convenient 1metre long.
On the top surface of the sharpener there is the power push-button as well as the slot through which the sharpener head, into which knives are inserted, is visible. The sharpening head consists of two wheels each of which has ten ceramic sharpening “stones” attached. These stones, on each wheel, are set at the correct angle to put an “edge” on a knife blade as it is drawn between them as the wheels rotate.
While the power button is held down the sharpening head rotates. With the knife handle close to the body of the sharpener the knife is lowered through the slot in the top of the machine into the gap between the two wheels until the blade comes into contact with the stones. The blade is then drawn back slowly and steadily so that the full length of its edge has been in contact with the stones and the knife is completely withdrawn from the sharpener. It takes just a few moments to get the knack of ensuring that all parts of a curved blade receive effective treatment. Having repeated this about five times one checks whether the knife is now sharp. If not, repeat the procedure again.
In practice I found that it put the edge back on a regularly used kitchen knife after one or two treatments i.e. 5 or 10 passes of the blade through the sharpener. However, when the blade is extremely blunt, it will need many more “passes” in the sharpener. In this context it took something like 100 passes of the knife blade through the sharpener to restore to usefulness an elderly, but good quality, knife that had been languishing unused and forgotten at the bottom of a drawer. As I found that the unit gets hot with continued use this was done in a number of sessions because I did not want to risk the unit overheating.
In practice I found it easy to use and required much less skill in use than many other sharpeners. However, like a great many things, the Salter electric knife sharpener has been designed for right handed users. Furthermore, it has been designed just to sharpen traditional edged knives and will not sharpen scalloped or serrated edge knives or scissors.
As most of us have a few knives that we like working with in the kitchen, it is important to keep them sharp. After all, as one has to exert far more pressure with a blunt knife that with a sharp one, there is more risk of a knife slipping with very unhappy results. Hence, knife sharpeners form an essential part of kitchen equipment.
Even though it can hardly be described as an everyday tool, it could well be used every few weeks in keeping one’s knives sharp. Consequently, even though it is quite expensive, available on Amazon at £55, when one takes into account the cost of buying new good quality knives to replace existing blunt ones the price appears to be much more reasonable and therefore much easier to justify.
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